Never Say Die!

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Never Say Die!
Studio album by Black Sabbath
Released28 September 1978
RecordedJanuary–May 1978 at Sound Interchange, Toronto, Canada
GenreHeavy metal
Length45:41
LabelVertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
ProducerBlack Sabbath
Black Sabbath chronology
Technical Ecstasy
(1976)
Never Say Die!
(1978)
Heaven and Hell
(1980)
 
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Never Say Die!
Studio album by Black Sabbath
Released28 September 1978
RecordedJanuary–May 1978 at Sound Interchange, Toronto, Canada
GenreHeavy metal
Length45:41
LabelVertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
ProducerBlack Sabbath
Black Sabbath chronology
Technical Ecstasy
(1976)
Never Say Die!
(1978)
Heaven and Hell
(1980)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic1.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[2]

Never Say Die! is the eighth studio album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in September 1978. It was the final Black Sabbath studio album to feature vocalist Ozzy Osbourne prior to his departure from the band in 1979 to pursue a solo career.

Contents

Recording and production

At the time of the recording of Never Say Die! the members of Black Sabbath were all heavily involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Prior to the recording of the album, vocalist Osbourne quit the band and was briefly replaced by former Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. Some songs were written with Walker, and the new group even performed an early version of "Junior's Eyes" with different lyrics on the BBC programme, Look Hear. Osbourne eventually rejoined the band, refusing to sing any of the songs written with Walker. These particular songs were rewritten, including "Junior's Eyes", rewritten to be about the then-recent death of Osbourne's father.

The album was recorded at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto,[3] as were parts of Technical Ecstasy.[4] Closing track "Swinging The Chain" features lead vocals from drummer Bill Ward, necessitated by Osbourne's frequent absences from the studio and inability to perform due to substance abuse.

Packaging

The sleeve was another by Hipgnosis and the US and UK releases differed slightly in the faint images of British military pilots seen in the sky. The inner-bag featured graphics in keeping with the sleeve and credits, but no lyrics. The airplane on the cover appears to be a North American T-6 Texan.

Criticism

Osbourne has criticized the album and the decision to record it in Toronto, telling After Hours in a 1981 interview "The last album I did with Sabbath was Never Say Die and it was the worst piece of work that I've ever had anything to do with. I'm ashamed of that album. I think it's disgusting".[5] He went on to claim that the band flew to Toronto in January during sub-zero temperature "purely because the Rolling Stones had recorded a live album there..." Only three songs off the album were performed live during the tour in support of the album, and dropped from subsequent set lists.

Chart positions and singles

In the UK the title-track, released well-ahead of the album and the band's first UK picture-sleeve single, reached #21 in the chart and gave the band its first Top Of The Pops appearances since 1970. The band twice appeared live in the studio, miming to the song. One of these appearances was included on the official The Black Sabbath Story Vol. 1 - 1970-1978[6] video release, in a poor b/w transfer from a fan's off-air archive, despite the BBC holding both appearances in their archive.

In the UK the album reached #12, one place higher than Technical Ecstasy. In the US it peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Pop Album chart.[7] It was certified Gold on 7 November 1997.[8]

In the UK "A Hard Road" was released as the second single from the album and reached the UK Top 40, 25,000 copies being pressed in a limited-edition purple-vinyl. There was no picture-sleeve release.

Video releases

A video from this period, professionally recorded on the UK tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in June 1978, can be seen on the Sanctuary Visual Entertainment DVD, also entitled Never Say Die.[9]

Track listing

All music by Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward); all lyrics by Geezer Butler.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Never Say Die"  3:50
2."Johnny Blade"  6:28
3."Junior's Eyes"  6:42
4."A Hard Road"  6:04
Side two
No.TitleLength
5."Shock Wave"  5:15
6."Air Dance"  5:17
7."Over to You"  5:22
8."Breakout" (Instrumental)2:35
9."Swinging the Chain"  4:06

Personnel

Black Sabbath
Additional musicians

See also


References