Week 46: “Laguna Sunrise” by Black Sabbath

Raise your hand if, somewhere around age sixteen, you went through a metal phase. Come on, admit it…you grew your hair out, you bought a ring with a skull on it, maybe even went to a Megadeth concert. Well, no matter what the details of your metal phase were, it probably included the basic principle that Ozzy Osbourne was God, and Black Sabbath was the precursor to every band worth listening to.

But the great thing about Black Sabbath was that you could get your parents all flustered by listening to “Iron Man”, wait for them to make some comment about how it’s “all a bunch of noise”, and then play a song like this one and say, “See? They’re real musicians!”

I don’t listen to much metal anymore, and it’s been a long time since my hair was long enough to use as a towel, but every once in a while it’s fun to go back and give a second listen to the music you loved at sixteen; a part of you probably still loves it.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The twelve-string guitar. It was a favourite of bands like Sabbath and Zeppelin, possibly because it sounds slightly medieval-ish, like a harpsichord.

2. The way the two guitars are panned hard left and right. It really gives the impression that you’re sitting right between them, especially when you listen on headphones.

3. The strings. The next time you see a metal band playing live with a full orchestra, you have Black Sabbath to thank (blame?) for it.

Recommended listening activity:

Doing a huge “stretch & yawn” after a long, refreshing sleep.

Buy it here.