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Fifth studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in December 1973. It was produced by the band and Tom Allom and recorded at Morgan Studios in London in September 1973.
Following Black Sabbath's 1972–1973 world tour in support of their album, Volume 4, the group returned to Los Angeles to begin work on its successor. Pleased with Volume 4, the band sought to recreate the recording atmosphere, and returned to the Record Plant Studios with new producer and engineer Tom Allom. The band rented a house in Bel Air and began writing in the summer of 1973 but, due in part to substance abuse and fatigue, were unable to complete any songs. "Ideas weren't coming out the way they were on Volume 4 and we really got discontent," guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi said. "Everybody was sitting there waiting for me to come up with something. I just couldn't think of anything. And if I didn't come up with anything, nobody would do anything." In 2013, bassist Geezer Butler told Mojo magazine that after the tour in support of Vol. 4 the band was "absolutely, completely exhausted" and by the time they played the Hollywood Bowl, "Tony collapsed. It was really touch-and-go at one point whether he'd survive or not because he was totally depleted. So we had to cancel the rest of the tour and we actually took time off for the first time since the band started. We got away from each other and had a social life. Then we came back together to start on the next album, and couldn't come up with anything." In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy Osbourne states that in the time leading up to the Hollywood Bowl "Tony had been doing coke literally for days - we all had, but Tony had gone over the edge. I mean, that stuff just twists your whole idea of reality. You start seeing things that aren't there. And Tony was gone. Near the end of the gig he walked off stage and collapsed." Regarding his writer's block, Iommi admitted to Phil Alexander in 2013, "I panicked because I didn't have a single idea about what to write. It might have been the drugs, it could have been the pressure, but either way I felt it was my fault." The band were also disappointed to discover that the room they had used previously at the Record Plant had been replaced with a "giant synthesizer" by Stevie Wonder, who had recently recorded there. ...
Side one 01. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" 5:44
02. "A National Acrobat" 6:13
03. "Fluff" 4:10
04. "Sabbra Cadabra" 5:56
Side two 05. "Killing Yourself To Live" 5:40
06. "Who Are You" 4:10
07. "Looking For Today" 5:05
08. "Spiral Architect" 5:32
All songs by Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.
Ozzy Osbourne – vocals (all tracks), synthesizer (tracks 5 and 6), handclaps (track 7)
Tony Iommi – guitars (all tracks), piano (tracks 3, 4, and 6), synthesizer (tracks 5 and 6), harpsichord (track 3), organ (track 7), flute (track 7), handclaps (track 7), bagpipes (track 8)
Geezer Butler – bass guitar (all tracks), synthesizer and mellotron (6), handclaps (track 7), nose flute (track 8)
Bill Ward – drums (all tracks except 3), bongos (track 1), timpani (tracks 6 and 8), handclaps (track 7)
Additional personnel Rick Wakeman – piano and Minimoog (track 4)
Will Malone – conductor, arranger
The Phantom Fiddlers - strings (track 8)
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