Vol. 4 is the fourth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in September 1972. It was the first album by Black Sabbath not produced by Rodger Bain; guitarist Tony Iommi assumed production duties. Patrick Meehan, the band’s then-manager, was listed as co-producer, though his actual involvement in the album’s production was minimal. Vol. 4 was released in September 1972, and while most critics of the era were dismissive of the album, it achieved gold status in less than a month and was the band’s fourth consecutive release to sell one million copies in the United States. It reached number 13 on Billboard’s pop album chart and number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The song “Tomorrow’s Dream” was released as a single but failed to chart. Following an extensive tour of the United States, the band toured Australia for the first time in 1973, and later Europe. Here are all of Vol. 4 songs ranked.
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“An experimental instrumental track, perhaps featuring a guitar or something like that. Maybe it is also a synthesiser. Here the synthesiser sounds like it is providing incidenctal music for a sci-fi or horror movie.”
9. Laguna Sunrise
“The second instrumental on this album. Has two accoustic guitars and what sounds like a symphony, perhaps…violins do feature in this song. A gentle, melodic track.”
8. St. Vitus Dance
“It has a BIG sounding riff (heavy and grating). Instruments have a greater presence in this song than other songs on this album. Think that my notes on this song subbest that the percussion on this song is like that in 60’s pop…a “She loves you” type vibe, or something of the sort.”
See more: Black Sabbath Albums Ranked
7. Tomorrow’s Dream
“Tomorrow’s dream has a boogie rock vibe to it with tinny percussion (sort of like a cow bell). Guitars sound synthy and the vocals lack presence, again.”
“Cornucopia” has an intro that’s so slow and wound down so low I can’t even tell if it ever ends. The guitar sound makes this track sound like Swamp Rock.”
“Changes is a slow tempo song with heartfelt lyrics. Ony the piano and the synthesiser are utilised. Melodic, with Ozzy providing good presence on vocals.”
See more: Black Sabbath Songs Ranked
4. Wheels of Confusion / the Straightener
“An epic 8:14 in length. Intro features a wailing blues sound and then steps into a Steppenwolf type riff (think “Born to be wild”) on both guitar and bass. Guitar has a buzzing sound to it and the vocals lack presence. A prog-rock kind of song.”
3. Under the Sun / Every Day Comes and Goes
“The intro brings to mind their debut album’s vibe of Gothic Rock. Can be read as a statement of the band’s Philosophy, although, contrasting this song with their previous “After forever”, it has to be remarked that a Black Sabbath ‘philosophy’ seems more of a mask which they wear and discard for something else later…like The Sex Pistols with their superficial embrace of anarchy and, remarkably, fascism (as if those two philosophies aren’t like oil and water)! Drummer Bill Ward provides some big drum fills in this song. Outro is good too…it’s like a rock band’s version of Tubular Bells.”
“A riff song with a nice vocal shift in it, where it becomes more melodic. Lead guitar is bluesy and I think the song features the violins at the end. Has a synthesiser too.”
“Supernaut – grinding guitar and has a Lenny Kravitz vibe to it (think “Are you gonna go my way”. For that matter, sometimes this song brings to mind the riffs in Pseudo Echo’s version of “Funky Town”).