Black Sabbath — Black Sabbath
The critic: Rolling Stone’s Lester Bangs
There seemed to be some sort of fashion at 1970s Rolling Stone for making mystifyingly unfavorable comparisons between British bands and Eric Clapton’s supergroup Cream, because Bangs was at it in this piece, too. He spends a good half of his review comparing and contrasting Black Sabbath with Clapton et al, and eventually concludes that Sabbath are “just like Cream… but worse.” Um, no they’re not, Lester.
The nastiest bit: “The whole album is a shuck — despite the murky songtitles and some inane lyrics that sound like Vanilla Fudge paying doggerel tribute to Aleister Crowley, the album has nothing to do with spiritualism, the occult, or anything much except stiff recitations of Cream clichés that sound like the musicians learned them out of a book, grinding on and on with dogged persistence.”