It’s time for another edition in the Songs with the Same Title series. I previously took on American rock band Styx, so if you haven’t already, you can check out that post here! I’ve wanted to do Black Sabbath for a while and I even selected the songs I wanted to use, but I deleted that draft. So, I had to select some new songs for this post.
How this works is there are six rounds and in each round, I’ll compare two songs (one from the respective artist and one by a different artist). I’ll pick my favorite of the two and then, after the final round, I’ll determine the winner of the overall battle. With all that said, let’s get on with the music!
“Peace of Mind” (1977) by Boston
“Peace of Mind” (2013) by Black Sabbath
So, I’m more familiar with the Boston song because I downloaded it on my Spotify playlist when I was getting into Queen and other classic rock bands back in 2018. But, there’s just something about the darkness of the Black Sabbath song that turns me on. Ozzy Osbourne sounds decent(ish) on lead vocals, the lyrics are relatable, and it has an awesome bass line. I have to give it to Black Sabbath; they take the win for round one.
“Get a Grip” (1993) by Aerosmith
“Get a Grip” (1995) by Black Sabbath
First of all, the album cover for Aerosmith’s Get a Grip (1993) is awful. Second of all, the title track is decent and I like the heavy pounding drums. But I found Steven Tyler’s “rapping” to be annoying and it reminded me of “Walk This Way,” which I hate. I enjoyed Black Sabbath’s “Get a Grip” for the most part; I loved the drum parts and bass line. My only complaint is that I feel like Tony Martin’s vocals were buried in the mix, either that or his voice is very weak. Despite the negative, Black Sabbath takes the win for round two.
“Time Machine” (1969) by Grand Funk Railroad
“Time Machine” (1992) by Black Sabbath
Not going to lie, I haven’t listened to Dehumanizer (1992) enough to appreciate the tracks on there. Ronnie James Dio sounds great and he was an excellent fit for Black Sabbath; it’s a shame he left the group shortly afterwards. But then, there’s this bluesy Grand Funk Railroad track with a nice swing and it reminds me of “Rock Me Baby,” which was covered by The Rolling Stones. It has a killer bass line, a groovy guitar riff, and a harmonica solo, holy cow! It’s not like Black Sabbath’s “Time Machine” was bad, I just like Grand Funk Railroad’s “Time Machine” more; the latter sounds like a breath of fresh air. Grand Funk Railroad takes the win for round three.
“Behind the Wall of Sleep” (1970) by Black Sabbath
“Behind the Wall of Sleep” (1986) by The Smithereens
I couldn’t wait for Black Sabbath’s track to end because I don’t like Osbourne’s vocals, the song had no chorus (at least not a good one), and the guitar riff was confusing. It felt like there were two different riffs with different tempos in the same song. I love The Smithereens’ “Behind the Wall of Sleep.” I think it’s a catchy party song, the harmonies in the chorus are great (“sometimes I even weep”), and it has a good beat. It also helps that the band’s singer can actually sing. Sorry Black Sabbath, The Smithereens take the win for round four.
“Paranoid” (1970) by Black Sabbath
“Paranoid” (2009) by the Jonas Brothers
Speaking of songs with no chorus, Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” doesn’t have one, which annoyed me. Then, there’s the Jonas Brothers’ “Paranoid,” which was my childhood. It was fun taking a trip down memory lane, but also, this song is a bop. The song is catchy, Nick Jonas sang most of the track, and I can relate to the lyrics more since the band wrote it for my generation. Apparently, Grand Funk Railroad has a song called “Paranoid” as well, but I purposely picked the Jonas Brothers track, so that I could revisit it for this post. The Jonas Brothers win round five.
“Heat Like a Wheel” (1974) by Linda Ronstadt
“Heart Like a Wheel” (1986) by Black Sabbath
I watched a documentary about Linda Ronstadt in college; it was for one of my communication classes to get extra credit. She had a great recording voice, but Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” is so depressing and boring with the piano in the background. Black Sabbath’s “Heart Like a Wheel” pleasantly surprised me because I’ve heard mixed reviews about Seventh Star (1986); it was supposed to be a Tony Iommi solo project. Glenn Hughes sounds amazing on this track; I know he was messed up at the time, but dang, he had a powerful voice. Plus, Iommi’s guitar solo was brilliant! Black Sabbath takes the win for the final round.
So, Black Sabbath won three of the six rounds; it’s a tie! To make up for hating Osbourne’s vocals, I’ll say his and Jack Osbourne’s show, Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour (2016 – 2018), was hilarious.
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