Watch Black Sabbath Put a Brutal End to Flower Power

Black Sabbath, 1970: Bill Ward, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler
(Image credit: Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty)

“[Flower power] is bollocks. The only flower I’m likely to wear is on my fucking grave," Ozzy Osbourne once remarked. Indeed, 1960s industrial Birmingham and its surrounding Black Country were a far cry from the sunny climes of San Francisco.

In 1970, there were several monumental events in the guitar world which signalled the end of the ‘peace & love’ era: Jimi Hendrix died, The Beatles split, then both Peter Green and Eric Clapton went AWOL.

And Black Sabbath happened.

No sooner had the 1960s ended, the band released their eponymous, genre-defining debut album in 1970, quickly followed by Paranoid the same year. This incendiary live performance of “War Pigs” filmed in Paris in 1970 shows the band in their prime – their loveless, apocalyptic vision of a human wasteland free of flowers and far from peace.

In the words of Peggy Seeger: “Society gets the music it deserves.”

Black Sabbath album artwork

(Image credit: Black Sabbath)

Buy Black Sabbath here.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.