Battle of the Bands: Black Edition

I had this dumb idea for a post today and decided to do it nonetheless. The idea is a battle of sorts between bands in my music collection with tenuous connections. The first battle is between bands that feature the word ‘Black’ in their name. Lets meet the contenders:

The Sabbath are an English rock band credited with inventing Heavy metal and ranked by MTV as ‘the Greatest Metal band of all time’. Originally formed in 1968, they have a had a total of 24 band members, the most famous of which is Ozzy Osbourne (seen above on the right).

Black Flag are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands, and hugely influential. They appeared at the end of the 70s and flew in the face of the then current trend of prog rock and the upcoming trend of New Wave. They are renowned for their tireless touring and DIY ethic, much of which is chronicled in Henry Rollins memoir Get in the Van.

Big Black was a noise rock band fronted by the acid tongued Steve Albini in the mid-eighties. Their offensive style of music (lyrically and sonically) won them few mainstream fans and Albini wouldn’t have it any other way. Their use of a drum machine would later influence the Industrial genre.

The Black Eyed Peas are a Hip Hop group out of LA who released their first album in 1998. Originally they made good music and mocked sellouts (see the video for BEP Empire) then they hired a skank called Fergie, sold out and started writing pop songs for teenage girls about ‘Lady Lumps’.


This one is actually hard to call. BEP are easily ruled out now that they have joined the ‘celebrities that dress dickheads club’, but Black Flag and Big Black are both known for their nihilistic (American) punk attitudes towards fashion and aesthetics. I was going to give this to the young Ozzy Osbourne for this trademark theatrics but then I found this picture.
Winner: No-one, jeez we’re off to a bad start

Overall musical ability

BEP suck and Black Flag are all about music by non-musicians so it’s down to Big Black and Sabbath. I’m going to give this one to Big Black for Albini’s songwriting and elite producer skills.
Winner: Big Black

Best ‘Best song’

According to my iTunes, BEPs best song is the aforementioned BEP Empire (FAIL), Black Flag’s best is Rise Above and Big Black’s best is Bad Penny, but the winner without a doubt would have to be Black Sabbath with Ironman.
Winner: Black Sabbath

Most Influential

While Black Flag influenced loads of bands (one of them Big Black), Sabbath has to get the gong here for inventing Metal.
Winner: Black Sabbath

Cage Match (with band members aged in their prime)

We can assume that BEP would go down pretty quickly after a few flying headbutts from a young Henry Rollins. Sabbath would be too drunk/stoned to fight and Albini is a skinny nerd, so it’s no real surprises that Black Flag would win a cage fight, they spent their career getting into fights with their fans, the police and occasionally both.
Winner: Black Flag

Overall Winner: Black Sabbath

So there you have it. Why not celebrate by listening to Paranoid right now… or you could just listen to Wolfmother… it’s all the same.

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One Response to Battle of the Bands: Black Edition

  1. ascian says:

    If you start all 4 of the YouTube videos at the same time it sounds pretty good :P

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