The fourth studio album by legendary heavy metal outfit Black Sabbath, Volume 4 was the only one of their albums to be numbered in this way. Perhaps the lads just couldn’t be arsed thinking of an actual title, or maybe it was a joke (possibly at Led Zeppelin’s expense). Whatever the case, the album went gold within a month of its release, and despite critical disdain, sold over a million copies in the US alone.
But it was to be a turning point for the band. Although the original lineup of the band would continue for several more years, in retrospect, most them mark this album as the point at which the drugs and booze – especially the cocaine – started to take their toll. Musically, the album was a shift away from the heavy sound of their first three albums towards a lighter, more melodic sound – perhaps too great a shift in the opinion of some.
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