Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
When the Bough Breaks
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
An engaging solo effort from Bill Ward
Roger Williams | Providence, RI | 03/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of Black Sabbath (of which I consider myself one of the biggest and most rabid I know) have already started arguing about which original Black Sabbath member (Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward) has released the best solo album. In a note of unintentional irony, the debate has come to resemble the arguments about the solo albums made by The Beatles after their breakup. Upon leaving Black Sabbath, Bill Ward spent years in an insane asylum and shuffled from one drug/alcohol rehabilitation clinic after another. This separation from the music industry and his old bandmates lent Bill some considerable distance from his heavy metal birthright, but he hasn't entirely sold his rock and roll credibility for the proverbial pottage, either. Is it really inappropriate to dub Bill Ward the George Harrison of Black Sabbath? Bill *was* the quiet one, after all, and appeared to have an artistic vision that one could never have dreamed lied dormant at the peak of his fame. After listening to "When The Bough Breaks" over and over, I have no doubts about the comparison at all. This is certainly the most eclectic solo album released by the original Sabbath members. It avoids entirely the punishing metal of Geezer Butler's "Geezer" (and "G/Z/R") project, the oddly expressionless radio friendly style of Tony Iommi's album, and all of the hyper-produced, MTV gloss of anything Ozzy Osbourne's ever done. Great, so now you know what it doesn't sound like. So what DOES "When The Bough Breaks" sound like? The saxophone laden swing of "Hate" and the stomping "When I Was A Child" evokes what would have been if Black Sabbath had followed up on path of "Swinging The Chain" from their "Never Say Die!" album. Bill's stomping blues rock on "When The Bough Breaks" is surprisingly infectious, but his painfully earnest ballads are somewhat less so. However, the easily manage to rise above the embarassing metal "monster ballad" and are frankly less mawkish than I'd feared they would be. Bill sings on every track, and makes up for in passion what he lacks in singing technique. As a lyricist, however, the results are mixed, and you will be ready to kick Bill by the fifteenth or so reference to how his inner child wants to grow, love, and share, etc. as well as the inevitable inspiration provided by his infamous drug woes. The studio musicians (none are really well known) are more than adequate for Bill's songs, but rarely shine outright on their own account. One of the few exceptions, however, would be the down home blues picking on "Please Help Momma (She's A Junkie)". All things considered, though, this is the "All Things Must Pass" of Black Sabbath's solo albums, even if only by default. It's not just for completists, but an engaging rock'n'roll album with more than enough merit of its own."
Outstanding piece of bluesy personal rock
Joseph M. Siegler | Garland, TX USA | 05/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Ward was the drummer for Black Sabbath for many many years. Black Sabbath put out some of the best metal of all time. However, if that's what you're expecting when you buy this - you'll be disappointed.This CD is a very personal look at some issues that are dear to Bill's heart. The music here is very bluesy, and very well crafted. Most of the songs here have a message to them, and good ones as such.The tune "Children Killing Children" deserves far more attention than it ever got. Everytime I see a school shooting on the news, I think 'Why isn't this song being played or something'? It's a very personal, very accessible piece of bluesy rock from the founding drummer of Black Sabbath."
The best of Black Sabbath's song writers.
firstname.lastname@example.org | LAKEWOOD, COLORADO United States | 12/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Ward has the distinction of being not only the butt of the joke in Black Sabbath, (concidering the amount of teasing he receives from the other members of Sabbath), but also the best pure songwriter of the four original memebrs of Black Sabbath.
Anyone who's ever listened to his first solo outing can attest to not only how good that first album was, but also the quality of his songwriting. Anyone who hasn't, really missed out on somthing special. While all four members, (and indeed all past members as well), are talented songwriters in their own rights, it is Bill who really shines in the songwriting arena. He has the inate ability to give to the audience from his gut, and have you feeling it right along w/ him. Simply amazing, the meticulously crafted lyrics sit so well w/in the structure of the music, and songs like "Please Help Mama (she's a junkie)" and "Children Killing Children" really show how aware Bill is. Overall the album hasn't a single bad moment on it. The playing is right on, the running order of all the songs is perfect, and most notible, unlike his first outing, When the Bough Breaks doesn't have tons of guests on it. His first solo disc, Ward One: All Along the Way, had so many, Inc. Ozzy and Jack Bruce, and was a very heavy album... like metalic Pink Floyd. W/ When the Bough Breaks, we get a slightly more earthy album, (to use a cliche), based primarily in blues rooted rock, and the same musicians on the entire release give it that cohesivness that a real band effort presents. Indeed, the band on this release formed the core of his first solo disc, which as mentioned before, were augmented by so many guests, so there's plenty of history between the band which give a nice strong foundation. Another nice thing about this album is Ward's use of a horn section. Anyone who's ever hear the Sabbath album Never Say Die knows that the instrumental intro the the song "Swinging The Chain", (which Bill Sang), called "Beakout" has a strong horn section which was used at Bills Suggestion... On the song "Hate," Ward employs horns as an intrical part of the song, w/ an excellent sax lead break to boot.
The entire album is also very atmospheric and is somthing that, (to use another cliche), has the listener finding something new w/ each repeated listen.
My personal favorite track is the title track, "When the Bough Breaks." It's a very moving piece that just grabs you by the heart and never lets go... I myself have that song on my mind for days after listening to it.
When the Bough Breaks is a phenominal piece of work, which will just leap out at you from the first listen.
Buy it and play it loudly and often... you won't regret it.
p.s. Bill's been promising for some time to re-release his first album... whether it happens or not is yet to be seen, however, the sad truth is that Ozzy's 2 songs on the disc will probably be omitted from the release, should it ever see the light of day... still, even w/out the ozzy tracks, the first Ward album is also great."