Someone Just Unearthed New Footage of Black Sabbath, from 1970

I love looking at old live footage from the early 70s. The music is similar enough to what we still listen to that the bizarre juxtaposition of the era’s music technology and techniques is completely fascinating. Like in this recently unearthed Sabbath footage from 1970. Check out the two vocal mics taped together. It was a common technique at the time. It was usually done to reduce feedback by flipping the phase of one microphone (for a longer explanation scroll down to the “microphones” section of this Grateful Dead stage show breakdown).


And look at that drum mic setup. Just a single Sennheiser MD421, in white for that vintage look, to mic the entire kit besides the kick mic, which I think is actually on the beater end but it’s hard to see. That’s it. For a huge open-air concert. I love it. I think that’s another MD421 that Ozzy is singing into, taped to the old Shure Unidyne III SM57, but again it’s tough to say with certainty.

If you have a favorite old 70s, or maybe 80s hardcore, live video, something with anthropological value, I’ve love for you to share it in the comments section.


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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • Cool stuff. Is Ozzy singing in German at the beginning of the clip? Or were those some alternate lyrics?

    • Those are the original lyrics.

  • Metal used to be so raw.

    Don’t get me wrong I love periphery and all these modern bands that sounds so badass.

  • There are at least 4 mics on the kit. One mono overhead, a 421 under the hat, pointed toward the snare, another above the floor tom and one in the gap between the snare and the kick. Not sure if that’s the only kick mic or not. At any rate, sounds fantastic, awesome find!

    • You’re a more observant man than me. Now that you point them out I see them but I totally missed those other two mics the first couple times I watched the footage.

  • Get up you lazy hippies that’s Black fucking Sabbath, and get a damn haircut.

  • Cover picture says that Black Sabbath charged a fee of 4000DM (former currency in Germany = “Deutsche Mark”) which would be around 7000€ today (including inflation) and 9500$… Nevertheless, 4000DM were a shitload of money in the 70’s!

  • The reason there are two vocal mics, is one for PA, (probably the 57) and one for the audio for the film. you see this frequently in concert films of the era. The Grateful Dead 2 mic thing you are talking about is only in 1974 for the unique “wall of sound” system to cancel out feedback because the entire PA was behind them with no monitors. That was the only sound system like it. whenever else you see 2 mics in the late 60’s early 70’s is for a clear track of the vocals in a recording for TV/film.

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