Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath Production Notes

Production Notes

When Black Sabbath recorded their debut album at Regent Sounds in London in Nov '69, they were still essentially an unknown proposition. A young producer Roger Bain, who had worked on some of their demo sessions, was drafted in. The engineer was Roger Allom who had worked on Genesis's debut From Genesis To Revelation. In 2020 he said the band were 'outspoken and a bit wild', but 'well prepared, and very tight'.

They needed to be. Due to their limited budget, two 12-hour sessions had been booked and the second day was largely given over to mixing and editing, so they approached the recording just like they were playing a live set, with minimal overdubs.


At the time, Allom had never heard anything like Sabbath's music and recalls that they played at excruciating levels. Butler's bass was so loud that they received complaints from a studio upstairs, and so he had to direct-inject into the mixing desk.

One of the pick-ups on Iommi's Fender Stratocaster stopped working so he ended up using a back-up, a customised Gibson SG, which then became his signature guitar. He thought he'd messed up his solo on 'Warning' and pleaded to do it again although the first take was the one used. Osbourne overdubbed his vocals after the instrumental tracks had been laid down and was hoarse by the end of the 11-minute song.

The band left mixing to Allom and Bain. They added the rain and church bell without telling the band. But they approved, and Iommi was pleased that Bain had run two guitar solos together on 'Sleeping Village'. They initially thought that Bain had done little but press 'record', but later acknowledged that he'd captured their considerable power and energy in its raw state.