Early Sabbath fans: What’s the deal with “After Forever”?

I love Black Sabbath, especially the early stuff. If you’re also a fan, I’m sure you’re aware that most of the songs deal with war/peace, drugs, mysticism, politics, etc.

But the song After Forever is an oddball. It’s a very uncharacteristically pro-Christian song. The lyrics were reportedly written by Tony Iommi. I’ve always liked the song, but have always thought it odd that it became part of their repertoire.

Thoughts? Insights?

They had several christian themed songs, especially in Masters of Reality. I would provide some lyrics as cites but I’m a lazy bastard and 70% of all my albums including my Sabbaths are a few thousand miles away.
I always thought it was either:

An appology, as in: “Don’t think we’re bad just because we have a satanic name and sing heavy and scary songs about drugs. Look! We love the Lord our saviour Jeebus.”

A joke., as in: “Don’t think we’re bad just because we have a satanic name and sing heavy and scary songs about drugs. Look! We love the Lord our saviour Jeebus.”

I’ll never forget the pro-Christian lyrics:

“Would you like to see the Pope
On the end of a rope?
Do you think he’s a fool?”

Can’t remember the song.

I think they reckoned the devil worship thing was better marketing in the end.

That’s from After Forever. Please see link provided in my OP.

Oh yeah. That’s it.

Yeah, I understand it was a reactionary thing from Iommi after the Satanic labels started following them. He and Ozzy were both brought up as good church-going boys. The “After Forever” theme carries through in the same way that they all wore those big aluminum crosses. It was a pointed indication that they weren’t Satanic just because they sang about Satan.

Minor Hijack- Funny how only rock bands have to deal with these things. Nobody accused Salavador Dali or Dante Aligheri of Satanism just because the dealt with Satan as a subject within their art.

Or the writers of horror movies and books. I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t involve some kind of unchristian element, but you never hear anyone accuse Stephen King of being a satanist.

Most of the “Satanic” Black Sabbath lyrics I can think of should, if taken to heart, lead one away from Satanism, anyway. “Black Sabbath” and “N.I.B.,” for example, are both songs that all the look-at-me-I’m-eeeevil pseudo-satanists loved in middle school and high school, but both portray the forces of darkness in a less than appealing light. The first song I mentioned makes evil sound kind of scary and the second has it’s dark moments as well–“Now I have you with me under my power . . .”

Plus, isn’t Ozzy at least ostensibly a Christian? I know he’s always talking about God, and it seems I’ve heard interviews where Ozzy said he was a Christian. I’m not sure about Tony, Geezer, and the other six hundred and forty-two musicians* who have stopped off in Sabbathland over the course of their careers–I imagine all kinds of beliefs have been represented by the various band members.

No doubt there’s a Sabbath song or two which makes evil sound cool, but I can’t think of it right off the top of my head. Well, now I know what I’ll be listening to tonight (I’ve got everything from the first three lineups of this band).

Really, why’s the Devil always given such a bad rap, anyway . . . ? :slight_smile:

  • For people unfamiliar with Black Sabbath, there have been numerous musical lineups, some of which have changed quite rapidly–I actually have no idea how many people have played in Black Sabbath over the years–fans of the band will hopely recognize that I’m just poking fun by citing this ridiculously high number–my, what a long footnote I have made.

[slight hijack] After Ozzy split the band, it seemed like Black Sabbath became a sort of purgatory for musicians who had offended Ritchie Blackmore in some way. Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan and Glenn Huges come to mind.[/end slight hijack]

Ozzy does claim to be a Christian. I believe he’s a non-practicing but still believing Anglican.