the first album i ever bought: black sabbath – we sold our souls for rock and roll

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The First Album I Ever Bought is an occasional guest post series where friends, family, and strangers talk about, well, the first album they ever bought. A new piece runs every Wednesday, and sometimes more often. If you’d like to submit, please see the guidelines here.

I was a twelve year old girl in rural Arkansas with a lot of free time and freedom on my hands in 1995. I was rather new to the whole music scene. My oldest sister who had just graduated and left home had been a Country fan; my mother had gone through a gospel phase, and my other older sister, still at home but with no time for me, introduced me to the sounds of Nirvana and the 1990’s grunge scene in muffled tunes through the bed room wall we shared. I’d dabbled a bit in Tom Petty’s music. I think his album ‘Wildflowers’ had come out the year before. I had a radio in my room, but didn’t own any of my own music – and we only got one radio station on it worth listening to – Magic 105.1 Classic Rock. It was summer and on the rural stretch of highway we lived, about a half mile south of us, was a gas station. I used to walk up the road to it nearly every day in the summer for a soda and candy bar, or a pepperoni and cheese Hot Pocket if I was hungry.

On the counter they had one of those metal wire tape racks by the register in the hopes of enticing bored truckers into a tape purchase. I gave it a spin and, having a $5 bill in my pocket, thought I might invest in one of the $3 tapes. I embarked on my half mile walk home through the grasshopper laden grass of the roadside with the album We Sold Our Souls For Rock n’ Roll by Black Sabbath. I had been enticed by its inclusion of Iron Man, which I had heard on the classic rock station. The album opens with the tolling of church bells in the rain, followed by the slow darkly mysterious guitar with the dramatic lyrics laying out a gothic tale of damnation… Needless to say, it spoke to my twelve year old, Edgar Allen Poe reading self. While generationally, I missed the rise of Black Sabbath and the classic metal scene, but an early discovery of Black Sabbath certainly instilled in me a lasting appreciation for it. Those Dark Age themed lyrics, with each song opening like the stage setting for a gothic play, will always ring nostalgic, keeping my early adolescent self alive.

Adrienne Freeman is a freelance writer, blog editor, and website manager with a penchant for Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Lorca, Joy Division, and classic film (especially horror).

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