Black Sabbath: “Evil Woman” (1970)

Sabbath serves up some warmed-up crow at the request of Fontana Records, who would be eating it by year’s end.

Kronomyth 0.9: You will bear someone else’s fertile seed.

Hard to imagine there was ever a time that Black Sabbath was a struggling band just trying to get a break, but such were the circumstances when the band recorded a cover of Crow’s Evil Woman for Fontana Records. The original had been a Top 20 hit, but no such luck for Sabbath, who saw their first single wither without a trace. Honestly, I side with history on this one. “Evil Woman” adds little to the original, subtracts the horns and is at best a murky vision of things to come.

Wicked World, now there’s a Sabbath song. It introduces Geezer Butler’s disillusioned world vision and has that magical, menacing Sabbath stride to it. The song also does a nice job of showcasing the band’s instrumental chops, which were a fair match for anything Deep Purple had to offer. Soon after its initial release, Fontana sold the UK distribution rights to Sabbath’s new label, Vertigo, resulting in a reissue of the original single.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Evil Woman (Dick Wiegand/Larry Wiegand/David Waggoner) (3:37)
B1. Wicked World (Tony Iommi/Geezer Butler/Bill Ward/Ossie Osbourne) (4:43)

The Players

Produced by Rodger Bain; engineered by Barry Sheffield (A1), Tom Allom (B1).

The Plastic

Released on mono 7-inch single on January 9, 1970 in the UK (Fontana, TF-1067) and in 1970 in the Netherlands (Vertigo, 6059 002) and Spain (Vertigo, 60 59 002) with regional picture sleeve. Re-issued on 7-inch single on March 26, 1970 in the UK (Vertigo, V 2).

  1. Re-packaged with “Paranoid” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1981 in the Netherlands (Immediate, 103.466) with picture sleeve.
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in 2009 in Japan (BMG, BMGCATBOX73-9) with picture sleeve.
  3. Re-packaged with “Paranoid” b/w “The Wizard” on double 7-inch picture disc single on August 29, 2020 in the UK (BMG, BMGCAT442PIC) with gatefold picture sleeve [Record Store Day issue].

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