In 1970 Black Sabbath released its self-titled debut and the world began to take notice. However, the uproar of parents, Critics, and “Normal” people was thrust at them. It did not belong to them alone. Black Widow were about to enter the music scene.

After one album and name change in 1969 from “Pesky Gee! “ and the release “Exclamation Mark”  A second Band from England  Became “Black Widow” and released their own true debut “Sacrifice” in 1970 as well. 

They have been described as Progressive Rock, Jazz Rock, and other things. They pulled their music from the darker corners.  Attention came swiftly as they were invited that same year to the now-infamous “Isle of Wight Festival”.

Black Widow 1972 Black Widow “Music From the Darker Corner”

The band wanted to be more “accessible” to a larger audience A/K/A “can we make some money? “ This failed upon the release of the self-titled Black Widow “album in 1971. A quick return to form saw them release  Black Widow III in 1972.

In Ancient Days (1972)

Come To The Sabbat (1972)

Way To Power (1972)

Conjuration/ Seduction/ Attack Of The Demon/ Sacrifice – Medley (1972)

The band recorded an album, Black Widow IV, later in 1972 without a recording contract. By this time, however, lack of critical and label support, plus many lineup changes, caused the group to falter. Late in 1972, after losing their deal with CBS Records, Black Widow recorded Return to the Sabbat, a self-produced set that did not see the light of day until 1999, when it was released by Blueprint Records.

Black Widow Sacrifice 1970

BLACK WIDOW (1971) | FULL ALBUM

Black Widow III 1971 Full Album

The Band has retained a cult following throughout all the decades and Has always had a friendship with Black Sabbath members even though their work is a whole other type of music, they were equally scrutinized for their stage productions and lyrical content.

It would have to be the Shock Rock ethic predating any other band that kept them Banned from performing in more places than one can count and as much as some may find the band unsettling on the surface, much of their work is actually just a grand fusion of instrumentation the hints at Deep Purple at times with great Organ work and does indeed delve into Prog Rock in its overall analysis. 

The final release 1997

Black Widow IV. 1972. Progressive Rock. Heavy Prog. Full Album

The Final Release 1999

Return To The Sabbat 1969 (full album)

It is notable how little information there is beyond this. Excerpts from an article by Dom Lawson do provide a bit more in relation to their acknowledgments from current bands they carried over the years to new generations.

“Black Widow was the obvious band that everyone knew about, but their interest in the occult only lasted for one album,”  referring to the Leicester band whose debut, Sacrifice, reached No 32 in 1970.

Black Widow reunited in 2007 after a 34-year hiatus and are touting a new studio album, the gleefully preposterous Sleeping with Demons. They remain very much the godfathers of occult rock, and their anthem Come to the Sabbat is the only song from that first era that had any discernible impact on the rock mainstream.

Their supremely cheerful frontman Clive Jones is happy to admit to his own spiritualist beliefs and fascination with witchcraft, but also concedes that Black Widow abandoned the path of darkness fairly quickly after their 1970 debut seemed to cast its own shadow of negativity over their ambitions.

“After Sacrifice, we had to change direction and I didn’t want to do that, but we’d had lots of bad luck,” he recalls. “We were banned by the BBC and they wouldn’t play the records. We were going to tour in Amorica but Charles Manson did what they called his ‘black magic murders’ and suddenly we weren’t allowed in. Our management looked after Black Sabbath at the time, too, and sent them in our place.”

Black Widow were innovators and carved many a road for others. One must accept that Light and Dark are the balance. It applies to music, it applies to art. Skip one, you just may cheat yourself. A Half experience isn’t really an experience at all.

My Own Track Black Widow

The Name of the mighty Black Widow spider has launched more than one band and thousands of songs by many an artist…..Even I fell into its Web “

By Jimmy Flemming

Jimmy Fleming is a Dystonia advocate and Guitarist from Ohio. He authored and co wrote interviews on over 100 articles about guitar and bands on Guitardoor Listen to his latest music and full biography on his website.

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