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Black Sabbath - Changes

"Changes" is a ballad by Black Sabbath. It first appeared on Vol. 4, which was released in 1972.

The song's piano melody was composed by guitarist Tony Iommi, who was experimenting with the instrument in the studio. The lyrics were by bassist Geezer Butler, and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne has referred to the song as "heartbreaking". Quite different from Sabbath's previous work, the song was described as a "forlornly pretty" ballad by critic Barney Hoskyns. It was inspired mainly by drummer Bill Ward's breakup with his first wife.

Notably, "Changes" was not recorded with a real string ensemble. Instead, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi used a Mellotron to create the sound of an orchestra. The ballad is generally an outlier in the band’s discography as it does not feature guitar or drums.

To alleviate concerns about the band departing their well-known heavy sound, Osbourne promised in a 1972 interview "We're certainly not going to get any less heavy, we will probably do 'Changes' on stage with a Mellotron, but we'll never take strings on stage with us or anything like that.


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