Writer(s): Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward (see lyrics here)
Released: November 29, 2013
First Charted: --
Peak: -- (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.2 video, -- streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
I’m a sucker for a good cover. It’s even better if the performer seems to be from such a different genre that one can’t imagine how he or she was even exposed to the song. When it comes to that criteria, it’s hard to outdo an obscure soul singer opting to cover a heavy metal song by none other than the kings of the genre – Black Sabbath.
Black Sabbath originally released the song “Changes” on their 1972 album Vol. 4. The song was a rare foray into ballad territory for the band. Guitarist Tony Iommi reportedly stayed up all night snorting cocaine SF and composed the song’s piano melody while experimenting in the studio WK1 learning to play piano. SF Bassist Geezer Butler added lyrics inspired by drummer Bill Ward’s split with his wife. The band’s singer, Ozzy Osbourne, has called the song “heartbreaking” and critic Barney Hoskyns described it as “forlornly pretty.” WK1
In 2003, Ozzy recorded the song again as a duet with his daughter, Kelly. The song with some revised lyrics about a father and daughter drifting apart, SF reached #1 in the UK. Critics weren’t as enamored with their version. In a 2009 Village Voice article, it was ranked one o the worst songs of the decade. WK1
A decade later, soul singer Charles Bradley recorded a version which was released as a single on Record Story Day Black Friday. He said, “That song is very emotional to me. I didn’t want to learn that song…but…the story…made me think about talking with my mother, bonding…The last 12 years of her life, she actually told me things that got me stronger.” SF
Kitty Empire of The Observer compared Bradley’s voice to Al Green WK2 while Pop Matters’ Steve Horowitz called him “the closest living equivalent to [James] Brown.” WK2 The song was featured as the theme song for Big Mouth, an animated Netflix series and appeared in the first season of Big Little Lies, an HBO series. WK2
First posted 5/7/2020; last updated 7/17/2022.