What a riff. Kicking off with the killer bassline, the distorted guitar flares into action with all the subtlety of a herd of wildebeest trying to sneak onto an ice rink.
The drums are equally exuberant, with judicious cymbals and a fair amount of tribal toms.
Ozzy Osbourne is in fine form here, capturing the classic generational rebellion which recurs every decade or so. He has described it as “our punk song”.
The guitar and bass are, like many Sabbath tunes, a lower pitch than is normal. This results in a truly wonderful heaviness which has inspired a whole new generation of metalheads…
It’s actually got quite happy and hopeful lyrics, in contrast to the title. Like many of Sabbath’s biggest hits, it’s an anti-war song, which can be deduced by the warnings of “atomic fear” and the like. The message is, the world needs to change, or the children of the future will be children of the grave.
The song was released on Master Of Reality in 1971, and as a single.