"A brand-new look at Black Sabbath, one of the most outrageous bands in the history of rock music" This information-rich, idiosyncratic, and beguiling book paints a vivid picture of Black Sabbath at its beginning, from 1967 to 1975---the time in which the band made its greatest albums: "Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, "and "Sabotage." But "Rat Salad" diverges from routes taken by most rock biographies---its detailed, song-by-song analysis of the band's masterworks is interwoven with a personal account of the news stories and culture of the time, from Vietnam to Bloody Sunday to the space program. These narrative chapters---think Ian MacDonald's "Revolution in the Head" meets "Spinal Tap" meets Nick Hornby---persuasively explain the appeal of the music, its compositional artistry, and its frequently audacious inventiveness. Original and passionate, "Rat Salad" embraces a remarkably diverse cast of characters---from Ozzy Osbourne himself and the other members of the band through to Edith Sitwell, Breugel the Elder, John Milton, and Doris Day. The author's hand looms large in the piece, as he grows from schoolboy ingenue to inveterate devotee and looks back at a life populated with love, sex, drugs, and death and played out against a rich sonic backdrop of crucifixes and power chords.