The metal monster that closes Black Sabbath Vol. 4’s first side, “Supernaut,” came in at number one on Frank Zappa’s list of “faves, raves, and composers in their graves,” which was printed in the June 1975 issue of Let It Rock:
“‘Supernaut’: Black Sabbath. I think it’s from Paranoid. I like it because I think it’s prototypical of a certain musical style, and I think it’s well done. Also, I happen to like the guitar lick that’s being played in the background.”
Rock music was transformed in the 1960s and 1970s by the bandleader, composer, and musician Frank Zappa. He was renowned for his virtuoso guitar work, use of avant-garde methods, and frequently contentious lyrics. Frank Zappa was a pioneer of the concept album and his music was a combination of experimental, rock, jazz, classical, and other genres.
Zappa’s impact on rock music was enormous. He questioned accepted musical and societal norms, and his work helped many other experimental artists get their start. Bands like King Crimson, The Residents, and Primus all have music that reflects his influence. Zappa is regarded as one of the most influential and innovative musicians in the history of rock music, and his music had a significant influence on the growth of heavy metal.
Back to his love for Black Sabbath. The artist was a huge fan of the group and throughout the years he also extolled the great Sabbath song “Iron Man,” calling it a masterpiece. Not only that, Zappa almost played with Black Sabbath too.
Drummer Bill Ward once reflected in an interview with DJ Nurse Annabella. He said, Frank Zappa tried to play with them in Madison Square Garden but couldn’t because he had a problem with his guitar. He revealed, “In Madison Square Garden Frank’s guitar unfortunately, something blew up. So it didn’t go very far. But we were always bumping into Frank. We were either conversing or we would have dinner, watch those guys play (Zappa’s band). And he would come and watch us play a couple of times.”
He added, “He enjoyed Black Sabbath. He definitely liked Black Sabbath so much that he wanted to get up and jam with the band. I don’t know what happened to his guitar. Something happened on the stage and we couldn’t get it (to) work. So in the end he had to move out of the stage, you know.”