Pop artist, Zola Jesus, just released a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” which showcases her raw authenticity and puts a new spin on this 1972 classic track. The song begins with an ever so slight piano intro, before she enters with vocals, “I feel unhappy. I feel so sad. I lost the best friend I ever had. She was my woman, I loved her so, but it’s too late now. I let it go. I’m going through changes.” The tone changes during the track and lyrics, “I’m going through changes” is repeated a few times with a strong emphasis on the emotion of it all.
The track, “Changes” was done by Black Sabbath and is from the album, Vol. 4 back in 1972. The track is a piano ballad inspired by the story of drummer Bill Ward, who was going through a breakup with his first wife. Lead singer Ozzy Osbourne, re-recorded the ballad as a duet with his daughter 31 years later in 2003.
Zola Jesus is one of the artists participating in a compilation album titled, What Is This That Stands Before Me? where various Sacred Bones artists cover Black Sabbath. Jesus recently performed “Changes” in a live performance, which is described as a “stripped-down piano ballad” and a “song of vulnerability that can move most to tears.” Jesus shared her live performance video on Twitter, saying “here’s a clip of me performing “changes” by black sabbath with the video quality of a snuff film.” The low-quality video might be too gritty within such black-and-white visuals, but Zola Jesus performed deeply and honestly. It’s a sincere gig paying homage to the pioneers of heavy metal music.
Jesus performed at the SXSW Music Festival in March 2019. She released an entire EP called Remixed By Johnny Jewel last October. Her last album Okovi: Additions is the added follow-up of her 2017’s Okovi. She also featured in Randall Dunn’s new desert-set video for “A True Home” last year.
The original version of “Changes” is driven by vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, who adds the harrowing masculinity which drives the song forward. The tone and poetic nuance of the 1972 version, echoes with a certain familiarity in comparison to Zola Jesus’ version. On this compilation album, you’ll find Sabbath through the filter of the post-Soviet darkwave of Molchat Doma, the experimental folk of Hilary Woods, the laid-back psych of Moon Duo and more.
What Is This That Stands Before Me? Tracklist
1. The Soft Moon – “Black Sabbath”
2. Molchat Doma – “Небеса и Ад (Heaven and Hell)”
3. Thou – “Supernaut”
4. Marissa Nadler – “Solitude”
5. Hilary Woods – “N.I.B.”
6. Zola Jesus – “Changes”
7. Moon Duo – “Planet Caravan”
8. Dean Hurley – “Warning (Bar Band Version)”
9. Uniform – “Symptom of the Universe”
Photo Credit: Pamela Lin