Black Sabbath Mystery Solved 50 Years Later

William Lee | 02-16-2020

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Black Sabbath2014 remaster cover art - Rhino/Warner Records

Many pin the birth of heavy metal to the release of Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album on Friday, February 13th, 1970, and to mark the 50th anniversary, the mysterious woman who appeared on the cover has been identified.

The woman, Louisa Livingstone, along with photographer Keith Macmillan, spoke with about the
The album art, was credited as "Album designed and photographed by Keef," and Keef (real name Keith Macmillan) gave a rare interview with Rolling Stone along with the model (Louisa Livingstone) who appeared on the cover to discuss the album cover to celebrate the 5 decade milestone.

Macmillan explained that he reached out to a London modeling agency to find a woman to be an ominous figure on the cover and he selected Livingstone. He said of her "She was a fantastic model. She was quite petite, very, very cooperative. I wanted someone petite because it just gave the landscape a bit more grandeur. It made everything else look big."

Livingstone shared her most vivid memories of the shoot. She said, "I had to get up at about four o'clock in the morning, or something as ridiculously early as that.

"It was absolutely freezing. I remember Keith rushing around with dry ice, throwing that into the pond nearby, and that didn't seem to be working very well, so he was using a smoke machine. But it was just one of those very cold English mornings."

But on mystery about the cover art remains. Livingstone appears to be holding a black figure in her hands and Macmillan remembers it as a black cat, but Louisa remembers it differently. She told RS, "I think it might just be the way my hands are there. I'm sure I could remember if it was a cat."

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