Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Black SabbathReleased: 1970
In this song, Satan falls in love with a human woman and tries to seduce her. He turns out to be very charming and the early lyrics are quite poetic.
The title refers to drummer Bill Ward's beard. The band called him "Nibby" because they thought it looked like the nib on the end of a pen (Ozzy came up with the nickname when he on acid and thought Geezer Butler was turning into a fountain pen). Says Butler: Originally it was Nib, which was Bill's beard. When I wrote N.I.B., I couldn't think of a title for the song, so I just called it Nib, after Bill's beard. To make it more intriguing I put punctuation marks in there to make it N.I.B. By the time it got to America, they translated it to Nativity In Black.
Many fans thought the title stood for "Nativity In Black" or "Name In Blood."
The bass intro is called "Bassically." It is listed as a separate song on US versions of the album.
"Nativity In Black" is the name of two Black Sabbath tribute albums released in 1994 and 2000. Groups contributing to the albums include Megadeth, Godsmack, Biohazzard, and Faith No More.
The first Nativity In Black album, released in 1994, contains a cover of this by Ugly Kid Joe. The second, from 2000, contains a version from Primus with Ozzy Osbourne.
In November of 1969, Black Sabbath appeared on John Peel's Top Gear
radio show, where they played this song along with "Black Sabbath," "Behind the Wall of Sleep," and "Sleeping Village
." It was some great early exposure for the band.