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Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)

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  • Whenever someone asks me “What’s your favorite band?” I always reply with the following: Black Sabbath, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin…not necessarily in that order.It’s been a staple answer for 20 years, yet part of me has always felt like a liar for the last 10. I’ve burnt out on these bands.All of that changed Yesterday when I purchased the Iron Man/Paranoid single that Rhino released to promote this boxed set. I bought it “Just to see…” how much better these remasters really sounded. I’ve bought numerous quote-unquote remasters, reissues, boxed sets, compilations over the years and was always disappointed. 15 Minutes later, I was a proud owner of The Black Box. This set sounds like it was recorded *yesterday*. It is such a radical difference that these songs sound brand new and contemporary without actually being any different. Albums that were flat and muddy like Master of Reality and Technical Ecstasy are now vibrant and crisp. Hearing them like this, a lot of songs that might’ve been overlooked in the past are now enjoyable.The book is all fine and good…lots of self-congratulatory propaganda that you might expect…but the real deal within it’s pages are *official lyrics*. Finally! Not only am I hearing Sabbath with fresh ears, but also new understanding. A lot of the lyrics are a lot deeper than I’d ever known and it gives me new respect for the material.Black Sabbath is my favorite band, and I can proclaim it honestly again because of this set.For those who complain about no bonus tracks, lost tracks etc. I will say this: I trust Sabbath’s judgement on the matter. If there exists anything in the archives that is truly good, I’d expect them to hold on to it until they are absolutely too old to do anything but release them and collect a final paycheck to take them into their golden years. As of now, they could still reform and do a new studio album, which is what I would personally prefer.

    Posted on November 16, 2009