Sixteen track compilation,that is strictly for the completist OR someone who,in the past had to pawn off their entire Sabbath catalog to pay rent,make bail,pay off their dealer,etc.Tunes here that make for great listening and all are the band’s namesake “Black Sabbath”,”N.I.B.”,”Sweet Leaf”,”Supernaut”,”Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” among others.It’s just that there are plenty of other better compilations of Sabbath’s work available out there.
Black Sabbath-the Black Sabbath, the original lineup of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward, four childhood friends from the north of England-grew out of the U.K’s late-60s blues/hard rock scene, which also included Led Zeppelin, Cream, Blue Cheer, and other greats. Sabbath’s sweeping and masterful metamorphosis away from that tradition spawned heavy metal music, inventing the template for everything that would follow. With crushing rhythms, torpedo riffs, haunting songs, and Ozzy’s other-worldly vocals, the band conjured a dark, menacing, and resonant sound that reverberates still.
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Black Sabbath seems to be falling into the recent trend of releasing (and re-releasing) compilations like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve got to admit that I was very happy with the remastering on the two-disc ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ anthology put out a couple of years ago, while being mildly impressed with the tracklisting. Even though you’ll have to pay a few dollars more for that collection, I think it would certainly be worth it, even for a casual fan.
Now I don’t own this cd (sorry for breaking the rules, Amazon), but I’m shocked to hear of the editing of a few tracks, particularly “Iron Man.” I also am getting sick of seeing “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” on every Sabbath compilation released (it’s the only song from the band that I can never seem to stomach). Why not put something like “Killing Yourself To Live” or, if you want a softer one, “Planet Caravan”?
Overall, I would just encourage you to stick with ‘Symptom Of The Universe,’ or better yet, go ahead and shell out the $90 or $100 for the ‘Black Box,’ which contains all eight studio albums recorded with Ozzy on vocals.
I don’t know what the moronic executive producer of this, Sharon Osbourne, was thinking when she decided to cut Ironman in half, it isn’t even faded properly, but what a mistake. The target audience of this i would presume is either completist Sabbath collectors who buy everything(like myself) or novice fans who will make this their first and only Black Sabbath purchase. Perhaps the greedy witch Sharon wants them to buy the previously released double greatest hits cd or maybe even the $100 black box to get the full version of Ironman. What a disgrace! I wonder if Ozzy and the other Sabbs(Tony, Geezer & Bill) know about this? Sharon Osbourne as chief power broker of all things Sabbath is the best and worst thing that has happened to the band. They’ve received lots of pub and a myriad of product releases that only a few years ago seemed unthinkable. On the other hand, they, because of her, now seem as just another money grubbing band looking for one more payday. You want more stuff; OK, but you’re going to pay big time! I could imagine what is next to be released by the witch. 1. Color version of “Never say die” from BBC’s Top of the pops, 2. 1974 Cal Jam, 3. 1975 Rock Concert followed by each one they did thereafter, 4. How about Sabbath ballads from 1970-78. Disgraceful.
Great reviews from everyone. Why didn’t I read them before buying this mistake??!!! Iron Man is my favorite Sabbath tune. Why did they have to edit this one??!!! It did, however, prompt me to go out and immediately purchase a fresh ‘Paranoid’ CD! What a classic … Iron Man, War Pigs, Electric Funeral … it doesn’t get any better than that. I’m a huge Zeppelin fan, but ‘Paranoid’ stands up to any Zep album … plain and simple. ROCK ON, Guys!!
Do not buy this cd unless you prefer to hear classic songs like “Iron Man” fade out two-thirds of the way through the track. What’s the point of re-mastering songs for a great album oriented group like Black Sabbath and then do a hatchet job on the tracks you love the most? The generous full 80 minute length was nice until I discovered I’d been had by the butchered tracks. Buyer beware!!