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Reunion [2-CD SET]

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(131 Reviews)

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  • This is the kind of release I wish I would avoid (and save $25!), but that I always buy. Who can resist? A great band reunited! Undoubtedly one of the best live shows in recent memory and in person these performances are exhilirating.The problem is that what is great at a concert isn’t great on record. In a live setting, singing along to “War Pigs” is incredible. On record, however, listening to Ozzy and the crowd’s call and response makes you wish he’d sing it all himself. And the gratuitous vulgarity seems juvenile on record when you’re too hyped at a live show to notice.The songs are great. A solid performance of great Sabbath tracks – and a nice selection, too – not the standard “greatest hits.” You can tell that this is a tight band, best in their original incarnation. Almost too tight. The songs rarely vary from their studio versions (save for “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” in which Ozzy avoids the high vocal section he probably can’t hit anymore). The rhythm section is thunderous and it’s good to have Bill Ward back.All of this said, why do we need this album? Sure, it’s a great souvenier of a great reunion, but if you want to hear these Sabbath tracks the original albums are better. Sure, there are two new tracks, but they’re sub-par for this group.Overall, it’s a nice record and nicely packaged, but a little too predictable. Honestly, I prefer Ozzy’s live solo albums over this release, even though I prefer Sabbath’s studio work. It’s fun for a few listens, but it will gather dust eventually. I’d rather hear the original albums without “show me your f***ing hands!” shouted out every five minutes.

    Posted on January 31, 2010