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  • Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
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Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Box set, Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, April 27, 2004
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$115.00 $59.99

Editorial Reviews

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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 04/27/2004

One can make the case that the Beatles, while the most important band of all time, wasn't the most influential. Decades after Black Sabbath laid down the commandments of heavy metal--lyrically, not for the squeamish; musically, dynamic and resolutely heavy--their impact remains improbably undiminished. One needed only to hear the first notes of the eponymous track on their eponymous 1970 debut to know that a new régime had arrived. And while one could (and should!) have mocked them, they would not be stopped. Black Box includes the eight albums recorded between 1970 and 1978 by the founding lineup--Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler--in one suitably weighty package. Forgoing bonus tracks (aside from an entertaining but brief four-track DVD extra), the box is rounded off with an impressive 80-page booklet. While the foursome was considerably less fearsome by the time they checked out with Never Say Die, more than half of this collection represents heavy metal with a lasting impact. --Steven Stolder

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000DII8S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,645 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

315 of 328 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Siegler TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
UPDATE NOV 2011: This package is out of print now. Rhino/Warner has told me so, and it will not be reprinted. Additionally, the albums from this box were never released individually. To that, I recommend the 2009-2011 Universal Deluxe Edition Series, as they are newer remastered, and a bit less heavy on the volume. They unfortunately were NOT released domestically in the US, but are worth the trouble to obtain.

Original APR 2004 Review: My name is Joe Siegler and I run "Black Sabbath Online". I have a much longer review of this disc at my site, but I had to crop it down to make it fit within Amazon's 1000 word limit, so if you want to read my full review, hit [...]

What is Black Box? It's a 9 disc collection (8 audio CD's, one DVD) comprising all the of the songs the original Black Sabbath released from 1970-1978.

The albums themselves have an unbelievable sound quality never heard in these recordings before. It's not like we have new songs here - these are after all the same songs released before. But they've never been heard like this before. I cannot stress how great these discs sound. I've been listening to Black Sabbath since 1981. I know these songs extremely well - EXTREMELY well. So much so that the slightest change is noticeable. Well, the sound range here is far more powerful than I've ever heard it before. Ever put in an old CD in your player, and it sounds flat, and a newer one you put in has a really rich, vibrant range? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about here. In addition to the songs just sounding more powerful and cleaner, individual instruments are more noticeable here. There's tons of places where I've heard drum fills by Bill Ward that I've never heard before.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By D. Mok on May 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Black Sabbath didn't have the revolutionary recording techniques or melodic sophistication of Led Zeppelin, but in terms of sheer brawn, Sabbath is right up there among the greats. No classic-rock collection is complete without at least two or three of these eight records, and if you want the complete lexicon of heavy metal, you will find it here.
This package is well conceived, classily packaged, with a velvet hard-covered book and the eight albums in Digipak format. Sabbath records in CD format never had much in terms of notes so the format is suitable. You will also get the complete lyrics in the book. The history of the band, written by Chris Welch and Brian Ives, is scanty and contains very little that you won't find elsewhere (I actually found the liner notes to the Reunion live double CD more informative), but they are at least reverent enough about their subjects. Here is a disc-by-disc rundown:
1. Black Sabbath: The debut album, ridiculed by critics, a dark-horse favourite among fans despite two very long, rambling jams. But worth it for ominous title track "Black Sabbath" alone, and "The Wizard" shows that this band wasn't too bad at blues, its original chosen music style, either.
2. Paranoid: This record is so legendary that in a way familiarity breeds contempt, but you still can't deny the power of Tony Iommi's massive guitar riffs. The underrated Geezer Butler/Bill Ward rhythm section comes into its own on "Paranoid" and the painfully slow groove of "Iron Man", and Iommi's crushing guitar tone keeps the very long "War Pigs" in focus.
3. Master of Reality: Not one of my favourite Sabbath albums, this album was hurt by the muffled recording but remains a landmark nonetheless.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Greg B. on April 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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.
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