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Top Customer Reviews
Let me try to put things in context by describing the music scene in 1970. I lived on the outskirts of Chicago. AM Radio (WLS) ruled the airwaves. Bubblegum music (cruel jokes like the Archies passed off as music) had stubbornly carried over from the Sixties like a pesky virus. The Beatles had broken up, and very little airtime was being given to groups like Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd.
I was taking refuge in my bedroom in the basement one evening, painted black, replete with blacklight and strobelight, listening to an underground FM station called Triad, when suddenly Black Sabbath's Paranoid burst over the speakers. It was as if aliens from another planet had landed. I was totally mesmerized, while at the same time deeply disturbed. NO MUSIC....I repeat....NO MUSIC....up to this point had ever sounded this HEAVY and EVIL. And that included hard rockers like Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Hendrix.
The next day I ran out and bought this album and the Paranoid album, pestered my parents into buying a fuzz box for my Teisco Del Rey electric guitar, and have been hooked on metal ever since.
If you are into metal, and want to know its history, you MUST start here, in order to understand where it all began. The first five Black Sabbath albums serve as the foundation from which the heavy metal genre, and subsequent subgenres, evolved.
All the great memories I have of Ozzy, Geezer, Iommi, and Ward are on these early discs. LONG LIVE SABBATH!
For me one of the best parts is the bass and drums on this album. Free of any mold that later developed, they are both unconstrained and adventurous. The only caveat is that production standards of the era meant really deep bass was not considered OK.
There are any number of versions of this album you could have bought on CD. I own, have listened to (a lot!), and examined on sound editors several. This is my take on them:
Early Castle release (1986): Good straight transfer, no volume maxing, limited only by digital equipment of the day and an engineer who presumably knew and cared nothing about Sab, every album he did seems to have at least one track start point wrong! UK track listing, No Wicked World.
Early Warners release: Similar to above, but probably transfered from copy tapes, judging by tape hiss and slightly more muffled quality. US track listing, No Evil Woman.
Castle Remaster (1996):Probably had the best sound until now, care had been taken to deliver what they thought the market wanted, though the included lyrics were at times hilariously wrong. Big downfall - volume maxed, at an estimate 5 or 6 dB dynamics removed by software limiting. UK track listing plus Wicked World.
As part of The Black Box (2004)(boxed set of 1970's studio albums): Avoid. Worst volume maxed copy I've owned. Incomplete original art work. Does have booklet with complete approved lyrics.Read more ›
Blues based with an apocalyptic vision, Black Sabbath's first album is a roller coaster of premium jams that barely let up through it's runtime.
The remastering of the imported Castle recording is far superior than the domestic Warner Brother's version. Audiophiles will be pleased with the bass extension combined with Ozzy's vocals sweetened in the midrange. Make no mistake about it, the blazing highs of Iommi's solos are still there but now they are sweeter as well. In short, there is more space around the instruments. The mix is far less cluttered than the original version and gives full gusto without fatigue to the listener.
Buy this disk now... you will never regret your choice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It all began with this CD for Ozzy and Black Sabbath. You know after listening to this CD that no band in the world could match their sound for gloom and doom rock!!!!!!!!!!!!Published 3 days ago by gary
The first heavy metal album... nah I dont lik the term metal ... this is just pure electric blues rock
PS the opening track is the best doom track of all times
Absolutely, positively one of the seminal roots - a must have.Published 1 month ago by Steven Vaughan
This album is a quicksand where I found myself trapped, about to be consumed in full, helpless and in panic. A great feeling of euphoria in every track.Published 1 month ago by Jeanne
BUYER BEWARE--These 2016 Warner/Rhino remasters are exactly the same as the earlier 2009 UK remasters except for two songs on the first album, which are NOT new but simply placed... Read morePublished 2 months ago by M.B.
Great to have the bonus track Evil Woman, that hasn't been included for many years.Published 2 months ago by Rob Dotzler