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Master of Reality

4.8 out of 5 stars 425 customer reviews

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Master Of Reality
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times) by the RIAA. (7/01)

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Black Sabbath's first two releases, Black Sabbath and Paranoid, were more than groundbreaking, they were earth-shattering, exposing the public to a brutal new form of noise pollution termed heavy metal. But it was the band's third album, Master of Reality, that cemented the group as blackened wizards of doom and gloom. Just listen to the echoing cough and sludgy guitar riff of the opening track "Sweet Leaf" and compare it to anything that existed at the time. Not only were Black Sabbath heavier than Deep Purple or Vanilla Fudge, they were also more experimental and controversial, exploring themes of darkness, drugs, and depravity that others dared not address. The heaviest and most influential disc of Black Sabbath's career, Master of Reality featured proto-metal sludge like "Children of the Grave" and "After Forever," which served as a blueprint for a legion of musicians including '90s Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins. --Jon Wiederhorn
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002KDO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,180 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Recchia on July 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This two CD version of Master Of Reality is a must have for Black Sabbath fans mainly for the second disc, which contains previously unreleased versions of all but one song from M.O.R. and the rarest of creatures, a previously unreleased song, yes, a bona-fide song!! As far as I know, this is the first official release on CD of any previously unreleased Black Sabbath song. The name of the song is 'Weevil Woman 71', supposedly (at least that's what they say in the liner notes) in reference to 'Evil Woman', which it also kind of borrows the riff from. I agree with what they say in the liner notes...it's a shame the Black Sabbath didn't work on this song more and try to include it on one of their albums, for even in this slightly unfinished and rough state, it is a killer of a song!! The main riff is very heavy and I like the way the tempo picks up in places. I think this tune would have sounded more at home on Volume 4 than on Master Of Reality. It is not the greatest song Black Sabbath have ever done, but hey, it's 'previously unreleased', man, and is definitely going to be played on the my next radio show on the 25th of July.

Also on the second disc, we are treated to instrumental studio outtakes of After Forever, Solitude, Orchid and Children Of The Grave, along with alternate lyric versions of Sweet Leaf, Into The Void and Children Of The Grave and an alternate mix of Lord Of This World. Aside from Weevil Woman 71,the version of Lord Of This World is the most interesting thing here, as it has Ozzy's vocal double tracked and most importantly, piano and...in a few places...SLIDE GUITAR! While I can see why they ultimately didn't include this mix on the original album, in some ways I actually prefer it!
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Format: Audio CD
Its clear listening to bands like Cathedral or Electric Wizard that they were heavily influenced by Black Sabbath.From beginning to end Master Of Reality has a heaviness that's missing from any other Sabbath album ever recorded.The low distortion,the trudging,plodding pace,all that's missing is the depressing lyrical content and we'd have a Candlemass album.All of the songs truly shine with a life of their own.From the opener Sweet Leaf to the closing and heaviest Sabbath song ever written Into the Void,this is a stellar album that in my opinion is arguably one of the best and most underrated heavy metal albums in existence.My personal favorites here are Children of the Grave,Into the Void and the perfectly melancholy Solitude which one could view as the precursor to Volume 4's ballad Changes.Also check the album's second song for further proof that the members of Sabbath weren't satanists.This is by far my favorite Sabbath album and after a few dozen listens,it'll be yours too.
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Format: Audio CD
That is how Master of Reality begins, with the famous repetitive cough of "Sweet Leaf". On this 1971 release, Sabbath's third album, the band has become "masters" of their own sound. Calling Black Sabbath influential is an understatement. Listen to any of their first 4 albums and you can hear where several "metal" bands got their riffs, style, and "dark" image. Actually, the silliest idea about Black Sabbath is that they are all satan worshippers obsessed with death and think that everyone should commit suicide. Anyone who ever thought these things about this group should try reading the words that Ozzy Osbourne is singing. Their not evil words and a prime example is on Master of Reality. For example, in "After Forever" is clearly about finding God - "They should realize that God is the only way to love." and "Children of the Grave" (No it's not about little kids rising from their graves and killing people) is about a generation of young people who are tired of the hate filled world they live in and want to change it at any cost - "They'll fight the world until they've won and love comes flowing through." Tony Iommi has stated that much of the dark and demonic image associated with Sabbath can be chalked up to record company ploys to make money by making the band seem "evil" (For example, the inner sleeve of the debut LP, Black Sabbath (1970), contains an upside down cross which was not the band's idea at all). If you look at all 8 of the original line up's album covers, there is not an evil or disturbing image in the bunch, with the minor exception of the hooded figure on the debut cover which could be considered creepy by some.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
With two albums under their belts, Black Sabbath evolved from a good local act to stunning band and was staring to get some recognition after Paranoid. Their third album Master of Reality was to be released in 1971, and to this day it's still one of my favorite albums of all time and one of Sabbath's greatest. The first self-titled album was a strong bluesy, really dark and heavier than anything else out there, then they got known with Paranoid which is considered one of the best and most influential album of all-time. But in my opinion if there's one album that you can get tired of hearing of all that Sabbath has done, it has to be Paranoid. I like Master of Reality better, the songs are just better to me and it's something you don't always hear on classic rock radio like Paranoid or Iron Man. Besides I think the album represents the band at best, as lords of doom. In 2009 Master of Reality was remastered and now has a better sound along with a second disc of extra tracks which should be enough to make any Black Sabbath fan happy.

Master starts out with the epic opening of Sweet Leaf, with Tony Iommi choking on a joint(it's truly how it begins) and the songs just kicks in with the nice slow riff, it truly is one of Sabbath's best songs. I will also mention it was written about Ozzy's leaf of choice(I guess you know which one). After Forever is one of the best things the band did, if you read the lyrics more closely you'll see that its Sabbath saying they believe in god! It might sound weird with Sabbath's reputation at the time, but they wanted to get the satanic thing behind them at the time. "Would you like to see the pope on the end of the rope? Do you think he's a fool? Well I've seen the truth and I've changed my ways" just great lyrical stuff.
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