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Black Sabbath – 13 [Review]

Black Sabbath – 13 [Best Buy Deluxe Edition]
2013, Republic Records

Disc 1
1. “End of the Beginning” 8:05
2. “God Is Dead?” 8:52
3. “Loner” 4:59
4. “Zeitgeist” 4:37
5. “Age of Reason” 7:01
6. “Live Forever” 4:46
7. “Damaged Soul” 7:51
8. “Dear Father”

Disc 2
1. “Methademic” 5:57
2. “Peace of Mind” 3:40
3. “Pariah” 5:34
4. “Naïveté in Black”

Band:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals, Harmonica
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass

Additional Musicians:
Brad Wilk – Drums

Produced by Rick Rubin

I won’t get into all of the stats and figures but it’s been a long time since these guys have played on an album together as Black Sabbath. It’s just a shame they couldn’t work out something with Bill Ward in order to do a TRUE reunion album/tour.

Still, this is a very important time in the band’s history. Though I’m not an Ozzy fan, I can still agree that this is a monumental occasion, so I’ll give my thoughts track-by-track:

  • “End of the Beginning” – This one starts off like something from The Devil You Know with a heavy, slow and doomy vibe. It picks up later in the song but at 8 minutes, it’s not how I would’ve chosen to kick off the album.
  • “God Is Dead?” – I can’t hear some of the guitar parts in this song without thinking of Weezer’s “Undone – The Sweater Song”. I can’t be the only one that hears that, can I? We’re now only two tracks into the album but sitting 17 minutes! Again, I question the track listing. Decent song but like most of the world, my socks weren’t knocked off when I heard this.
  • “Loner” – Finally the speed is picking up a bit and look — this song is only 5 minutes long! We even get an “Alright now!” from Ozzy.
  • “Zeitgeist” – Essentially this is “Planet Caravan, Part II”. If you had told me this was either a Pink Floyd song or recorded by Sabbath in the mid-70s, I’d believe you. It’s a good song but I’m a bit disappointed they basically tried to recreate something they’d previously written. Seems a bit lazy to me. But hey, they aren’t the first band to ever do that.
  • “Age of Reason” – Love the drums here (sorry, Bill!). One of the first songs from this album that grabbed me immediately.
  • “Live Forever” – Another much-need slightly more up-tempo number.
  • “Damaged Soul” – Ugh. Another 8 minute track. Fuzzy 1970s stoner vibe. Another track that really sounds like something the band recorded “back in the day”.
  • “Dear Father” – Probably feeling this song the least of all on the album.

That finishes up the proper album, now onto the deluxe edition tracks:

  • “Methademic” – Shame this one was relegated to being on the deluxe edition!
  • “Peace of Mind” – I know ’70s Sabbath when I hear it. This is it.
  • “Pariah” – Another good rocker. Has a cool melodic opening.
  • “Naïveté in Black” – Exclusive to the Best Buy edition of the deluxe album. The fastest song out of both discs. Why didn’t they write more songs like these? Kinda reminds me of modern day Metallica.

Disc 2 is very strong. The songs are a bit faster and much shorter. Disc 1 has its moments but it’s just too slow and time-consuming for its own good. Surely we could’ve swapped out “God Is Dead?”, “Damaged Soul”, and/or “Dear Father” for any of these four tracks! It’s a strange choice for them to include so many slow and plodding 7-9 minute epics on the album when they had some very good 4-5 minute rockers being released as bonus content.

13 is going over well with the Ozzy fans and I can see why. It’s definitely got that old-school Sabbath vibe to it that should be pleasing to those that prefer the band’s Ozzy years. Being someone who isn’t an Ozzy fan, I can admit that this is certainly a good album, possibly will make my Top 10 for the year, but I don’t think it’s great and it’s probably not something I’ll ever listen to much again. I can’t imagine thinking, “Man, I really need to hear that 9 minute song Black Sabbath wrote back in 2013!”

Highlights: “The End of the Beginning”, “Loner”, “Zeitgeist”, “Age of Reason”, “Live Forever”, “Methademic”, “Peace of Mind”, “Pariah”, “Naïveté in Black”

http://www.blacksabbath.com
http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath

Buy the album at Amazon.com

Book Review – RAT SALAD: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years 1969 – 1975

Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years, 1969 – 1975
(2006, St. Martin’s Press)
By Paul Wilkinson

Here is a short review for a book I had considered buying on and off for years. While I have read a number of Black Sabbath books, I held off on this for awhile because it focuses on the Ozzy era up through 1975 and it’s well-known that I prefer the likes of Ronnie James Dio & Tony Martin over Ozzy Osbourne’s tenure. Still, when I found out it was available from the local library, I checked it out and gave it a shot.

To be honest, I got about 80 pages into this 240 page book before I decided to walk away from it. I am a huge Sabbath fan but you not only need to be a major Ozzy-era fan but also a musician to really get the most out of this book. All the talk about C sharp, E minor or whatever is absolutely boring to me. I am not a musician, so that detailed information means nothing to my brain. I read a review that stated this book is like a text book, in some ways, I agree.

In addition to that, the author tries to interject his own personal history into the book. I found this to be quite odd and it really disrupts the flow of the book whenever he delves into his personal life. If he wants to talk about how Sabbath affected his teenage years, fine, but I don’t care to learn about his school days, his best friends or first kiss. It’s really out of place and the author comes off as a self-important snob but then I guess most of us music critics are exactly that.

Bottom line: if you love the early years of Black Sabbath AND are a musician, you’ll probably like the book a lot. For those of us that like to listen but can’t play a note, there are much better books on Black Sabbath out there.

Buy ‘Rat Salad’ at Amazon.com

Black Sabbath – Mob Rules [Deluxe Edition]

Black Sabbath – Mob Rules [Deluxe Edition] (2010, Universal Music/Sanctuary Records – UK Import)
Original Release: 1981, Warner Bros. Records

Disc One: Mob Rules
1. Turn Up the Night … 3:42
2. Voodoo … 4:32
3. The Sign of the Southern Cross … 7:44
4. E5150 … 2:54
5. The Mob Rules … 3:15
6. Country Girl … 4:02
7. Slipping Away … 3:42
8. Falling Off the Edge of the World … 5:03
9. Over and Over … 5:28
Bonus Tracks
10. Die Young (Live – 12″ Single B-Side) … 4:04
11. The Mob Rules (Heavy Metal Soundtrack Version) … 3:14

Disc Two: Live at Hammersmith
1. E5150 … 1:18
2. Neon Knights … 4:37
3. N.I.B. … 5:16
4. Children of the Sea … 6:07
5. Country Girl … 3:53
6. Black Sabbath … 8:24
7. War Pigs … 7:40
8. Slipping Away … 3:18
9 Iron Man … 7:04
10. The Mob Rules … 3:35
11. Heaven and Hell … 14:24
12. Paranoid … 3:21
13. Voodoo … 5:45
14. Children of the Grave … 5:05

Mob Rules is an album I’ve spoken about before. That review was very brief, but really, what can you say? Looking back, it’s not my favorite of the Dio era (that nod would go to Heaven and Hell) but it’s still a classic that’s almost as good as the first album they did together. In addition to the original album of Mob Rules, Disc 1 features two bonus tracks: the original version of “The Mob Rules” (which was recorded for the Heavy Metal movie) and a live version of Heaven and Hell‘s “Die Young”.

The real pull for me getting this Deluxe Edition was to get the second disc which features performances taken from Dec 31, 1981 through January 2, 1982 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. This entire disc was originally released as Live at Hammersmith Oden by Rhino Records with an extremely limited print run of 5,000 copies back in 2007. As you can imagine, copies of that album are expensive and hard to come by so it’s great to now have the entire album included as a bonus disc.

If you don’t already own Mob Rules, or even if you do, this is still worth the pick up just for Disc 2. The band is in top form but then again, the Dio line-up was never not in top form! There are four live albums to choose from this particular Sabbath line-up (two as Black Sabbath, two as Heaven & Hell) and all of them are classics but if you want to hear this group in their formative years with a recording that takes places even before Live Evil, here’s your chance! Great studio album, great live disc = great deluxe edition!

http://heavenandhelllive.com/
http://www.blacksabbath.com
http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath

Amazon.com

Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]

Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition] (2011, Universal Music/Sanctuary Records – UK Import)
Original Release: 1983, Warner Bros. Records

Disc One
1. “Trashed”
2. “Stonehenge”
3. “Disturbing The Priest”
4. “The Dark
5. “Zero The Hero”
6. “Digital Bitch”
7. “Born Again”
8. “Hot Line
9. “Keep It Warm”

Disc Two
1. “The Fallen” (Previously Unreleased)
2. “Stonehenge” (Extended Version)
3. “Hot Line” (live)
4. “War Pigs” (live)
5. “Black Sabbath” (live)
6.. “The Dark” (live)
7. “Zero The Hero” (live)
8. “Digital Bitch” (live)
9. “Iron Man” (live)
10. “Smoke On The Water” (live)
11. “Paranoid” (live)

Band:
Ian Gillan – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar, Flute
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums
Bev Bevan – Drums (Disc Two – Tracks 3-11)

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Producer: Black Sabbath & Robin Black

So this is the third time I’ll be reviewing this album (click for my original review and unmixed demos review). The original album itself is great and I count it as one of Sabbath’s best records. Born Again is notorious for the muddy mix it has and while this 2011 edition is a remaster and NOT a remix and has been cleaned up a bit. Honestly, I really can’t tell the difference between this edition and the 2004 reissue. It still sounds muddy and muffled and granted there is a certain atmosphere it gives to the album but I would still love to hear a remixed and clean version but it looks like that is basically an impossibility given the condition of the source tapes.

Now, just like before with previous Sabbath “Deluxe Editions”, the main reason I bought this was for the second disc. Previous to this release, “The Fallen” and the extended version of “Stonehenge” were being passed around on bootlegs. I guess Iommi wanted to finally “officially” get them out there so good for him and both songs are good tracks anyway so it’s good that Tony can finally make some money off them.

The real jewel of this release is the live tracks. Again, Born Again-era concert bootlegs are available (like Purple Sabbath Definitive Edition) but it’s nice to have a legit live release of Ian Gillan fronting the band. The songs are taken from the band’s performance on August 27, 1983 at the Reading Festival in Reading, Berkshire, England. In comparison to the Purple Sabbath bootleg, much of the set is the same except “Children of the Grave” and “Heaven and Hell” are not present while “The Dark” intro is. I’m not sure whether if what is presented here is the full set from the Reading show but the bands plays a few notes from “Heaven and Hell” at the end of “Paranoid”.

I know to this day there is great controversy surrounding the album, Gillan’s involvement with the band and of the band’s choice to cover “Smoke On The Water” in concerts (BTW – it goes over well with the Reading crowd) but Born Again is a great and special moment in the band’s history. Even if the reaction at the time from critics and fans alike was lukewarm, the Born Again album stands tall in the Sabbath catalog and the live show was just as good. If Ronnie can cover Ozzy songs, why not Gillan? He does a fantastic take on “Black Sabbath”. Although to be honest, I’d rather hear Gillan’s take on the Ronnie songs.

And going off of what I said earlier about the reaction to this album being lukewarm, I definitely think a big part of that ws because the album was never released in the U.S. for some reason (not a single U.S. reissue either!). So maybe the lack of excitement over this album and lineup was due word of mouth with those words coming from disgruntled fans who either wanted Dio or Ozzy in the band. I imagine in those days it was harder to get your hands on an import so if you knew a guy who sayid the album sucked, you took his word for it and passed that critique along to the next guy.

While Ozzy/Dio loyalists will probably ignore this release, I highly recommend this release for fans of the Gillan era. Even if you have the original album, it’s worth picking up for the second disc.

www.blacksabbath.com

Buy the Deluxe Edition on Amazon.com

Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]

Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition] (2011, EMI Records – UK Import)
Original Release: 1992, Reprise Records

Disc One
1. “Computer God” … 6:10
2. “After All (The Dead)” … 5:37
3. “TV Crimes” … 3:58
4. “Letters from Earth” … 4:12
5. “Master of Insanity” … 5:54
6. “Time Machine” … 4:10
7. “Sins of the Father” … 4:43
8. “Too Late” … 6:54
9. “I” … 5:10
10. “Buried Alive” … 4:47

Disc Two
1. “Master Of Insanity” (Radio Edit) … 4:08
2. “Letters From Earth” (B-Side Version) … 4:42
3. “Time Machine” (Wayne’s World Version) … 4:18
4. “Children Of The Sea” (live) … 6:23
5. “Die Young” (live) … 2:16
6. “TV Crimes” (live) … 4:23
7. “Master Of Insanity” (live) … 7:39
8. “Neon Knights” (live) … 5:34

Band:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Produced by: Reinhold Mack

Yet another Black Sabbath deluxe edition release and yet again, it was a must have when I learned of its upcoming release. Dehumanizer is one of Sabbath’s best albums (for my original album review, click here) so it’s great to see it getting remastered and an extra disc of goodies.

Compared to the extras on the deluxe editions of Seventh Star and The Eternal Idol though this collection falls a bit short. The first three tracks on Disc Two are merely alternate versions of the songs from the album. While I don’t think the radio edit of “Master Of Insanity” or the B-side version of “Letters From Earth” have appeared on disc before (I may be wrong), the Wayne’s World take of “Time Machine” was on the original release of Dehumanizer. Here, it’s now considered a bonus track.

Nonetheless, what really interested me with this reissue were the five live tracks. All were taken from a show on July 25, 1992 at the Sundome in Tampa, Florida. I mean, it’s Sabbath live. You really can’t go wrong, especially with Ronnie on the vocals. I don’t think this would be an essential pick up for most Sabbath fans, but for the hardcore fans of Dio/Dehumanizer, it’s a good purchase. You get the typical nice packaging that comes with these deluxe editions, a booklet featuring some backstory to the reunion with Dio, plus the extra disc of bonus tracks.

www.blacksabbath.com

Buy the Deluxe Edition at Amazon.com

Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe

Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe (2010, Eagle Rock Entertainment/Armoury Records)

1. “The Mob Rules” … 3:47
2. “Children of the Sea” … 6:31
3. “I” … 6:17
4. “Bible Black” … 6:30
5. “Time Machine” … 4:40
6. “Fear” … 4:36
7. “Falling Off the Edge of the World” … 5:40
8. “Follow the Tears” … 6:12
9. “Die Young” … 6:42
10. “Heaven and Hell” … 17:49
11. “Neon Knights” … 5:45

Band:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Scott Warren – Keyboards

Recorded on July 30, 2009 at the Wacken Open Air festival.

This is one of those albums that has so many titles, it makes you wonder what the real name of the album is. Neon Nights for sure, but anything after that appears to be up for grabs. It becomes even more confusing when you consider the sub-subtitle (“sub-subtitle”?) of Live In Europe is replaced with Live At Wacken for the European release.

If Dio was alive today, I suppose you’d be hearing a number of groans about yet another live album from these guys. This is the third live album they’ve released either as Black Sabbath or Heaven & Hell since 2007 (and fourth total), but given that the great Ronnie James is no longer with us and this album stands to document what came to be the band’s final tour, I think most Dio fans will give this album a warm embrace. It holds a lot of sentimental value for fans I think and Neon Nights does well to hold up the legacy this group started in 1980.

Right up to (and during!) the discovery of cancer, Ronnie was a phenomenal vocalist. For the most part on this album, he sounds just like he always has though with age his voice has gotten a bit gruffer. He’s was still sounding great, still hitting the notes and singing better than almost anyone else around though. Tony is playing great as well. For a guy that never seems to move around much on stage, it’s amazing to hear how fast he can fire off the notes. Even Geezer gets to stretch his fingers during “Heaven and Hell”. That almost makes me wish I did have the DVD, I’ve always enjoyed watching him play bass.

If you’re a big Dio fan, you’re probably going to get this disc no matter what. We all know what to expect from these guys in the studio and on stage and this is good album to close out the chapter of Heaven & Hell. They don’t put on bad shows and they get to show off just how good they can be on the epic 17 minute plus version of “Heaven and Hell”. You just can’t go wrong with these guys in concert.

A DVD version of this show was released simultaneously and features “E5150” and also “Country Girl”. Would’ve been nice to have those two extra tracks and the DVD was only $1 more than the CD but I just don’t have much use for live DVDs compared to CDs.

Highlights: “The Mob Rules”, “I”, “Die Young”, “Heaven and Hell”, “Neon Knights”

www.heavenandhelllive.com
www.myspace.com/heavenandhellmusic

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath [Remastered] (1987, Warner Bros. Records)
Original Release: 1970, Warner Bros. Records

1. “Black Sabbath” … 6:20
2. “The Wizard” … 4:24
3. “Wasp”/”Behind the Wall of Sleep”/”Bassically”/”N.I.B.” … 9:45
4. “Wicked World” … 4:47
5. “A Bit of Finger”/”Sleeping Village”/”Warning” … 14:15

Band:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals, Harmonica
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums

Producer: Rodger Bain

I hate when songs are combined onto one track. This seems to be a common practice with albums from the early ’70s. What is the point? This is a 5-track CD that could’ve easily been made into 10 (even though a few are instrumentals). The UK Vertigo Records release of this album didn’t combine songs onto one track so why did Warner?

Anyway, this is yet another album that is so classic and influential it’s been talked to death already so what can I really add? “Black Sabbath” is a purely evil sounding song and you can here the complete heavy metal genre stemming from it. “The Wizard” features the band’s blues roots, coming off like a Led Zeppelin rocker. Of course, “N.I.B.” is another classic as well in which you can here the song’s influence in many other metal bands. The rest of the album furthermore displays the blueprint for a number of different metal genres like doom metal and stoner metal.

I can’t say this album is a favorite of mine (the Ozzy years have never been my preference), but this album’s power and impact and legacy cannot be denied. One of the most important rock albums of all time.

Highlights: “Black Sabbath”, “The Wizard”, “N.I.B.”

www.black-sabbath.com

Black Sabbath – Live Evil

Black Sabbath – Live Evil [Remastered] (2004, Sanctuary Records)
Original Release: 1982, Warner Bros. Records

1. “E5150” … 2:21
2. “Neon Knights” … 4:36
3. “N.I.B.” … 5:09
4. “Children of the Sea” … 6:05
5. “Voodoo” … 6:07
6. “Black Sabbath” … 8:39
7. “War Pigs” … 9:19
8. “Iron Man” … 7:29
9. “The Mob Rules” … 4:10
10. “Heaven and Hell” … 12:04
11. “The Sign of the Southern Cross”/”Heaven and Hell” (continued) … 7:15
12. “Paranoid” … 3:46
13. “Children of the Grave” … 5:25
14. “Fluff” … 0:59

Band:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Producer: Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler

The album that broke the band. The Iommi & Butler/Dio & Appice Mix Wars that went on with this album are well documented so I won’t even comment further. If this was to be the final album of the Dio Sabbath regime, it’s a great note to go out on. After the excellent Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, Live Evil was a great way to document this newly energized version of Sabbath and it’s interesting to hear Ronnie James Dio’s take on some of the Ozzy songs.

As I’ve said elsewhere though, only Ozzy can really do Ozzy. I’m not saying Ozzy is a better singer than Dio, Gillan, Hughes or Martin — what I’m saying is Dio, Gillan, Hughes and Martin are too good of singers to pull off the poor whiny vocals required to make the Ozzy material work but I do quite enjoy the Dio version of “N.I.B.”.

Anyway, it’s Sabbath live with Dio. It’s going to be a great show. They run through a great collection of Dio and Ozzy tunes with gusto and this is rightfully an essential Sabbath release and it’s the very first official live album in their discography as well. What else can I say? It’s a metal classic!

Highlights: “Neon Knights”, “N.I.B.”, “Children of the Sea”, “The Mob Rules”, “Heaven and Hell”, “The Sign of the Southern Cross”/”Heaven and Hell” (continued)

www.blacksabbath.com
www.heavenandhelllive.com
www.myspace.com/heavenandhelllive

BLACK SABBATH – The Dio Years

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years (2007, Warner Bros. Records/Rhino Records)

1. “Neon Knights” … 3:51
2. “Lady Evil” … 4:23
3. “Heaven And Hell” … 6:59
4. “Die Young” … 4:44
5. “Lonely is the Word” … 5:50
6. “The Mob Rules” … 3:13
7. “Turn Up the Night” … 3:42
8. “Voodoo” … 4:32
9. “Falling Off the Edge of the World” … 5:03
10. “After All (The Dead)” … 5:42
11. “TV Crimes” … 4:02
12. “I” … 5:12
13. “Children of the Sea” (live) … 6:12
14. “The Devil Cried” … 6:01
15. “Shadow of the Wind” … 5:40
16. “Ear in the Wall” … 4:04

Band:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums (Tracks 1–5)
Vinny Appice – Drums (Tracks 6–16)

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards (Tracks 1–13)

I’m becoming quite the completist when it comes to Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath. I never gave much thought to this album until recently. I own all of Sabbath’s albums so why would I need a compilation of the Dio years? For the three new songs: “The Devil Cried”, “Shadow of the Wind”, “Ear in the Wall”.

As a representation of Sabbath’s Dio era, this is a near perfect release. The only songs I think they missed the boat on are “The Sign of the Southern Cross” from Mob Rules and “Computer God”, “Master of Insanity” and “Time Machine” from Dehumanizer. What can I say? I’m a huge fan of Dehumanizer. It’s one of Sabbath’s most underrated albums alongside Born Again and Headless Cross.

But let’s get back to the new tracks. The story goes that the label had informed Iommi & Dio that they were putting together this compilation and asked if they had any unreleased songs they could use. They didn’t but Tony and Ronnie got to talking and decided to try to work together again on some new stuff for the album. The rest is history and the third go-round of this fantastic partnership lasted up until Ronnie’s unfortunate passing due to cancer.

The new songs don’t really sound like anything they might have done on Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules. The songs here sound more powerful, darker, and gloomier. Much more in line with Dehumanizer, though not quite as heavy. Anyone who likes The Devil You Know will like these tunes as well. “The Devil Cried” is the best of the bunch but truthfully none of these songs are classics but it is all still solid & enjoyable Sabbath. It’s mid-tempo, plodding doom metal (“Ear In the Wall” picks up the pace a bit) with Dio in as good as form as ever. As time went on, his voice never wavered in power but got slightly deeper and richer in sound.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Dio years and wants to dip their toes in the water, this is a great way to do so.

www.blacksabbath.com
www.heavenandhelllive.com
www.myspace.com/heavenandhelllive

BLACK SABBATH – Born Again: Unmixed Demos & The Fallen

Black Sabbath – Born Again: Unmixed Demos & The Fallen (CDR bootleg)

1. “Hot Line” … 4:54
2. “Keep It Warm” … 5:44
3. “The Fallen” … 4:28
4. “Digital Bitch” … 3:44
5. “Stonehenge” … 4:54
6. “Trashed” … 3:47
7. “Zero the Hero” … 9:09
8. “Born Again” … 6:33
9. “Disturbing the Priest” … 5:38

Band:
Ian Gillan – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar, Flute
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Producer: Robin Black and Black Sabbath

Surfacing in 2004, this release is as the title explicitly states, a bootleg of the unmixed demos from 1983’s classic Born Again album. Demos usually don’t appeal to me because they are what they are: demos. An unfinished product. Not so in this case. These unmixed numbers are actually mixed a bit better than the final product (which reportedly was the victim of the master tape’s exposure to humidity) and darn near close to being complete other than a few extra solos and altered lyrics.

In comparison to the officially released album, there are only two major differences with this bootleg: the absence of the short instrumental called “The Dark” and the inclusion of “The Fallen”. “The Fallen” fits in well with the rest of the album so I’m not sure why the band decided not to include it on the official release. Perhaps they were saving some of their ammo for the follow-up which never occurred?

Click here for my thoughts on the official Born Again release.

www.blacksabbath.com
www.heavenandhelllive.com
www.myspace.com/heavenandhelllive
www.gillan.com
www.myspace.com/iangillan

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