BLACK SABBATH: The Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978: 8 x CDs + DVD

For those of you that feel the need to spit venom about how Sabbath was some kind of burnout band, be my guest, dumbasses. “Burnout” – that’s funny, as Sabbath stood far across the room from the useless hippie ideals. Love ‘em or leave ‘em, they’re arguably one of the bands you can count on one hand that wrote the definition for the word heavy in the world of rock’n’roll. Heavy can be a fantastic wall of sound, feeling as if it’s going to snap your sternum in two. It can sustain a groove far more powerful than any swell in the ocean during a storm. It can grab and shake you by your neck, all the same time scaring your senses into confusion. Fans of Sabbath will attest to experiencing these scenarios the first coupla times they were caught off-guard by this band of extreme proportions. This remastered box includes the first eight LPs that Sabbath released (all with Ozzy on vocals) and a bonus DVD of the boys performing four live cuts at The Beat Club (that were later turned into production vids, complete with projection graphics). The LP covers (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy, and Never Say Die!) were exactly replicated into CD size for the box as individual, fold-out cardstock disc trays. Too cool. Also inside is a 75-page hardcover book with scads of written history and pics to tickle the most extreme fan’s fancy. I can almost guarantee that most of you reading this have some dad, mom, aunt, or uncle that has one of these LPs amongst their old record collection, if not in your own (whether or not you want to admit it, bitches). Get your hands on those rekkids, give ‘em a test drive on the turntable, and if your ears perk up like a cat, go apeshit and treat yourself to a copy of this box. So call it what you will—burnout music, dinosaur rock, heavy metal—a great song’s a great song, period, and Sabbath brought it to the table tenfold. In the recent years, Ozzy and the rest of Black Sabbath has been headlining a touring festival called OzFest (that Ozzy’s wife Sharon runs). Ironically, 98 percent of the bands on that tour have had no fucking business to be sharing a stage with Sabbath, with exception to Motorhead & Slayer. All the rest of those “nu-metal” kooks aren’t fit to wipe a dead man’s ass with. Two ginourmous thumbs up to Rhino for the excellent job and getting this on the shelves for future generation Sabbath fans. It’s boxes like this that can inspire kids in garage bands to do covers of Children of the Grave or Tomorrow’s Dream. I mean, how many AFI spin-off acts can one country stomach?

 –dale (Rhino: www.rhino.com)