Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
10:23 AM 17th February 2021

Black Sabbath Volume 4 - Super Deluxe (BMG Records)

Black Sabbath practically invented heavy metal. The Birmingham group have influenced probably every metal act you can care to mention over the last 50 years.

For any Sabbath or rock fan this new release is the ultimate package featuring the original 1972 Black Sabbath Volume 4 which has been newly remastered, 2 LPs of unreleased outtakes mixed by Steven Wilson, Live in the UK 1973 double LP, 40 page book with photos, artwork and liner notes, plus a colour poster.

When the album was originally released Sabbath were already heavyweights in America. It seems that the album was recorded under the heavy influence of drugs, which probably explains why the songs are so diverse ranging from the piano driven ballad, Changes to the groove and boogie of Supernaut.

The alternative takes, false starts and studio dialogue make you feel like you are there right back in the recording studio when the album was originally recorded, plus with Ozzy Osbourne you are always guaranteed to get some good quotes.

If you like the song Wheels of Confusion there are various alternative versions of the track which might seem a bit excessive to the occasional listener, but to Sabbath fans an essential ingredient of the package.

The live album though is a good reminder of how good the band were at their peak. Sabbath classics such as War Pigs and Paranoid still rock today and provide an energy rush that other metal bands try to emulate, but do not always succeed. If you were not there the live album is a taste of what you missed. If you were there what an ear shattering reminder this is.

Whilst Ozzy’s tour is put back again - now into 2022 we have this superb package to keep the faith.

I rate the package 4 out of 5.