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Black Sabbath - The Best of Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath, The Best Of

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FOR anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, Black Sabbath’s influence on modern music saw them being ranked second in VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, behind only Led Zeppelin, in importance.

Collectively, the band – aka Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne – have sold multiple million albums worldwide.

Credited with being the originators of heavy metal, their music is regularly revisited for montages, film scores, TV, etc. Last year, for instance, their iconic track was used by a certain Iron Man blockbuster.

Whether or not you know all of their towering hits is a moot point, but you’ll be surprised at just how many you were aware of.

Tracks like Paranoid and War Pigs are forged forever in the subconscious and, in Black Sabbath’s case, deservedly so.

It would be easy to dismiss them merely as hard rock/heavy metal purveyors. But listen to this selection of tracks and you might think twice.

You have to like your gritty guitar hooks, of course, and epic length songs. But there’s a surprising amount of diversity, while some of the guitar playing is pretty special.

The Best Of Black Sabbath is a 14-track collection of classic tracks from across the band’s first eight albums – including tracks from 1970’s debut Black Sabbath and follow-up Paranoid, 1971’s Master Of Reality, 1972’s Volume 4, 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and 1978’s Never Say Die.

The album brings some of the best loved and most influential rock songs of all time together on one album – including such classics as Paranoid, Iron Man, Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, War Pigs and the original version of Changes (a song that went on to become a UK No1 in 2003 when re-recorded by Kelly Osbourne, feat Ozzy Osbourne).

Evidence of their guitar playing can be found on the mid-tempo Snowblind, while there’s every opportunity to air guitar to your heart’s delight on tracks such as Paranoid, Iron Man and War Pigs – all three of which have the added bonus of being familiar enough to sing along with.

Changes is a bluesy, piano number that show’s Black Sabbath weren’t just about the heavy stuff, while the playfulness (and cheesiness) of efforts such as Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me) is still great fun.

Black Sabbath’s Best Of is therefore a great way to revisit some rock legends for fans of the original LPs, while newcomers who spent the weekend at Download should also get a glimpse of where it all began.

Find out about more Deluxe Edition releases

Download picks: Paranoid, War Pigs, Changes, Iron Man, Snowblind

Full Tracklistings (including original albums)

  1. Paranoid (Paranoid)
  2. Iron Man (Paranoid)
  3. Changes (Volume 4)
  4. Fairies Wear Boots (Paranoid)
  5. War Pigs (Paranoid)
  6. Never Say Die (Never Say Die)
  7. Children Of the Grave (Master Of Reality)
  8. The Wizard (Black Sabbath)
  9. Snowblind (Volume 4)
  10. Sweet Leaf (Master Of Reality)
  11. Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games) (Black Sabbath)
  12. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)
  13. Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
  14. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)