BLACK SABBATH – ” Black Sabbath Vol 4 ” Box Set Reissue

Posted: December 18, 2021 in MUSIC

The sessions for Black Sabbath’s fourth album were notoriously characterized by the boxes of cocaine consumed during the making of the record. In a way it’s the band’s first transitional LP – they produced themselves, steered from expectations and got heavier. This four-disc set tags on studio leftovers – outtakes, alternates, aborted takes – as well as a March 1973 concert that loads up on songs from the 1972 album. Even with all the drugs, the band has never sounded so assured.

Black Sabbath made their name with their self-titled debut, “Black Sabbath”, released on 13th February 1970 but the Brummy lords of Heavy Metal really hit their groove with their fourth album, “Vol. 4”, released on 25th September 1972.

The classic Black Sabbath line-up of Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, Bill Ward on drums and Ozzy Osbourne on vocals produced a classic album – but not without significant input from Iommi. When rehearsals began in Birmingham, the rest of the band spent the majority of their time at a local pub while the band’s guitarist was left to come up with the creative goods. So when the decision was made to relocate to LA (mainly for cost reasons), he could have been forgiven for thinking things would improve.

But drugs – cocaine in particular – had a strong grip on the band at this point, as not so subtly demonstrated in the credits of “Vol. 4″ ( “We wish to thank the great COKE-Cola Company of Los Angeles”) and track “Snowblind”, in which Ozzy whispers the refrain, “cocaine!”. In fact, it’s rumoured that the band spent more money on coke during the “Vol. 4” sessions than they spent making the album itself!

“We were all fucked-up bad,” said Ozzy in an interview . “Dealers coming round every day with cocaine, Demerol, morphine, everything round the fucking house.”

Super Deluxe Edition Of The Band’s 1972 Classic Includes Newly Remastered Original Album Plus 20 Previously Unreleased Studio And Live Recordings.

Black Sabbath unleashed the group’s fourth album in two years in 1972 with “Vol 4”. Stacked with classic tracks like “Supernaut,” “Changes,” and “Snowblind,” the record harnessed the group’s surging popularity to reach the Top 10 on the Albums Chart in the U.K. and the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., on its path to being certified platinum by the RIAA.

The innovators of heavy metal revisit “Vol 4” on a new collection that includes a newly remastered version of the original album along with a trove of 20 unreleased studio and live recordings and comes with extensive booklets featuring liner notes with quotes from the era from all four band members, rare photos, and a poster with previously unpublished early artwork of the album using the working title “Snowblind“.

Bolstered by a fresh remastering, “Vol 4’s” ambitious arrangements and complex grooves have never sounded more inspired and menacing. Originally released in September 1972, the album marked two major changes for the members of Sabbath: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward. While their previous albums – “Black Sabbath”, “Paranoid”, and “Master of Reality” – were produced by Rodger Bain and recorded in England, they instead chose to produce “Vol 4″ themselves and record it at the Record Plant in Los Angeles.

The generous addition of bonus material on “VOL 4: SUPER DELUXE EDITION” begins with six previously unreleased studio outtakes from the original sessions for the album. Each one has been newly mixed by Steven Wilson using the analog multi-tracks. Highlights include outtakes for “Supernaut” and “Changes,” as well an instrumental version of “Under The Sun.”

The set also features 11 additional studio recordings (also newly mixed by Wilson from the analogue multi-tracks) that spotlight alternative takes, false starts and snippets of studio dialogue. These tracks transport listeners into the studio with the band and offer some insight into the making of the album. Along with several alternative takes for “Wheels Of Confusion,” these recordings also include outtakes for “The Straightener” and “Snowblind.”

The collection concludes with a searing collection of live performances that re-create a typical setlist from Black Sabbath’s tour for “Vol 4″. Recorded in March 1973 at various stops along the band’s U.K. tour. The recordings were originally slated for a live album that was ultimately shelved. Although some of these performances have been previously available in various states, the release marks the first time that a full 1973 live Sabbath show has been recreated. The live audio has been newly mixed by Richard Digby Smith using the original 16-track analogue tapes to achieve a level of fidelity not heard on any previous incarnations.

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