Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Review

artist: Black Sabbath date: 05/09/2006 category: compact discs
Black Sabbath: Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
Released: Apr 27, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Heavy Metal, British Metal, Album Rock, Hard Rock
Number Of Tracks: 69
Ultimately, most listeners are going to be content with any of the classic four, but Black Box isn't meant for most listeners - it's meant for the devoted, and this box lives up to their high expectations.
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (4) 5 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Reviewed by: Voodoo Chile, on april 13, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Black Box is an essential purchase for anyone who is a big fan of the Ozzy era Black Sabbath. This set contains all 8 of Black Sabbaths studio albums (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Masters of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ectasy, Never Say Die), a 77 page book, and a DVD. The CDs have all been remastered, and sound better than ever. The earlier albums that suffered from poor sound quality (in my opinion), all sound excellent. Tonys guitar sounds, quite simply, amazing. It was this man who invented heavy metal with his brutal and deadly riffs, and this remastered collection really does him justice. The rest of the band sound excellent too. Geezers bass sounds incredible, as does Bills druming. In case you can't tell, I really like the sound. // 10

Lyrics: Despite most peoples beliefs, Gezzer wrote the majority of the songs. And he definatley wrote some of the best lyrics around. Songs about sex, drugs, and rock n roll, doom, gloom and death, this is what heavy metal is all about. Ozzy haunting screem fits in so well with the music, it has to be heard to realise the beauty of it. Ozzy was the original heavy metal singer, and after so many years, remains the best. // 10

Overall Impression: 01. Black Sabbath - the band's first album, and one of the best. This album set the foundations for metal. 10/10. Best songs - Black Sabbath, Wasp, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Bassically, NIB. 02. Paranoid - bar none, this is the greatest metal album ever. After nearly 35 years since it's release, nothing has came close. Any rock/metal fans should have this in their collection, no excuses. It also has my favourite Sabbath song, War Pigs. 10/10. Best songs - War Pigs, Paranoid. 03. Master Of Reality - my second favourite album from Sabbath. Tony is on fire on this album, and lyrically, this is probablly their best. 10/10. Best songs - After Forever, Children Of The Grave. 04. Vol. 4 - not as good as the previous 3 albums, but still miles better than most other bands. This album contains the only song by Ozzy era Sabbath I don't like, FX, which is bassically just Tony goofing around with some effects. 8/10. Best songs - Snowblind, Changes. 05. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - a more powerful album than Vol. 4, this has what many fans believe to be the finest Sabbath song, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The album is generally more experimental than any previous albums, seeing as it is the first to contain keyboards. 9/10. Best songs - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Spiral Architect. 06. Sabotage - another brilliant album from the boys. Although tensions were begining to build between the band, the music did not suffer. 8/10. Best songs - Hole In The Sky, Symptom Of The Universe. 07. Technical Ectasy - this is were things began to go wrong. This is easily the worst from the band. Although good, it is not as good as the rest of the bands albums. 7/10. Best Songs - Rock N' Roll Doctor, Dirty Women. 08. Never Say Die - better than Technical Ectasy. Still not as good as the first 6, but still a very good CD. 8/10. Best Songs - Never Say Die, A Hard Road. DVD - this is the low point of the set. 4 videos (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Iron Man, and a cover, Blue Suede Shoes, although I'm not sure who originally wrote it) which are used by MTV as music videos. That's it. But this DVD isn't the selling point of the set anyway, so it doesn't matter too much. It wouldn't have hurt to have put some interviews with the band or something like that on it though. 4/10. The Book - very good. The band talk about each album, an deverything in between. Well worth reading. 9/10. The box itself looks really good, although it's a little hard to read the writing on it. Basically, if your a big fan of Sabbath, you need this. If your someone who wants to see where heavy metal started, you'd be better off buying the greatest hits, just in case you don't like them. Which won't happen. Black Sabbath not only started heavy metal, but are the best band in the genre. Trully amazing. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Reviewed by: black_sabbath, on january 23, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: If one wants to hear the greatest albums of one of the greatest band ever, Black Sabbath, this is the album. With around 70 tracks in this album it covers every great song of Black Sabbath. The outstanding bass and drums through the years is visible. The improved brilliance of Iommi is obvious. And of course the prince of darkness, Ozzy, with his unique, mezmerizing voice. This album is a must for Metal lovers and Sabbath lovers. The book is also pretty amazing with the band speaking about each album in depth. The DVD's sound is great but not visually exciting in any way. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing, I mean the ultimate words of Iron Man, NIB, Paranoid, Electric Funeral, War Pigs and Children Of The Grave; can it get better than this. Brilliant lyrics by Ozzy, Iommi and Geezer. This album is just the proof of why Sabbath is one the greatest bands and Ozzy is one of the best vocalists ever. There will never be another Ozzy ever and never will there be a band which can achieve the peaks Sabbath did. A band par excellence, and an album that covers all the brilliant aspects of Sabbath. // 10

Overall Impression: Black sabbath's greatest songs feature in this album. Metal has basically three kings: Metallica, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. So if you want to know what metal is all about there are four albums I'll ask you to buy. Firstly, Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978), Secondly Metallica: Master Of Puppets, Thirdly Metallica: Ride The Lightening and Iron Maiden: Best Of The Beast. Sabbath is among the greatest bands in metal ever, I stress on the importance of owning this collection because if you want one album which covers the greatest albums of Sabbath, this is it. The greatest songs like NIB, Paranoid, War Pigs, Iron Man, Electric Funeral, the unforgettable tracks are all here in this collection. Another reason I think this is worth owning is because it has a 80 odd paged book which has in it the band talking about what the band did between albums how they would rate the albums etc. For these reasons I believe this is a must have for any metal lover. // 10

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overall: 10
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Reviewed by: uptheironschile, on october 11, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: To keep it short: imo Sabbath did found heavy metal. Nothing had ever been done before that we could now instantly recognize as heavy-frigging-metal. Others may disagree but I'm certain a few millions will agree. This box set contains all 8 studio albums recorded by Ozzy-era Sabbath, plus a bonus crappy DVD with only 4 "live" songs (it looks more like 70's proto-MTV videos, ever seen "Bohemian Rhapsody"'s clip? This is worse). It was released last April, and it's no secret that it was Sharon Osbourne's idea, but all band members collaborate (they're friendly again now). The box itself looks dead cool, entirely black of course, with an irish cross with the years 1970-1978 and the Fallen Angel. The 8 cds come in digipack format, grouped into 2 cool boxes, which have band photos on the spine and the irish cross on one side. The digipacks have the original cover and back and some of the original artwork. The sound is awesome. The remastering only made it clearer and louder without taking away the fuzzy/crunchy tone of Iommi's SG. This is most striking with the first 3 albums, which used to sound like a cassette in your kitchen's radio and now are gorgeous, and the last, which has always sounded to me like a wall of distortion and here sounds like a damn Berlin wall of distortion. The music: well, nothing new here, those who intend to buy this box set will probable know the songs by heart. I myself had 5 of the records but it was worth the money. Of course the first 5 are packed with classic metal anthems but don't leave the rest aside, Sabotage and Never Say Die have beatiful music, both crushing metal and more prog stuff (check: Hole in the Sky, Symptom of the Universe, Johnny Blade, Junior's Eyes, Air Dance). Unfortunately, no remastering will save "Technical Ecstasy". // 10

Lyrics: Well, again, the lyrics itself are nothing new. But the book, which is black velvet with just the fallen angel on the cover, is a big treat. The story of sabbath in two parts, very well written, and very honest and fair to every band member (it being created by Sharon, it is not biased favoring Ozzy, in fact Iommi's leadership is emphasized). I had recently read that Geezer used to write the lyrics and that is developed here, I think his role in the band has been heavily understated; his songwriting was crazy, sometimes chaotic, but that was a big part of sabbath's impact in the 70's. The book is loaded with pics too but I missed a present day band photo or full interview, an unknowing reader might believe we're talking about dead 70's dinosaurs. And to close the book, the entire Sabbath lyrics wait, not entire. "Warning"'s lyrics are missing! It's a shame. Stupid copyright stuff probably. // 10

Overall Impression: If you're a Sabbath head this is a must. If you're just getting to know Sabbath, you better buy their first official compilation, "We Sold Our Souls For Rock'N'Roll". I haven't had the chance to see or listen to many other box sets but I got the impression that others might be of better quality or better looking, but that comes at a cost and a weight and a size! This box is very friendly in those areas. Flaws are minor: that song's lyric missing, the black velvet and paper getting easily fingerstained, Sabbath "Bloddy" Sabbath on the cd spine, and the edges of some digipacks showing signs of cutting. Otherwise, I really love it, I was so happy when I first shaked my windows with this cds. If it were stolen I wouldn't buy it again, I'd have to. // 10

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overall: 10
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) Reviewed by: 360ollie, on may 09, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Black sabbath are truley sensational band. This box collection has all of the greatest songs including the classics Paranoid and Ironman. They are considered the 'inventors' of heavy metal. Their best material were produced around the '70s, but after the firing of the lead singer Ozzy Osbourne. They never were same going through a lot of band members. But this box set has all of the classics. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing, with Ozzy's voice they go really well with the guitars, bass and drums. The lyrics are very imaginative like on the song Ironman (my favourite) some of words blend really well like "Is he live or dead, has he thoughts within his head" and "Killed the people he once saved." They are great like Ozzy. // 10

Overall Impression: Compared to other greatest hits and box sets this the best, because of the amount of good songs on there. Like I have said the best songs are Paranoid and Ironman which have both gone down as classic songs. If it was stolen I would definately buy it again even though I have moist of the songs on my iPod. // 10

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