Sound — 8
A great compilation of some of the defining moments in the earliest stages of metal music. A lot of these tunes belong alongside some of the classics churned out by early Deep Purple & Led Zeppelin. Tony Iommi's signature guitar styles of both riffage & soloing could not have been better exemplified in my opinion when it comes to a list of songs, as well as Ozzy's unique style & approaches to singing. Many classic songs are present such as "Paranoid", "Iron Man" and of course their title song: "Black Sabbath". Lots of musical innovations in terms of sound and creativity (from its time of course). Anyone looking to find out what the earliest stages and sounds of metal were, should look no further than this CD. Being very influencial & classic-sounding in terms of heavy music everywhere, I'd have to rate this very highly.
Lyrics — 9
Ozzy's vocals never quite interested me (or impressed me for that matter). However, this collection really seems to display the range that he had back in the day, from the title song up until "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." That alone impressed me even though I was never fond of his vocal abilities. Plus, the overall "new" ideas in the lyrics that they wrote are just killer (which would later on became the "doom metal" style if I'm not mistaken). All in all, great vocals & lyrics in these tunes.
Overall Impression — 8
Over all a great collection of classic metal. It really gives you a good idea of what early Sabbath was like and what very early metal was like too. However, I think that a little exploration of all of the Ozzy-era albums deserve a personal checking out because not all of the great Ozzy tunes are touched on in this collection in my opinion. My favourite tunes are "Children Of The Grave", "The Wizard", "Sweet Leaf", "Snowblind" & "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." Along with a few other tunes that I'm quite fond of as well--they're all great really. Not much missing from this album like I mentioned before, but again: check out the earlier full-length albums. Finally, this is a very inexpensive, easy-to-find album, so if it were damaged, I'd pick up a new copy (especially since I have all the original albums anyways).