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4.18 | 123 ratings | 4 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1

1. War Pigs (8:28)
2. Behind the Wall of Sleep (4:07)
3. N.I.B. (6:45)
4. Fairies Wear Boots (6:19)
5. Electric Funeral (5:02)
6. Sweet Leaf (5:07)
7. Spiral Architect (5:40)
8. Into the Void (6:32)
9. Snowblind (6:08)

Disc 2

1. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (4:36)
2. Orchid/Lord of This World (7:07)
3. Dirty Women (6:29)
4. Black Sabbath (7:29)
5. Iron Man (8:21)
6. Children of the Grave (6:30)
7. Paranoid (4:28)
8. Psycho Man * (5:18)
9. Selling My Soul * (3:10)

Total Time 107:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Ozzy Osbourne / Vocals
- Tony Iommi / Guitar
- Geezer Butler / Bass
- Bill Ward / Drums

Releases information

Released by Epic Records on October 20th 1998. Recorded December 4th and 5th 1997. Tracks 8 and 9 of Disc 2 are previously unreleased studio tracks by the original line up (noted by *).

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BLACK SABBATH Reunion ratings distribution

(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BLACK SABBATH Reunion reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars This will be one of my younger brother (Jean-Luc) biggest disappointment. "Sabbath" should have come to Belgium in 99 for a concert such as this "Reunion" one but it was cancelled a couple of weeks prior to the event. We already had the tickets...and we never really heard the reason of the cancellation. I doubt that we will be able to share a "Sabbath" experience like this one. And since he is six years younger than myself he could not come with me to see the band in 1973 : my first "prog" concert.

So, he bought this double live CD set and copied it for me (but we are used to share lots of musical material). Moneywise it is a good solution and I have so many thousnads of ? in records, videos, DVD's that I haven't any philophical problem with this.

Ozzy and his bandmates are quite in a good shape for this reunion. And the crowd is totally united with the band. Enthusisast and wild. Ozzy is very good in his leading role, exhorting the crowd with his typical coarse language (it is impossible to count all these "fu.." throughout this set. And what a set !

The impressive thing about this live release is not only the setlist, which is probably the best a "Sabbath" fan could dream of but also the rendition of all these numbers. The feeling is really superb and obviously the band has a great pleasure to be on stage again in their original line-up and probably perform their repertoire like never before. In a completely different style and to releate this live album with one most of you know, it can be compared to "Keys To Ascension" from "Yes" (for the spirit and the tracklist. Not for the genre of course).

Ozzy confirms this after "N.I.B.". I quote : "You know what ? It's been seventeen years that I haven't make a gig with these three guys. And you know what ? I have been missed them".

Of course most of this double live CD is made of songs from their first three albums. And that's what the audience was exactly expecting. Four songs from their debut album : "Black Sabbath", "The Wizzard", "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "N.I.B.". The bulk of songs comes from "Parano´d" of course. No less than five songs. The title track as encore as well as two of the best heavy metal songs ever written : "War Pigs" and "Iron Man". Super mighty versions of these two incredible songs. But let's not forget "Electric Funeral" and "Fairies".

From "MOR" five songs as well of which the delicate "Orchid". Completely lost into this ocean of pure, super heavy metal. But one of the many great versions here is a completely demential version of "Spiral Architect". Phenomenally heavy although the original studio version was even featuring some strings. Nothing as such here, I can tell you. Just a wild interpretation. One of the fifteen highlights I guess.

Just one regret here : the fantastic "Wheels Of Confusion" won't be featured. But with such a tracklist, one can easily forgive this to "Sabbath". Only "Snowblind" from "Volume four" sits on this live album.

This double CD set is extremely wild and heavy. And it is what the fans were expecting. IMHHO, this is the best heavy metal live album ever recorded. Each songs is brilliantly interpreted. Of course, you have to be ready for this "prog" live experience.

There will even be two unreleased studio songs (a weird idea, but maybe that "Sabbath" thought it would be an additional sales argument. And even "Psycho Man" as well as "Selling my Soul" are good.

Five stars for this incredible live testament.

For the tracklist. For the atmosphere. For the renditions. For the nostalgia. Just get out and grab it, or steal it, or do whatever you like to get it. But do get it. Now, now, now, now, now !

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the best rock concerts I have ever listened to!

As I have countless mentioned that I do enjoy live albums especially rock / prog rock music, be it being over-dubbed or not, be it recorded with good or bad recording quality or not. But of course, I would prefer those with excellent recording quality. This reunion concert, fortunately - thanks God!, has been recorded in excellent quality so that I have no problem at all to play it very loud. I think, the recording quality of this Black Sabbath "Reunion" live album has exceeded my expectation as it produces crystal clear sounds from the concert. The other point that I always consider in listening to live album is the live vibes demonstrated from the record and this album, again, has fulfilled my expectation. In fact, the sounds of the crowd are quite noisy throughout the show and it proves that the concert was really performed in the most live atmosphere possible. The role of Ozzy Osbourne as the band's main communication channel has created the dynamic live vibes. He yells, shouts and talks out loud to the audience, asking them to participate actively during the show. Yes, he uses so many "f" word but that's okay as far as the crowd were going crazy with the concert. In some occasion he deliberately asks the crowd to sing along while he kept quiet on certain segments of the vocal line. It's so rocking.

The performance itself brought together most of the band's legendary tracks with "War Pigs" (about Vietnam war) as energetic opener of the album with relatively long ambient music combining Bill Ward's drumming, Iommi's guitar riffs, and Geezer Butler's bass work. Ozzy starts talking to the audience and when the first verse of the lyrics start to enter, he lets the crowd reply his singing at the opening of War Pigs. It's so rocking! Especially when it's combined with Iommi's power chords. It flows wonderfully to "Behind The Wall of Sleep" with another great riffs of Iommi. It's really surprising that Bill Ward's drumming is still attractive and Butler bass work is also quite tight. Musically, this is the kind of performance where the band's live performance is much better than the studio. It flows beautifully to "NIB", "Fairy Wear Boots", and "Electric Funeral". AT the end of NIB, Ozzy introduces the original members of the band while the crowd applaud loudly, followed with rockin' communication

"Snowblind" has been my favorite since I was childhood and I know exactly the parts where critical things come out from the song including those with guitar solo. This is what so interesting to me because I have known exactly when the band should start singing and when the drum rolls dynamically and especially when the guitar solo by Iommi enters. This is what I like about this live album because when Iommi's guitar solo enters that has been the part that I have been waiting for whenever I listen to "Snowblind". In this version, the crowd gives loud shout to Iommi when the guitar solo enters. WOW! That's exactly the part that I consider very "critical" and the crowd have shared similar feeling with me! Thank to the whoever crowd who have participated in this excellent concert. You all rocked man!!!!

Under Disc 2, my favorite is of course "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" where the band plays excellently. On vocal line, Ozzy has modified the melody a bit to suit his voice, because he removes the high register notes. Never mind, because musically it still rocks! Iommi's guitar riffs and power chords are truly killing! Butle's bass guitar work is totally mindful and enjoyable, while Bill Ward with his age still able to play dynamically. I really salute him. Iommi provides his great guitar fills during "Orchid" followed with "Lord of The World". Just before "Black Sabbath" Ozzy communicates brilliantly with the crowd telling about how everybody talks about Black Sabbath and now the band is about to perform the title of the band (inspired by Italian horror film). This is probably the easiest song the band can perform because at the opening part the music flows in simple arrangement, mellow style. It grows to heavier part . and I really enjoy this classic song. The firs song Black Sabbath has ever created from jamming.

Other songs are also wonderfully performed. It's interesting to enjoy before "Iron Man" is played. Ozzy makes intensive communication with the crowd before the song that was featured in "Schoold of Rock" movie starts to roll. "Children of The Grave" and "Paranoid" are also worth enjoying. Unfortunately there is no song from "Sabotage" album.

Overall, this is definitely an excellent addition to any hard rock / heavy metal collection. I do not have any complaint at all with this live album, everything flows excellently. It rocks!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars They like a tour concerning the retirement of Live Aid in 1985 and Ozzy in 1992 etc. always offered the topic as Sabbath. The band really becomes a legend after Ozzy secedes formally the band in 1978 and really respectfully of a listener all over the world in them. Their re- formations were always hoped for to a listener and various musicians because of the influence in the age of the band including Ozzy. And, finally, Sabbath came to think about the comeback trail in the shape voluntarily answered the band that made it to the legend though Sabbath in the 90's announced the album in power. Ozzfest in 1997 became a special year for a listener and various musicians. The fan got excited with the plan of Ozzfest because various information and the guess existed. Information etc. to live of Donington rose around Sabbath at a dash, too and it walked concretely on the road of achievement. It is guessed it was live can the satisfaction of the performance of the head liner in Ozzfest for them including. Of course, the fan had the opinion made to have worried whether to make their performances good. It is guessed that there was a fact caught as a test case whether they are accepted to the fan, too. However, it will be able to be said that the formation of the band will have succeeded to some degree as the result. It will be able to enjoy the fan including selection. Four live that did can surely be counted as one of the masterpieces in the history of the music of Sabbath.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is a live recording of the original BLACK SABBATH lineup in their home town of Birmingham, England on December 5 1997. According to the liner notes there are no overdubs so we hear it as it happened, mistakes and all. Ozzy certainly fills the air with expletives throughout the night, even during instrumental sections. I guess he's happy to be home.

"War Pigs" is the opener with Ozzy yelling obsenities right from the get go. How good does this sound when it kicks into gear around 2 1/2 minutes. Ripping guitar 4 minutes in. Vocal melodies from Ozzy after 6 1/2 minutes as Iommi solos. Love the sound of the guitar to open "Behind The Wall Of Sleep". He's lighting it up 2 minutes in. Check out Geezer's bass solo after 3 1/2 minutes to end it. "N.I.B." features more chunky bass in this killer track. Ward and Iommi are raising hell before 2 1/2 minutes. Iommi just solos and solos 4 1/2 minutes in. After the song some fan jumps on stage and tells Ozzy how big a fan he is. "Fairies Wear Boots" again has some deep bass from Butler as Iommi grinds away. Check them both out before 3 minutes too. "Electric Funeral" had to be the song that inspired ALICE IN CHAINS and many other like bands. "Sweet Leaf" is a love song to marijuana. I don't know how many times I heard this before I realized what it was about. Being stoned back then all the time is my excuse for not getting it (haha). Ripping guitar solo 3 minutes in.

"Spiral Architect" sounds amazing. It kicks in before a minute. Love this tune. "Into The Void" features some low end riffs before 1 1/2 minutes. I like the relaxing guitar solo in "Snowblind" first before 2 1/2 minutes then at 4 1/2 minutes. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is such a great tune. Although Ozzy bales on the high notes. "Orchid / Lord Of This World" opens with intrictae guitar before the second part comes in with a dark and heavy mood.It does pick up.The guitar sounds amazing before 6 minutes as the bass throbs. "Dirty Women" is nice and heavy. "Black Sabbath" is so powerful. It kicks in before 5 1/2 minutes. Scorching guitar after 6 minutes. My favourite part of "Iron Man" is when it speeds up 6 1/2 minutes in. "Children Of The Grave" is a song that you just need to crank up really loud. Incredible. "Paranoid" is great too. There are two new original compositions that are tacked on the end. Both "Psycho Man" and "Selling My Soul" are good tunes but they really pale with all that's gone on before.

BLACK SABBATH was such a powerful band live, and this is a chance to really feel that energy in front of their family and friends in their home town. Pretty cool.

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