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Black Sabbath Live at Last album cover
2.94 | 101 ratings | 8 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tomorrow's Dream (3:04)
2. Sweet Leaf (5:27)
3. Killing Yourself to Live (5:29)
4. Cornucopia (3:57)
5. Snowblind (4:47)
6. Embryo/Children of the Grave (4:32)
7. War Pigs (7:38)
8. Wicked World (Including Guitar Solo, Into the Void, Sometimes i'm Happy & Supernaut) (18:59)
9. Paranoid (3:09)

Total time 57:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitar
- Terry "Geezer" Butler / bass
- Bill Ward / drums

Releases information

LP NEMS MLF 412 (Australia 1980)
CASS NEMS MCF 412 (Australia 1980)
LP SNC Records C90 31123 002 (Russia 1980)
LP SNC Records C90 31123 002 (Russia 1980)
CD Essential/Castle ESMCD337 (UK - Mar 1996) - Remastered
CD Sanctuary SMRCD071 (UK 2004)

Thanks to Abstrakt for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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BLACK SABBATH Live at Last ratings distribution

(101 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

BLACK SABBATH Live at Last reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars While I discover PA some three years and a half ago, I thought that my first prog concert took place in May '74 during the "Welcome Back My Friends" tour (ELP of course). But PA explained to me that my first prog concert was a little earlier : it was my first "Deep Purple" live experience. March 20, 1973 (at forest National).

Since this week-end I know that my first prog live experience took place an inch earlier. By a week or so, I went to see "Sabbath" as well at Forest National (Brussels). Since it is my first concert ever, I konw by now that this is it ! Finally. I had to wait for almost thirty-five years to knwo this. Shame on me...

This only to tell you that I have a special feeling with the first part of this CD since it was recorded in March 1973 (in the UK) and reflects what I had seen at the time in Brussels. My souvenirs of the concert are very vague (Alzeimher you know...) but I remember the comments of one of the most respected Belgian rock critics Piero (who organized the first "Genesis" concert away from England BTW) : "It would be the same to sit outisde and listening for an hour and a half to B-52's taking off". He was right. The Brussels concert was not good (maybe because the band was P.O. since only half of the concert hall was filled).

This album, although charting in the UK (number five) was released against the band will in 1980. Maybe therefore, it took so long to put it on the market (the two UK gigs involved in this live album are from 1973). I guess that the hords of fans would have rushed on this in these early middle seventies, but never late than never right ?. Anyway, it is a very good picture of the "Sabbath" concerts in those days.

Good tracklist and very good sound. It is also the opportunity for the band to show that they too can jam. The version of "Wicked World" lasts for about nineteen minutes and this is maybe not really necessary.

The text for this review is almost the same than the one covering the first CD from "Past Lives" which is a double live CD set released in 2002 which, by definition, is far much more complete or less reductive and therefore is a better buy than this one.

Three stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is one of rock live albums that I think worth considering if you really like live record. At this time Ozzy still could deliver high register notes on his vocal even though at some parts he maneuvered it differently and it sounds odd if we compare with studio version. That's live record, basically. For me personally, if we talk about the live concerts in 70s I would prefer those performed by Ian Gillan with Deep Purple (Made in Japan) or David Byron with Uriah Heep Live 73. Those are masterpiece of rock live records. Black Sabbath's problem is mostly with Ozzy inability to emulate what he did exactly with the studio version. But it does not mean that Black Sabbath live records are not interesting.

Of course my favorite track here is Snowblind but I find it very uplifting when I listen to Tomorrow's Dream (3.04) and Sweet Leaf (5.27) as well. Especially when it runs smoothly to the next track Killing Yourself to Live (5.29). Again, the key characteristics of Black Sabbath's sound is Tony Iommi's power chords and melody on his guitar. The guitar solo performed in Wicked World is really stunning and a good example of how Tony delivers his diverse notes beautifully.

Overall, this is recommended for those who praise the music of Black Sabbath early years. It's a good live record.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars Here we have a live Sabbath album, a delayed release of a performance from 1973, ultimately offered to the public in 1980. It is recorded by the band, most likely on relatively basic equipment, thus resulting in a somewhat muffled and murky mix, but not as rough as, say, King Crimson's infamous poor quality live album 'Earthbound'. The track-list features much-loved classics, among them 'Sweet Leaf', 'Killing Yourself To Live', 'Snowblind', 'Warpigs' and 'Paranoid'. The duration of the album clocks in at just under an hour, and the main treat presented here is the hodge-podge medley/jam workout entitled 'Wicked World' (18.42). This piece kicks off with a typical, crunching Iommi riff with varying tempos, Ozzy struggling with his voice in such a low key - actually, his voice sounds kind of worn on this recording, but he still sings with conviction and it comes across well enough. After some minutes, Iommi steals the show with some strumming, then breaking out with a freak-out solo which leads into an exciting jazzy jam, really cool to hear BS in this context. This reverts back to some more shred- fest from Iommi, who then leads the band into the main riff from 'Into The Void', then Iommi shreds some more on his own (most likely ego-tripping by now !!). What comes up next is a funky little number which is apparently entitled 'Sometimes I'm Happy' (according to the track names here) and is another fitting song for the band. This tune then segues into the classic 'Supernaut' which in turn allows drummer Bill Ward some time on his own to bash his skins. After this drum solo (he's decent enough, but no Bozzio) the song returns to the opening riff and ends. This track is worth the price of admission alone, raising the score to a 3 star effort, but not recommended to those who aren't familiar with the studio albums.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Live at Last" is the first live album released by British heavy metal act Black Sabbath. Released through NEMS Enterprises in July 1980 after Ozzy Osbourne had left the band (or had been kicked out, that´s a bit unclear) but with recordings from the 1973 tour, this live album release was not received well, by the then new incarnation of Black Sabbath with Dio on vocals. However for the fans of Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath it was a long overdue opportunity to listen to some live recordings by that version of the band.

The song selection is pretty natural when you consider that Black Sabbath were touring in support of "Volume four (1972)" and most tracks come from that album (three out of nine and an excerpt of "Supernaut" in the "Wicked World" jam section). The debut album is represented by "Wicked World" (which was only featured on the US release of the debut), "Paranoid (1970)" by "War Pigs", "Master of Reality (1971)" by "Sweet Leaf", "Embryo/Children of the Grave" and an excerpt of "Into the Void". In addition to that there´s also a track ("Killing Yourself to Live") from the then yet unreleased 5th full-length studio album by Black Sabbath which would be titled "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)". The version of "Wicked World" is 18:59 minutes long and includes loads of improvised guitar soloing by Tony Iommi, a drum solo by Bill Ward and quite surprisingly a jazz rock section. Maybe another desperate attempt by Tony Iommi to show the critics that there was more to Black Sabbath than just heavy riffs? In this case the attempt is actually quite successful and a nice variation in the set.

The performances are good and even though Ozzy Osbourne doesn´t always hit the right notes he´s as enthusiastic as ever and the phrase: "We Love You" is more than once during the set communicated to the audience. I wouldn´t call the overall performance by the band excellent or wildly inspired though and the rather bad sound quality doesn´t really help on my impression either. It might be stretching it a bit but the sound production could be catagorized as a good bootleg sound quality.

To my ears "Live at Last" is not an essential listening experience neither for fans nor for the casual listener. But it is a pretty good yet raw and unpolished live album and especially for fans of Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath there are enough here to enjoy to warrant a purchase. 3 stars (60%) are deserved.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Yes, I know, this isn't a very popular BS album, many of group fans even don't know, that it egsists.

I listened it first twenty -something years ago, still in my University time. The copy was Yugoslavian-produced vynil with low quality cover. Whwen I started to play the music, I thought that it is terrible quality yugoslavian bootleg: never before I heard so bad quality sound recorded on vynil!

It's more difficult to say something about music by itself: because of terrible sound quality you can't really accept the sound as music at all. Yes, some melodies I know them, but again-I am not speaking about separate instruments or voice and music balance, in case of that album it will sound as bad joke. But concert by itself was terrible: even from that bad recording you can hear in few places that Ozzy sings very different parts in comparance with music played!

I think this album is bad joke, no possibility to listen it at all. OK, it's rare possibility to hear BS MK I (with Ozzy on vocals) in live version, but, to be honest, that recording doesn't give you very limited impression about it.

For mad collectors only!

Review by Warthur
3 stars It's a shame that Black Sabbath never managed to record a live album of a standard they were satisfied with during the strongest part of the Ozzy era. Until Past Lives came out, the closest thing we had was this quasi-official release - not a bootleg, because it was released by people with the legal rights to the recordings in Europe, but not approved of by the band.

The sound quality is pretty raw, but is above bootleg standards - it's more or less average for a live recording from the era. Musically speaking, if you've had the original albums on heavy rotation this album isn't going to reveal anything particularly new or revolutionary about the material on here - Killing Yourself to Live has different lyrics because it hadn't yet been finalised as a composition but the instrumental side of the song has been more or less pinned down at this point, Wicked World turns into a medley, and Ozzy repeatedly shouts "COCAINE!" during Snowblind rather than whispering it once. In fact, it's Ozzy's performance that changes the most from the studio albums here; the album provides ample proof that during his prime Ozzy was an insanely extroverted frontman on a mission to make sure every single member of the audience has a great time.

Buyers should be aware that the first disc of Past Lives is exactly the same as this album, so there's no good reason to buy it separately when you can get Past Lives and in effect have a bonus disc of additional performances with it.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This was for a long time the only official Black Sabbath live album from the Ozzy years. Neither the band or Ozzy ever liked this album and regarded it as a gross betrayal of them by their record label. In short; a bootleg. The sound is not good so they have a point. Black Sabbath and Ozzy lat ... (read more)

Report this review (#258667) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The sound is horrible (it seems like a bootleg), but the interpretations are perfect indeed. A good live album, underrated, controversed (the band didn't want it to be released, it's almost considered as a bootleg), with a strange cover art. It was released in 1981, during the Dio period, but pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#164757) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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