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Black Sabbath - Past Lives CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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3.97 | 87 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars There are far too few recordings available that capture the mighty Sabs at the height of their powers. Maybe it was due to the poor management that bedevilled them in the Seventies but they were one of the few hard rock bands that didn't release a live album. While contemporaries such as Deep Purple, as well as acts as diverse as Humble Pie, Kiss and Peter Frampton, all made their names with the obligatory live album, Black Sabbath recorded in the studio and toured but didn't release a souvenir. When a live album did come out, it was after the classic line-up had split up and was very much a low-key affair. Of course the hardened fans loved 'Live At Last' (yep, I still have my copy), but it didn't make nearly as much impact as it should have done.

So what has that to do with the new double live CD that is currently in the player? Instead of just re-releasing the original album, Sanctuary have released a double CD containing the whole of the original album on disc 1, along with another disc containing more seminal cuts. It may have been recorded at different times, but the sound has been cleaned and overall has a good sound given when it was recorded.

While disc 1 starts off with "Tomorrow's Dream" and on the way to "Paranoid" also contains classics such as "Sweet Leaf", "Killing Yourself To Live", "War Pigs" and a 19-minute version of "Wicked World", I found that it was disc 2 that spent more time in my player. If I could just point to one track your honour, the blistering awesome track 3 that is "Symptom Of The Universe" which really does capture the power of one of the world's most awesome rock bands at the height of their powers. From the time that Tony first hits the riff to the last dying solo, this is a classic in every sense of the word. Or how about the pounding drums and that strange bent guitar chord that leads into Ozzy singing "Has he lost his mind?" ("Iron Man"). There are also versions of "Black Sabbath", "N.I.B.", "Megalomania" among others before it closes with "Fairies Wear Boots".

An album that all Sabbath fans should hunt down immediately.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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