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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.
A fair time back now this was my first Sabbath album, back in the days when I was trusting in the myths that "live versions are always better than studio" (sadly not always true). Starting off with this album was probably not a good idea, but after amassing a fair quantity of studio material (most of it post-Ozzy, but never mind!) and listening to this album over the course of a few years, one can say that this is still a fine album. Not as good as some of the legendary ones in Metal history, and not quite as good as Live Evil imo, but still a fine album.
On the whole the songs are faithful to their studio counterparts, bar Killing Yourself To Live (because this was recorded before Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was released - all these tracks were recorded in 1973) and Wicked World, which becomes an 18-minute monster containing jazz improvisation and a bit of Supernaut. The songs sound a lot beefier in this live environment, and chances are you should know the songs already.
Ozzy's crowd interaction is limited to introducing a few of the songs, but listening to these songs makes you think he HAD to be stoned when he was singing them. The way he shouts "We love you!" and random points over the album is precious, although my personal favourite is "Alright everybody, clap your hands!". Don't ask me why, it's just the way he says it...