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One year ago, I was a good Sabbath fan. However, the only album I had was Paranoid. Then, my brother gave me this compilation and because of that I am a even BIGGER Sabbath fan now.
The compilation focuses mainly on the Ozzy-era: in fact, only three songs of it don't feature Ozzy Osbourne as the vocalist.
On one hand, I recognize that that was the best Sabbath era. But on the other hand, I think that a compilation must contain songs of the other periods of the band, so that you can have a better vision of how the band improved over the years. Why not throw in a few Tony Martin songs? Or more Dio ones? The lack of variety is, indeed, my biggest complaint about this album.
On the first disc, we have a good collection of the best songs of their first three albums. From the revolutionary Black Sabbath to the complex War Pigs, from the mellow Planet Caravan to the heavy Into the Void - everything is there.
On the second disc, we have 13 songs of the other Ozzy-era albums, 2 of the Dio-era and 1 of the (short) Ian Gillan-era. However, the selection of songs isn't very good - in my opinion, a Sabbath compilation MUST contain Sabbra Cadabra and National Acrobat! Where are those two classics?
However, Dirty Women deserves a special mention as it is one of the most underrated Sabbath songs ever and finally is featured on one of their compilations! Yay!
So, if you need an introduction to Black Sabbath, buy/download this Best Of, you will get a pretty nice impression of the band (or, at least, an impression of its early days).
Concluding, a solid compilation but with too many songs featuring Ozzy. Next time throw in some songs of the other Sabbath periods, ok?
80 points- Some flaws here and there, but a good compilation.
This 2 CD compilation concentrates on the 'classic' Sabbath days, when Ozzy Osbourne was lead singer, though it contains a couple of notable post-Ozzy tracks such as "Heaven and Hell" and "Turn Up the Night". It also includes all the tracks you'd expect from such a compilation; "Black Sabbath", "NIB", "War Pigs", "Paranoid", "Electric Funeral", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Spiral Architect" all make an appearance.
Though there's nothing really missing from this collection, there aren't any rare tracks or bonus features either, which would have been nice. It says that the tracks have been digitally remastered, but I can't tell if this makes a difference, not having CD's of the originals. The liner booklet has a concise and reasonably informative history of Black Sabbath, but nothing that half an hour with Google couldn't turn up.
Overall this set is a solid introduction to Black Sabbath - it was in fact this CD set that got me into the band and metal in general, but people who already own a large Sabbath collection won't find anything new here, and people who know they like the band but haven't yet bought much of their music would probably be better off with Black Box.