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This compilation’s title is, as the song count and time duration suggests, inaccurate if not a little bit deceptive. Barring a useless session of parsing the semantics of language, 7 songs do not qualify as a collection as far as I’m concerned. But if judged as a song sampler, which is what I think was the intention of this, it’s not the worse thing to come out of the endless stream of compilation releases under the Black Sabbath label. In fact, in conjunction with a purchase such as “We Sold Our Souls For Rock And Roll” or “Greatest Hits 1970-1978”, this is a very good supplemental purchase that could help to stand in place of blowing money on the entire Ozzy era discography if you’re strapped for cash.
The only song that this really shares in common with the other releases of this sort is “Snowblind”, which is probably among the less known and lower rated of Sabbath songs that make it onto every greatest hits album. Otherwise, the song selection consists of high accessible, but little known songs. Such rocking classics as the lead riff happy and Zepplin-like “Sabbra Cadabra” and the down tempo doom number “Supernaut” are highly accessible songs that can easily be enjoyed by fans of “Paranoid” and “Master Of Reality” who are not familiar with these songs due to the abridged selection spoon fed to them by rock radio. The same story basically applies, though with a much simpler format, to “St. Vitus Dance” and “After Forever”, which are among the happiest and most up beat of Sabbath’s catalog and would bode well for casual fans of the band who would tend to prefer Deep Purple or Led Zepplin to them.
There is definitely a point in picking this up if your not going to invest in any of the full lengths from the Ozzy era, or if you only own “Black Sabbath” and “Paranoid”. Having said that, just over 30 minutes of music is not something that you want to spend more than maybe $7 for, particularly if your taking a gamble on whether or not these songs actually agree with your ears since they are very different from the songs often heard on the radio off of “Paranoid”.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on May 11, 2009.
Normally this would be a space for yet more of my caterwauling, but the Sabbath compilations seem to be following the road less travelled by of late (reviewing in chronological order, I'm up to '96), this album featuring NOTHING from Black Sabbath or Paranoid, one from Master of Reality and amazingly, no "Laguna Sunshine". Odd.
Any compilation of only seven tracks that features "The Writ", "Supernaut", "Sabbra Cadabra", and "St. Vitus Dance" is a winner and a half, but I don't need to spell out that this is seven f'n tracks. I don't what to call this, a song sampler, a practical joke? Where did they expect this to find an audience? Greenland?