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Quite a comfortable live album - 75%

Ayeka, October 22nd, 2002

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...