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Definitive Collection for the New LIstener - 85%

cluebird, November 3rd, 2007

As a long time Black Sabbath fan, when I received this box set through a friend, I had a pretty good guess as to what I may find. I was right and wrong, with this collection being both well-rounded and disappointing.

For the new Sabbath listener, you may find some of (few) tracks heard on the radio, including "Paranoid" and "NIB". These are no doubt good tracks, and along with the others included on this album, make up a good introduction to Sabbath for the casual listener. The tracks included span all of Ozzy-Era Black Sabbath, including mainly hit songs, and the occasional "artistic-value" track.

Sadly, this box set also includes some flat out dismal tracks, mainly embodied in "Am I Going Insane", "Laguna Sunrise", and "Fluff". These are all songs which not many listeners will not appreciate when placed beside classics such as "Black Sabbath", "Paranoid", and "War Pigs". This not so good tracks are not by any means a big problem, as they can be expected of any two disc, era-spanning, box set. Although these songs may seem like filler, by no means let it dissuade a new metalhead from buying this set.

As a last note, the booklet that comes with this set is excellent, full of surprising nuggets of information about Black Sabbath and its members. Included are the origins of the band, and some anecdotes about band members, including Tony Iommi's run-in with a devil-figure.

All in all, a recommend box set, although definitely not essential for the hardcore Sabbath devotee, as the most memorable songs on this box set are already in your collection (hopefully).

Good for people who want to get into Sabbath. - 90%

HeavyMeddlingMatt, April 12th, 2007

I view this album as sort of an expanded edition of 'We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll'. It includes all the material on WSOSfR&R, plus about an albums worth of Black Sabbath's lesser known material.

One thing that i was dissapointed in, however, was that the bass solo "Bassicaly" used as an intro to NIB (which apeared on the WSOSfR&R album) did not appear on this compilation.

The first disk was awsome featuring most of the classics which i shouldn't have to mention to any one familiar with Sabbath.

The second disk contains a few fairly well known songs, such as 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' and 'Snowblind'. It also contains a few lesser know greats like 'Sabbra Cadabra', 'Symptom of the Universe', 'After Forever', and 'Hole In the Sky'.

The booklet was much better than I expected, it was really informative, full of interesting facts (including some somewhat humorus trivia) about the band, and all of it extremly well written.

For any long time Sabbath fans I wouldn't recommend buying this because you've probably heard it all before. However I would strongly recomend this album for anyone who is interested in getting into Black Sabbath, it contains most of the must have Sabbath material, and enough of the lesser known greats to make you feel a bit superior to the people who only know of the songs that they play on the radio. Just don't go around pretending that you know everything about Sabbath just because you've read the booklet. Some long time fans might find that irritating.

Does a very good job of being a best-of, but... - 72%

PriestofSadWings, January 5th, 2007

With any compilation, fans will rant and rave that their favorite tracks weren't included. So here goes. Where the hell are Spiral Architect and The Writ? With all the sub-par tracks that were included, why aren't these two classics in there? And Megalomania would be nice, too.

My issue with this comp, though, isn't really that it's not a good one. It does a wonderful job of introducing Sabbath to the average unenlightened moron. Classics that people who have only heard Sabbath's five radio hits (NIB, Sweet Leaf, you guess the other three) have yet to discover are all included here. On a side note, Children of the Grave is the best song ever.

My issue is with all the crappy songs that somehow, someway, made the cut. Big messy jams like Warning, Fairies Wear Boots and A Hard Road, somewhat boring soft pieces Laguna Sunrise, Changes, and Fluff, and the just plain stupid Am I Going Insane weigh this otherwise stellar collection down.However, if you don't want to buy all of Sabbath's albums but want to hear most of the good stuff, this is an excellent buy.