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Good songs, but utterly pointless. - 50%

hells_unicorn, February 7th, 2007

I sympathize with the few though determined flock of Sabbath completists out there, with all the damned Sabbath compilations out there it’s really expensive to be a core fan, particularly when everything they offer is already on their studio releases. I would normally be one to shower the industry with praise for finally recognizing that the Tony Martin era of Sabbath was as worthy of a greatest hits compilation as all the others, but I can’t really condone what they’ve done here.

I bought this compilation before owning the “Cross Purposes” and “Forbidden” releases as a research tool, if the differences that people said these two albums had from the other 3 Tony Martin ones were not to my liking, my loss of money would have been minimized and I would still have a spare copy of some older classics to take with me on road trips. However, upon liking the songs on here from the two latter releases and buying them this CD serves absolutely no purpose at all, because there is no bonus material or rarities included, not to mention that they gave the Eternal Idol the shaft on here.

The track order of this makes for a poorly paced listen, splitting up all the various material from the 4 albums and reshuffling them in a purely random manner. “The Battle of Tyr” does not work as an instrumental lead in to “Sabbath Stones”, there is a reason why the former appeared after the latter on the studio album it was lifted from. The intro to “Valhalla” is completely butchered as the result of being torn from its two fellow movements and sounds so abrupt that the listener might think that the entire Tyr release was poorly conceived.

If I had been in charge of compiling this, I would have included “Cloak and Dagger” as a bonus track, as well as lifted a few tracks off the Eternal Idol album and perhaps even released it as a double CD and combined it with a first even mass recording industry release of the Eternal Idol demo featuring now deceased singer Ray Gillen on vocals. That would not only be worth the money, but would be a better compilation than We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll.

To all prospective buyers, unless you have a quirky obsession driving you to own absolutely everything with Sabbath’s name on it, steer clear of this release. I’m quite possibly the only person on this site that has a copy of this and I have little use for it other than it taking up space on my CD rack. Just take it from me, all the stuff released with Tony Martin singing is top quality and should be owned in their entirety.