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Black Sabbath

SUPERSONIC YEARS – THE SEVENTIES SINGLES BOX SET

BMG

Like Led Zeppelin, Sabbath were at the vanguard of 70s rock bands who considered themselves a cut above the instant hit of pleasure gained from a 7” single. Occasional appearances on Top Of The Pops were just a distraction for Birmingham’s heaviest; yet they knocked out their fair share of economical, radio-friendly classics, and this limited-edition boxset does a great job of presenting the highlights. For Sabbath completists, there are five rare single edits included – Iron Man, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Am I Going Insane (Radio), Hard Road and Symptom Of The Universe. The punchy remastering job here by Adam Pearce gives equal prominence to the underrated performances of bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, affording them parity with guitar behemoth Tony Iommi. The obvious heavy-rock touchstones of Paranoid, Iron Man and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath are all present and correct – but it’s the band’s versatility that impresses most. Iommi is imperious on The Wizard, and the protest sludge rock of Electric Funeral still has the power to send a shiver down the spine. The acoustic interlude Laguna Sunrise shines much-needed light in amongst the doom and makes abundantly clear Sabbath had more strings to their bow than juggernaut riffs and Ozzy’s gonzo charm.

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