Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MilesSmiles, Aug 30, 2013.
I have the deluxe, but isn't someone going to do an official thread review first?
Yep, Akhorahil is going to put up a review of it tomorrow. I don't own it, so he agreed to do so.
Oh, I was aware of that. My question was to everyone else as regards simple comments, not the big, shall we say 'proper' review.
I do have it but I'm keeping my comments until Akhorahil posts as well.
Rose River Bear, my condolences.
Ah, I see.
I'm trying to get my hands on it as well and hope to add to some comments when I get it.
Yes, I am working on it as I promised.
I gotta say, having bagged all these records first or second time around (in the case of CD) it does become something of a (pleasant?) niggle when all these 'Deluxe' editions appear, often with genuinely worthwhile second discs.
Especially the Ray Gillen version of The Eternal Idol which in 1987 I had no idea o'er.
Quick question re these live supplements: who recorded them and if 'official at the time' (i.e. not bootlegs) what was the intention in the first place? Unless these had already been released as limited edition specials via some Latvian only label (on cassette) for exclusive distribution in Moldova when nobody was looking?
I say this in the aftershock of the continual masochism aka www.discogs.com wherein, it is written, that not just multifarious versions of well known tomes seem to exist but seemingly, infinitesimal odds and sods of whose existence you were wholly ignorant and were only known to that bloke who runs the biggest of the Deep Purple fan sites.
So I haven't participated in this thread... just been a crazy summer. But I've been catching up with some of the reading, especially on my favorite BS album - Heaven and Hell - and... come on, NO love for Lady Evil and Walk Away (in virtually all reviews)?
I've got to say something here. Just can't stand by.
Firstly, Lady Evil. That groove is just dirty. It's filthy. And this is in nineteen freaking eighty!!! Maybe Priest was capable of something like this back then, but their nasty stuff was all slow burners (think Evil Fantasies), whereas this thing is a freight train. Who cares how sophisticated the thing is technically, or how profound the lyrics are? In the booklet to my recently acquired Deluxe Edition (awesome mastering, btw) Dio reminisces about how they used to "test" some of the songs in strip clubs and that Lady Evil was definitely a hit with the dancers. Holy cow, with the exception of the now archaic bridge, it still could be today!! So... this isn't about the guitar prowess or lyrics. This is a song you crank on a cruising night. Not alone. Who woulda thought Sabs had one of those in them???
And btw, while we're on the subject of the lyrics, I've always thought this was about a bad bad chick. Definitely the lyrics are vague enough to leave the door open to different interpretations, and the line "she's the queen of sin" in the coda seems to support the "bad girl" version at least to some extent.
And now Walk Away. How this one doesn't get any respect is beyond me. The song is about walking away from a woman who's playing you for all it's worth with a fake "bad girl" facade only because her clock is ticking. For all of the D&D accusations thrown Dio's way, talk about profound here. And of course, the song is not a condemnation, that would be too easy (and too black and white). The guy is considering yielding to the temptation in the second verse, and then the ending is left open. When Dio was asked about this song he said it was about his wife. So there's your ending. Cool stuff, no?
So anyway. Just wanted to chip in on those two. Carry on fellas. Awesome thread.
I like the 'groove' of Lady Evil.
I don't see it as one of the weaker tracks on H&H.
Give it time. You'll change your mind.
I like it about as much as I like the cover art (not). Probably one of the most hideous album covers I ever encountered.
To me, this was just another mundane attempt that could not even match the quality of the last Ozzy era album.
I have been there too - I have sold so much stuff on ebay 'cause of this
it may well be, according to his roadies (they wrote a book) Bill never really played double bass anyway - just for bits of his solos. Also Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction uses a double bass kit with different sized bass drums - he's a great drummer too.
Yes indeed! Never knew that. Thanks!
(As I type I'm enjoying the Worcester show from the Born Again tour. Gillan sounds a little hoarse and weaker at times but holy cow, does he bring it anyway! He just doesn't care and goes all out at times, great screaming on Zero The Hero. The whole band sounds great, and it's a great recording too. Done for the radio if I'm not mistaken. What a show. \m/)
I got that bit of trivia from the Deluxe booklet also. Btw, if you don't have that version and like H&H on CD, pick one up - the mastering blew my mind. It's about the same volume level as the WB original, but superior and I mean fantastic sounding in every way. I was very skeptical when I first learned about it (and even when some forum members directed me to it as the definitive CD version of H&H), but now that I've heard it if I had to guess I'd say it sounds like better tapes rather than an EQ job. One of those rare (for today) things - very tastefully done, and one of the quietest modern remasters you'll find this side of AF. It is quieter than some original discs from the 80s!! And of course it's a beast when turned up. My house amp ran out of juice before it got too loud, however. Highly recommended.
Again, sorry for interrupting the thread flow with comments on H&H. It's been really fun following this thread and I've learned a lot from everyone! Look forward to the discussion of 13 (when we get there)!
I have that Deluxe H&H. I read the booklet but I completely forgot that bit, obviously!
Thanks for the reminder, though. Excellent sounding CD indeed.
BLACK SABBATH - Live at the Reading Festival 1983
Released June 7th, 2011 by Sanctuary UK as a bonus disk of digitally remastered deluxe two CDs edition of Born Again. Also released August 24th, 2011 on high-fidelity SHM-CD format in a cardboard sleeve by Universal Music Japan (same 2011 UK remastering) as part of a four-album Black Sabbath set featuring albums Past Lives, Born Again, Seventh Star, and Eternal Idol.
1. The Fallen [Previously Unreleased Album Session Outtake]
2. Stonehenge [Extended Version]
BBC Radio 1 Friday Rock Show broadcast of Black Sabbath's appearance at the Reading Rock Festival (Saturday August 27th 1983)
3. Hot Line
4. War Pigs
5. Black Sabbath
6. The Dark
7. Zero The Hero
8. Digital Bitch
9. Iron Man
10. Smoke On The Water
Seven out of sixteen Festival performed songs were not part of the BBC broadcast - Children Of The Grave, Born Again, Supernaut/Bev Bevan Solo, Rock'n'Roll Doctor, Disturbing The Priest, Keep It Warm, and Tony Iommi Solo.
Tony Iommi – guitar
Geezer Butler – bass guitar
Ian Gillan – vocals
Bill Ward – drums on tracks 1 and 2
Bev Bevan – drums
Geoff Nicholls - keyboards
Bill Ward was not in good shape to play the Born Again tour as he explains: “We did the Born Again album but I fell apart with the idea of touring. I got so much fear behind touring, I didn’t talk about the fear, I drank behind the fear instead and that was a big mistake. So, I blew the Born Again tour and Bev Bevan, who is a very, very, very nice man, a very good drummer, took over the drum chair on that one” (Bill Ward: From Jazz to Black Sabbath Part 2-2).
This performance was part of Black Sabbath Born Again tour, i.e. it was the second to last show of the First European leg. Geoff Nicholls was credited as performing off stage during the tour. I, however, have no knowledge whether he was part of the band during this show or if his keyboards were pre-recorded.
The combined record of 4 musicians that took the stage looked like that:
Tony and Geezer had enjoyed success with Paranoid in 1970 as #1 UK and just released (3 weeks ago) Born Again quickly reached #4 UK.
Ian previously had two #1 UK records with Deep Purple (Fireball’71 and Machine Head’72) to his credit and #2 UK record Future Shock in 1981 as Gillan and his band was still active by the end of 1982 when Magic was released.
Bev also had two #1 UK records with ELO (Discovery’79 and Time’81) and ELO recently released Secret Messages that went to #4 UK.
For some of the less informed fans seeing those 4 rock legends on stage together, the confirmation was a necessity. Which band is on stage - All Star Band or Black Sabbath or Gillan or even ELO Part II? “This is Black Sabbath”, Ian was saying on more than one occasion during their performance.
The quality of live recording (and mixing) is very good but could have been better, since vocals dominate over guitar levels and Bev behind the drum kit sounds thin, although not as bad as Vinnie’s on Live Evil. I found this being most disturbing because he is more than just an adequate drummer for Black Sabbath live shows.
The bonus disk starts off with 2 studio outtakes:
“The Fallen”, this track is better than everything else on Side B of the original album. It has everything, such as the bombastic Bill drumming, a very cool Tony solo, supercharged drive from Geezer and very powerful singing from Ian. This song was likely cut either because it sounded a little bit too much like Gillan band, or they tried to stay as close to 40 min records length as possible and preferred “Hot Line” over “The Fallen”. Whatever the reason was, this is an excellent song which would also make a perfect fit on most of Gillan records (Glory Road, Future Shock, or studio record of Double Trouble).
Next up is the extended version of “Stonehenge”. I didn’t like the original 2 minute version of this bland instrumental song, so when they released a version that was a little over twice a long, I was a more than twice as bored. It almost feels like I’m watching the opening credits to some Sci-Fi movie.
BBC broadcasted tracks are split even with 3+1 Born Again/Deep Purple songs (not counting “The Dark”) and 4 Ozzy-era classics.
“Hot Line” is as weak live as it is in the original recording. The only listenable part is Tony’s outstanding solo.
The fourth track is the Ozzy-era classic “War Pigs”. This song is an acceptable live rendition when compared to Ozzy’s. However, anytime Ian tries to put his own stamp on the song by using his trademark falsetto shrieks (Aow, Yaow, Aow, Yaow … Meow), it ends up being distracting rather than adding anything to the song. If he kept his shrieks out of this version, I would rank his performance as good as Ozzy’s.
Next up is “Black Sabbath”. This is a brilliant live version of the song. IMO Ian does it much better than Ozzy. The same accomplishment as Ronnie’s perfect rendition of “N.I.B”. “Satan's sitting there, he's smiling” … and laughing, laughing, laughing – very impressive and very appropriate demonstration of his talent. I have to take my hat off to Ian Gillan on this one.
“The Dark” does a good job at setting up for the next track when viewed as an intro to the next song than its own song.
“Zero The Hero” marks the beginning of the sludge metal sound. Some. People. Don’t. Like. The. Awkwardly. Paced. Guitar. Riffs, but I think it is a testament to Black Sabbath’s brilliance. The slow, bass heavy beat sounds great live and the solo at the end is one of the best. After 15 years (at this point), they’re still innovating and influencing the direction of heavy metal.
“Digital Bitch” is even less listenable than “Hot Line”, i.e. totally unlistenable. It sounds like the theme song for some terrible teen sitcom. On top of the annoying sound is the pettiness of the lyrics. I wish I could forget this song, but like a good theme song, it sticks in your head much longer than you want it to.
Next we get the chance to hear Ian deliver another Ozzy-era classic “Iron Man”. Here he does a commendable job and the song is enjoyable overall. It doesn’t quite live up to Ozzy’s performances, but perhaps that is an unfair expectation. Surprisingly, there are not that many shrieks towards the end, so the distraction from Tony’s great solo is minimal.
It’s a known fact, that it was Tony who suggested that the band play “Smoke On The Water” as a part of the Born Again Tour. It’s a great tribute to Ian Gillan and his Deep Purple roots. Unfortunately, the rendition is less than stellar for several reasons. The crowd ends up singing along most of the song thus interfering with Ian singing. Bev drumming is relatively weak when compared to Ian Paice’s original performance, which is strange since he is very solid on all Black Sabbath songs. Tony’s alternative solo is uninspiring, there is an awkward keyboard sound and there is no ending solo. Only Geezer bass playing is on the level. Therefore, it all ends up feeling like one giant missed opportunity to hear Black Sabbath putting its own stamp on this song.
Contrary to his success with “Black Sabbath” performance, Ian does a very bad job trying to live up to Ozzy on “Paranoid”. He is sort of expecting the crowd to sing along and help him out of this song (rather unsuccessfully). After Dio’s failure with the same song, I am convinced that this song should be an Ozzy exclusive, because it appears that nobody else can do it justice.
I would definitely recommend this deluxe edition for someone who already likes Born Again but has it on vinyl only. For those who didn’t find the original record attractive (like myself), the three highlights from bonus material (“The Fallen”, “Black Sabbath” and “Zero The Hero”) probably won’t reverse the pre-existing disappointment. I myself bought it for very different reason – I had to buy a 4 CDs complete set to have the Born Again promo box (it fits so very nicely to Black Sabbath image).
I tried my best and I believe my job is done now. I’d like to thank GodShifter for giving me the opportunity to write my first ever review for this thread (and for forum) as well as everyone else for reading it. If it’s not what you expected, then please “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Substitute Writer”.
Japanese sleeve for bonus disk
I read that book and don't recall this assertion.
If it was said, then it was either just a great exaggeration or they didn't know what they were talking about. There is brilliant double bass drum work on quite a number of things on Vol. 4 and beyond. Bill never played the double bass like it came to be used by the more straight ahead, pounding metal drummers. Listen to tracks like "Supernaut" or "Tomorrow's Dream" and the double bass drum work there is unique and absolutely sublime.
I think you did an excellent job. It's not easy to review live things in my opinion, but you hit the high and low points quite well. Well done!
I managed to track down a copy of this and I am currently listening to it as I type this message. I'll post more thoughts after I've listened to the whole thing.
Thanks again for covering this one, Akhorahil!
The 1983 Reading performances as broadcast on BBC are largely well recorded and mixed. So, we have a different take on the Gillan Sabbath sound devoid of endless knocking of a horrible studio mix.
"Hot Line" opens the broadcast with a rocking rocker. This is the real deal, folks. Strap yourself in because things are going to start to cook. This song, studio and live, features on of the greatest vocal feats in rock with Gillans: "... Take me to the river; drink my WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE..." (the latter line sung beautifully, strong, and exceedingly high pitched).
"War Pigs" as interpreted by Gillan and company really makes the grade. Gillan's ad libbing during the non-lyrical sections adds a lot. It helps me to overlook lyrics that I usually don't care for. "Black Sabbath" is also a great performance in that Gillan took what Ozzy did and turned up the drama just a little bit more due to his greater vocal range and over the top personality.
"Zero the Hero" is a little rough in performance execution. Gillan does not sound as confident or in as strong a voice as on the studio version. Still, as great as the studio version is, if a live performance is as half as good as that, that's still a high quality rendering.
With "Digital Bitch" we don't have the extended scat singing of Gillan like on the album version, but the band is really on fire here and delivers the goods. "Iron Man" is another good performance of an oldie. Really good vocals from Gillan on this one. "Smoke on the Water" and "Paranoid" suffer from too much crowd noise and Gillan not singing as strong as he does on the other tracks. I guess you had to be there to fully experience those two songs.
I concur that Bev Bevan was up to the task. You are often hearing a rock solid drummer who hits the drums with all of the power of Vinny or Bill. His fills are his own style that don't really resemble Bill or Vinny, though they do seem a bit more run of the mill than Vinny's at times. I like the way that Bev and Geezer lock in together better than Geezer and Vinny generally do on Live Evil. The Bev/Geezer tandem is really powerful and beautiful at times.
Wonder where this came from?
Can I be reading this correctly?
You don't like the lyrics to "War Pigs" (I think you might actually be the first Sabbath fan with this viewpoint but I'm assuming it's political or you're unabashedly "pro-military" ), but how does Gillan "ad libbing during non-lyrical sections" help you to overlook the lyrics?
Btw, I like the Reading performance but I think some of their shows the following month were much stronger. Some of the German shows I've heard are astounding!
After listening to this, I tend to agree Gillan does a better job of covering the Ozzy material than Dio did. The versions of "Black Sabbath" and "War Pigs" with Gillan are vastly superior to RJD's (I love those heavy dissonant chords that Iommi plays during "Black Sabbath").
This is a good live recording and the production is quite clear, but I could definitely do without the keyboards on every song i.e. "Iron Man" with keyboards just doesn't work for me, sorry.
As for the Born Again stuff, it sounds good for the most part, but "Zero the Hero" is just too plodding for my tastes here. It sounds almost wooden in its delivery. At bit more tempo and energy would have been nice.
No worries with the "Smoke on the Water" cover as I saw it live and it worked okay and, as Akhorahil stated, was a nice tribute on Iommi's part to Gillan's past and, perhaps, a way to make him feel a bit more comfortable onstage with the new band. In any case, it works alright, though the solo isn't "Blackers" quality for sure, but whatever. "Paranoid" doesn't sound good here. Wow.
Maybe I like Gillan's delivery of the lyrics better too. I don't want to open a politics can of worms by discussing the lyrics too much. I'll just say that I think that Alice in Chains "Rooster," U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky," CCR "Fortunate Son," Metallica's "One," and Stryper's "Believe" are all more personal and stronger statements about war than "War Pigs." It is easier to generalize about war only ever being bad and that it only benefits certain people in society and more difficult to write and perform a song that discusses the bad or good effects of war in a more personal way. It probably isn't the worst song anyone has ever written about the topic, but there are many others that I prefer.
Maybe if they had added piano to it...
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