Linda's favorite digital versions of all Black Sabbath albums

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by blacksabbathrainbow, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. I felt exactly the same before I joined this forum. Mastering differences are just mastering differences, the mix and the music are the same. As I have said multiple times before, I love Black Sabbath, and if 5th generation cassette tapes were the only way I could listen to their music, I would still do it and love it. Where I notice mastering differences is when I directly and closely compare one mastering of an album to another mastering of the same album. Even then, it takes a little practice to spot the differences in some cases. Some are more obvious though.
    It is really a question of whether it is something you want to get into or rather not. I am happy I did, because it taught me to draw more attention to sound and details in the music I love. The result is that I am enjoying that music even more than before.

    However, of course it has its drawbacks. Any minute I spend comparing two or three masterings of the same album is a minute less to spend on something else.

    This.
     
  2. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma
    On 80's power ballads you are the backlash to the backlash! Guess it's come full circle.
    Even back in the 80's before the term power ballad was coined, I can recall some fans thinking Scorpions had gone too far with "Still Loving You", and most fans loved all their ballads before that. I always liked the tune even though many people thought it was uncool. For me they went too far later on with "Winds of change". I happen to love W.A.S.P. 's "Sleeping in the fire".... Seems as the 80s wore on the power ballads got more corny..
     
  3. Johnny Rock N' Roll

    Johnny Rock N' Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Prior to 2006, I owned all the CDs on single-disc standard jewel case editions that I bought in the 90s/early 2000s either through Columbia House/BMG, in used bins or just at places like Tower Records or whatever music stores were around. No clue on label/pressing, etc.

    I sold my entire CD collection in 2006, regrettably. In the past 10 years or so, I've been rebuilding. I have re-purchased the entire Sabbath discography except TE and NSD (I really should pick those up soon).

    For the first three albums, I have 2-disc deluxe editions. They say Rhino/WB. They all indicate 2016 on the back cover.
    For the next three, I have digipaks (gag!), that all say Rhino/WB, and have 2016 on them.

    For non Ozzy, I also have those 2-disc deluxe versions for Born Again, all three Dio albums, Seventh Star, Eternal Idol, and Live at Last.
     
  4. The s/t, MOR and SBS 2016 Rhino CDs are good IMO. The Vol. 4 2016 Rhino, however, is mastered extremely bright, so much so that the sound is dominated by the cymbals. The 2009 Sanctuary mastering is way better IMO. The Paranoid and Sabotage 2016 Rhino CDs sound too bright for my taste as well. For Sabotage, may favorite is the original WB CD. (The 2009 Sanctuary is very good as well but, depending on your taste, may be a bit too dark-sounding.) For Paranoid, there is no easy solution, see my discussion above.

    Are all of these Deluxe releases from Sanctuary? If so, they are all good to very good except for Live at Last. The latter sounds way better on the 1996 Castle (which, however, omits the "Will you welcome Black Sabbath" intro at the beginning).

    For TE and NSD, a really satisfying mastering on CD doesn't exist. The most practical solution for you might be to get the TE 2016 Rhino (bright but otherwise pretty good) and the NSD original WB CD. For details, see here again.
     
  5. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    Linda, could I please trouble you for a quick listen to and your opinion on Vol 4/SBS TECP versions? (In your own time of course).

    If they are a complete bust then I can replace (I literally wouldn’t do this for any other band - well, Iron Maiden and Van Halen but that’s it! :winkgrin:)

    I know the TECP Master Of Reality is too bright and their version of Sabotage cannot compete with the original WB, so any thoughts/opinions on those two would be extremely helpful to me :righton:
     
  6. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    I might invest. As for the sections on Ozzy is it primarily Blizzard and Diary that he talks about? Or do the rest of the albums he co-wrote/recorded on get much of a look-in?
    Big fan of 80’s Ozzy here!
     
  7. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England

    From memory I’m pretty sure he talks about all the Ozzy albums he’s worked on
     
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  8. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    Cool! I’ll check it out. Eternal Idol should get a mention also I’d assume.
     
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  9. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma
    Correct--more emphasis on the first 2 albums though...Understandably because the players thought they would be a real band and credited as such.....

    Bob is a great and often under rated bass player, Jimmy Bain's replacement in Rainbow, technically superior. His story outside of Ozzy is well worth the read, a rock veteran long before Blizzard, and lots of great music under his belt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  10. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
  11. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    Not only is Bob a great Bass player, but he seems like a fairly decent chap…. He seemed to have got treated rather unfairly by the Ozzy camp (note.. I said Ozzy camp, not Ozzy himself…. I wonder who I could mean?) and yet returned when Ozzy needed help

    I suppose there are two ways of looking at this..

    Fool me once, shame on you
    Fool me Twice, shame on me

    I’m never working with Ozzy again, I got treated badly so basically f##k him

    or

    He didn’t let his personal feelings get in the way of earning money as a bass player and took the jobs despite feeling bad how he was previously treated

    Maybe this is just nonsense, but Bob did keep going back to Ozzy numerous times despite being treated badly.

    I’m not sure I would have done the same


    But rambling aside, Bob’s book is a really good read…. But be warned… it’s bloody huge.. it’s like an A4 size hardback (that’s UK paper size)
     
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  13. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
  14. I guess I can do that at some point, but probably not anytime soon. Feel free to remind me in a few weeks if you haven't heard back from me until then. Alternatively, I can always send you samples of my favorite versions of those albums plus the TECP CDs so you can check yourself.

    Guys, I don't mind a little off-topic talk, but now I do feel you need to start an Ozzy solo thread. ;)
     
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  15. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    That is a good idea.
     
  16. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    That is a fair point, sorry for rambling

    Although Bob’s book does talk about his work with Black Sabbath on The Eternal Idol, so it is worth a read for Black Sabbath fans too :)
     
  17. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    Over to you Claus, I’m not sure people will be reading any thread I start :D
     
  18. Dio may have a more "trained" (for lack of a better term) vocal approach, but the inference that the Dio-era material is more vocally challenging is missing the mark.

    Ozzy-era Sabbath is more challenging (musically). That's a big reason why I don't get "into" the Dio-era albums. When Dio climbed aboard, the music went from fearlessly exploratory to formulaic songs (in comparison). IMHO

    So what? ... Ozzy didn't sing in an operatic style. Whoop-de-f'ing-dooo! It fit the music perfectly. That's a big reason why those those 8 classic albums exist. An operatic style of singing would not have worked within that framework.
     
  19. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The band played to the singer. It’s something every good producer learns and every good bandleader did. Ellington did it. They played to who was at the mike. Dio has a more traditional voice. Ozzy is unique, a screamer. The band composed to them. Because they are good musicians.

    New fans are gonna dig Dio. He could sing on a tv talent show. Ozzy wouldn’t make it through the audition. Neither would Tom Waits. People like traditional Broadway type singers. It’s like juggling. Oooo look. Untraditional singers, Neil Young, not so much.

    I love Ozzy and Dio for different reasons. Ozzy could never write or sing Heaven and Hell. Dio could never sing Supernaught or Sabbara Cadabara like Ozzy screamed.
     
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  20. Sorry, @Greenalishi , I differ heartily. You are focusing on Ozzy screaming. In a "live" setting, yep - Ozzy screamed a lot. I'm referring to the studio recordings (in which Ozzy displayed a fantastic breadth of vocals).
     
  21. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Ok. I always characterize his voice that way live or studio. Guess I should think of a more acceptable adjective. I like the way he sings. Just all in emotion. No holdin back. Really cool. Especially on Sabatoge. So cool. Not a traditional voice or style of singing.

    Anyone have a favorite sounding Cd of Sabatoge? Including the new version.
     
  22. Many Clouds

    Many Clouds Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Apples and oranges. You cannot compare the two singers to each other and it be a valid discussion. You can prefer one style over the one,yes. Dio was a proper singer, opera rock style, especially his early years. Ozzy is unorthodox in a lot of things he does, he’s just completely off the wall. If people think the Ozzy songs are easier to nail, then go ahead and give them a go, trust me it’s far from easy. No one has successfully pulled off those songs other than Ozzy himself. In the 70s he was one of the most consistent live performers.

    Sorry Linda for going off topic, but had to give my two pennies worth.
     
  23. I agree searching for a different term might be a good idea. I have an idea what you mean by Ozzy "screaming" on Symptom of the Universe or Hole in the Sky (title track), but not on (most of) Iron Man, Black Sabbath or Spiral Architect, let alone Solitude or Planet Caravan.

    I am not sure Ozzy was ever a "consistent" live performer - I have pretty much every Sabbath 1970ies ROIO in circulation, and it sounds to me like he had "on" and "off" nights on every tour. Much more so than Dio at any time.

    I believe people who claim that Ozzy's (Sabbath) songs are easier to sing are focusing on the technical side of singing, and in that respect they are correct for most (not all) of the songs: those songs are relatively easy to sing, technically. It's pretty obvious when you listen to Cross Purposes - Live: Tony Martin (whose vocal abilities were declining rapidly at the time) is struggling a lot with his own and quite a bit with the Dio material yet did a mostly very solid job with the Ozzy material. He sings it in a lower register, but he still sings it relatively well. Now, what I believe you and others who claim that it is impossible to nail Ozzy's Sabbath songs are focusing on is the uniqueness of his voice: singers who cover 1970ies Sabbath may be hitting the notes correctly yet they still cannot reproduce the essence of Ozzy's singing because they don't have his unique voice. I agree with that too. Those songs still sound great (IMO) when the singer who sings them sings well, but they always sound very different from the original, and they arguably don't have quite the same magic as the originals.

    On the Sabotage 2021 remaster, I largely agree with @rnranimal (quoted from the Sabotage 2021 digital thread): unlike the Vol. 4 2021, it is not terrible, but it sounds rather harsh and doesn't make the top 3.
    As for my Sabotage mastering preferences, so far I haven't changed my mind since I wrote what I wrote in my major update above:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  24. I just love Ozzy's vocals (from the "robotic" follow-the-chord-progression [melody-wise] of a lot of Paranoid to the gentle, aching strains of "Solitude" to the "F"-you bark of the heavier parts of "Megalomania").


    I apologize, as well, Linda - for going off-topic.
     
  25. Many Clouds

    Many Clouds Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    As vocalists go for the demands of a 70s rock band I thought he was consistent, more so than a lot of his peers, but you’ll be a better judge than me . I’ve got to try and take my blinkers off here because he’s my favourite vocalist of all time for his time in 1970s sabbath , but I remember Glenn Hughes saying he found it easier to sing other eras more so than Ozzy era. That’s not because it was technical, but more so the uniqueness of it like you said. The melodies that Ozzy produced were superb . Anyway I’ll leave it at that . Could I pm you regarding bootlegs? I’ve just noticed you cannot talk about bootlegs on here, and the bootleg thread has been locked .
     
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