Completely besting the once-classic and classically named best-of, We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n' Roll
, Symptom of the Universe
captures one of rock's heaviest tidal forces in all their glory--and in some more compromising moments. Ranging from the eponymous dirge that opens the set to the boogie-laden energy of more minor Sabbath gems like "Evil Woman" and "After Forever," this two-disc overview doesn't skimp on stone-cold gems like "Paranoid," "War Pigs," "Iron Man," and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." The second CD serves up the solo acoustic "Snowblind," a piano-and-Ozzy interlude, "Laguna Sunrise" (from the album Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
), and the silly, aptly named "Fluff." Here the quartet reaches beyond their grasp, eschewing the grinding, hefty sound that fit Ozzy's flat vocal delivery like a glove; this stuff isn't great, but it's revealing. Decades after their debut, Sabbath's dystrophic rejoinder to '60s and '70s rock still energize nearly all hard rock. So this is rock history, and a blast at that. --Andrew Bartlett
Full Title - Symptom Of The Universe - The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978. 2 CDs presenting 29 tracks form the bands earliest days and most popular era with Ozzy Osbourne as co-founder and front man. Includes the rare 'Evil Woman' non-LP single, available on CD for the first time in the US. Digitally Remastered from the original tapes, 2 individual digipaks with separate booklets all in a slipcase with special embossed artwork. Warner/Rhino. 2002.