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Black Box: The Complete Original 1970-1978 Box set, Original recording remastered, CD+DVD

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered, CD+DVD
  • Label: Rhino / Warner Bros. Records
  • ASIN: B0000DII8S
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Decades after Black Sabbath laid down the commandments of heavy metal--lyrically, not for the squeamish; musically, dynamic and resolutely heavy--their impact remains improbably undiminished. Black Box includes the eight albums recorded between 1970 and 1978 by the founding line-up--Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler--in one suitably weighty package. Forgoing bonus tracks (aside from an entertaining but brief four-track DVD extra), the box is rounded off with an impressive 80-page booklet. While the foursome were considerably less fearsome by the time they checked out with Never Say Die, more than half of this collection represents heavy metal with a lasting impact. --Steven Stolder,

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
My name is Joe Siegler and I run "Black Sabbath Online". I have a much longer review of this disc at my site, but I had to crop it down to make it fit within Amazon's 1000 word limit, so if you want to read my full review, hit [...]
What is Black Box? It's a 9 disc collection (8 audio CD's, one DVD) comprising all the of the songs the original Black Sabbath released from 1970-1978.
The albums themselves have an unbelievable sound quality never heard in these recordings before. It's not like we have new songs here - these are after all the same songs released before. But they've never been heard like this before. I cannot stress how great these discs sound. I've been listening to Black Sabbath since 1981. I know these songs extremely well - EXTREMELY well. So much so that the slightest change is noticeable. Well, the sound range here is far more powerful than I've ever heard it before. Ever put in an old CD in your player, and it sounds flat, and a newer one you put in has a really rich, vibrant range? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about here. In addition to the songs just sounding more powerful and cleaner, individual instruments are more noticeable here. There's tons of places where I've heard drum fills by Bill Ward that I've never heard before. It's very cool finding bits in songs you've heard God knows how many times over the years. Coupled with the fact that the albums have a sonic power that I can't recall the songs having before make this by far the version to get - even if you already own all these albums.
That brings me to another point. The notion that Black Sabbath is just "out for money" by releasing this set without a ton of extras. In running my Black Sabbath site at [...
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Format: Audio CD
Well, after reading a lot of reviews, and hearing people talk about how long they've been listening to Sabbath, let me add my take on The Box. I have been listening to the mighty Sabs since 1970 - yeah, I'm that old, but what a thrill to have been able to discover each album upon its release. Since then and forever, they are my favorite band of all time. I bought the Castle remasters a few years ago, and compared to the vinyl I had, WOW - what an incredible sonic difference. I have always felt that the Castles were an excellent remastering, along with great packaging (raised lettering on the "Master of Reality" sleeve, for Chrissake!). The box set masters, to me, don't really sound much different. I'm listening through new $900 Klipsch speakers, 5.1 channels through an Onkyo receiver. Both pretty equal (other than the hardly-noticeable-till-you-read-about-them dropouts in a few songs). The packaging - well, not that impressed. Where are the additional photos from "Volume 4"? The inner-sleeve production info on "Never Say Die"? All on the Castles, but not here. Sonically, perhaps the volume was pumped on the new versions, but the remasterings are not that different to my ears. But it's all really a moot point. The sound is superb, but I have yet to see any mention of the excellent production by early producer Roger Bain in any of the reviews I've read. Sabbath's sound made a noticeable change to a less-ominous, less-heavy direction with the fourth album (and new producer), meaning that Bain really was the one who gave us the sound we now know literally CREATED the genre of heavy-metal. I really wish we could hear more about, and from, this most unsung hero of the Sabbath sound. Imagine if another producer had been hired instead of Bain - perhaps the dark, thunderous, genre-defining sound of Black Sabbath as we know it may never have come to fruition! Love live Roger Bain!!
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit I was quite apprehensive to shell out the money for these albums because I already owned the Castle Remasters which I thought sounded far superior to the hiss filed limp Warner Brothers releases of these albums that I also have to compare this set with when writing this review. Boy Joe was right about this release. These albums sound just incredible. They are almost MINT! Sure you can still hear the analog hiss but it's not nearly as noticeable and wow the instruments just come right out of the speakers blazing with such power. Bill Ward really shines and listening to this set really lets one know how great of a drummer he was and definitely one of the 10 best rock drummers of all time in my book. Tony's riffs are much louder and his solos much clearer and crisper and Geezer's Bass is like the perfect Swiss watch. The intro to NIB sounds like he is standing right next to you. Ozzy of course in many ways is the most popular and known member of the band and his vocals sound great with more menacing clarity and greater powerful resonance than before. I actually enjoyed Changes this time around and in fact Volume 4, which is my favorite Sabbath album, sounded just phenomenal. Master of Reality's somewhat compressed mix really benefited from this remastering and the classic Paranoid and Black Sabbath will never sound better. Though this set is a bit of an anti climax with Never Say Die and to a lesser extent Technical Ecstasy the massive upgrade in sound quality is well worth the money. The book and DVD are nice touches as well. I will say that the individual artwork on the albums could have been better as the castle remasters have all of the original packaging, but the real effort on this release clearly involved sound quality. THIS SET PROVES THAT REMASTERING WHEN DONE RIGHT CAN TAKE AN OLD PICTURE AND PLACE IT WITH A VASTLY IMPROVED FRAME!!!! IF YOU CAN AFFORD THE MONEY AND LOVE THE ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH DO NOT HESITATE TO GET THIS BLACK BOX!
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