Classic Sabbath Concert To Be Released As 2 CD Set with Unreleased Bonus Tracks.
For Immediate Release
BLACK SABBATH’s 2-CD Set ‘PAST LIVES’ Marks Concert Recordings Of Pioneering Metal Band In Its Prime!
Sanctuary Records And Divine Recordings To Release Historic Album On August 20th With Previously Unreleased Material
Black Sabbath invented true heavy metal, and it’s as simple as that. Oh, other bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple justifiably deserve credit for foreshadowing the style, but Black Sabbath was the first true, 100-percent heavy metal band.
Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bass guitarist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward are still cited as major influences on legions of new rock musicians, nearly 35 years after they appeared and shocked the world.
Sanctuary Records, a division of the Sanctuary Records Group, in association with Divine Recordings, is releasing the double live CD ‘PAST LIVES’ on August 20, 2002, and it’s an important album historically. The British quartet never issued a live album in America during its peak years with the original lineup, but ‘PAST LIVES’ preserves time period.
Disc one includes “Tomorrow’s Dream,” “Sweet
Leaf,” “Killing Yourself to Live,” “Cornucopia,” “Snowblind,” “Children
of the Grave,” “War Pigs,” “Wicked World” and “Paranoid.” Disc two, consisting
entirely of previously unavailable material, features “Hand of Doom,” “Hole
in the Sky,” “Symptom of the Universe,” “Megalomania,” “Iron Man,” “Black
Sabbath,” “N.I.B.,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “Fairies Wear Boots.”
These songs on ‘PAST LIVES’ are the finest tracks from the band.
It must be acknowledged that the first CD of ‘PAST LIVES’ was previously issued in Europe by the British label NEMS in 1980 under the title ‘Live at Last.’ Although it was the only “official” live album from the original lineup, Black Sabbath distanced itself from it at the time as it had not been an authorized release. And with substandard sound quality and packaging, ‘Live at Last’ wasn’t exactly an attractive package for fans upon its original release.
Sanctuary Records, in association with Divine Recordings, has greatly improved everything for ‘PAST LIVES’—remastered sound, proper packaging and liner notes and the inclusion of the second bonus CD.
‘PAST LIVES’ captures the on-stage ferociousness of vintage Black Sabbath. The band’s tales of war, madness, drugs, the supernatural and the darker side of life definitely stuck out from the peace-and-love hippie vibe of the Vietnam War era. “War Pigs” doesn’t view the military as non-confrontational doves, and “Snowblind” certainly isn’t about a winter storm!
Arguably the most interesting track on the first disc is an extended, 19-minute version of “Wicked World” from ‘Black Sabbath.’ Iommi, Butler and Ward play a jazzy little shuffle at one point, which isn’t entirely surprising considering that Black Sabbath was initially a blues band named Earth. During the jamming, Iommi uncorks some stinging, entirely vicious solos that stretch beyond his riff-based style and point toward the speed-metal shredding favored by guitarists a decade later. Ward takes a loose-limbed drum solo too.
The second disc is revelatory. Black Sabbath previews ‘Sabotage’ by crushing the audience with utterly savage renditions of the new songs “Hole in the Sky,” “Symptom of the Universe” and “Megalomania.” The trademark classic “Iron Man” is included. Before laying down the chilling opening riff of “Black Sabbath,” Iommi plays some warm, cascading solo licks.
Heavy metal definitely has definitely generated a truckload of classic studio albums in its existence, but the best way to experience the music is in concert. And a recording like Black Sabbath’s ‘PAST LIVES’ is the next best thing to being there.