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in this boxset you get a Hardcover thick book about the making of Paranoid album plus a small poster all 4 members posing for a photo also get a replica 1970 advertisement booklet reissued, plus 4 discs in mini LP cardboard sleeves Disc 1 is the original album remastered, Disc 2 is the 1974 Quadraphonic mix remastered for the first time on CD the Quad mix means the album was reissued in 1974 thru a 4 channel sound mix on Vinyl that was the Technology back in the 70's a Quadraphonic stereo sound system similiar to a 4.0 surround sound mix by today's standards if that makes sense Disc 3 is 8 tracks LIVE in Montreau aug 1970 which is definitetly soundboard recording prob 8-9/10 sound quality and Disc 4 is 9 tracks LIVE in BRUSSELS OCT 1970 which is excellent soundboard 10/10 quality these 2 LIVE CD'S have never been officially released on cd before til now they've only been available to get as bootlegs the Brussels/Belgium show is exact same concert as my bootleg cd version except my bootleg says the recording is at the Olympiad venue in Paris 1970, not Brussels i've also seen a pro shot dvd of this same 1970 concert also stating recorded at the Olympiad in Paris so either my bootleg is correct and sabbath's US label warners got the concert venue wrong on the CD you could debate it all day anyway worth getting for the 2 LIVE CD'S plus the Quad mix as a bonus, 4 stars i give
This classic album has been re-issued so many times you may be wondering if it's worth forking out for again. As far as this release goes, most definitely yes. The big draw here is a stereo fold-down of the original Quadraphonic mix released in 1974, available for the first time on CD. If you thought you knew everything about this album think again. Obviously it depends on how well you know the music but believe me the differences are many. I won't list them all here, but the most noticeable include: 'War Pigs' running to a proper ending, (it was artificially speeded up during final mastering for the original stereo mix), That most heavy metal of instruments, the tambourine, kept on the mixes of both 'War Pigs' and 'Paranoid' (who knew?!), A different effect on the guitar solo for the title track (and even more ghastly sounding), Completely different bass track on 'Iron Man' - A real revelation for Sabbath fans, this - I can only assume that when the sessions were moved to Island Studios for overdubs and final mixing, 'Geezer' decided to re-do his bass guitar for this track and whether by accident or design the engineers who worked on the Quad mix used his original one instead (or it could be the other way round and this is a later overdub, anyone know for sure?)' The big plus for me, though, is the sublime 'Planet Caravan',effects pop up in different places and Ozzy's voice is higher in the mix but best of all it's allowed a much longer fade-out. For this alone, I recommend investing in this release.
The original stereo mix of the album is also included and in terms of overall sound this box set continues the recent trend of more sympathetic mastering, in that it's noticeably quieter than previous releases and there appears to be no brickwalling. The Quad mix has a nice, natural sound, although the drums on 'Iron Man' are far too low and murky sounding, probably the only mis-step of this particular version.
The two live albums are excellent additions, although the sound is decidedly ropey in places. The performances of 'NIB' and 'War Pigs' from Brussels (often mistakenly attributed to Paris) have featured on many Sabbath documentaries and sound better than they do here but still they're nice to have - especially as Ozzy sings a lot of the original lyrics to 'War Pigs' in these shows and the band are on top form.
All in all, if you're a Sabbath fan you simply must buy this. It's a different way to hear an undisputed classic.
If you have a surround system, this is the version to go for. If you've not heard the quad mix of Paranoid you're missing out. Not only is it a different mix, there are other differences to some of the tracks as well. You do need to crank up the volume to hear everything that's on there and to get the clarity, but it really is worth annoying the neighbours for.
The quad version is available in a mixed down version on other editions, but that's pointless to me.
The demo and alternative versions are worth hearing, but it is the surround mix that is the main draw here.
A birthday bonus from the vouchers from the kids and they were well spent,a quite stunning box set of immense historical value and enjoyment.
Disc 1 : the original album remastered and sounds wonderful
Disc 2 Quad mix folded down to stereo ( whatever that actually means :)) and what a revelation,i've been listening to 'Paranoid' for more than 35 years and listening to this with the headphones on,well what a fantastic experience,a joy ,a revelation, things appearing in places that i've never heard before,stunning,worth the price of purchase for this alone.
Disc 3/4. Both live recordings from 1970 and whilst they are of their time,recording wise, they are both excellent,showing a young band on the way up,raw vibrant energy coursing through each track, Andy Pearce has done a fantastic job.
Packaging, sturdy box, excellent hard back book plus poster and repro tour program.. 5 stars all the way.
If you've already got the 3CD edition, you might think twice about buying this, as it does replicate two of the discs. But you need that version as a disc isn't replicated on this. What you do get are two live concerts from 1970 - although it's like shelling out £30 (or whatever) to get hold of these. They are well recorded and surpisingly the set list does change between the August and October gigs. Really annoying though Ozzy truncating loads of songs on the last chord/note with "Thanks!" before any clapping or giving some space to the music. Let's look at the packaging: it weighs a ton! Hard back book, replica concert programme and a poster. The book has a long essay with plenty of pics - some taken from music papefrs of the time: Disc, Record Mirror even Words (they published song lyrics, always a laugh as I think they transcribed them from a record and got them wrong!), picture sleeves from around the world, master tape boxes, adverts of gigs, etc. It's all in one place, and does justice to the high price tag.
This is absolutely amazing. The Quad 4 channel mix down to stereo sounds amazing on a 5.1 system. Lots of new and interesting information in the hardbound book. The two shows from 1970 are both excellent. A good purchase if you really love Black Sabbath. I did find one interesting thing when you listen to the live shows. The first one from Brussels Oct 1970, Ozzy is still singing War Pigs with the old lyrics (not the ones on the album). They write in the book about it being before the album was finished but the picture of the final real box shows the final LP master to have been finished on Aug 7th, 1970. The album was released Sept 1970, so a month after it was released Ozzy was still singing the old lyrics. A small funny detail...
In reality I should have given this box set 4 1/2 stars only on the basis to get the full experience you really need one (or both) of the following;- 1) A car with 6 six speakers;2) Home cinema system. This only relates to the stereo/quad copy of Paranoid. This really is the mutts' nuts on any level. Paranoid is one of the leading albums of the heavy metal genre and never fails to disappoint. The first disc, Paranoid standard as I'll name it, shines through as a top album and sounds cleaner than ever. No low points. The stereo/quad disc is something else- played though a home cinema system gives a whole new depth that is worthy of playing it so many times. There are a few surprises with it as well...I'll say no more so you can find them out for yourselves.There area echoes and elements of strangeness that are sublime. The two live discs are stunning documents of a time gone by. Not overburdened by over- or under-production, clean and sharp and excellent to listen to and absorb. If you have the cash for this box set, buy it and experience it in it's full majesty. **Was the quad copy ever released on vinyl back in the day? Interesting question.**