A real treat for long-standing fans. The first disc is a much-cleaned up Live at Last, recorded in March 1973 and originally released in the aftermath of Ozzy leaving in 1980. Ozzy disowned the recording on release, but it's a superb document of the band touring Vol IV, with one eye on follow-up masterpiece Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. As such, the set list contains an interesting mix of old (Wicked World) and new (Killing Yourself to Live - so fresh it has different lyrics and a totally different chorus melody). Maybe Ozzy was embarrassed about his vocals - he misses the odd note, but generally is in good voice and clearly focusing on the gig rather than posterity. I love it all the more for this rawness and this may indeed be the only Ozzy live album ever released where the vocals weren't redubbed in the studio.
Wicked World/Paranoid are exceptional. Low points are the dirges of Tomorrow's Dream and Cornucopia, the latter ending so apologetically, Ozzy has to prompt the audience to respond. Tony Iommi's jazz guitar playing in the middle of Wicked World is a revalation - the song is an extended series of riffs and middle bits reminiscent of the second half of The Who's Live at Leeds. More true to the raw spirit of Sabbath than any other live album either the band or Ozzy has been involved in.
The great shame is that in tidying LAL up, they didn't find add any more tracks from the tour - I would have loved to have heard how Wheels of Confusion sounded live.
The second disc gathers together some of the highlights from the 1975 New Jersey gig together with some fairly poorly recorded 1970 tracks. The Sabotage tour songs are excellent - the band sound huge and are still experimenting and growing. There's a price to pay for this ambition however, and Ozzy struggles to hit some of the high notes - in particular Megalomania. The subsequent tours and albums severely curtailed this ambition, and for much of the rest of their careers, Ozzy and the band stuck like limpets to a less demanding early 70s formula and set-list.
All in all, a fascinating document of a less sweary, less polished, less legendary band who are nevertheless in their prime and on fire. The 2010 re-release is a pretty straightforward re-release of the 2002 Digipak Past Lives.