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Customer Review

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2009 reissue versus the 1996 version, 24 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Sabotage (2009 Remastered Version) (Audio CD)
Firstly, there is little point in discussing this music per se: any self-respecting Sabbath fan, nay, rock fan, ought to already count this classic album amongst the highlights of their collection. Musically speaking, this is certainly a 5-star album. The question I aim to address here is rather: is it worth shelling out for this apparently newly remastered 2009 reissue if you already own the 1996 (blimey was it as long ago as that!) remastered version? Well, you'd like to think that over those 13 years the world of music reproduction technology would have moved on to the extent that a new version would eke even more sonic quality out of the sounds Sabbath laid down on analogue tape back in 1975. After all, this album was a long time in production, reflected in the complex arrangements and huge sound achieved by the band and their recording team. Indeed, I defy anyone not to feel `WOW, that was an experience!' with every ounce of their musical appreciation as the last strains of the awesome `Megalomania' waft into the distance. Maybe I just played it a little on the loud side. But I digress: the short answer is, after playing on a pretty decent hifi various songs from the two versions back to back, I couldn't be sure that I could discern any difference between them.

So what else might tempt the prospective purchaser? There is no `bonus' material. In my book that is great - I detest the pristine purity of a hallowed classic album being diluted with second-rate scrapings from the bottom of the barrel (for example, the `studio run-throughs' that sullied the Rhino reissue of `Close to the Edge' by Yes). With regard to packaging, this reissue comes in a digipack. For some people that may add value, but to be honest I prefer a jewel case that can be replaced if it gets knackered. In 2009 there is a 16 page booklet, whereas the earlier version had a mere 12 pages. The new version booklet has better photos and a short `essay' that helps set the music in historical context, although my straining eyes complain that occasional lapses into red text on a black background was a rather poor design choice. Also on the downside, the 2009 booklet unfortunately omits the song lyrics, which you do get in the old version. So all in all, I am forced to conclude that, for this particular album in the latest batch of Sabbath reissues, it is only die-hard completists or newcomers to Black Sabbath (does that really happen in 2009?) that would really benefit from acquiring this edition.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Oct 2009, 14:00:26 BST
herb says:
Great information and very helpful. But, if it's not that much of an improvement sonically then why give 5 stars?.. It implies that the remastering is 5-star great compared to 1996 version when you kind of say in your write up that it isn't?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2009, 19:04:46 BST
Last edited by the author on 10 Oct 2009, 19:14:25 BST
Jim says:
Yes, I suppose that could be misleading. Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough that the rating related to the music rather than the quality of the remastering. I just didn't want to appear to be denigrating the music with a low rating. I did say the review was more focussed on the attributes of this new release than on the music, aiming the comments at people who take the music quality as a given, and probably already own this CD but are just wondering if this new release adds anything worthwhile.

Posted on 11 Jan 2010, 22:59:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2010, 23:02:11 GMT
Thanks, Jim! Your review nailed everything I was wondering.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 08:17:26 BST
I thought I was the only one who didn't like "digipacks" If the prongs which hold the CD in place break then instead of being able to get a new insert for a few pence you have to buy the whole thing again ( another way of parting music fans and their money perhaps!!? or am I just an old cynic!?). It seems slightly pointless to me to keep buying "remastered" editions if the place you are playing your music is the car or (in my case) a big noisy truck where sound quality is rarely top notch anyway. If you are sitting at home with your couple of thousands of pounds-worth of Hi-Fi then you could maybe benefit, I would prefer to spend my money on some new music and support another musician rather than keep replacing very servicable Cds (and in this case putting some more money in Ozzy and Sharon's already very healthy bank account!).
On your final point, there are a lot of kids out there, who have mums and dads who don't have great music collections, who go to rock gigs and hear the likes of Sabbath and Zep played by the DJ between bands and have to ask who it is! I know , I was asked only last week, by a kid of about 20, who it was playing a little track called Speed King !! So there is someone who will be experiencing the mighty Purps for the first time after our subsequent conversation!!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2013, 19:30:14 BST
sheath says:
I just got the vol 4 reissue and noticed a more compact feel to it, very bassy. I do prefer but wont lose sleep over not having the others although if you do have any of the other 3 of our two would appreciate a reply on if a more noticeable difference. great review mate
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