Well folks, here we are again as the Sabbath catalogue gets another Super Deluxe version on both CD and Vinyl and once again to be fair to whoever is curating these reissues much like the Motorhead ones these are some of the best box sets out there from the packaging to its content a lot of love has been poured onto these reissues and be it the box office Sabbath biggies or the lesser releases they all have the same quality and eye to detail.  ‘Technical Ecstasy’ is no exception, from the mini-poster to the four-CD packages it’s top-notch in the reissue department.

 

The reprint mini-tour book is quality even if I do need my readers to dive into the text as is the period reflected in the hardback book that’s included. Man, these gents were into their satin even as punk broke they were oblivious somewhat. Iommi sat in the produces chair for this the seventh studio release from the original line up and whilst it has one foot in the prog camp there is also an indication of the direction that Ozzy would head sooner rather than much later.

 

Maybe Sabbath was for the first time taking their cues from elsewhere rather than leading the genre and with the heavy influence of Gerald Woodroffe’s swirling keyboards the band couldn’t be accused of standing still from the proggy opener of ‘Back Street Kids’ through the swirling keyboards creating a good foil for Iommi’s doom-laden riffs on ‘You Won’t Change Me’ is a good example as Iommi and Woodroffe trade solos whilst the rhythm section gets that Sabbath heaviness anchored down.  The Beatles tinged ‘It’s Alright’ is one of the best tracks on offer for me and has stood the test of time and proven that Ward didn’t need a bucket to carry a tune on his moment in the sunshine. Then there’s ‘Gypsy’ again with its keyboard-driven workout.

 

Side two of the album sees the band go for a groovy workout where they get their collective funk on ‘All Moving Parts (Stand Still)’.  I do however love the groove the band gets on ‘Rock And Roll Doctor’ throwing another curveball by just jamming out a real Rock and Roller when everything else screams trying hard to be hip and adventurous it’s as if they just decided to go easy and rock out.  Then step forward ‘She’s Gone’ the album’s hushed acoustic introed song with strings n all and a chance for Ozzy to try out what he would later perfect through his solo career. Then to close it’s Dirty Women’ and on reflection, it’s a decent album and unpackaging the extras this labor of love has unearthed some new mixes and the usual Instrumental mixes of tracks like ‘She’s Gone’.  As for the hardback book, well, it’s full of great pictures and well-researched Japanese single sleeves as well as interview snippets from the band and a well-covered history of the mid 70s Sabbath for the hardcore fans and newcomers alike.  But for me, the treat inside the box of goodies is the live album – recorded on the 76-77 world tour.

 

Mixing together classic Sabbath from the awesome ‘Symptoms Of The Universe’, ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Black Sabbath’ there is also room for ‘Technical Ecstasy’ tracks like ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Dirty Women’ the quality of this live recording is exceptional and through a decent pair of headphones it’s like being sat next to the sound engineer with Bill Ward’s bass drum sounding as big as an arena all by its self.  It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and actually played a drum solo and Guitar solo on a record but they are here in all their glory and the one thing that stands out is what a powerhouse Bill Ward is – absolutely outstanding. Capping it all off with the monster that is ‘Children Of The Grave’ and whilst listening it makes me smile that the reproduction tour book also has all those tour ads intact especially the £2.50 tour shirt imagine what one of those would be worth in 2021? Wow!

 

So in a nutshell of course its a no brainer for Sabbath fans old and young this is another of those box sets that is a must-have and another exceptional package to while away the hours and marvel at the masters of heavy metal and what a class act they really were even when they weren’t at their best they were still better than most.

Buy Vinyl Here

Buy CD Here

 

Author: Dom Daley

BLACK SABBATH

TECHNICAL ECSTASY DELUXE EDITION AVAILABLE OCTOBER 1ST

 

4-CD And 5-LP Versions Of Black Sabbath’s Seventh Studio Album Features The Original Album Newly Remastered,

A Brand New Mix Of The Album By Steven Wilson,

Plus Previously Unreleased Outtakes, Alternative Mixes, And Live Tracks

 

Pre-order HERE: Here

Black Sabbath embraced change in 1976 when the heavy metal innovators started managing themselves and began exploring different sounds on the band’s seventh studio album, ‘Technical Ecstasy’. The record reached #13 in the U.K. and was certified gold in the U.S.

BMG honors this daring album with a collection that includes a newly remastered version of the original, a brand-new mix by Steven Wilson, plus more than 90 minutes of previously unreleased outtakes, alternative mixes and live tracks. TECHNICAL ECSTASY: SUPER DELUXE EDITION will be available on October 1st as a 4-CD set and 5-LP set on 180-gram black vinyl. Both the 4-CD and 5-LP versions are available for pre-order now: Here .  The remastered studio album will be available the same day on digital download and streaming services. The newly remastered version of “Back Street Kids” is available today digitally. Click to listen now: Here

 

In the summer of 1976, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward headed to Miami to record Technical Ecstasy at the famed Criteria Studios. The band was coming off a world tour for their previous album, Sabotage, that had found their live performances evolving to include keyboards and synthesizers. These newly incorporated instruments and sounds were then introduced into the recording process on Technical Ecstasy.  The new songs encompassed a wide range of styles from the hard charging “Back Street Kids” and ballad “It’s Alright,” to the funky “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” and progressive “Gypsy.” The album also featured the single “It’s Alright,” which was the first Sabbath song to feature lead vocals by Ward. The Deluxe Edition presents a newly remastered version of the eight-track album, along with an entirely new mix of the album created by Steven Wilson using the original analog tapes.

TECHNICAL ECSTASY: SUPER DELUXE EDITION comes with eight previously unreleased outtakes and alternative mixes. Among those are different mixes of “You Won’t Change Me” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor,” as well as both outtake and instrumental versions for “She’s Gone.” The collection concludes with 10 previously unreleased live tracks recorded during the 1976-77 Technical Ecstasy World Tour. The songs touch on different eras of the band’s history with early tracks like “Black Sabbath” and “War Pigs” alongside new songs “Gypsy” and “Dirty Women.”

The collection comes with an extensive booklet featuring artwork, liner notes, rare memorabilia and photos from the era, plus a replica of the 1976-77 world tour concert book and a large colour poster.

 

Geezer Butler, a founder member of Black Sabbath, presents his entire solo records in one convenient place (A box Set) and doesn’t stop there as he also includes lost tunes and other unreleased material. What you get for your money is his three solo albums as well as a fourth bonus disc made up of tht largely unreleased material.

‘Plastic Planet’ was released back in 1995 under the name g/z/r and featured Burton C. Bell of metal titans Fear Factory on vocals and is considered something of a classic of 90s heavy metal. The album saw Geezer’s doomy primarily blues orientated mixed with the more industrial influenced metal sound that was just becoming a big thing in the nineties. This was heavy metal with a thud as songs like the brutal ‘Drive-By Shooting’ raised an eyebrow or two.  Something of a departure from that Classic Sabbath sound this was Geezer taking a chance for sure and certainly not standing still. After the epic opener ‘Catatonic Eclipse’ had twisted and turned its six plus minutes into your ear people should sit more comfortably for what was to come.

With a relatively short turn around 1997’s  ‘Black Science’ which had dropped the G/Z/R name and gone with the simple ‘Geezer’, this album sees Butler again work with drummer Deen Castronovo and guitarist Pedro Howse, and like ‘Plastic Planet’, was produced by Butler and Paul Northfield. Bell was unable to provide vocals this time due to commitments with Fear Factory, but his place on the mic was filled by the then completely unknown Clark Brown who delivered an impressively powerful vocal performance over the album’s high-energy and heavy power grooves. Opening with the ‘Man In The Suitcase’ the direction was similar to that of the debut with the emphasis being on powerful grooves and heavy guitar licks.  There were forays into the unknown like on ‘Mysterons’ with samples and synths being used to enhance the alien and out-of-body experience as the main thrust of the album’s lyrical matter was that of aliens, mystery and that of the unknown. ‘Department S’ had its interesting intro before breaking out and making way for Geezer to open up his bass effects on ‘Area Code 51’ again with its grinding groove metal being the main player. there was ‘Northern Wisdom’ to enter a trip-hop territory with breakbeats before signing off with ‘Trinity Road’

It wouldn’t be until 2005 that Geezer would get the chance to continue his solo explorations, having returned to Sabbath for the 1997 edition of Ozzfest, remaining in the band ever since, but in 2005 he released ‘Ohmwork’, this time under the name GZR again. Once again the album featured Clark Brown on vocals and Pedro Howse on guitar, the difference this time being that drum duties were handled by Chad E Smith (the veteran St. Louis drummer, not the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer).

With ‘Ohmwork’, it was less industrial metal influences that the previous albums were heavily influenced by, but Geezer still didn’t really lean on his past works with Sabbath although obviously, the influence is there it’s still more contemporary than Sabbath but less than his previous offerings and maybe a more traditional heavy rock sound. Above everything, Geezer was and is a music fan and was passionate about the genre that had served him so well drawing on influences from everything that was going on in rock at the time. The metal of ‘Aural Sects’ to the epic, psychedelia of ‘I Believe’ with its gentle acoustic intro that builds and builds into a swirling epic seven minutes. ‘Ohmwork’ was a welcome addition to Geezer’s solo work and a fine full stop to his trilogy that offered a journey of discovery and experimentation from the Bass player as he expertly weaved his songwriting on one hell of a journey and a decade of discovery.

 

The bonus disc here features material that will be the disc fans will gravitate towards as it’s taken from throughout the sessions of all three albums with rare and unheard material, including three live tracks lifted from his debut album and feature Burton C. Bell on vocals.  There are plenty of demo versions, instrumentals, and rough mixes on offer spread out over fifteen tracks.

 

This brand-new collection brings together all three solo albums under one clamshell roof for the first time and also features a booklet with never-before-seen photos from the studio from when the original albums were recorded. wrapping up an impressive set to go with all the other excellent Sabbath packages that have recently been released. Again one not to miss from the very talented and capable hands of Mr. Terance Butler.

 

*There is also a seventeen-track compilation Best Off to accompany this release with tracks taken from all three solo albums. Obviously entitled ‘The Very Best Of Geezer Butler.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

BLACK SABBATH CHALLENGE FANS WITH NEWLY CREATED ONLINE ‘SABOTAGE ESCAPE ROOM’

 

SABOTAGE: SUPER DELUXE EDITION

4-CD, 4-LP + 7-INCH  AVAILABLE NOW VIA BMG 

BMG pay tribute to Black Sabbath – with the release  of a collection that includes a newly remastered version of the band’s sixth studio album ‘Sabotage’ along with a complete live show recorded during the band’s 1975 tour.

SABOTAGE: SUPER DELUXE EDITION is available as a 4-CD set and a 4-LP set that includes the same music on 180-gram vinyl plus a bonus 7-inch with the single edit for “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” and “Hole In The Sky” on the flipside, with artwork replicating the very rare Japanese release of the single. Both the 4-CD and 4-LP versions are available now: Here

The newly remastered version of the original album is also available via digital download and streaming services. Click Here to listen to the newly remastered version of Am I Going Insane (Radio).

To commemorate this incredible release, BMG has partnered with Bewilder Box Ltd., creators of award-winning physical and digital escape room adventures and specialists in IP based puzzle gaming, to create an interactive online environment every Sabbath fan will love, the Sabotage: Escape Room

 

Enter the mysterious mirror world of Black Sabbath’s ‘Sabotage’ in this this mini online escape room game where your mission is to recover a copy of the coveted Sabotage: Super Deluxe Edition! Travel back in time to the 1970s and make your way through 15 minutes of mind-boggling Sabbath-themed puzzles, where only those with sharpest of wits and heaviest riffs will succeed.
Plug in your Gibson SG, turn your brain up to 11 and see if you’ve got what it takes to be The Prince of Smartness in the Sabotage: Deluxe Edition Escape Room.

Details to note :

·                It’s a single player browser game

·                Takes approx. 15 minutes to play

·                Filled with Sabbath themed challenges

·                Fans can preview album tracks and find secrets in the artwork

·                Mobile/tablet compatible but full computer/laptop recommended for best experience

·                Share your time on social channels using #SabbotageEscapeRoom

PLAY FOR FREE Here

 

 

Right, let’s start with what a box set should consist of.  Personally, I want something that’s going to wow me and have me waiting for the post in anticipation of its arrival.  Sure there are some that try to be innovative like the Keith Richards box sets with the elasticated straps and pouches but it’s called a box set for a reason and when they cost a pretty penny I want it housed in a sturdy box that will last.

 

I want it to look like a box, open like a box and contain extras like a nice book from the time period may be a replica laminate or some badges that type of thing and to be fair BMG deliver on the box set front and what you see is attention to detail and a quality finish for your hard-earned.  From the mini replica CD slipcases that house the disc in Japanese disco bags is a nice touch as is the tour poster but to give credit where its due is the book that’s packed with loving detail and really informative labour of love a real credit to the Sabbath catalogue and a box set well worth owning.

 

Originally released in 1975 (when Sabbath was worse for wear from certain substances and off the pitch wranglings so to speak), the album is so-called because the band felt the recording process was being sabotaged by their former manager Patrick Meehan. The band fired him as they felt they were being tucked up, and he sued them in turn, with lawyers serving writs to the band in the studio. The tales from all four in the band are well known, and the enclosed book expands on those stories.

The book contains very in-depth liner notes, and rare pictures, live shots and rare editions of the album. I think really helps when you can see the passion put into the release.

Then there are 4 CDs in card sleeves and the first is the original album, with its famous cover showing the band facing the same way in the mirror’s reflection. The original concept to signify sabotage was itself sabotaged (ie the black costumes not appearing before a rushed photo shoot) and it was too late to the change the idea, Bill Ward wearing his wife’s red leggings still makes me giggle as to how it makes him look and with it being on the album sleeve he must have been off his trolly.

The opening track Hole In The Sky is classic Sabbath, it’s a great riff, raw and heavy (something influenced by the tension in the studio caused by the legal issues). followed by the juxtaposed ‘Don’t Start’, an acoustic instrumental showcasing Iommi but something of an interlude for me and my love of instrumentals. Heavyweight ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ both in riff and quality of songwriting its classic Sabbath.

‘Megalomania’, is something of a marathon clocking in at 9 minutes. really is of its time as it ebbs and flows from piano with a progy touch, weird harmonies but always with one eye on that Sabbathcrunch and heaviness.

Having a 4 minute instrumental is also a bit dated and certainly of its time.  single is Am I Going Insane (Radio) is another swerve as it turns up the amps again before closing out on ‘The Writ’ again another lengthy number.

Possibly not as commercially accessible with some of the band’s other albums it is worthy of the expansion and maybe time will be kind to this album and people will indulge in the whole package and gaze upon this album with fresh eyes and of course ears.

Discs 2 and 3 are a live show from the 1975 ‘Sabotage’ tour of North American tour, previously unreleased in its entirety. It does have a bit of a high-quality bootleg feel to it having some of; ‘Volume 4’ tracks left in is great to hear alongside classic Sabbath tunes.

Modern rock fans might need to get their heads around having two jams that do go on a bit (13 minutes in fact)   guitar and drum solos intact and present respectively.

With no more bonus material or studio tunes that hit the cutting room floor available it only leaves disc 4 which is a replica of a Japanese single of ‘Am I Going Insane’ (Radio) / ‘Hole In The Sky’.

History is written of one of the least popular Sabbath original line up albums but with this loving upgrade it’s something that can stand shoulder to shoulder with previous lavish box sets from the Sabbath catalogue. Excellent packaging that really does justify its price tag. Hopefully, BMG will continue making the Sabbath Boxsets and seeing as there are only two more albums to cover of the original line up it would be a shame to stop now.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

‘Second hand band’ is the latest offering from Aussie hard rockers Avalanche. The Sydney based four piece have been around for two years, and have built up a strong following in their native Oz and even have their own music festival! I know!

 

The band have their tongues very firmly in cheek and sound ever so slightly like that other well-known Australian rock band, yes them, the ones with a lightning bolt in their logo. They aren’t afraid to show their influences on their sleeve and let’s be honest, it hasn’t done much harm to Airbourne’s career. It does get a little too close to the mark on occasion though, with the riffs sounding almost identical to a few AC/DC numbers. Being influenced and downright plagiarism are completely different things!

 

 

Opening track ‘Killer Instinct’ bounces along nicely with some shouty bits and a great widdly guitar solo from lead guitarist Veronica ‘V’ Campbell and a frenetic, full on rock n roll ending. Next up we have the title track which tells us the bands story so far, including lyrics about ‘wanting to blow them all away’ and they admit that they are pretty much re hashing everything that came before them. After listening to the lyrics to this I start to enjoy the band more. They don’t give a fuck that they sound like other bands, and they are obviously having a great time. The production of the EP is crystal clear with plenty of bottom end to boot.

 

 

‘Get Back (To Fuckwit City)’ is ‘If You Want Blood (You Got It)’ played slightly differently lol. More great lyrics with plenty of puns here make it a standout track. Vocalist/bassist Steven Campbell (yes, they are married) barks out the words with gusto and his better half cranks out more fine solo work. ‘Spit in My Mouth’ starts off with a nice build up before we are off into full on AC/DC territory again (think ‘Riff Raff’ and you won’t be far off). Drummer Ryan ‘ADHD’ Roma deserves a mention here, his solid grooves propel the band along superbly.

‘Down in the Gutter’ has a more Ramones-like feel to it with a more up-tempo groove before dropping down into an extended jam. There’s more solid guitar work from Campbell and rhythm guitarist Arthur Divis on display here. Final track ‘Permanent Ink’ closes the EP in style with another barnstormer.

Avalanche aren’t going to change the world and they certainly aren’t doing anything new, but they sound like they are having a blast, and I would bet that they are a great band to catch live with a few beers at your local dive.  Don’t over analyse them, just bang your head, stamp your feet, and enjoy a burst of good old (new) fashioned rock n roll!

Buy ‘Second Hand Band’ Here

Social Media Links:
Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp / Spotify / Youtube / Apple / Website / Soundcloud

Author: Kenny Kendrick

 

BLACK SABBATH EXPANDS SABOTAGE

 

Super Deluxe Edition Of The Band’s Sixth Album Features Newly Remastered Original Plus A Complete Live Show Recorded During 1975 Tour

 

Both 4-CD And 4-LP + 7-Inch Versions Will Be Available From BMG On June 11

 

pre-order link here

Black Sabbath was embroiled in a protracted legal battle with its former manager in 1975 when the band started recording its sixth studio album, Sabotage. The group felt sabotaged at every turn – hence the album’s title – but that feeling helped fuel the intensity of the new music they were making. In spite of the distractions, the band created one of the most dynamic – and underappreciated – albums of its legendary career.

BMG pays tribute to the patron saints of heavy metal with a collection that includes a newly remastered version of the original album along with a complete live show recorded during the band’s 1975 tour. SABOTAGE: SUPER DELUXE EDITION will be available on June 11 as a 4-CD set and a 4-LP set that includes the same music on 180-gram vinyl plus a bonus 7-inch with the single edit for “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” and “Hole In The Sky” on the flipside, with artwork replicating the very rare Japanese release of the single. Both the 4-CD and 4-LP versions are available for pre-order now: Pre Orders

The newly remastered version of the original album will be available via digital download and streaming services on the same day. Click Here to listen to the newly remastered version of Am I Going Insane (Radio), available today digitally.

Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward recorded Sabotage in London and Brussels and co-produced the album with Mike Butcher. The eight songs were released first in the U.S. in July 1975, and then in the U.K. that September. Certified gold in America and Silver in the UK, Sabotage earned positive reviews for hard-hitting tracks like “Hole In The Sky” and “Symptom Of The Universe,” as well as more experimental music like “Supertzar,” which featured harp, Mellotron, and the English Chamber Choir.

SABOTAGE: SUPER DELUXE EDITION introduces 16 live tracks (13 of which are previously unreleased) that were recorded in 1975 during the quartet’s U.S. tour for the album. The performances include songs that span the group’s career, from the title track to its 1970 debut Black Sabbath to “Spiral Architect” and “Sabbra Cadabra” from its previous album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973). Sabotage is represented as well with live takes of “Hole In The Sky” and “Megalomania.”

The music is accompanied by in-depth liner notes that tell the story of the album through quotes from band members and the music media along with rare photos and press clippings from the era. Also included in the package is a 1975 Madison Square Garden replica concert book and Sabotage 1975 Tour colour poster.

Photo of Sabbath by Sam Emerson

Ah, the mighty Saxon. The band that turned me into a metal head back in 1986. Up until that point it was all about the top 40 and whatever was on Top of the Pops for me! A friend from school did me a mix tape and lent me his vinyl copy of the compilation ‘Strong Arm Metal’ and I was hooked. It was all about heavy metal for me from that pivotal moment. There was something about early Saxon that I connected with and I’ve (mostly) been a fan ever since. They have been through their ups and downs over the years and a few line up changes, but Saxon have had a resurgence over the last 10 years or so and have released some fantastic albums. 2013’s ‘Sacrifice’ and 2015’s ‘Battering Ram’ is up there with their best work, as is 2018’s ‘Thunderbolt’. Enlisting Andy Sneap (Sabbat/Judas Priest) as producer gave their sound a thunderous edge and pushed Saxon back into the big leagues of metal.

The band had been busier than ever in the live arena until the dreaded virus put paid to any dates that were scheduled. What do you do when you have lots of free time on your hands? Put out an album of covers from the bands and artists that have influenced you of course! That’s exactly what Saxon have done here with some fantastic results. It’s a celebration of the music that makes Saxon the band they are. They have gone down the old school route to record the album at Brockfield House near York, using real drums, and lots of Marshall amps! Frontman Biff Byford along with Jacky Lehmann have produced the album and it benefits from a great mix.

The band have dabbled with covers in the past with a great version of The Sweet’s ‘Set Me Free’ on 1984s ‘Crusader’ album and this foray into the bands influences throws up some tracks I would never have dreamed of a band like Saxon covering. The albums kicks off with a crunchy version of The Rolling Stones ‘Paint it Black’, this was the first release from Inspirations and there’s a cool behind the scenes video to accompany it. Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ is up next and Biff shows his vocal prowess here (yes, he handles the high notes in his own inimitable style), the bands groove is relentless behind him, this is a great version. The next track is one of the songs that shouldn’t work but it does somehow! The Beatles ‘Paperback Writer’ sounds great with heavier guitars and the vocal harmonies really work well.

We get back on more familiar ground with Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’, a real showcase for Tim ‘Nibbs’ Carter who is undoubtedly one of metals most underrated bass players. Next up we have a version of Jimi Hendrix’s classic anthem ‘Stone Free’, the band sound like they are having a blast with this one, you can feel the energy. I don’t think Saxon fans would be very happy if there wasn’t a Motorhead cover on here, of course they deliver with a brilliant version of ‘Bomber’ with drummer Nigel Glockler in full double bass monster mode. A great tribute to their old friends.

A frenetic take on Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ again highlights the vocal range of Biff Byford, he screams like a man possessed here and guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt play an absolute blinder with some serious shredding. A lesser know Thin Lizzy track gets the Saxon treatment, ‘The Rocker’ is a welcome addition instead of the usual Lizzy covers. Byford surprises again here with his range and really carries the song. A true to the original version of ‘Hold the Line’ by Toto grooves along nicely with Glockler showing he can handle the famous ‘Porcaro Shuffle’ with ease. (Google it kids). AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’ doesn’t have the raw energy of the original, but it’s a solid effort all the same with Biff doing his best Bon impression. To close the album, we have a version of The Kinks ‘See My Friends’ which is probably the only track that doesn’t transition very well over to the metal titans even though it does chunk up towards the end.

Saxon have done a great job here and the main thing is to remember that it’s a bit of fun to try and lighten up these darkest of days that we have all been experiencing over the last year. Don’t take it too seriously, Saxon certainly haven’t. Crank it up with a beer in hand and sing along, you know the words!

 

Buy Inspirations Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick

 

British Heavy Metal legends Saxon will deliver a full-roar-fun-down set of covers with their latest album Inspirations, which drops a brand new 11 track release featuring some of the superb classic rock songs that influenced Biff Byford & the band.

Set for release on March 19th2021, via Silver Lining Music, Inspirations gets things rolling with the release of Saxon’s crunching take on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’.  Biff Byford comments: “Loved this band since I first saw them and heard them.  I liked the Beatles, but the Stones appealed to my rebel side; their iconic look… so many great songs, such a great attitude in the music!” 

Inspirations was recorded at Brockfield Hall near York in the UK, which was built in 1804 and holds the largest collection of paintings by Yorkshire’s impressionist artists – the Staithes Group.

For Byford, recording Inspirations all together within such a rich historical environment was a major ingredient of the project. “The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” Byford explains. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.” The results speak for themselves.

From the super-charged melodic romp of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ to their freeway mad take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Stone Free’, Saxonshow their love and appreciation with a series of faithful, raw and ready tributes.  Maintaining a firm eye on the old school way using Marshall cabs, Marshall amps, real drums and produced by Biff Byford with Jacky Lehmann recording and mixing, Saxon approach the likes of Motörhead’s ‘Bomber’ (with added whistle!),AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’ and a raucous Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ with refreshingly warm, unfiltered, “vintage” sounding renditions.

We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do,” continues Byford, “and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before.

Byford does, indeed, take on some new vocal challenges, which he duly smashes on the likes of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’. The net result is that whether cranking up a heavyweight take on Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ or throwing down AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Saxondoes a supreme job of entertaining both themselves and their audience throughout Inspirations.

We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon,” concludes Byford, “and we also think it’s very important to have -and share with the fans- some fun in these dark times.”
You want even more proof of the validity behind that statement? Wrap your ears around their sparkling take on Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’ and consider Saxon’s Inspirations a mission accomplished.
Saxon’s Inspirations is available on Vinyl, CD, digital formats and limited edition D2C products; to pre-order go  Here

 

Follow Saxon on:
www.facebook.com/saxon
www.instagram.com/saxon.official
www.twitter.com/SaxonOfficial
www.youtube.com/PlanetSaxon
www.saxon747.com

 

BLACK SABBATH CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR ICONIC ALBUM ‘PARANOID’

VINYL DELUXE EDITION OUT OCTOBER 9th VIA BMG

Five-LP Collection Includes Original Album Plus Rare Quad Mix

Along With The Vinyl Debut Of Two 1970 Concerts

 

Also Available As A 4CD Set

 

PRE-ORDER THE ‘PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION’ HERE

Widely regarded as innovators of the musical genre which came to be known as Heavy Metal, legendary Birmingham-bred Black Sabbath celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2020 of their multi-million selling album Paranoid with a 5-LP/4CD edition released on October 9th, featuring the vinyl debut of two 1970 concerts.

PARANOID:  SUPER DELUXE EDITION includes the original album, in addition to a rare 1974 Quad Mix of the album folded down to stereo, plus two concerts from 1970, from Montreux and Brussels, that are pressed on vinyl for the first time. The five-LP set comes with a hardbound book with extensive liner notes featuring interviews with all four band members, rare photos, and memorabilia, a poster, as well as a replica of the tour book sold during the Paranoid tour.

After the success of the band’s self-titled debut in early 1970, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward returned that fall with Paranoid. The record became the band’s first album to top the U.K. charts and has sold more than 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. Today, songs like “War Pigs,” “Planet Caravan,” “Iron Man,” and of course, “Paranoid,” continue to inspire a new generation of musicians around the world.

PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION first two LPs feature the original album plus a Quadraphonic Mix of the album. Originally released on vinyl and 8-track cartridge in 1974, but subsequently long out of print, the Quad Mix has now been made available as a fold-down to stereo mix on vinyl for this set.

The collection’s final three LPs mark the official vinyl debut of two 1970 live performances. The first was recorded on August 31 in Montreux, Switzerland shortly before the release of Paranoid. It captures the band, already a tight musical unit, thundering through new songs like “Hand Of Doom” and “Iron Man” while mixing in “N.I.B.” and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” from their debut album. The second concert was recorded a few months later in Brussels during the band’s performance for Belgian television. Unofficial versions of this classic show have circulated in the past, but they’ve never sounded this good.

Pre-order the ‘Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition’ HERE: