With its The End farewell tour just underway, Black Sabbath is releasing Deluxe Versions of its first three albums -- Black Sabbath, Paranoid and Master of Reality -- today (January 22), along with a two-disc version of the out-of-print vintage live album Past Lives. Each of the studio albums features a second disc with outtakes, demos and alternative versions.
Bassist Geezer Butler tells us that was a heady and creative time for the band, and there's a reason Black Sabbath tends to focus on songs from those three albums in its live shows:
"I think because the first three albums were done live in the studio, it's much easier to recreate them on stage than the albums after 'Master of Reality,' 'cause we started experimenting with different stuff and spending more time in the studio and overdubbing stuff and things like that. So that became harder to reproduce on stage. So the first three albums sort of sum up the Sabbath sound"
...Meanwhile, Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has been announced as this year`s recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Guitar Museum. Previous recipients include B.B. King, Buddy Guy and the Byrds' Roger McGruinn, and Iommi said in a statement that, "I'm very honored by this award...The guitar has been an important part of my life for most of my life, and I'm happy to have contributed to its legacy. Not only that, but I have just the place for this award in my new studio!"
...Also on the Sabbath front, members of Rival Sons, which is opening for Sabbath on The End tour, have revealed that the trek will stretch into 2017, though dates have only been announced through September at this point.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.