Iron Man – The Best of Black Sabbath


Review by Mark “Tosh” Davies

A timely release to coincide with the ‘Reunion of The Original Members’ and the Sunday night headline slot at this year’s Download festival, this is a collection of all the bands best loved tracks. As the Sabbath soap opera of Bill Ward’s inclusion continues to shroud its dark cloak of doom around the metal world one has to ask the question as to why bother with this release at all. Black Sabbath, as all fans are aware, are referred to as the band that started heavy metal way back some 42 years ago in Birmingham. Their ground breaking sound of heavy guitars and thundering bass lines with Ozzy Osbournes enigmatic stage antics firmly established them as pioneers of the genre. You ask any band worth their weight in Metal if Sabbath was an early influence and 99.9% of the time you will get a resounding ‘yes’…that’s how important Black Sabbath are. With the exception of ‘Never Say Die’ the rest of the album is made up of tracks from the bands first 5 albums, and often classed as the most important and influential in Sabbath history.

To be honest it’s a dream of a track listing which would stand proud in any collection and probably already does for any fan of Heavy Metal, so why bother with it at all you may ask? Well, from my count this is the 10th ‘Collection’ of Black Sabbath classics, so if you’ve already not dug deep and contributed to another Malibu mansion for Ozzy then this is your chance. Obviously trying to cash in on the reunion is a shrewd record company move, however; there is nothing new on offer with this collection like rare outtakes, demos, or long lost tracks from the deep Sabbath vaults. Inclusion of anything different would make this an interesting prospect but sadly there’s nothing on offer to whet the appetite for some new Sabbath sounds. Without a doubt you cannot argue with the quality of the tracks which reads like the 10 commandments of Metal, Paranoid, War Pigs, N.I.B, The Wizard, it’s all there for you in its doom laden, heavy glory. Tony Iommi’s tri-tone which would certainly wake the dead rattles out of the speakers infused in its 70’s distorted hysteria and Geezer Butler slams the bass into submission. So is it really worth parting with your hard earned cash? If for some reason you’re new to this Heavy Metal lark and need an album that epitomizes what the genre stands for then yes, this is for you. If on the other hand you’ve been banging you head for the last 30 odd years then I’m sorry to say this album offers nothing new. Save your money and put it towards the new Black Sabbath album which may see the light of day this year.

With the race for releasing the most ‘Best Of’s’ and ‘Collections’ hotting up between Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe and Black Sabbath I think the Iron Man wins by a riff.

Rated 0/10 (For The Concept & Timing)

Rated 10/10 (For the Tracklisting, Undoubtedly, The Most Influential Tracks EVER).

Full Tracklisting (including original albums):

1 – Paranoid (Paranoid)

2 – Iron Man (Paranoid)

3 – Changes (Volume 4)

4 – Fairies Wear Boots (Paranoid)

5 – War Pigs (Paranoid)

6 – Never Say Die (Never Say Die)

7 – Children Of the Grave (Master Of Reality)

8 – The Wizard (Black Sabbath)

9 – Snowblind (Volume 4)

10 – Sweet Leaf (Master Of Reality)

11 – Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games) (Black Sabbath)

12 – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)

13 – Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)

14 – N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)

Iron Man – The Best Of Black Sabbath is released on the 4th June 2012

Black Sabbath Headline the Download Festival on Sunday 10th June 2012…..Minus original drummer Bill Ward.