Black Sabbath Vol 4 – 4CD and Vinyl Box Sets Due February 12th 2021
This appeared on our radar a few weeks ago, but I have waited until we had more detail on the track listing before posting. Seeing Steven Wilson’s name appear anywhere, when it comes to remixing, usually has everyone excited here. However, the multi-tracks for the original could not be found.
“The tapes for the actual album could not be located for remixing, but several session reels were found. One disc in both sets includes all the raw session takes complete with studio chatter, while another disc uses these same session sources to create composite edits using the best takes with more of the sound treatments of the main album applied, so in that sense this disc is closer to representing an alternate version of the main album (albeit no tapes at all were available for 3 songs)” Steven Wilson
The other thing is the price! The 4 CD set is being promoted at £99 which seems very steep when you look at the recent UFO Strangers in The Night 8CD box and the Thin Lizzy Box. I guess Black Sabbath can command higher prices, but it does seem far too much when you compare it to the Jethro Tull / Steven Wilson Box Sets.
Looking at the press photos the design follows the recent Paranoid Deluxe Box Set, the price of which has dropped to about £58, but I still feel this is high for what you get. Many people will probably be disappointed that there is no 5.1 as these tend to be the norm when Steven Wilson is involved.
There is no doubt that Vol 4 is a classic slice of Black Sabbath, and for many their finest hour.
So what do you get with the Vol 4 Box?
- 4-CD set and a 5-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl
- Extensive booklets featuring liner notes with quotes from the era from all four band members, rare photos
- A poster with previously unpublished early artwork of the album using the working title Snowblind.
- The original album remastered.
- 6 previously unreleased studio outtakes from the original sessions for the album. All mixed by Steven Wilson using the analogue multi-tracks.
- 11 additional studio recordings (also newly mixed by Wilson from the analogue multi-tracks) that spotlight alternative takes, false starts and snippets of studio dialogue.
- Several alternative takes for “Wheels Of Confusion,” these recordings also include outtakes for “The Straightener” and “Snowblind.”
- Live performances from March 1973
Some of the live recordings have surfaced before on ‘Live At Last’. I have read that only 3 are actually new. However, the good news here, is that all the live tracks have been newly mixed by Richard Digby Smith using the original 16-track tapes, so this could be the best these have ever sounded.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine