Ozzy Osbourne hasn't been far from the news lately, appearing on the cover of GQ, sharing details of his ongoing struggle with Parkinson's disease, releasing the new album Ordinary Man, and appearing on various television projects. On February 12, 2021, however, Rhino will be looking back with Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward for a 4-CD or 5-LP celebration of their classic 1972 album: Black Sabbath Vol. 4.
Now a platinum seller, Vol. 4 was the band's first self-produced LP and their most ferocious to that point. On the strength of such powerhouse tracks as "Changes," "Supernaut" (of which Frank Zappa was a fan), and "Snowblind" - the latter a reference to the substance abuse plaguing the band during that time - Vol. 4 reached the top 20 of the Billboard 200 and fared even better in Black Sabbath's native U.K., making the top 10 of the Albums Chart there. Recording at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, the band pulled out all the stops in pursuit of heavy metal thunder, and even brought in an orchestra for "Snowblind" and the instrumental "Laguna Sunrise."
Rhino's Super Deluxe Edition will include a newly-remastered version of the original album plus 20 previously unreleased live and studio recordings. Both the 4-CD and 5-LP versions include booklets with quotes from all four band members, photos, and a poster with the previously unpublished original artwork for the album when it was provisionally entitled Snowblind. (The Vertigo Records execs thought better of that overt drug reference as the album's title.)
The studio bonus tracks have all been mixed by Steven Wilson from the original multi-tracks. The first bonus disc has six previously unreleased outtake versions from the sessions of "Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener," "Changes," "Supernaut," "Snowblind," "Laguna Sunrise," and an instrumental "Under the Sun." The second bonus disc continues with 11 more studio recordings also remixed by Wilson. These encompass more alternate takes, false starts, and snippets of studio chatter for an in-depth look at the recording process.
The final bonus disc, Live in the U.K. 1973, recreates a typical setlist for Black Sabbath's tour in support of Vol. 4 as newly mixed by Richard Digby Smith from 16-track analog tapes. These performances were recorded from various stops in the U.K., and Rhino notes that while some of these tracks have been previously issued, this marks the first time they have been cohesively collected and mixed to recreate one complete show.
The box set is due on LP and CD on February 12; on the same date, the remastered album will be released to digital download and streaming services. Both physical versions are available now for pre-order. You'll find the complete track listing below!
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4: Super Deluxe Edition (Warner/Rhino, 2021)
CD/LP 1: Remastered album (released as Vertigo 6360 071 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. Records BS 2602 (U.S.), 1972)
- Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener
- Tomorrow's Dream
- Laguna Sunrise
- St. Vitus Dance
- Under The Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes
CD/LP 2: Outtakes - New Mixes (previously unreleased)
- Wheels Of Confusion / The Straightener
- Laguna Sunrise
- Under The Sun (Instrumental)
CD/LP 3: Alternate Takes, False Starts and Studio Dialogue (previously unreleased)
- Wheels Of Confusion (False Start with Studio Dialogue)
- Wheels Of Confusion (Alternative Take 1)
- Wheels Of Confusion (Alternative Take 2)
- Wheels Of Confusion (Alternative Take 3)
- Wheels Of Confusion (Alternative Take 4)
- The Straightener (Outtake)
- Supernaut (Outtake)
- Supernaut (Alternative Takes with False Starts)
- Snowblind (Alternative Take 1 - Incomplete)
- Under The Sun (False Start with Studio Dialogue)
- Under The Sun (Alternative Take with Guide Vocal)
CD 4/LP 4-5: Live In The U.K. 1973 (* previously unreleased; all others released in alternate mixes on Live At Last - NEMS BS001, 1980)
- Tomorrow's Dream *
- Sweet Leaf *
- War Pigs
- Snowblind *
- Killing Yourself To Live
- Wicked World (Includes Excerpts of: Guitar Solo/Orchid/Into The Void/Sometimes I'm Happy)
- Supernaut/Drum Solo
- Wicked World (Reprise)
- Children Of The Grave
(*) previously unreleased