Last Wednesday, July 26th, I was at what was Regent Sounds studio (now a guitar shop and the Alley Cat basement bar and venue) on London’s Denmark Street.
The occasion, for me at least, was historic.
Not only was I there at the actual launch of a Black Sabbath release, Tony Iommi was in the same very room!
Yes, I even got to shake the hand that helped create metal as we know it.
The Ten Year War
The Ten Year War box set collates Black Sabbath’s first eight Ozzy Osbourne fronted albums from 1970’s ‘Black Sabbath’ to 1978’s ‘Never Say Die’.
It also features a range of other rarities.
Inside the box
Other items included in the box set include two rare 7-inch singles – the Japanese version of ‘Evil Woman’ and Chilean version of ‘Paranoid’ – and the Crucistix.
The Crucistix is a crucifix shaped USB stick, of course. This features the first eight records in MQA high definition audio.
Furthermore, you also get a hardback book, a reproduction of their 1978 world tour programme and 1972 tour poster, as well as the extremely rare The Ten Year War brochure reproduced from the original publication.
The LPs themselves have been painstakingly reproduced. Everything from their original sleeves to the careful re-mastering by renowned mastering engineer Andy Pearce. The
The re-masters have been take from the original tapes and pressed on 180-gram splatter-coloured vinyl, each LP with its own specially colouring.
Each box set is individually numbered and comes housed in exclusive artwork by renowned street artist, graphic designer and activist Shepard Fairey.
The Ten Year War launch
He addressed the assembled media from his home in the US.
As friendly and humble as ever he regaled us with tales from the Regent Sounds sessions, as well as his favourite tracks and albums from the early days. He still hopes for one final reunion with the band.
After Bill’s short video, Phil then introduced guitarist Tony Iommi.
Again, no hint of ego here. There were, instead, the usual friendly digs that only come about from spending decades of touring with your mates. Not only that, some great stories from the time of the early albums.
It sounds like Iommi is looking forward to some down time. Although, it seems that he has not ruled out the possibility of Black Sabbath getting together again. Saying that, the likelihood of any more world tours is extremely doubtful.
Into the void
The only downside to the Q&A session was that the PA being used was poorly mixed and underpowered. This is ironic when you consider that Black Sabbath were the loudest band in world at one point. Not only that but Hi-Fi maestros, Meridian, were also involved with the launch.
Never say die
That’s not to say that Meridian had anything to do with the PA, I must add.
Thankfully, they did sound rather good doing it.
The Ten Year War price and availability
Some snaps from The Ten Year War event
Click on the image for full size.