Top Artists – Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath – Paranoid – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Warner Bros. pressing has TWO EXCELLENT SIDES. It’s tough to find great copies of Paranoid and even tougher to find good sound on the original Green Label — most are awful, if even playable. Drop the needle on either side of this copy and you’ll quickly hear how correct this one sounds. It’s got a HUGE bottom end, excellent presence, a good amount of tubey magic and TONS of energy. The very best copies we’ve played take the music a bit further, but you’ll have a hard time finding one that sounds much better and plays any quieter than this one!

It’s taken us ages to find good pressings of this album, probably because just about every copy we see has been beat to death by the crazy muthas who originally bought ’em! Let’s face it — this wasn’t an album bought and treasured by people who know how to take care of their records, this was a record bought by kids who probably played it after getting wasted with their buddies. (No shame in that, of course!)

The music is freakin’ great, by the way. Since Ozzy has basically become a cartoon version of himself (as charming as that is) it’s easy to forget that these guys were a serious classic rock band that were duking it out with Zep for the hearts and minds of young hard rock fans in the late ’60s and early ’70s. This album set the foundation for heavy metal, and I’m not sure anyone ever topped it. Play this album back to back with Zep II and it’s pretty clear the two bands were fueling each other, pushing both bands into creating bigger, bolder, better riff-based rockers.

Allmusic calls this “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time” and when it sounds this good, I’m guessing you’ll agree! War Pigs, Fairies Wear Boots, Electric Funeral, Rat Salad (drummer Bill Ward’s answer to Bonham’s Moby Dick) and the title track are some of the classic tracks on this album. Not too shabby. (more…)

Black Sabbath – Vol. 4

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  • This pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are really rockin’ — big and full-bodied with tight punchy bass and lots of energy 
  • We agree with Henry Rollins, who said, “Sabbath could be my favourite band… There’s something about their music that’s so painful and yet so powerful.”
  • 5 Stars: “… it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk… Die-hard fans sick of the standards come here next, and some end up counting this as their favorite Sabbath record for its eccentricities and for its embodiment of the band’s excesses.”

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Black Sabbath – Master of Reality

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  • An excellent original pressing of Black Sabbath’s third studio release, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These sides are big and bold with plenty of bass and driving rock energy – this is the right sound for this heavy music
  • It is ridiculously tough to find copies of this album that sound this good and play this quietly, tougher even than it is for Paranoid or the first album
  • 5 stars: “Master of Reality essentially creates multiple metal subgenres all by itself, laying the sonic foundations for doom, stoner, AND sludge metal, all in the space of just over half an hour.”

This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Black Sabbath – Our Shootout Winner from 2015


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More Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

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Yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volum.

We played the album very loud, as loud as we could, and still we wanted more volume! That’s what a good record is all about — the louder you play it the better it sounds.

If you like the raw, rockin’ sound of early Zep, you should have a blast with this album. It’s a shockingly good recording, and the music is of course as heavy as it gets for 1970.

This Warner Brothers Green Label pressing DESTROYED the import copies we played it against with startling immediacy, tons of ambience, and loads of texture. The soundfield is HUGE — back wall to front wall, floor to ceiling, and WIDE. The bass is Right On The Money — deep, well-defined, and punchy.

If you want this effect:

“Sabbath’s slowed-down, murky guitar rock bludgeons the listener in an almost hallucinatory fashion, reveling in its own dazed, druggy state of consciousness.”

You need a copy that sounds the way this one does!  (more…)

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath


Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2018

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  • Amazing sound throughout — Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • MASSIVE, powerful and spacious throughout – this original pressing is big, rich and solid like you won’t believe
  • The best copies are stunning Demo Discs – crank it up and blow your friends away
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic and one of the best sounding hard rock recordings from the era, or, to be honest, from any era

See all of our Black Sabbath albums in stock

Amazing Sounding Hard Rock

If you like the raw, rockin’ sound of the early Zep albums, you should have a blast with this album. It’s a classic of early hard rock/metal, as you most likely know. But what you might NOT know, particularly if you’re listening to the average pressing, is just how good it can sound.

If you want this effect:

“Sabbath’s slowed-down, murky guitar rock bludgeons the listener in an almost hallucinatory fashion, reveling in its own dazed, druggy state of consciousness.”

You need a copy that sounds the way this one does! (more…)