- KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish, making this one of the best sounding copies to ever hit the site
- MASSIVE, powerful and spacious throughout – this original pressing is big, rich and solid like you won’t believe
- This is one of the few copies we’ve found in a long time that has no bad repeating marks; most copies we find are just about unplayable!
- 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
Back in 2018 we wrote:
This title will surely make the cut next time we update our Top 100 Rock and Pop List. I would go so far as to say that the best copies of this album have sound as good or better than anything I’ve heard all year, and that’s an awful lot of great sounding records, hundreds and hundreds of them.
It did in fact make the Top 100, but to what end? We never have this title in stock! They are just too hard to find in audiophile playing condition.
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!
What the Best Sides of Black Sabbath Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1970
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We’re Listening For on Black Sabbath
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.