Helloooo, so today I’m back with another vinyl related post, as I mentioned in my last one lucymccourt.com/top-10-coloured-records I really want to start incorporating some more vinyl content here because as you will know if yoU follow me on instagram I am totally in love with my record collection and showing it off.
Enough about my future ambitions back on to what you clicked for, the Black Sabbath Ten Year War vinyl boxset. Originally released in 2017 this boxset is a celebration of black Sabbaths first 10 years, which if you are a fan of the band you will know this is where they were fully thriving and releasing the classics.So in respect to the band in my opinion this was their best period and I don’t find myself coming back to some of their later releases where we had all the lineup shifts etc so this boxset is a great representation of that time.
I have been after this boxset since it’s release but always put off picking it up because it is pretty pricy coming in at £208 once you add the postage in and I already had some of the standard pressings but since it was my 18th birthday earlier this week my parents brought it for me and I can’t believe I finally have it.
Let’s just jump in, I think I’m going to go through the box item by item starting with all the little goodies.
First up we’ve got a replica of their brochure ‘The ten year war’ a compilation of press clippings, the tagline on the front reads ‘ More good press than most- more bad press than any’ which pretty much sums up the critics reactions to the guys. The quality of the printing is amazing, really vibrant colours, thick weighty paper. A really interesting read especially as someone who wasn’t around during their height of popularity and a music writer, it’s cool to see how people reacted to them.
Next we have a replica of their 1978 word tour official programme, I have never seen an original but is is said this is an impeccable recreation, obviously in there you’ve got the usual programmy things, pictures, quotes from the band etc. Again the quality here is amazing, they really haven’t cut corners here.
We have then got a re printed poster from their iconic 1972 Seattle centre arena show. This is actually much larger than I thought it was going to be , I don’t know the size exactly but is is a nice size, A really glossy heavyweight poster, really nice and I’m currently debating wether to put it up on my wall or preserve it in the boxset.
One thing I forgot to mention about this boxset is how bloody heavy it is and while you would immediately put that down to the records there is another cause of it’s weight and that is this amazing hardback book featuring iconic phots and quotes from celebrities and public figures, from the likes of Tommy Lee, Marilyn Manson,Nick Mason and even Tony Blair. This book really puts into perspective Sabbaths influence on so many bands and artists, I think my favourite quote in this book comes from from Scott Ian of Anthrax who said ‘I always get the question in every interview I do ‘What are your top 5 metal albums?’ I make it easy for myself and say the first five Sabbath albums’.
The last of the non vinyl goodies here is possibly my favourite and the thing I was looking forward to the most about this box and that is a necklace, but not just any old necklace, a crucifix USB stick that features the first 8 albums as MQA HD audio files, how cool. The quality of this boxset is something I am going to keep coming back to but even with his necklace everything is so well built, made out of heavy metal (like what I did there) with the bands name embossed on the front with a pretty long chain this is a possibly the most gimmicky item in here but when you look at what other bands have put in their boxsets, I mean have you every watched the guns and roses $800 boxset unboxing video,who the fuck wants temporary stick on tattoos and rings that won’t even fit?
On to the records, we start with to 7″ singles the first of which being a replica of the Chilean version of paranoid/The wizard. The original was limited to only 100 copies as they were radio promos. The second being the Japanese version of Evil Women (Don’t you play your games with me)/Black sabbath. These are so rare that it is nice to have the closest thing to them, again I’ve never seen the original of either of these but they are said to be very accurate reproductions of them, plus they sound great ,both pretty heavy weight records. They also both came in their own plastic outer sleeves which was a nice touch.
So each of their first 8 studio albums is included in the box, each one is an accurate recreation of the original, even down to if the sleeve are poly-lined, if they have a gatefold or not and any original artefacts have also been included, such as liner notes/posters etc if the original had them. The best part though about these has to be their colours, each record is presses on 180g splattered vinyl, each one is unique and pulls on colours from the artwork. I’m going to go through and do them from oldest to newest.
Up first is obviously the iconic self titled debut, my personal favourite of them all, this is a gatefold release a pretty standard release, the classic vertigo swirl on the inner sleeve. We have this very deep coloured black and purple that actually looks to me like it’d be better paired with Master of reality but it definitely does go with this album carrying over the eerie looking purple hue from the artwork. I don’t think I have another record like this is my collection so this is a really unique addition.
Next up is possibly their most popular/well known album that is of course the iconic ‘Paranoid’ featuring tracks such as ‘War pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ and of course the title track ‘Paranoid;’. This is definitely one of my favourite pressings included in the box, featuring a semi transparent red coloured vinyl with light blue splatters that have a much darker hue when on the turntable which I love. This works really well with the artwork obviously with the red being the more prominent colour and which the bursts of blue.this is just another standard gatefold very much like the first with the vertigo marked inner sleeve.
‘Master of reality’ is next on the list, this one features a foldout up from the top of the sleeve, I havn’t actually seen many releases that have this before so that’s pretty cool, like the original the album name is embossed. Included here is a poster of the band sitting underneath a tree, again pretty decent sized poster. The pressing here is a purple and black splatter, a really nice clean splatter which just the right amount of black against the purple ties in really well with the artwork.
Forth on this list is , you guess it ‘Vol 4’ safe to say this is probably my favourite pressing of the whole box, bight yellow with black and grey splatter, so vibrant and bright. Housed in a gatefold sleeve with a two page booklet attached inside, ‘Supernaut’ is one of my favourite sabbath tracks of all time so this is on e that will definitely be getting spun regularly.
‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ up non, a really minimalist splatter here against the orange vinyl, there is a bit of red and green in there but unlike the last record it’s not too in your face. This one doesn’t come in the typical poly-lined vertigo sleeve instead it’s-acts as the liner notes and lyrics sheet, I really love the gatefold arty here, a really eerie feel to it.
A really strikingly transparent red slapper pressing here with their sixth album ‘Sabotage’ a really bold concentration of red here pulling over from the artwork. This is probably the most plain pressing of them, this is a single sleeve with a plain white inner sleeve, no liner notes or lyrics.
When I first saw this pressing I really didn’t find myself enjoying it but the more I look at it the more I see the ties to the artwork. ‘Technical Ecstasy’ has one of my favourite album artworks of all time, I think it just looks really modern and sharp. The hard to read liner notes carry other this theme. The vinyl may not be the most stand out with it’s grey and central red burst but it’s still really cool in relation to the artwork.
Last but definitely not least we’ve got the 8th studio album ‘Never Say Die’ while not my favourite of the bunch musically it is still a strong album and a really cool pressing, a very very transparent clear vinyl with baby blue splatters carrying over the colour from the sky in the artwork. A single sleeve with a printed inner sleeve here, a really fresh looking pressing.
So there we go, the black sabbath 10 year war boxset, if you are a fan of the band or have been debating ordering this for a while like I had, it is definitely worth it. I mentioned earlier about Guns and roses ridiculous $700 or something crazy boxset that was juat packed full of gimmicky bullshit. This steers clear of all the rubbish and instead just gives a really well put together representation of Sabbath at the height of their careers, the quality is astonishing and the time taken to recreate everything to the original standard and then the coloured pressings really makes you feel like you are getting good value for money, a definite must have if you’re a Sabbath fan like myself.