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'Iron Man: The Best of Black Sabbath'
(Universal Music/Sanctuary Records)
Release Date Europe: 4th June 2012

Johnny Main

johnny main

trippy wicked going home

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past six months, you'll know that the original line-up of Black Sabbath (well, three quarters of them, but we're not getting into that debate here) have reformed to play the Download Festival at Castle Donington in June and the Lollapalooza Festival over in America in August. To herald their return, a fourteen track compilation of Ozzy Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath tracks (culled from their albums recorded between 1970-1978) is being released.

For older Sabbath fans, of course there is nothing new here – Sabbath compilations seem to be released and re-released every few years, surely positive proof of the ongoing popularity of Black Sabbath – but this is firmly aimed at those younger fans who are maybe seeing the mighty Sabbath for the first time later this year, or have recently got into the band that everyone seems to be talking about at the moment.

The first two albums, 'Black Sabbath' (1970) and 'Paranoid' (1970) are well-represented here with four tracks from each of them included. All-time Sabbath classics like 'N.I.B.', 'War Pigs', 'Iron Man' and the ubiquitous 'Paranoid' sit together next to slightly less well know tracks such as the excellent 'Fairies Wear Boots' (about Tony Iommi's late night run in with some skinheads) and 'The Wizard' which features some excellent harmonica action from Osbourne. I'm sure that no self-respecting Metal fan can fault the inclusion of these tracks on here, but the rest of the album seems to tread less easily.

1971's 'Master Of Reality' album and 'Volume 4' from 1972 are less well represented, having only two tracks apiece, but the tracks included are top notch ones. Geezer Butler's thundering bass guitar intro on 'Children Of The Grave' blasts out the speakers, and the heavy duty tones of 'Sweet Leaf' (an ode by Butler to recreational cannabis use), nestled along with 'Snowblind' (another song referencing those demon drugs) alongside the unexpected but truly excellent (and always under-rated) 'Changes' with Iommi swapping his lead guitar for a more subtle piano.

'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' (1973) is represented here only by its eponymous title track which is a shame as the album itself has so much more to offer and seems to have been sadly overlooked. Likewise 1978s final hurrah with Osbourne, 'Never Say Die', is the only track here representing that particular album. Fair enough the band had some well-documented personal problems in the late 1970s, but they still managed to produce some great work.

It's just a shame that it was decided to put this album on a single disc as it could easily have been expanded to a more comprehensive double disc package – especially when the album would have been so much better with the inclusion of tracks like 'Supernaut', 'After Forever', 'Symptom Of The Universe' and 'Killing Yourself To Live', but I guess that if after hearing this compilation you want to hear more Sabbath material then you can always opt to buy the individual albums.

Available in a standard CD or MP3 Download

Iron Man
Fairies Wear Boots
War Pigs
Never Say Die
Children Of The Grave
The Wizard
Sweet Leaf
Evil Woman
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Black Sabbath

Band Members:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward - Drums



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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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