henry rollins

Blu-ray REVIEW: Classic Albums – Black Sabbath – Paranoid

More BLACK SABBATH at mikeladano.com:

SABBATH DELUXE EDITIONS:  Black Sabbath Paranoid Master of Reality Heaven and Hell Mob Rules Born Again Seventh Star The Eternal Idol Dehumanizer

Other SABBATH reviews:  13 (new album) Headless Cross Forbidden Bootleg CD: Forbidden Rough Mix  Concert review: Forbidden tour July 22 1995 Kitchener Ontario HEAVEN & HELL: Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live in Europe  BILL WARD: Ward One: Along The Way BILL WARD: “Straws” / “The Dark Half Hour” singles

CLASSIC PARANOID_0001CLASSIC ALBUMS:  Paranoid – BLACK SABBATH (2010 Eagle Vision Blu-ray)

Those familiar with Black Sabbath know that Tony and Geezer don’t necessarily make the best interviewees. Their answers are often monotone, bland, and only vaguely remembered. Maybe somebody gave them some coffee before this video.  Geezer in particular seems more animated, but they both appear actually alive! Bill Ward is Bill Ward, of course.  Ozzy can barely get his voice above a croaking whisper. None of that matters though, because this Blu-ray disc is not about the present, it’s about the distant past, 40+ years distant in fact: the landmark metal album of metal albums, Paranoid.

Everybody reading this knows Paranoid from front to back (I hope so, anyway) and has probably bought it more than once. If you don’t know Paranoid, get the album!  Go!  Listen to it, come back, and finish reading this review later.

Like all Classic Albums discs, this deconstructs classic tunes to the individual layers.  You are invited to hear the basic tracks for songs such as “Iron Man”, “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Planet Caravan”, “Black Sabbath”, and more. Engineer Tom Allom (perhaps best known for his production work with Judas Priest) is your tour guide. Stripped of vocals and guitar, you can hear the rhythm section clearly.  Hearing Bill and Geezer playing together without adornment is a revelation. If anyone comes out looking very underrated in the Sabbath saga, it is Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, who are psychically locked-in and loose.

Meanwhile, in new footage from the here and now, Iommi demonstrates some of the most famous riffs and solos in Sabbath history.  Meanwhile Ozzy explains how he wrote melodies. This story is unfolded within the context of the late 60’s and early 70’s, and what Sabbath stood for in those tumultuous times.

Bonus features are generous, like all Classic Albums discs. About 45 minutes of additional footage is available, discussing songs and topics that didn’t make the cut of the main Blu-ray feature itself. None of it is filler, all of it is worth watching and probably would have made a completely un-boring extended feature anyway, had it been left in.

My only complaint is the resolution of this disc is only 1080i. Minor complaint at that.

As a companion piece, I highly recommend getting Paranoid in its 3 disc expanded edition. The reason being is, on this Blu-ray you will hear demo versions of songs with alternate lyrics. If you want all of these demos complete and uncut, you have to get the 3 disc version of Paranoid which includes them all (as well as the album’s original Quad mix).

Oh, and one last thing:  Henry Rollins.

4/5 stars


Part 128: VIDEO BLOG – Mike & Aaron Go To Toronto! (now with Store Report Card!)

Join Mike and Aaron as they hunt for rare albums!


Sonic Boom, 782 Bathurst St – 5/5 stars

BMV, 471 Bloor Street West – 3.5/5 stars (Mike) 4/5 stars (Aaron)

Rotate This, 801 Queen St. W – 3/5 stars  (no rating from Aaron)

Pauper’s Pub,  539 Bloor Street West – 3.5/5 stars

Paradise Bound, 270 August Ave – 4/5 stars * note I got the name wrong in the video

Moonbean, 30 Saint Andrew Street – 5/5 stars

Sonic Boom Kensington, 201 Augusta Ave – 4.5/5 stars

HMV, 333 Yonge Street – 1.5/5 stars

Sunrise, 220 Yonge Street, 1.5/5 stars (no rating from Aaron)


See what Aaron bought by clicking here!

FINAL NOTE:  I procured a the Japanese import from eBay a week later, October 27, for $41, free shipping.

MOVIE REVIEW: God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne(blu-ray, 2011, 135 minutes)

The best metal documentaries are the ones with genuine emotion in them (Anvil, for example), and God Bless Ozzy Osbourne is loaded with all sorts of emotion.  Produced by the man’s son, Jack*, this blu-ray runs the gamut of emotions.  From hilarious stories with Tommy Lee to some genuine anger and pain from Oz’s family, this movie goes deeper into the man himself, than the music.

The movie starts with Birmingham, and Black Sabbath.  Some of the classic footage from 1970  is incredible.  Ozzy was one of the most loved frontmen of the decade for a reason, and these clips show why.  They also reveal a young fiery Black Sabbath, playing tight fast versions of classic songs, Bill Ward hammering away on his kit like he is trying to destroy it.

After Sabbath, things become less about the music and more about the family man and the wild man.  You know those stories — the Alamo, the bat, the dove, the gross-out contests.  What’s new here is the raw emotion.  Rudy Sarzo recounts a particularly powerful moment the day that Randy Rhoads is killed.  New and old interview footage with Ozzy reveals deep wounds.

The Jake E. Lee years are pretty much completely skipped except for Ozz critiquing a few old videos from the 1980’s.  Zakk is barely mentioned at all.  In fact, another late Ozzy member, Randy Castillo, appears in many clips and is never even named.  And I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake do not appear at all.

From there we go to more downs, booze, pills, assault, pain, The Osbournes, more pain, and Ozzy’s eventual sobriety, 5 years straight when filmed.  Through it all, Ozzy remains one thing consistently: the clown.

Ozzy is constantly saying and doing things to keep people in stitches.  There’s a certain innocence in it.  Ozzy never seems to really mean to hurt anyone.  He’s just trying to entertain, whether to distract from his own insecurities or just because he was born to entertain, I can’t say.  Probably both.

Athough the movie isn’t overblown with big name cameos, you will hear from artists such as Henry Rollins, Tommy Lee, and Black Sabbath.

Bonus features:

  • Q & A with Ozzy and Jack
  • Deleted scenes
  • Tribeca film festival

4/5 stars.  More about the solo music would have been great.

*I want to briefly mention Jack’s struggle with multiple sclerosis, revealed this past Monday.  Being friends with a person who has MS, I sympathize with the Osbourne family and Jack, but I also know that this is an illness that can be fought!  There are many ways to be a part of the fight, but here’s a pretty cool one that might win you a bike.