Greatest Hits 1970-1978

Greatest Hits 1970-1978

Distilling the Black Sabbath years with Ozzy Osbourne as their lead singer into one solid album is only difficult in terms of what to leave off. Anyone with a competent knowledge of the band’s eight albums together (before their 2013 reunion album, 13) would be able to count off 20 or 30 songs worthy of such a collection. Final edits are brutal. An earlier collection from the vinyl era—We Sold Our Soul for Rock ’n’ Roll—created a decent 16-track (sometimes 17, depending on the issue) double album from the first six albums. This was tougher. “Dirty Women” aside, there isn’t a debatable track here. All tracks from the first side of the self-titled debut are here. The three big songs from Paranoid are present (“War Pigs,” “Paranoid,” “Iron Man”). Two strong songs from Master of Reality (“Sweet Leaf,” “Children of the Grave”) are also chosen, and a generous three tunes from Vol. 4 make the cut. One track apiece from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and Never Say Die and two from their penultimate album together Technical Ecstasy round off the collection. Bravo!

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