Some potentially seriously cool news. Oh yeah, and another re-re-re-re-release?

This story has been floating around a bit, and I didn’t want to say anything until I checked into it myself. Here’s what’s been going around:

According to BW&BK sources, Sanctuary UK are putting together a full reissue program on BLACK SABBATH next year starting in March. The first three albums (1970’s Black Sabbath, 1970’s Paranoid and 1971’s Master Of Reality) will be released with bonus tracks.

Now these things have been released many times already on CD. The original Warner prints in the US, the mid 80’s NEMS releases (with live tracks from the Live at Last album), the 1996 Castle Remasters, and the finally (in my opinion), the best version, the ones in 2004’s Black Box. So it was with some skepticism that I read that we’d get YET ANOTHER release. I run the Sabs’ big fan site here. I’ve bought these several times myself, and there’s nothing left to really, is there? Do we need YET ANOTHER release of these albums?
Now the only thing that’s really left are some of the oddball demo and “unreleased” recordings from around 1970 or so. I’m talking about the tracks “When I Came Down“, “The Rebel”, “A Song for Jim”, and things like that. Now as far as I can tell, these were done for then manager Jim Simpson, and weren’t really intended for release on an album. But they were recorded. My point in mentioning this stuff is because these are about he only oddball/unreleased tracks from back then. Sure, there’s the studio alternate takes kind of thing, but in terms of “songs that haven’t been heard before”, I’m not aware of much else. For years and years, the Sabs have made off comments like “We don’t have copies anymore”, or “They’re crap” or something like that. The impression I’ve gotten is that they’re not interested in releasing these old things.
So I decided to write to Tony Iommi’s people myself to see what the deal is with this “Sanctuary UK re-release of the first three albums”. This is what they told me back…

We can confirm that the whole Sabbath catalogue is under review right now from Ozzy through to Tony Martin and vaults are being scoured for any extra material.

Now THAT is very promising (and seriously long overdue) news. Ozzy THROUGH Tony Martin. Not just the Ozzy era – huzzah! I know there’s a lot of oddball and unreleased stuff from the non Ozzy eras, so I’ll be VERY interested to see what they come up with.
Now let me say this before you get too excited. It took quite awhile from the first announcement of Black Box till it’s release. It’s taken awhile since we first heard of the “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years” Box set (aka Black Box 2 – my name). It still isn’t out. So I wouldn’t hold your breath expecting it will be out “soon”. But this is promising news, because historically, the impression I’ve gotten is that Tony was never fond of this kind of stuff.
/me crosses his fingers for really odd stuff turning up.

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