The Ten Year War Box Set

Today another new box set was announced, this one called “The Ten Year War”.  It is a vinyl box set, and due out later this year.  If you’re a vinyl collector, then this will definitely be of interest.   I have a lot of detail to discuss, but there’s one I want to get out of the way first.  This isn’t being sold in the US.  Why?

Well, I’ve explained that before in other stories, but I’ve already seen some blowback against this on social media this morning.  Here’s the deal.

Back when Black Sabbath signed a record deal back in 1970, it was with Warner Bros in the United States, and Vertigo in UK/Europe/World.  Warner Bros had its own set of masters for the albums, and Vertigo (later Castle, later Universal, now BMG) had their own set.  THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART – Each of the companies could not sell their products in the territory of the other (unless something was licensed – which rarely happened). This original contract ended after 1987, when Tony signed with IRS for Headless Cross.

  • This is why 2004’s Black Box & 2008’s “Rules of Hell” were not sold outside of US/North America.
  • This is why the 2009-2011 Universal Deluxe CD/Remaster series was not sold in US/North America, at least not domestically.

It is also the reason why we see a lot of greatest hits packages, and fans get all bent out of shape about it.  I frequently hear “How many times can the band release that?”   Well, most of the time, the band doesn’t.  It’s a record label thing most of the time.  So basically, this is the reason why this new box set is not being released in the US.   Not domestically anyway.  You can always import it, but the purchase links will tell you it’s not licensed for the US/Canada if you try buying it from there.   With that out of the way, lets get to the details.

The Ten Year War is a box set from Black Sabbath which covers the first eight studio albums on vinyl.   Yeah, I know the 70’s albums again, but this looks like a very well put together package.   Besides the albums themselves, there’s this merch/swag/stuff in the box:

  • Original sleeves with the vinyl, including the fold out color poster on Master of Reality)
  • 7″ Japanese single – “Evil Woman” b/w “Black Sabbath”
  • 7″ Chilean single – “Paranoid” b/w “The Wizard”.  Only 100 copies were originally pressed.
  • Crucifix shaped Black Sabbath USB drive that can be worn, and contains audio files of the albums
  • Ten Year War Brochure
  • Hardback book – official/candid photos from tours, recording sessions, & photo shoots.
  • 1978 Reproduction tour programme
  • 1972 Reproduction Seattle Centre Arena tour poster

That’s a nice looking package.  Of course, me being me, I looked around, asked some questions, and found out some fiddly details regarding what’s in here.   Here’s my additional detail:

  • Not available in the US/Canada for reasons already stated.
  • The mastering work here is the same done for the 2009 Universal Deluxe Edition series by Andy Pearce.
  • The vinyl is 180 grams.
  • The vinyl is “splatter-colored”.  Not entirely sure what that means, I’m attempting to get a picture of those.
  • The format of the files on the USB drive are “MQA”, which I’m told is “part of the FLAC family”.  More info on MQA is available here.
  • The USB drive is formatted in FAT32.
  • These will be individually numbered.  I might start making a list of owners like I did in the past.
  • The price of the thing is £199.99 
  • Pledge Music orders have it at £179.99.   Additionally, if you buy it through Pledge Music, you’ll get your copy a little earlier, it will be delivered on August 25th.
  • The label told me they’ll be sending me one once they’re available, so I’ll have something to say about it later on.

There are going to be a few different versions of this available.   Here’s some detail on those.

  • Golden deluxe box set – limited to 50 copies (limited and numbered)
  • Silver deluxe box set with limited art print (limited and numbered) art card signed by Shepard Fairey (limited to 50 copies)
  • Silver deluxe box set with limited art print (limited and numbered)
  • Silver deluxe box set (limited and numbered)

As I write this, the Gold Deluxe box is already sold out, so unless they make more available, that’s it for that one.  That isn’t a surprise with just FIFTY available, and it being priced the same as all the other versions.

This definitely looks like a quality (if expensive) release.  If you have the coin, and play vinyl, this is definitely something you should look at.

You can pre-order it now at the following links: 

Note that if you try looking at these sites from the US/Canada, you’re going to get told either there’s nothing there, or it’s not licensed for your country.

Below are some additional images and pictures in very high quality versions.   Finally is the official press release from the label.



““Black Sabbath – they invented heavy metal. And we should all thank them for doing it. In metal, it all began with them, and no-one has ever done it better.” Sir Christopher Lee

“There are some bands you know are real, and what they do comes from the heart. Sabbath are one of them. I know those guys, and believe me they lived the music. It was a privilege to be on the road with Sabbath. Like Motörhead, they mean it – every riff.” Lemmy

“I was a very alienated young person, and when I heard Black Sabbath I realised my life had a soundtrack. On all levels, they are unique and visionary.” Henry Rollins

A foreboding storm is gathering overhead. Bells toll, lighting cracks, rain falls…something dark and sinister is heading this way. It’s 1970 and four guys from Birmingham, with the release of their debut self-titled album, have single-handedly created what would become known forever as heavy metal. It was a singular moment of crushing heaviness that would define the genre for years to come.

The sixties were over. Charles Manson and his knife wielding followers had put a violent end to peace and love and the optimism and hope of the decade had vanished. As the seventies came down like a dark cloud, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler welcomed these uncertain times with open arms and riffs of thunder. And so The Ten Year War began.

Fresh from receiving the ‘Golden God’ Icon Award at this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods , Black Sabbath are proud to announce ‘The Ten Year War’ – a limited edition vinyl box set, released September 29th via BMG, that brings together their eight Ozzy fronted albums, plus a swathe of other rarities, all housed within exclusive artwork created by renowned street artist, graphic designer and activist Shepard Fairey.

Despite Black Sabbath’s multi-million selling albums and rabid fan base throughout the seventies, this adulation wasn’t always mirrored by the music press at the time. The band received more than their fair share of criticism, prompting them to publish ‘The Ten Year War’ brochure; a playful dig at journalists with the witty tagline “more good press than most – more bad press than any.” The brochure is reproduced in full for the box set and is one of the many exclusive items held within that also includes:

8 x vinyl LPs meticulously reproduced in their original sleeves, re-mastered by renowned mastering engineer Andy Pearce from the original tapes and pressed on 180 gram splatter-coloured vinyl, each LP with unique and individual colouring.



• MASTER OF REALITY (including original fold-out colour poster)

• VOL. 4





2 x rare 7” singles, reproduced in their original sleeves:

Japanese version of Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)/Black Sabbath.

Chilean version of Paranoid/The Wizard (only 100 copies of the original radio promo were pressed).

Crucifix shaped Black Sabbath USB stick, exclusive to this box set, which can be worn round the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath albums. 

The extremely rare The Ten Year War brochure, reproduced from the original publication.

Hardback book, featuring accolades from the cream of rock royalty, coupled with official and candid iconic photography of the band during their 1970s tours, recording sessions and photo-shoots.

Tenth Anniversary World Tour 1978 Official Programme, impeccably reproduced.

Reprinted tour poster from the 1972 Seattle Centre Arena show.

Box set is individually numbered.

It’s fair to say that ‘The Ten Year War’ is the definitive package from one of the most important and influential artists the UK has ever produced.

Pre-order links: 

The Ten Year War is coming… #tenyearwar


  1. Nice box set.
    They should’ve used the original font from the 1st album for the USB stick, though –

  2. We want a copy please make it available in the USA

  3. RedSabbath says

    Wouldn’t mind having that USB Cross…that’s sorta cool. The other stuff, been there done that.

  4. Ron Johnson says

    What the hell? not released in the U.S.?

  5. I was luck enough to preorder one of the limited golden boxes.
    Is the limitation of 50 copies confirmed? I cant find a number anywhere besides this article here.

  6. Martin Steel says

    Total and utter rehashed, over expensive, money grabbing nonsense. There are idiots who will buy this – there always are. Nothing new here at all, you’re paying money for a few paper based items. The Paranoid Super deluxe set is far more worthwhile and better value for money.

    • Totally agree. I once read somewhere that Iommi recorded every gid he did, and every rehearsal he did too, including his own sessions to find riffs. I can’t believe that with such an amount of material they’re not able to release the box that would kill them all – Purple and Zep included. Such a waste!

      • He continued to do that right through Heaven & Hell too. The sound guy was setting up two microphones at the mixing desk and I asked about them. He said they were for Tony. I gave it a shot, I said if these are purely for band reference purposes is there a chance I could get a copy. The sound guy even took a note to Tony but he said no. Understandable, but still disappointing. With all the bootlegging going on, it would be bordering-on-carelessness to just give a copy of a live show to someone he doesn’t even know and has never met. Sound reasons. Still disappointed.

    • That’s interesting. Lashing out at the people who are in such financial condition that they are easily able to afford this box set. Bet you wouldn’t be saying that if you could afford it. I can’t either. I still want to get my hands on that poster in ‘Master Of Reality’. If anyone who buys this box wants to sell their original, I’m the one.

      • It pisses me off too, Martin. All the bands from the sixties and seventies are dead, dying or just coming off the road and retiring. When I was buying albums in the seventies and eighties, I had to scrimp and save for everything I wanted. It’s not unreasonable for bands to think that 30 years later, those fans from the early days would be 30 years older and have a job that pays them far more than what they were earning 30+ years ago. There have been some enormous box sets lately from Bob Dylan, CSNY, Grateful Dead (several of them, in fact) and the list goes on and on. I’m not in ‘prime financial condition’, shall we say, and I’ve been unable to purchase any of them. When record companies finally decided to issue boxes and boxes of unreleased material by bands I’ve loved for nearly 40 years, and I’m unable to afford them, well that just sucks. Even I think I ought to be in a position to buy some of these boxes. Due to a ridiculous combination of circumstances, I’m not. And so we move on.

      • Martin Steel says

        Actually I do not buy vinyl anymore – I have the original Vertigo/WWA/Warner Bros/IRS releases up to 1994, so I would not be interested. If it was a CD/DVD/Bluray format I would be interested.

    • For somebody like me who owned reissues of the albums by different labels where sometimes not even the artwork was carefully reproduced it is a valid purchase.
      My concerns are rather drawn into the sound direction regarding the use of too much compression. There are video clips on Youtube in which somebody compares this release and the USA-only reissue of Warner Bros. from quite a while ago and it is shown clearly that the master tape used for the Ten Year War Box Set loses in comparison. Another issue to me is the coloured vinyl which I personally dislike because if I had released something like that under the moniker “sticking to the original as close as possible”, I would not have used coloured vinyl.
      At last I want to ask a question to Mr Siegler which is not related to this topic:
      I know that you also run Geezer Butler’s and Bill Ward’s Websites and that you have the opportunity to communicate with Bill and Geezer. Therefore, I want to ask if you know anything about their plans to write biographies. I would love to read Geezer’s version of the Sabbath story as he is widely considered to be the brain behind the band at least lyrical-wise.

      Cheers, H.U.K. from Germany

  7. Do not insult us, Martin. If we want to buy the item, it is our decision. A little more education, please.

    • Martin Steel says

      OK, maybe calling you idiots is a bit harsh. People who buy this stuff remind me of Cows going into the Milk Shed to be milked by the Milk Maid (in this case Sharon Osborne), they just have to relieve themselves of their money (Milk) because as a fan they think they have to, without thinking. The more you buy this rehashed stuff the more they will continue to release it and milk you of your money. Stop buying it and it won’t sell – maybe then the fans will get some more worthwhile and original stuff released. Who cares about rehashed vinyl albums with fancy artwork by an artist most fans do not care about. Enough already!!!

      • No, I have not bought this box, nor do I intend to buy it, I just say that I want to buy it, it’s in your right not to call it an idiot, and if you do not have any vinyl, you might buy it. And boxes of this type will continue to emerge in the next few years. And more if they are sold in a few days like this

  8. Are the gatefolds still gatefolds?

    • How many were gatefold, the first four or the first five? I don’t remember. ‘MoR’ wasn’t, was it?

  9. peter chrisp says

    Although we all love Sabbath but again another box set, super deluxe ,best of, as what Zeppelin would say How Many More Times. I have lost count, the original albums on vinyl when they first arrived, years later on cd too, followed by deluxe editions of some of their classic albums then The Black Box it’s up to the individual no doubt as it may be limited but i agree with Martin.

  10. Each Lp alone is worth about € 25, which means that if you buy the eight lps separately they cost you about
    € 200. That’s why a Deluxe box limited by 240 € has been exhausted in a matter of days.

  11. Once again, I don’t get the bitching and moaning. Don’t want it, don’t buy it. No one is forcing you to do anything.

    And the fact that the same material is being released, re-released and re-re-released has nothing to do with the band *possibly* holding back on releasing rarities and other unreleased material. Tony Iommi has said (for as long as I can remember) that he’s not interested in releasing anything that didn’t make it onto an album.

  12. Martin Steel says

    This ‘Ten Year War’ is a myth. Sabbath, like a lot of other bands, received bad press mainly during the early years. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and even Technical Ecstasy received critical acclaim on release. Also, John Peel championed the band in their formative years. No, this is just another tatty release to make money. A more sensible release would be a book regarding the bad/good press the band have received – not more represses of stuff people already have. Can’t wait for the next ridiculous release some time soon!!!!

  13. why do they keep re-releasing the Ozzy stuff over and over again? How about the Dio stuff on vinyl? Oh, don’t tell me, let me guess. Sharon Osbourne won’t allow it. Too bad. We need to have Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer out on vinyl. It least it won’t be the same redundant crap.

  14. I find it interesting, but we Sabbath fans in North America already have these, save for the USB cross. It would make a great stand alone release, housed in collectible “Henry the Imp” jewelry box. I, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, would like to see the remainder of the catalogue re-released on vinyl. Lots of great stuff yet, “Heaven and Hell”, “Mob Rules”, “The Eternal Idol”, etc. As much as I love the original Sabbath, above all the others, the story didn’t stop there. Any thoughts?

    • It’s not the same ones, the 2016 US reissues were remastered by Sean Magee. And use the US masters, not the EU ones.

  15. Thing is, I own these songs already. All these new, deluxe, remastered, decaffeinated, remixed boxsets? A cash grab. Nothing more. Every few years we get another one. Completely disinterested. But that appears to be the way of things, now. I suppose it’s in better taste than Wendy Dio’s creepy hologram, though. A souless projection, with a customisable ‘fan-made’ banner for it to wave around. I’ll stick to my records and memories. Incidentally, a question for Joe. Eagle released Dio in London 1993 a while back. Great show. Any chance you could review it here?

  16. Hi Joe. Sorry, was referring to the Dio 1993 DVD/CD. Although, would very interested in your take on the hologram. Thanks for the reply.

  17. still waiting to hear of RJD holgram

  18. It will be very STUPID if the cross isn’t remade and resold around the world.

  19. Hey Joe, do you happen to have any contact that I might be able to use? I received a copy of the box set that I ordered from Amazon France, but it did not include the USB Cross! I am just curious if there’s anyone you might know who could direct me on who to contact to receive one? Thanks so much.

  20. Dylan(Abdullah) Main says

    Looks like good stuff there.

  21. Dave Schacht says

    For all those US fans wanting a copy of The Ten Year War box set, you can preorder it at It is due to be released in The US on December 15, 2017.

  22. Dave Schacht says

    Correction to my last post: It now looks like the US release of this set is going to be January 12, 2018.

  23. I only listen to the Ozzy stuff, all the later stuff has terrible vocals. I’m buying this to have it on vinyl and to finally pay for this stuff that I mostly pirated thus far. Also I’m hoping that these records sound as good as Isengards Vinterskugge record, though I doubt they will. Nothing sounds that good.

  24. Robert Allen says

    I need this album!!! I’ve been a fan for forty years, and a really big fan of OZZY. I believe I have every single Album by OZZY and just started collecting BS again. The coolest thing I have is the Tribute album with OZZY and Randy imprinted in the vinyl.

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