Geezer Butler Box Set

Today we got news that Geezer Butler will be re-releasing his existing solo albums in a box set in late July.  The box set will have the three albums we know with a fourth disc of bonus tracks.  I’m here to detail what’s going on with them.  #ManInASuitcase

Manipulations of the Mind

The box set will be called “Manipulations of The Mind: The Complete Collection”.  It will be released by BMG worldwide, and will come out on 30 Jul in the UK/Europe, and on 6 Aug in the US/North America.   There will be four CD’s, they are:

  1. Plastic Planet
  2. Black Science
  3. Ohmwork
  4. Bonus CD

These will also retain the 2020 re-branding they underwent when they were changed from G//Z/R, GZR, etc to just “Geezer Butler”.   The three albums will be as we know them.  There’s no extra tracks on the album discs themselves.  If you want to read more about the individual albums, check out my links to the discography pages on my site.

It’s the fourth disc where people find interesting stuff.  The bonus disc comprises stuff from all over the place.  Here is a list of the tracks that appear on Disc 4.

  1. Pseudocide (No Intro)
  2. Prisoner 103 (Demo)
  3. The Invisible (Instrumental)
  4. Area Code 51 (Demo)
  5. Cycle Of Sixty (Radio Mix)
  6. X13 (Radio Mix)
  7. Northern Wisdom (Demo)
  8. Beach Skeleton (from Japanese Black Science CD)
  9. Pardon My Depression (Alt Take)
  10. Misfit (Rough Mix)
  11. I Believe (Demo)
  12. Four Feathers Fall (Demo)
  13. Drive Boy, Shooting (Live, from Plastic Planet Japanese CD)
  14. Detective 27 (Live, from Plastic Planet Japanese CD)
  15. House Of Clouds (Live, from Plastic Planet Japanese CD)

A few of these are already out there (like the Japanese CD tracks from Plastic Planet & Black Science).  But a lot of this is unreleased – radio mixes, some instrumentals, and things like that.  So there’s a some interesting choices here.  If you never bought ANY of Geezer’s albums, then this set is for you.   If you have bought them, then whether you want to buy this to get the bonus stuff is a decision that’s up to you.   As I write this on 23 Jun 2021, I can’t say what the bonus tracks are like, as I don’t have an advance copy yet.

Here’s a few things I asked the label about.  I’m pretty sure what I’m saying is correct, but if I find out otherwise, I’ll edit this post.

  • As far as I know, there’s no remastering done here.  When they were re-released in 2020, they used the original masterings for these albums from their respective original releases.  I’d be shocked if they remastered them again in 2021, less than a full year after the last release.
  • There’s no vinyl version of the box set (checking on this).
  • As far as I know, BMG is handling the world wide release for this.

[ Amazon US | Amazon UK ]

The Very Best Of

The 4CD box set is not the only thing being released.  In addition, there will be a single disc titled “The Very Best of Geezer Butler”.  It is a single disc “Greatest Hits” of his three solo albums if this is more to your liking.  The full track listing is below.  None of the material from the bonus disc is here.  This is just a selection of tracks from Plastic Planet, Black Science, & Ohmwork.

It will also be released by BMG worldwide, and will come out on 30 Jul in the UK/Europe, and on 6 Aug in the US/North America – the same dates as the 4CD set above.

  1. Drive Boy, Shooting
  2. Man In A Suitcase
  3. Misfit
  4. The Invisible
  5. Box Of Six
  6. Pardon My Depression
  7. House Of Cards
  8. Mysterons
  9. Aural Sects
  10. Detective 27
  11. Number 5
  12. I Believe
  13. Catatonic Eclipse
  14. Among The Cybermen
  15. Prisoner 103
  16. Plastic Planet
  17. Area Code 51

The packaging and press for this album makes the claim “Tracks selected by Geezer Butler”.  Not that I think it’s a lie, but you don’t usually see that on Greatest Hits packages – “selected by artist”.  Makes me wonder who picks them for other ones?  :)

[ Amazon US | Amazon UK ]

Press Release

Here is the formal press release for both of these.

BLACK SABBATH BASSIST GEEZER BUTLER ANNOUNCES ‘MANIPULATIONS OF THE MIND – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION’ 4XCD BOXSET

FEATURES HIS THREE SOLO ALBUMS WITH A BONUS DISC OF RARE MATERIAL 

1CD SELECTION ‘THE VERY BEST OF GEEZER BUTLER’ ALSO AVAILABLE 

BOTH SETS RELEASED JULY 30TH VIA BMG

PRE-ORDER HERE

Collected together for the first time, ‘Manipulations Of The Mind – The Complete Collection’, assembles the entire solo works of founding Black Sabbath bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler across four CDs, available via BMG this coming July 30th. Also available on the same date is ‘The Very Best Of Geezer Butler’, a standalone CD that cherry-picks seventeen choice cuts from the boxset by Geezer himself. 

Featuring the albums ‘Plastic Planet’ (1995), ‘Black Science’ (1997), and ‘Ohmwork’ (2005), with a bonus 4th disc of rare and largely unreleased material, ‘Manipulations Of The Mind’ shines the spotlight on a creative force who, as chief master of the heavy metal originators heavyweight bottom-end and the lyrics that gave voice to the monolithic riffs, didn’t rest on his laurels and created three solo albums of forward-thinking new music throughout those years.  

The 4th bonus disc is a treasure trove of unreleased demos, studio outtakes, single edits and three live tracks captured at the Majestic Theatre, Detroit, MI, February 1996, alongside the song ‘Beach Skeleton’, only previously heard on the Japanese edition of ‘Black Science’. 

Plastic Planet’ was originally released under the name g/z/r and featured Burton C. Bell of Californian industrial/groove metal pioneers Fear Factory on vocals and is considered a classic of 90s metal. The album perfectly melded Geezer’s roots in doomy blues rock to the industrial influenced metal sound that was a key element in pushing the genre forward in the nineties by bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and of course, Fear Factory. 

“I was listening to Fear Factory at the time and liked what Burton was doing – heavy vocals but with melodic choruses when required,” says Geezer. “So, I asked him if he’d be interested in singing on the album, and he agreed. Importantly, he was great to work with, and had a similar sense of humour to Pedro and me. And didn’t sound anything like Ozzy or Ronnie Dio, which was important to me.”

Alongside Bell for this recording was a long-time collaborator of Geezer’s, Peter Howse (nicknamed ‘Pedro’ by Butler, from a character in the TV show ‘Four Feather Falls’), Howse was a founding member of the Geezer Butler Band in 1985 and has written and played in all versions of GZR/Geezer. Drums were handled by Deen Castronovo, providing the pounding rhythms that propel the heavy grooves and mechanical metallic edge on ‘Plastic Planet’. Lyrically, Butler channelled technological, sci-fi and dystopian subjects mixed with the social issues tackled on ‘Drive Boy, Shooting’ and ‘The Invisible’; themes that perfectly matched the then futuristic sounds within.

Returning in 1997 with ‘Black Science’ and originally released this time under the name Geezer, this album saw Butler once again working with drummer Deen Castronovo and guitarist Pedro Howse, and like ‘Plastic Planet’, was produced by Butler and Paul Northfield (Rush, Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Dream Theater etc). Bell was unable to provide vocals this time due to commitments with Fear Factory, but his industrial boots were more than adequality filled by the then completely unknown Clark Brown who stepped up to the plate and delivered an impressively powerful vocal performance over the album’s heavy power grooves and it was very well received by media and fans alike. 

“I wasn’t looking for plaudits,” he says today. “I doubt that many people got any of the lyrical references, and as before, it was just music I enjoyed making. Again, it was a great fun time, writing about personal things, and doing music I loved making with Pedro and Clark in a relaxed atmosphere, without any pressure. Much fun was had.”

It wouldn’t be until 2005 that Geezer would get the chance to continue his solo explorations, having returned to Sabbath for the 1997 edition of Ozzfest, remaining in the band ever since, but in 2005 he

released ‘Ohmwork’, this time under the name GZR. Once again, the recording was undertaken with Clark Brown on vocals and Pedro Howse on guitar, the difference this time being that drum duties were handled by Chad E Smith (the veteran St. Louis drummer, not the Red Hot Chili Peppers percussionist of the same name).

With ‘Ohmwork’, gone were the industrial metal influences of the previous decade, but Butler still steadfastly refused to hark back to the past and kept everything contemporary, drawing on influences, as a keen follower of music, on everything that was happening in rock at the time. From the pedal to the metal of ‘Aural Sects’ to the epic, neo-psychedelia of ‘I Believe’, ‘Ohmwork’ was a fitting finale to Geezer’s solo album trilogy.

Pre-order link HERE:

‘Manipulations Of The Mind – The Complete Collection’ track-listing:

CD1 – PLASTIC PLANET (feat. Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory on vocals)

  1. Catatonic Eclipse
  2. Drive Boy, Shooting
  3. Giving Up The Ghost
  4. Plastic Planet
  5. The Invisible
  6. Séance Fiction
  7. House Of Clouds
  8. Detective 27
  9. X13
  10. Sci-Clone
  11. Cycle Of Sixty

CD2 – BLACK SCIENCE

  1. Man In A Suitcase
  2. Box Of Six
  3. Mysterons
  4. Justified
  5. Department S
  6. Area Code 51
  7. Has To Be
  8. Number 5
  9. Among The Cybermen
  10. Unspeakable Elvis
  11. Xodiak
  12. Northern Wisdom
  13. Trinity Road

CD3 – OHMWORK

  1. Misfit
  2. Pardon My Depression
  3. Prisoner 103
  4. I Believe
  5. Aural Sects
  6. Pseudocide
  7. Pull The String
  8. Alone
  9. Dogs Of Whore
  10. Don’t You Know

CD4 – BONUS

  1. Pseudocide (No Intro)
  2. Prisoner 103 (Demo)
  3. The Invisible (Instrumental)
  4. Area Code 51 (Demo)
  5. Cycle Of Sixty (Radio Mix)
  6. X13 (Radio Mix)
  7. Northern Wisdom (Demo)
  8. Beach Skeleton (Japanese Version)
  9. Pardon My Depression (Alt Take)
  10. Misfit (Rough Mix)
  11. I Believe (Demo)
  12. Four Feathers Fall (Demo)
  13. Drive Boy, Shooting (Live)
  14. Detective 27 (Live) 
  15. House Of Clouds (Live)

‘The Very Best Of Geezer Butler’ track-listing:

  1. Drive Boy, Shooting
  2. Man In A Suitcase
  3. Misfit
  4. The Invisible
  5. Box Of Six
  6. Pardon My Depression
  7. House Of Cards
  8. Mysterons
  9. Aural Sects
  10. Detective 27
  11. Number 5
  12. I Believe
  13. Catatonic Eclipse
  14. Among The Cybermen
  15. Prisoner 103
  16. Plastic Planet
  17. Area Code 51

Find Geezer Butler online at:

WEBSITE 

FACEBOOK

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM 

Photo of Geezer BUTLER and BLACK SABBATH; Geezer Butler – posed, studio (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

 

Comments

  1. When listening to the Dio albums of Sabbath, I always thought that Mob Rules was heavier than Heaven & Hell, while Dehumanizer was heavier than Mob Rules. To me, Plastic Planet sounded like the possible next radical step that Sabbath would have taken if that line up didn’t disband.
    So if you don’t know those records, step in! On CD4, The Invisible comes from Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Unfortunately, the track Outworld (originally on the second Mortal Kombat… more Kombat soundtrack) is missing in this great package.

  2. Scraliontis says

    Hurra, the Sabbath cash-in machine is going on! Vol 4 & Sabotage as overprized editions and now a year after the rereleases this new special edition (not overprized)? Is there anyone there who is thinking about the selling politics? Waiting for the Bill Ward Solo rereleases….

  3. Lars Mikael Døring says

    Well, this is what musicians do: Make music which they sell … for a living. It is their job. The same goes for the record companies.

    Do you want them to give it all away for free?

    To me this seems as a really great package at great value, esp. if you haven’t got the releases yet.

    And as Joe repeatedly have pointed out: You’re entitled to your opinion and nobody is forcing you to buy the product.

    Let everyone make up his own mind.

    PS: The Bill Ward Solo-releases as a complete package would be an awesome idea, as I do not have all of it and I am sure he has several hidden gems.

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