August 2021 rock / pop record reviews

Black Sabbath: Super Deluxe Sabotage

Rhino R1 645954 (4LP). 2021. Black Sabbath, Mike Butcher, Hugh Gilmour, prod .; Andy Pearce, Matt Wortham, P.Eng.
Performance *****
Sonic ***

Black Sabbath’s sixth album was born in the midst of a legal war between the band and their management. In an all too familiar history of the music business, the management skimmed off large sums and the band found themselves in heavy debt, despite a half-decade of endless touring and the rapid release of a work that invented and defined. heavy metal music.

Slogging through 1973 ?? 75, the band fought in courts, toured relentlessly, and sweated long sessions at the facilities of Morgan Studios in London and Brussels. They came out with a masterpiece. In addition to an improved studio production, the album includes two extended cuts, “Megalomania” and “The Writ” (referring to court documents served during a recording session). And then there are the Sabbath classics, “Symptom of the Universe” and “Am I Going Insane (Radio)”.

Rhino’s 4-LP reissue leads the way with the original album remastered from “the best sources available,” says reissue producer Hugh Gilmour, noting that the soundtracks are lost or unobtainable.

The other platters are a 1975 USA Tour concert recording, all but three unreleased cuts. The exact location and date aren’t clear, says Gilmour, but it’s early because Ozzy Osbourne is calling songs from an album “coming soon” and SabotageThe release of ‘s in the United States was halfway through the tour. The hardened road group were well locked up and delivered the full punch their fans had come to expect.

Accompanied by an amply illustrated 12 “× 12” booklet, the Super De Luxe the package includes reproductions of a tour book from the first edition of Sabbath at Madison Square Garden in New York, a Japanese 7-inch single and other goodies. ??Tom good

Chrissie Hynde: Standing in the doorway
BMG UK B0948JY5Q4 (streaming; physical release August). 2021. Chad Blake, James Walbourne, prod. and ing.
Performance *****
Sonic ****

Besides being the hard, rock, sexy and enduring leader of the Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde is a music researcher. Their solo releases include a jazz twist with the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble, and the Pretenders have been an excellent cover band since day one. Here she and Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne dive into Bob Dylan’s songbook on the folk legend’s 80th birthday.

Hynde is no stranger to Dylan or folk. She has covered both during Pretenders concerts and performed with Dylan, including at her 30th anniversary concert. Dylan’s lockdown release “Murder Most Foul” inspired Hynde and Walbourne to undertake a series of remote Dylan covers on YouTube. This album comes from those recordings. Producer Chad Blake has linked the remote home recordings into a cohesive, minimalist soundscape.

Hynde / Walbourne’s interpretations are fresh and revealing. They choose well-known titles, like “Blind Willie McTell” and “Love Minus Zero / No Limit”, and they dig deeper, including the start of the “In the Summertime” era and the climax, “Don ‘ t Fall Apart On Me Tonight “, by Dylan Infidels. As her 70th birthday approaches, Hynde’s voice still fits it all, perfectly matched to Dylan’s poetic lyrics.

With the easy delivery of skilled musicians, Hynde and Walbourne show a clear understanding of Dylan’s aesthetic, including the ever-present humor. They are never starchy or too serious. They sing rather than lecture and give a wry sneer here and there.

Although recorded in the depths of a plague, this album is as fresh as the reopening of spring. ??Tom good

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About Dawn Valle

Dawn Valle

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