Album Reviews

Album Review: BLACK SABBATH – Technical Ecstasy Super Deluxe Edition

BMG | 01 October 2021

TECHNICAL ECSTASYAnother month and another well-constructed Black Sabbath deluxe box set hits the shelves from BMG. Growing up this was an album that largely had passed me by. Following the legendary first six releases by the band, there was always going to be a point where the standard of quality was going to drop off. In reviewing these releases, I usually bypass discussing the over-familiar albums and instead focus these pieces on the new “extra” songs and offerings. However, I was quite surprised to listen to the original album several times prior to writing. The album itself serves up some quite good tracks. “Back Street Kid”, opens in thundering /and rapid speed before the tempo drops slightly for “You won’t change me” an absolute classic where Ozzy delivers a heart-rending ballad to a former lost love. Listening in 2021 this sounds actually pretty good and a highlight that I had previously overlooked-with characteristic Iommi soloing all over it.

Technical Ecstasy as an album also shows Sabbath stepping slightly out of the confines of their defining sound in terms of offering some new sonic elements. Unfortunately, “It’s all right” comes over as too much of a departure, at least for me personally, coming across as a lightweight makeshift “filler” – not even rescued by Iommi’s soloing over what is too much of a bland tune. Featuring lead vocals by Bill Ward, I doubt even if sung by Ozzy himself would have managed to rescue this one. The rest of the album is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. Some interesting experimental stuff where the band dabbles with an almost funky bass-driven groove on “All Moving Parts (Stand Still”, the 50/50 bad/good “Dirty Woman”, to the great rocking heavy laden track, such as “Rock n Roll Doctor”. Revisiting the album many years later certainly hasn’t enhanced my opinion on it. Too many ballads and not enough of the heavy doomy Sabbath sound.

However, moving on, one thing that I do love about these new deluxe box sets is the packaging that they are served up in. Indeed, there is once again a lot of bonus material which makes it an essential purchase for the discerning Sabbath collector. TECHNICAL ECSTASY: SUPER DELUXE EDITION comes with eight previously unreleased outtakes and alternative mixes. Among those are different mixes of “You Won’t Change Me” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor,” as well as both outtake and instrumental versions for “She’s Gone.” The collection concludes with 10 previously unreleased live tracks recorded during the 1976-77 Technical Ecstasy World Tour. The songs touch on different eras of the band’s history with early tracks like “Black Sabbath” and “War Pigs” alongside new songs “Gypsy” and “Dirty Women.”

The collection comes with an extensive booklet featuring artwork, liner notes, rare memorabilia, and photos from the era, plus a replica of the 1976-77 world tour concert book and a large colour poster.

As usual, I will once again bemoan the fact that I should have collected the vinyl editions for no matter how good my cd versions appear in terms of packaging I can only imagine how much better in terms of visuals that the vinyl versions would serve up.

Order it NOW!


TECHNICAL ECSTASY: SUPER DELUXE EDITION

4-CD/5-LP Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album 1976 (2021 Remaster)

  1. “Back Street Kids”
  2. “You Won’t Change Me”
  3. “It’s Alright”
  4. “Gypsy”
  5. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)”
  6. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor”
  7. “She’s Gone”
  8. “Dirty Women”

Disc Two: New Steven Wilson Mix

  1. “Back Street Kids” *
  2. “You Won’t Change” *
  3. “It’s Alright” – Mono Version
  4. “Gypsy” *
  5. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” *
  6. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor” *
  7. “She’s Gone” *
  8. “Dirty Women” *

Disc Three: Outtakes & Alternative Mixes

  1. “Back Street Kids” – Alternative Mix *
  2. “You Won’t Change Me” – Alternative Mix *
  3. “Gypsy” – Alternative Mix *
  4. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” – Alternative Mix *
  5. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor” – Alternative Mix *
  6. “She’s Gone” – Outtake Version *
  7. “Dirty Women” – Alternative Mix *
  8. “She’s Gone” – Instrumental Mix *

Disc Four: Live World Tour 1976-77

  1. “Symptom Of The Universe” *
  2. “War Pigs” *
  3. “Gypsy” *
  4. “Black Sabbath” *
  5. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” *
  6. “Dirty Women” *
  7. Drum Solo / Guitar Solo *
  8. “Electric Funeral” *
  9. “Snowblind” *
  10. “Children Of The Grave” *

LP One: Original Album Remastered

Side One

  1. “Back Street Kids”
  2. “You Won’t Change Me”
  3. “It’s Alright”
  4. “Gypsy”

Side Two

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  1. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)”
  2. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor”
  3. “She’s Gone”
  4. “Dirty Women”

LP Two: New Steven Wilson Mix

Side Three

  1. “Back Street Kids” *
  2. “You Won’t Change Me” *
  3. “It’s Alright” – Mono Single
  4. “Gypsy” *

Side Four

  1. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” *
  2. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor” *
  3. “She’s Gone” *
  4. “Dirty Women” *

LP Three: Outtakes & Alternative Mixes

Side Five

  1. “Back Street Kids” – Alternative Mix *
  2. “You Won’t Change Me” – Alternative Mix *
  3. “Gypsy” – Alternative Mix *
  4. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” – Alternative Mix *

Side Six

  1. “Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor” – Alternative Mix *
  2. “She’s Gone” – Outtake Version *
  3. “Dirty Women” – Alternative Mix *
  4. “She’s Gone” – Instrumental Mix *

LP Four: Live World Tour 1976-77

Side Seven

  1. “Symptom Of The Universe” *
  2. “War Pigs” *
  3. “Gypsy” *

Side Eight

  1. “Black Sabbath” *
  2. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” *

LP Five: Live World Tour 1976-77

Side Nine

  1. “Dirty Women” *
  2. Drum Solo / Guitar Solo *

Side Ten

  1. “Electric Funeral” *
  2. “Snowblind” *
  3. “Children Of The Grave” *

* previously unreleased

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Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.

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