If you are only familiar with the iconic bassist’s musical legacy with Black Sabbath, then it’s time to step out of the familiar and let him instead manipulate your mind. A few months ago, BMG released his three studio albums separately and in their original format on CD, in addition to being released on vinyl for the first time. That release has been previously reviewed by me. However, on this occasion, those three solo albums have been boxed together as “Manipulations of the Mind”, together with a fourth disc of rarities and live performances. It’s this disc that would prompt the completist collectors to make a purchase of this edition.
The boxed edition also contains a booklet of “previously unseen photos from the artists archive”. This addition is attractive, as it offers up some behind-the-scenes insights into the studio recordings of each of the solo releases. My personal favourite of the solo albums will always be the debut album which saw Burton C Bell at the vocal helm, and it was introduced to me by the single “Drive By Shooting”. The boxed edition goes out under the Geezer Butler label rather than the different titles that were used when the three albums were first released, which I recall did create an element of confusion the first time around.
“Black Science” and “Ohmwork” serve up a different take in terms of musical style and content when compared to the debut but still offer enough diversity and strongly played straight-ahead noisy and angsty sounds and are both worth giving a listen to.
There’s another release as part of BMG’s Geezer Butler promotional campaign and that’s a disc entitled “The Very Best of” and that sees a 17-track CD cherry-picked selection of tracks that spread over the three solo albums and contains a quite obscure linear sheet! Not revealing anything regarding the individual track origins but instead contains the cover pic of Geezer with some electronics-inspired computer code.
So, for Sabbath fans, if you want to fully complete your Ohmwork, I suggest purchasing these new reissues. Perhaps, in the future for those who already have the complete solo albums, BMG may combine the rarities disc from the boxset with the “Best of” compilation?