Black Sabbath - Paranoid (Deluxe Edition)
Most of you should be legally required to know this, but Black Sabbath's Paranoid is one of the greatest albums ever released. It is brimming with classic material from start to finish, and has aged remarkably well in the 39 years since it's release. But what about this 3-Disc Deluxe Edition? Is it a phenomenal extension of what we have? Or a poor attempt at a new version of the album that is built to rob us of our money?
The Good: First offf, and thank god, this was remastered well. Unlike the deluxe edition of The Who's Who's Next and Beck's Odelay, which were both ruined by enoughing terrible EQing to make a city go deaf, Black Sabbath's Paranoid is nicely remastered. Although it is a little bit louder than other versions, it doesn't take away from the album. Worse case, you just slightly lower the volume and you are fine.
Also, the new material on the third disc is a combo of different versions of the great songs; first, some songs are with their original lyrics (though Paranoid's original lyrics are horrifically bad; so bad, the Backstreet Boys god awful music seems decent in comparison); other songs are stripped of the vocals (and some background guitar, but I'll get to that) to become instrumentals, no doubt giving Black Sabbath tribute band singers perfect practice material.........just kidding!
The booklet looking back at the album is a nice read, which gives a good example of what the booklet for a deluxe edition should say.....
Lastly, the surround sound mix on the album is just awesome, breathing new live and adding a new dimension to this classic.
The Bad: This is going to be very, very nitpicky, but this is just my opinion:
First off, no live material. I know Black Sabbath hates releasing old live material, but c'mon; give us some love here!
Secondly, there is no songs that didn't appear on the original album; no cut songs, no early versions of what appeared on later albums; nothing.
Lastly, it was disapointing that there was nothing on the DVD other than the album. It's amazing they didn't do any interviews, documentary, making-of for this album, which is weird considering there is a documentary on this album available on dvd; they could have at least did what AC/DC did for Back In Black on DualDisc, and had a heavily edited down half-hour piece from that documentary on this DVD. It just sucks they didn't let us get an even deeper look into the album (excluding the excellent booklet)
Overall, even with the bad things I mentioned above, this album is still so mindblowingly awesome, it is a must buy, must listen too, must worship every day album, and the deluxe edition does breathe excellent new life into the album. Quite simply, do the world a favor, and buy it!