Uncut - 8/00, p.983 stars out of 5
- "...The primal, black, tarry essence of true heavy rock..."
Black Sabbath's classic 1970s output has been repackaged countless times over the years, but undoubtedly one of the best collections to surface is the aptly titled Best of Black Sabbath on Sanctuary. Comprised of 32 tracks on a pair of discs, Best Of focuses primarily on the "Ozzy years," but does include a small sampling of the short-lived Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan eras. What makes this collection such an appealing one is that it manages to include all the favorites, as well as a multitude of oft-overlooked (but just as strong and classic) album cuts. Many would agree that the entire heavy metal genre was based on such Sabbath classics as "Black Sabbath," "N.I.B.," "War Pigs," "Paranoid," "Iron Man," "Sweet Leaf," "Children of the Grave," and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," all of which are included here. But if you're a newcomer to Sabbath, you're in for a special treat upon hearing such underrated gems as "The Wizard," "Into the Void," and "Supernaut," as well as a pair of tracks from 1975's neglected Sabotage -- "Hole in the Sky" and "Symptom of the Universe" (oh what some Sabbath fans wouldn't give to hear the latter two tracks performed live once more). And if you've forgotten about the post-Ozzy years, here's a little secret -- the Dio/Sabbath era was a great union, as evidenced here by "Heaven and Hell" (the Gillan era, on the other hand, doesn't fare as well). Few Sabbath compilations manage to cover all the bases like Sanctuary's Best of Black Sabbath does. ~ Greg Prato