A foreboding storm is gathering overhead. Bells toll, lighting cracks, rain falls…something dark and sinister is heading this way. It’s 1970 and four guys from Birmingham, with the release of their debut self-titled album, have single-handedly created what would become known forever as heavy metal. It was a singular moment of crushing heaviness that would define the genre for years to come.

The sixties were over. Charles Manson and his knife wielding followers had put a violent end to peace and love and the optimism and hope of the decade had vanished. As the seventies came down like a dark cloud, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler welcomed these uncertain times with open arms and riffs of thunder. And so “The Ten Year War” began.

Fresh from receiving the “Golden God” icon award at this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods, Black Sabbath has announced The Ten Year War — a limited edition vinyl box set, released September 29th through BMG, that brings together their eight Ozzy-fronted albums, plus a swathe of other rarities, all housed within exclusive artwork created by renowned street artist, graphic designer and activist Shepard Fairey.

Despite Black Sabbath’s multi-million selling albums and rabid fan base throughout the seventies, this adulation wasn’t always mirrored by the music press at the time. The band received more than their fair share of criticism, prompting them to publish The Ten Year War brochure; a playful dig at journalists with the witty tagline “more good press than most — more bad press than any.” The brochure is reproduced in full for the box set and is one of the many exclusive items held within that also includes:

8 x vinyl LPs meticulously reproduced in their original sleeves, remastered by renowned mastering engineer Andy Pearce from the original tapes and pressed on 180 gram splatter-colored vinyl, each LP with unique and individual colouring.

* Black Sabbath
* Paranoid
* Master Of Reality (including original fold-out colour poster)
* Vol. 4
* Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
* Sabotage
* Technical Ecstasy
* Never Say Die!

2 x rare 7″ singles, reproduced in their original sleeves:

* Japanese version of Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)/Black Sabbath.
* Chilean version of Paranoid/The Wizard (only 100 copies of the original radio promo were pressed).

Crucifix-shaped Black Sabbath USB stick, exclusive to this box set, which can be worn round the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath albums.

The extremely rare The Ten Year War brochure, reproduced from the original publication.

Hardback book, featuring accolades from the cream of rock royalty, coupled with official and candid iconic photography of the band during their 1970s tours, recording sessions and photo shoots.

“Tenth Anniversary World Tour” 1978 official program, impeccably reproduced.

Reprinted tour poster from the 1972 Seattle Centre Arena show.

Box set is individually numbered.

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  • Keith G on

    Sounds pretty cool, but I bet this is going to be HELLA expensive! I already own all of these albums anyway, so I wouldn’t be interested. I have to wonder is Sharon has her long, sticky fingers in this somewhere. Tony and Geezer don’t strike me as people that would want to keep milking the Black Sabbath cash cow for more money, although I wouldn’t guess they would turn down any money they could make. I assume Bill would also get a cut. I just hope that, now that Sabbath has officially stopped touring and, I assume, will not be putting out any new music as a band, they don’t start putting out these types of “special release” packages every few years. It’s my opinion that this would cheapen the legacy of this great band. I mean, most true Sabbath fans would certainly already own all of these albums. I just don’t see the point, but if there is a market for it, more power to them!

  • Michael Monet on

    Stop! No more! A box set in 2017? Ridiculous. It’s over. What next? Oh I know re re re re release MASTER OF REALITY with a reverse color pattern on the cover. Black on Purple instead of purple on black. 2 years later go back to purple on black because it’s historically accurate. Give Iommi a mustache on the SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH photos. Draw one in. Better still replace Butler and Ward with OZZY’ s current bassist and drummer on those classic albums. Sell it for $200.00 so long as they thank the fans in the liner notes.

  • Horse Latitudes on

    I would like to see their final show from February 4, 2017 Birmingham as a Fathom events One night only in Imax theaters.
    Like Motley did. That would be worth our time & MONEY.

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