Originally Posted by PWilson
I love the Paranoid album, but depends which master you get. I have the Castle remaster (from memory), and it's horribly crackly and staticy. Faeries Wear Boots, especially, is one of my favourites, but there's a bit of ugly distortion that keeps me from turning it up. The Black Box version is superb, though.
Late reply, I know, but I am going to have to disagree with that recommendation. If you want the best CD version (s), you have to go 1st pressings, like with almost all Sabbath. The Japanese Twofer (Black Sabbath and Paranoid on one disc... VERY hard to find) and the 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle (not as hard to find, but still a hunt) releases CRUSH the Black Box release. Too much compression and "V" shaped mixing going on in the Black Box release, whereas the aforementioned two are pretty much straight transfers with more dynamics and neutrality.
If we are talking Sabbath releases, here are my recommendations:
S/T: Japanese Twofer or 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
Paranoid: Japanese Twofer or 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
MOR: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
Vol. 4: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
SBS: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
Sabbotage: 1988 US Warner (1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle has some tape issues on two tracks: "Symptom..." and "Megalomania")
All other Sabbath releases are not good, in my opinion, so i will stop there.
Sabbath is not exactly audiophile stuff, but the simplicity of the recordings back then made it so much more intimate. Besides, with these releases, you can really crank them and they still sound almost analog, comapred to the highly digital Black Box sound and many recent releases by many other bands. Takes some getting used to, but in "V" shaped mixing sounds like butt when one goes back to it after hearing the 1st pressings...