BLACK SABBATH — Live At Last

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2.96 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 1980

Filed under Heavy Metal
By BLACK SABBATH

Tracklist

1. Tomorrow's Dream (3:04)
2. Sweet Leaf (5:26)
3. Killing Yourself To Live (5:28)
4. Cornucopia (3:57)
5. Snowblind (4:47)
6. Children Of The Grave (4:32)
7. War Pigs (7:38)
8. Wicked World (18:59)
9. Paranoid (3:09)

Total Time 57:04

Line-up/Musicians

- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitar
- Geezer Butler / bass
- Bill Ward / drums

About this release

Semi-official release. Recorded live in Manchester and London, UK, March, 16, 1973. Released by Nems. Reissued officially in 2002 as the first disc of the album Past Lives.

Thanks to UMUR, Lynx33, Time Signature for the updates

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BLACK SABBATH LIVE AT LAST reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Live at Last" is the first live album released by British heavy metal act Black Sabbath. Released through NEMS Enterprises in July 1980 after Ozzy Osbourne had left the band (or had been kicked out, that´s a bit unclear) but with recordings from the 1973 tour, this live album release was not received well, by the then new incarnation of Black Sabbath with Dio on vocals. However for the fans of Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath it was a long overdue opportunity to listen to some live recordings by that version of the band.

The song selection is pretty natural when you consider that Black Sabbath were touring in support of "Volume four (1972)" and most tracks come from that album (three out of nine and an excerpt of "Supernaut" in the "Wicked World" jam section). The debut album is represented by "Wicked World" (which was only featured on the US release of the debut), "Paranoid (1970)" by "War Pigs", "Master of Reality (1971)" by "Sweet Leaf", "Embryo/Children of the Grave" and an excerpt of "Into the Void". In addition to that there´s also a track ("Killing Yourself to Live") from the then yet unreleased 5th full-length studio album by Black Sabbath which would be titled "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)". The version of "Wicked World" is 18:59 minutes long and includes loads of improvised guitar soloing by Tony Iommi, a drum solo by Bill Ward and quite surprisingly a jazz rock section. Maybe another desperate attempt by Tony Iommi to show the critics that there was more to Black Sabbath than just heavy riffs? In this case the attempt is actually quite successful and a nice variation in the set.

The performances are good and even though Ozzy Osbourne doesn´t always hit the right notes he´s as enthusiastic as ever and the phrase: "We Love You" is more than once during the set communicated to the audience. I wouldn´t call the overall performance by the band excellent or wildly inspired though and the rather bad sound quality doesn´t really help on my impression either. It might be stretching it a bit but the sound production could be catagorized as a good bootleg sound quality.

To my ears "Live at Last" is not an essential listening experience neither for fans nor for the casual listener. But it is a pretty good yet raw and unpolished live album and especially for fans of Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath there are enough here to enjoy to warrant a purchase. 3 stars (60%) are deserved.
Warthur
It's a shame that Black Sabbath never managed to record a live album of a standard they were satisfied with during the strongest part of the Ozzy era. Until Past Lives came out, the closest thing we had was this quasi-official release - not a bootleg, because it was released by people with the legal rights to the recordings in Europe, but not approved of by the band.

The sound quality is pretty raw, but is above bootleg standards - it's more or less average for a live recording from the era. Musically speaking, if you've had the original albums on heavy rotation this album isn't going to reveal anything particularly new or revolutionary about the material on here - Killing Yourself to Live has different lyrics because it hadn't yet been finalised as a composition but the instrumental side of the song has been more or less pinned down at this point, Wicked World turns into a medley, and Ozzy repeatedly shouts "COCAINE!" during Snowblind rather than whispering it once. In fact, it's Ozzy's performance that changes the most from the studio albums here; the album provides ample proof that during his prime Ozzy was an insanely extroverted frontman on a mission to make sure every single member of the audience has a great time.

Buyers should be aware that the first disc of Past Lives is exactly the same as this album, so there's no good reason to buy it separately when you can get Past Lives and in effect have a bonus disc of additional performances with it.

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  • Purple Haze
  • Fido73
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