18 Songs, 1 Hour 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After separating for almost 20 years, Black Sabbath finally reunited with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, starting with two shows at NEC Arena in the band’s native Birmingham. This double-disc set features those performances, from December 4th and 5th of 1997. While the excitement over classic-rock reunion shows is usually based simply on the thrill of seeing the original members together onstage, this reconstituted Sabbath lineup was highly formidable. Even though the four members were pushing 50, there's a sense throughout Reunion that the music they summoned is a living organism. Musicians may age, but the songs don't. Never have the canonical riffs of “Into the Void,” “Sweat Leaf,” and “War Pigs” felt so scorching. This recording of “Iron Man” was so vital that it won the award for Best Metal Performance at the 2000 Grammys. While Ozzy was quickly becoming America’s favorite kooky TV dad, he appears here as the ultimate ringleader: full of merriment yet totally able to rekindle the existential alienation that fueled the original recordings.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After separating for almost 20 years, Black Sabbath finally reunited with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, starting with two shows at NEC Arena in the band’s native Birmingham. This double-disc set features those performances, from December 4th and 5th of 1997. While the excitement over classic-rock reunion shows is usually based simply on the thrill of seeing the original members together onstage, this reconstituted Sabbath lineup was highly formidable. Even though the four members were pushing 50, there's a sense throughout Reunion that the music they summoned is a living organism. Musicians may age, but the songs don't. Never have the canonical riffs of “Into the Void,” “Sweat Leaf,” and “War Pigs” felt so scorching. This recording of “Iron Man” was so vital that it won the award for Best Metal Performance at the 2000 Grammys. While Ozzy was quickly becoming America’s favorite kooky TV dad, he appears here as the ultimate ringleader: full of merriment yet totally able to rekindle the existential alienation that fueled the original recordings.

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