The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Black Sabbath is “Born Again” on New U.K. Reissue

with 3 comments

England has gotten more than its share of great expansions of the Black Sabbath catalogue – even the lesser known material – and now we can add another title to the list. The metal ensemble’s Born Again (1983) is coming back into print in May in a new double-disc deluxe edition.

Black Sabbath were in a period of transition in the months leading up to Born Again. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio had left the band to form his own successful band, and took Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice with him. Remaining members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were fortunate to reconvene with original drummer Bill Ward, whose health had forced his intermittent leave from the group. Now all they needed was a vocalist, which they found in a most unusual place: Ian Gillan, the bluesy singer for Deep Purple. Perhaps wanting to strike while the iron was hot enough, the band quickly wrote, recorded and mixed a record, which almost nobody found satisfying. Critics felt Gillan clashed far too much with the Sabbath sound, fans were left cold by the hastily-prepared set and the band particularly disliked the mix and the ensuing tour. (On that tour, the band took an oversized Stonehenge set piece on the road that occasionally had trouble fitting on stage. This incident was parodied in reverse in one legendary sequence in Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap a year later.) That said, the album was somewhat of a commercial success, peaking at No. 4 in the U.K. (the band’s highest chart placement in a decade) and denting the U.S. Top 40.

The Born Again reissue comes with its share of nice extras, though. One disc features the remastered album (there is no indication yet if the album has been remixed, despite the desire of the band to do so), and another features two heavily bootlegged outtakes and a BBC broadcast of part of the band’s performance at the Reading Festival in 1983. (Fans may recall that there is a widely-known bootleg of the entire Reading set, but Universal informed this Black Sabbath fan site that their sources from the full show were in too inferior quality to release; thus, the label opted for the better-sounding (if shorter) BBC recording.

All in all, though, it’s a pretty neat tribute to an album that fans have likely wanted to reappraise for some time. The set comes out on May 30 in the U.K. and one week later as a U.S. import. Order it from Amazon here and hit the jump for the full scoop on the track list!

Black Sabbath, Born Again: Deluxe Edition (Sanctuary/UMC 2770406, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as Vertigo VERL 8 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. 1-23978 (U.S.), 1983)

  1. Trashed
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Disturbing the Priest
  4. The Dark
  5. Zero the Hero
  6. Digital Bitch
  7. Born Again
  8. Hot Line
  9. Keep It Warm

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. The Fallen (Album Session Outtake)
  2. Stonehenge (Extended Version)
  3. Hot Line (Live)
  4. War Pigs (Live)
  5. Black Sabbath (Live)
  6. The Dark (Live)
  7. Zero the Hero (Live)
  8. Digital Bitch (Live)
  9. Iron Man (Live)
  10. Smoke on the Water (Live)
  11. Paranoid (Live)

All tracks on Disc 2 are previously unreleased.
Disc 2, Tracks 3-11 recorded live at the Reading Festival, England – 8/27/1983 and transmitted as part of BBC’s Friday Rock Show broadcast.

Written by Mike Duquette

April 11, 2011 at 17:49

3 Responses

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  1. I put my preorder in for Born Again which is one of my favorite Sabbath albums. This deluxe edition looks great and I hope it gets the proper remix it deserves. The mix is terrible but what makes up for it are some really terrific songs. Trashed is like Paranoid meets Highway Star and Guns N Roses took the riff from Zero The Hero and used it for Paradise City. The bonus disc looks amazing and I cannot wait to hear it! All of the Sabbath deluxe reissues from Universal (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules and Live Evil) have been amazing, but a deluxe edition of Born Again might just be the icing on the cake.


    April 11, 2011 at 18:01

    • I almost forgot to include Dehumanizer, but IRS had the rights to release it and not Universal. But still, the deluxe concept is the same.


      April 11, 2011 at 18:05

  2. Born Again will come in a remastered form, not remixed as the original master tapes have not yet been traced.


    April 14, 2011 at 09:29

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