The Paranoid super deluxe box set was awesome, especially the quad mix down CD. That is the way I like to hear Paranoid now. Also, the two live concerts were really cool and great quality. Excellent book etc.. so I was excited for this one and also the fact that Steven Wilson was involved as his 5.1 and remix work is amazing.
CD 1 is a remaster of the original album from the 1/4 mix down tape, presumably. This information is really lack in the book. It sounds great. CD 2 is 6 songs that they found the multitrack tapes, so Steven Wilson was able to make new mixes of Wheels of Confusion, The Straightner (end part of Wheels), Changes, Laguna Sunrise, Snowblind and Under the Sun (instrumental). All of these were different takes or works in progress. None as good as what made the album. Mixes are good but this is not something you would probably hear very often. For instance, all the cool psychedelic stuff and guitar solos is missing from Wheels of Confusion. It feels totally different and incomplete after you have heard the original CD 3 is another CD mixed by Steven of different takes of Wheels, Supernaut, Snowblind and Under the Sun, some with false start, etc.. Again, interesting to hear how these songs evolved from take to take, especially Wheels of Confusion. Under the Sun with the skat vocal was fun to hear but I think the things on this CD, after you have heard them once, you probably won’t revisit this much.
Finally CD4 is a live concert from the very end of the Vol 4 tour in 1973, where they were already starting to introduce new songs that would appear on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, like Killing yourself to Live. It would be nice if they had had an archive show from earlier in the tour when they played songs like Wheels of Confusion and Under the Sun. They do 4 songs (Tomorrows Dream, Snowblind, Supernaut and Cornicopia). The band was still so killer at this point. This is very similar set to the Live at Last show.
The book was fantastic and a lot of info but I still missed a lot of info about the recordings, mixing, and stuff they could have included. They talk about demos that were made in London before the LA Record Plant session. Wonder what they were?? I have to say that so far this one, which cost 2x as much as the Paranoid box for the same amount of materials, is a disapointment. Especially since for none of the first 4 albums now have they located the master tapes so a proper 5.1 mix could be done. Anyway, I hope that they find the master tapes for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Steven Wilson can do a 5.1 mix. We will see.