Audimax, Der Freier University, Berlin, West Germany – June 26, 1970
(57:54) Introduction, Paranoid, Iron Man, N.I.B., Black Sabbath, War Pigs, Hand Of Doom, Rat Salad, Fairies Wear Boots, Wicked World. Bonus Tracks: Radio Ad #1, Radio Ad #2
The recording of Black Sabbath in Berlin on June 26, 1970 has circulated for some time, originally labeled as being from Plumpton August 9, 1969. A very early German LP was released Live At Plumpton (AF-1002-A/B). In the 90’s a couple of releases showcased this material, an LP entitled Rat Salad (Warning Records & Tapes XE-09746) and CD entitled Return To 1969 (Element Of Crime Elements 010). It’s been nearly ten years since Berlin 1970 (No Label) was released on CD, since then there have been two vinyl issues, The Witch (Way Of Wizards Records WOW LP-109) and Live In Berlin (Dead Man Records DMR 1015). Now the folks at Zodiac are throwing their hat into the ring with Berlin 1970 Revisited, a single CD set using the same format as the No Label Berlin 1970 title and adding the two missing songs, Fairies Wear Boots and Wicked World from an alternate audience recording and features sound mastering by Graf Zeppelin.
The sound of this new “Revisited” version is a nice improvement over the No Label Berlin 1970 title. It is slightly louder and has a wider range of frequencies giving the sound spectrum more depth, the lower end is better giving the recording more of a punch and the individual instruments and vocals are better defined. I think that this recording is an excellent audience source and not a soundboard, it bears no real attributes of a soundboard. Both titles also share the same bonus material, two radio ads for the Paranoid LP, the sound of these is also much improved, taking off much of the decades old radio hiss providing much cleaner and near perfect sound. The audience recording falls in the good range, it is slightly distant yet clear and detailed, all instruments are clear in the mix, the vocals are slightly more prominent. This recording is only used for Fairies Wear Boots and Wicked World, Zodiac does not use it to fill the fades between songs found on the soundboard source. This is certainly not a deal killer as the differences in sources is very different and the small gaps are inconsequential. The version of Wicked World is interesting, it clocks in at 6:42 and does not feature the long instrumental and soloing that later versions would.
The packaging is standard Zodiac featuring inserts with great early posed and live shots of the band, yes we also get a picture CD and sticker all housed in a jewel case. This is certainly a nicer version of the Berlin 1970 concert yet it could have been better by making this a 2 disc set with the complete audience recording on the second disc. Nonetheless, a nice addition to my collection.