Montreux Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – August 31, 1970
(51:42) Tuning up & Paranoid Intro, Paranoid, N.I.B., Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Iron Man, War Pigs, Fairies Wear Boots, Hand Of Doom Intro & Tuning, Hand Of Doom
Early documents of Black Sabbath concerts have been largely made up from audience recordings, so when the No Label folks released Montreux 1970 back in 2011 it was certainly a nice addition to ones collection as it featured an early performance in excellent quality. In subsequent years the recording has also been released on vinyl as Fire In The Sky (None Label), and Montreux Casino 1970 (Porky Prime Cut), sadly the latter is incomplete containing just five songs.
The origin of this tape is interesting and is chronicled on this new releases liner notes. Long story short this tape was among a bunch of tapes that was found in a box in some long lost record company vaults. The other tapes had the out takes from the first three Sabbath records and some have been released on the Sanctuary re master releases years back. What is incredible is that the folks at Sanctuary did not utilize any of this live material, the quality is incredible and for a recording that is now 46 years old, is pristine, perhaps it was felt that it would almost be a rehash of what was released on the Past Lives set years back. Whatever the case it was leaked online and the collectors market are the better, the quality is excellent, perfectly balanced full of vigor as the Sabs blast through 60 minutes of music with their early, primal force.
The sound quality on this new release from Eat A Peach is very similar to the No Label and I struggled in really finding any appreciable differences in sound, if any thing this new release has just a bit better frequencies as it sounds a bit fuller to my ears. The very beginning of the recording is cleaned up, it does not contain mili second amounts of some other music at the beginning. For those who do not have this recording in their collection here is an excellent way to acquire it, interesting that while the band is on what is being billed as their final tour, they are still playing these same songs.
Lots of great stuff on this release, the recently recorded songs from Paranoid (it was recorded in June 1970) are very close to their original versions as one would assume but these live versions have different lyrics and phrasing that if not ready from them, have you scratching your head. I love the jazz influenced shuffle during Behind The Wall Of Sleep as it shows the dexterity of Iommi’s playing, incredible to think he could not feel his middle two finger tips. The last song, Hand Of Doom is excellent, Sabbath had mastered their own version of light and shade playing with very dynamic results, the lyrics are kind of a hodge podge of alienation with the taking of acid and do not make much sense, the song features the excellent Rat Salad outro to boot!
The packaging is the mini LP but where the No Label cover is drab looking the Peach label interjects color into their art work, there are many nice posed and live shots on the sleeve and insert as well. The picture on the CD is an off shoot of a rare 8 track tape of Paranoid that has been slightly altered to read this releases title. This is a great looking and sounding boot and is worth the investment.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)