Montreux 1970 (no label)
Montreux Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – August 31st, 1970
Intro, Paranoid, N.I.B., Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Iron Man, War Pigs, Fairies Where Boots, Hand Of Doom
When this new title was announced and a sample was posted online it became a must have, a very early soundboard recording from Sabbath. The No Label company has had some stellar releases and this one is no different. The recording is excellent sound board with virtually no hiss to speak of and all instruments are well balanced and to this reviewers ears easily the best sounding document to come from 1970.
Obviously there has to be cuts in the tape since five of the seven songs played are from the not yet released Paranoid record and the signature song, Black Sabbath, is not present but fear not listener there is much to be enjoyed here.
The recording begins with some audience noise and the sound of music being played over the sound system, this leads into some guitar tuning, drum checks, and bass check before Ozzy saying “we’d like to start of with a number of our new album, its a number entitled Paranoid”. The song is very close musically and lyrically to the recorded version. The vocals dominate the mix but is quickly corrected and from here on out the mix is perfect.
The next song is a classic, N.I.B. the song about Satan in love is well honed by their time on the road and does not have any kind of bass intro, the band just kicks into it. After Ozzy introduces the next song you can clear hear Bill Ward count in the intro to Behind The Wall Of Sleep. With a more jazzy feel and a little more improvisation than the originally recorded version bill gets a little longer drum fill and Ozzy says “smokin” and the band rolls into the really jazzy part, interesting to hear the band playing their roots.
The song ends kind of abruptly as Bill Ward has broken his bass drum petal and is fixing it, Iommi’s toys with song notes that sound like The Wall Of Sleep.and someone speaks into the mic in what sounds like French and Ozzy introduces Iron Man. Musically similar to the recorded version the difference hear is lyrically with the “Is he alive or dead” versus coming first. It is obvious there order of the lyrics is still being worked on some on different parts of the song some different.
War Pigs is next and the beginning chords are just so heavy, the lyrics are the Walpurgis version about black masses that would be changed in favor of the war mongering lyrics. Interestingly enough its Ozzy’s tale of getting beat up by skin heads that is identical lyrically and musically to the recorded version.
Afterwards Ozzy can be heard saying good night and the crowd cheers for close to three minutes before Ozzy introduces another new song, Hand Of Doom and goes through some P.A. checks before Geezer can be heard playing the introductory bass notes. As with most of the other new tracks lyrically there are more differences and similarities but musically it is very close to the recorded, or soon to be, version. quiet them bombastic at its very best.
To have such and early show in this quality is a treat, we have an excellent performance from the band and since the band were in the stages of recording / preparing the material for what is arguably their most famous album make this a must have. From what I am told Bondage is also releasing the title and would not be surprised given its fantastic quality this is a title no fan of the band should be with out. The packaging is simple, great relevant art work in a slim line jewel case, get this title and do it justice by TURNING IT UP LOUD !