Asbury Park Convention Center, Asbury Park, NJ, USA – August 5, 1975
Disc 1 (41:11) Supetzar, Killing Yourself To Live, Hole In The Sky, Snowblind, Symptom Of The Universe, War Pigs, Megalomania
Disc 2 (58:49) Sabbra Cadabra, Band Jam, Guitar Solo #1, Sometimes I’m Happy, Drum Solo, Supernaut, Iron Man, Orchid / Guitar Solo #2, Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor Jam, Guitar Solo #3 / Don’t Start (Too Late), Black Sabbath, Spiral Architect, Embryo / Children Of The Grave, MC, Paranoid
Black Sabbath’s concert in Asbury Park in the summer of 1975 is legendary thanks to the fact that it was recorded by The King Biscuit Flower Hour, and as with many KBFH recordings was largely edited prior to being sent out for airplay. A few tracks appeared on the 2002 official release entitled Past Lives as part of the second CD that was a mix of the Asbury Park show and the Paris soundboard from 1970 and needless to say it was for most collectors the 1975 material that peaked ones interest. A couple of years later the entire concert was making the rounds in trading circles and I was able to get my first taste of this legendary concert. What makes this concert legendary? Well sound quality is superb for one, the other is the band is at the height of the collective abilities as a live act. Last but not least, just take a look at the set list, three songs from Sabotage, three from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath as well as a few classics thrown in for good measure.
The recording began to get attention in the collectors market as well and has been released as Heaven And Earth (Bondage BON269/270), Let Slip The Pigs Of War (Non Label) that is incomplete, Past Live Ever (Tarantura TCDBS-2-1,2), Live Longest…Die At Last (No Label), and this new version from the same label and from what I can make out from the interpretation is that this “new” version has been tweaked a bit better for sound. The only other version I have of this show is the Tarantura version and there is a review of that title found on this sight, I figured after five years maybe a better transfer and or mastered version is out there and took the plunge so to speak.
When comparing the two titles, both have excellent sound quality and the same content so that is a plus. The No Label has a bit more hiss than the Tarantura, which is almost hiss free. The No Label does have just a bit crisper and slightly more punchy sound but the mastering used to do so has made the cymbals sound more shooshy and in your face, for lack of better wording, this issue does improve for the second disc. To my ears I prefer the Tarantura version and even though that title is five years old, it still remains the definitive version. That being said the Tarantura title has been out of print for five years, so what is the bottom line? If you have the Tarantura title there is no need to spend your hard earned money unless you are a fanatical completist. For the newer collector or the casual buyer this is a great title of a must have concert and certainly you would be happy with this version. Last thing you need to do is light some candles and incense, turn down the lights, turn this up LOUD and enjoy whatever you enjoy while grooving out to some killer Sabbath.
The packaging features a take off of the semi official release Live At Last as well as a couple other pictures of the band. There is the obligatory numbered sticker and as with all the No Label titles I have, a typically great looking package.