If you love Ozzy you have to love Black Sabbath, from 1969-78, 1997-20??. 8 great studio albums, 2 live, and at least a few hits CDs. However, there's a silent epidemic behind it. Two labels have been reissuing most of the classic catalogue in the United States; one a conglomorate, the other an unknown from Arizona.
The first one is Warner Bros., who signed Sabbath over 30 years ago for the U.S. and Canada. In their native UK and most of the free world, they were on Vertigo/Phonogram, and NEMS, the same one founded by late Beatles boss Brian Epstein. Only a few post-Ozzy albums are on other labels officially.
The other is called Power Sound 2001. They dupe the front cover art in a way that makes the CDs look like bootlegs sold on the streets of NYC. The back is just black with white letters, to tell them from their WB counterparts. I have been trying to reach these pirates, but it's gone nowhere. These clones are found in some stores, and even eBay. One I got used. One of the titles on the label, "Children of the Grave", is really "Volume 4" with a live version of that song as a bonus track, plus a different cover. I almost mistook it for another compilation. Luckily, it was "Vol. 4" after all since that's what I was looking for at a lower price. NEMS have done this once.
I have been trying to reach Ozzy. I don't think he even goes online. Sharon must have arranged his true sites since she's his manager. I hope they see this and reach me.
This is not a site for Power Sound 2001, Creative Sounds, or Dorchester Holdings. I can't find them anywhere. A few CDs do mention one-time manager Patrick Meehan in arranging these unauthorised releases.
There is an upside to this. For thrifty fans like me, these bargain bin gems cost a few dollars less than the WB CDs. I've paid from $5 to $10 for Power Sound reissues, as with Warner, I'd pay from $10 at WalMart to $16 anywhere else.
"Technical Ectasy" and "Never Say Die", the last two with Ozzy before letting him go, aren't on Power Sound 2001, but on Warner. I bought them online used from Tower. I have now sold off all Power Sound releases and replaced them with Vertigo/Castle/WB/NEMS ones.
However, this isn't about the money. It's about licencing, ownership, human dignity, and honour. Tell Ozzy, and Warner to help put an end to bootlegging. E-mail me as well.
Ronnie James Dio, lead singer from 1979-82~91-92, used to live in Cortland, NY, just 35 miles south of my hometown Syracuse. He wasn't born there, but had grown up there.
The label who release the back catalogue in the EU are Castle/Sanctuary Music. I might want to ask to them as well. A little bat told me that Power Sound 2001 are probably a licencee of Castle/Sanctuary group. I found similarities of their products. It has been announced that the back catalogue will be reissued in the US & Canada, as well as another compilation, by Rhino.
I once bought a used Japanese import called "The Best of the Ozzy Osbourne Years". It had most of the debut LP and few each from the next five. Power Sound's reissue of NEMS' "Greatest Hits" I have donated it since it's hardly enough. Also, it had "Evil Woman" from the UK debut which was not on the US one.
Then I'm told that Tony Iommi had arranged for these reissues 10 years ago so they could be reissued. WEA wouldn't give out the masters, so he and Dorchester copied from mint vinyl, which is likely done for bootlegs.
Now I find that Power Sound 2001 also reissued CDs from Deep Purple, so fans can save on their albums (DP's Ian Gillan is on 1983's "Born Again"). This covers their earlier years with Tetragrammation and Harvest. I'm still not at all familiar with them. You Purple People have to fill me in! There's also a CD with three songs from Pink Floyd implying it's all them. I'll just cut and paste, kna'mean!
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Thank you for your support!