Vol 4

~ Release group by Black Sabbath

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 Vertigo (British rock label) 6360 071 [none]
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 Warner Bros. Records (“WB” logo, with or without “records” beneath or on banner across) BS 2602 [none]
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 NEMS (UK label, 1976-1983) NEL 6005
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 NEMS (UK label, 1976-1983) 16L0146 [none]
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 NEMS (UK label, 1976-1983) NEL 6005 [none]
Vol. 4 CD 11 Castle Communications (primary imprint of Castle Communications PLC) NELCD 6005 5013428706053
Vol 4 CD 10 Castle Communications (primary imprint of Castle Communications PLC) CLACD 199 5017615619928
Vol 4 CD 10 Warner Bros. Records (“WB” logo, with or without “records” beneath or on banner across) 2602-2 075992725927
Vol 4 CD 10 Warner Bros. Records (“WB” logo, with or without “records” beneath or on banner across) CD 2602 075992725927
Vol 4 CD 10 Vertigo (British rock label) 23PD-136 4988011314636
Vol 4 CD 11 Vertigo (British rock label) 832 703-2 042283270329
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 9 SNC Records C90 31091 007 [none]
Children of the Grave CD 11 Creative Sounds Ltd. (US) CSL 6011 016726601148
Children of the Grave CD 11 Power Sound 2001 PS-SR 6011-2 016726601124
Vol 4 CD 10 Essential! Records (division of Castle Communications) ESM CD 304, GAS 0000304ESM 5017615830422
Vol 4 (LP Replica Reissue) CD 10 Castle Music (subsidiary of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.) CMTCD006 5050159100620
Vol 4 (Japanese Digital Remaster) CD 10 Victor (Japanese “His Master’s Voice” imprint) VICP-61280 4988002413300
Vol 4 CD 10 Sanctuary Midline SMRCD034 5050749203427
Vol 4 12" Vinyl 10 Earmark DMM41011 8013252540110
Vol 4 CD 10 Strange Days Records POCE-1100 4988005459138
Vol 4 SHM-CD 10 Vertigo (British rock label) UICY-94185 4988005569783
Vol 4 CD 10 Sanctuary Records (UK 1996-present) 2716857 602527168579
Vol 4 SHM-SACD 10 Sanctuary Records (UK 1996-present) UIGY-9095 4988005718334
Vol. 4 Digital Media 10 Rhino (reissue label), Warner Bros. Records (“WB” logo, with or without “records” beneath or on banner across) [none]
Vol 4 CD 10 Rhino (reissue label) RR2 2602 081227946616

Relationships

included in: Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970–1978)
Cross Box
The Complete 70’s Replica CD Collection: 1970–1978
The Ozzy Years: Complete Albums Box Set
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000199950 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/4894 [info]
Wikidata: Q163950 [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/black_sabbath/vol_4_f2/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/x4xm [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Working on the commercially astute basis of not fixing something that's not broke, the Sabbs offer up yet more riffs of doom and associated heaviness. Hugely popular with the punters, particularly in America where their years of unrelenting touring were now paying top dividends, Vol.4 is careful not to tamper with what was now a successful formula and therein lays the problem.

Originally slated to be called Snowblind, this is the sound of Sabbath taking no chances with the music because they were famously too busy taking enormous quantities of marching powder. Whilst Sabbath albums have never been particular high on the subtlety stakes, none of their previous records sounded so lazy or dull, their recreational intake causing them to take their eye off the business in hand. Cranking the volume up can't quite mask the shortcomings. The intro to "Wheels of Confusion" briefly alludes to a bluesy vibe before it slips into a grinding motif that represents guitarist Tony Iommi's comfort zone.

The difficulty with this approach is that producer Patrick Meehan occasionally relegates Osborne to bystander status. "Cornucopia" suffers largely from being two separate songs clumsily bolted together and a frankly ludicrous chorus that has Ozzie bleating 'You're going insane/I'm trying to save your brain.' Yeah, right. Only the sprightly hard rock basher, "Supernaut" manages to reach escape velocity from concrete-set mould in which they'd encased themselves.

The only significant contrast to the wall of sound is Iommi's superficial Library Music instrumental "Laguna Sunrise" and the obligatory 'sensitive' track, "Changes." Who'd have thought that all these years later that it was destined to be covered as an amiable country-soaked amble by The Cardigans, a dance remix or even a saccharin-coated duet by Ozzie and daughter Kelly? Originally recorded long before she was a twinkle in his bleary, red-rimmed eye, with its ever-so-slight twinge of gospel piano and chilled Mellotron strings, it's proved to one of their most durable songs.

After this, an itinerant Rick Wakeman would add some much needed texture on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but it's Vol.4 where you can hear the rot setting in.