I thought that last years hunt for my copy of Paranoid was over the top crazy, but getting my hands on a quality copy of Master of Reality exceeded all previous efforts. No expense was spared in my quest to find one in top condition...because if you are going to do it, you've got to do it right. It is by far the most I've ever spent on a single record, and is either a testament to how much I love Black Sabbath, or an indication that I'm incredibly stupid.
Unlike any other Sabbath record, the UK Vertigo swirl pressing of Master of Reality comes packaged in a laminated and embossed box. The box cover makes it difficult enough to find one in good shape, as I'm sure it had a tendency to get crushed over the years...add in fact that on most copies the laminate has bubbled along the edges of the embossing, and finding one in great shape is like finding a needle in a haystack. When I found this one on eBay, and saw the amazing condition of the box, I knew that finding another one in this good of shape was going to difficult, so I was determined to make it mine.
Another major piece that will drive up the price is the original poster that came with this record. You can actually pick up the Vertigo swirl of Master of Reality for a decent price if you are willing to sacrifice the poster, and go without it. I couldn't cheat like that...I needed the complete package.
The nine day auction seemed like it took forever to finish, and when the price started to shoot up within the first couple of days, I started to get nervous. Stupid fucking kids were already driving up the price of this thing, and needed to calm the fuck down. I started chewing my fingernails and my nerves were shot as I imagined the price on this thing skyrocketing out of my range. In the end, I may have paid more than I intended...partially because I didn't account for the currency exchange when I threw my maximum bid down...but none of that mattered once the auction ended and it was mine. This was huge...such a major purchase...and I was elated that it was done, and I was crossing a heavy hitter off the Want List.
I've purchased a few other copies of Master of Reality over the years, but none of them come close this UK Vertigo swirl pressing. It is easily the copy to own for big time Sabbath fans. The sound on this thing is amazing.