Paranoid and Master of Reality were not cheap to come by. No joke. The money I spent for them was easily the most I'd ever spent on a single record. I figured that those two were the pinnacle of Sabbath collecting, and that the self titled debut album should be a little easier on the wallet.
Of course nothing is as easy as I'd hope.
A true first press of the first Sabbath record has "A Philips Record Product" printed below the Vertigo name on the label. This one line of text can send the price spiraling well out of my range...and I watched a few listings end on eBay with bids over $1,000 dollars. My heart sank, thinking that I wasn't going to be able to afford one of these.
I could have cheaped out, and gone for a second pressing, with the Philips text missing, but damn it, I refused to give up so easily. When buying Paranoid, I stood firm that I needed the first press with the Jim Simpson credit in the liner notes, and for Master Of Reality, it had to come with the original poster. Backing down now for a second pressing, would have undone all the work I'd put into this so far. Thankfully, discogs came to my rescue. While I wasn't able to escape much cheaper than I had with Paranoid and Master Of Reality, I didn't come close to spending a grand either.
Like the other UK Vertigo pressings, this one sounds absolutely amazing. Truly, the best way to listen to these Sabbath albums.
Man, that gatefold sleeve is amazing. That upside down cross. That poem.
"Among the grasses, poppies bleed before a gesticulating death, and young rabbits, born dead in traps, stand motionless, as though guarding the silence that surrounds and threatens to engulf all those that would listen."
Heads must have exploded in 1970 over this.
The seller for this, also included a nice looking poster. While it wasn't a part of the packaging for the original pressing, it is still a nice addition.
It feels good to finally finish the Big 4 for Sabbath UK Vertigo pressings. I still have some holes to fill with Sabotage and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but at least I can breathe easy knowing that they won't set me back as much as these Vertigo swirl pressings have.