Following swiftly along from the individual reissue - and vinyl debut - of Geezer’s solo catalogue back in November 2020, the Black Sabbath bassist’s discography away from the mothership has been collected together for a brace of releases; a complete albums box set, and a best of collection.
Tying neatly together the three albums Butler made under the G//Z/R, GZR and Geezer monikers, the four-disc ‘Manipulations of the Mind’ is a one stop shop for both collectors, and those who missed out on these the first time around.
The individual releases have been covered in our review of the vinyl reissues, suffice to say that the Burton C. Bell fronted ‘Plastic Planet’ is still the pick of the bunch, particularly as it contains lost classic and contender for heaviest riff of the ‘90s ‘Drive Boy, Shooting’, the NOT Tony Iommi baiting ‘Give Up the Ghost’, and the dark and mysterious ‘Cycle of Sixty’.
Both ‘Black Science’, and ‘Ohmwork’ meanwhile, are both more workmanlike, and more experimental, with Clark Brown replacing Bell on vocals.
The forth disc of rarities is the real treat of the package however. Mixing alternate versions, demos and instrumental takes along with a smattering of live cuts from the handful of shows that the original band performed in 1997, it offers a glimpse into what came both before and after the finished products.
With the four discs housed in individual sleeves featuring the modified artwork – now brought together under the infinitely less confusing ‘Geezer Butler’ name - inside a sturdy box, it’s a neat little set.
The final piece of the puzzle for releases like this is of course the detailed essay, and although the twenty-page booklet contains plenty of unseen and candid photos, it’s a bizarre miss-step to offer not one single liner note. Quite shockingly, Burton C. Bell's name is completely absent, as is drummer Deen Castronovo, who also appears on 'Plastic Planet'.
For those after something a little more succinct, the hand of doom has hand-picked the best of the box for the aptly titled ‘Very Best of Geezer Butler’. But come on, if you’re going to invest in some of the heaviest music that the co-creator of the genre has ever made, go big, or go home!
'Manipulations of the Mind' and 'The Very Best of Geezer Butler' are available now. Click here to order.