Acoustic Sounds

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath (Rhino High Fidelity)



Black Sabbath Rhino High Fidelity

Label: Warner Records/Rhino

Produced By: Roger Bain

Engineered By: Tom Allom and Barry Sheffield

Lacquers Cut By: Kevin Gray (Cohearant Audio)

By: Dylan Peggin

June 3rd, 2024


Rock Metal



Black Sabbath - Out With Flower Power, In With Doom

The birth of heavy metal never sounded better

Within a marathon 12-hour recording session at London’s Regent Sound on October 16, 1969, four young men from Birmingham recorded one of the most influential debut albums ever. There were barely any overdubs and not an abundance of takes, just four guys playing their live set together in a room with enough time to make it to the pub for last orders and head to Switzerland to play a gig (true story!).

Black Sabbath figured they were adding an edgier twist to the standard structure of the blues. Having suffered an injury severing the tips of his fingers, Tony Iommi overcame his disabilities by detuning his guitar and using light gauge strings, crafting a gritty sound no other would dare to create. The rhythm section of bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward had plenty of jazz flair, providing precision and tightness. To top it off, Ozzy Osbourne’s simple yet melodic vocals were distinctively bluesy. This fusion of musicianship spearheaded a genre that guaranteed Black Sabbath’s influence on every band succeeding them: heavy metal.

Released on Friday the 13th in February 1970, Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut was a dark, bruting offering unlike anything from their contemporaries. Many fans and critics consider the album’s title track, exemplified by Tony Iommi’s use of a tritone (augmented fourth/diminished fifth in music theory terms), otherwise known as “the devil’s interval,” the birth of heavy metal. The lyrics about a figure in black coming for one’s soul contrasted with the sunshine flower power that preceded years earlier. Sabbath leaned into the occult imagery in more tongue-in-cheek fashion on “N.I.B.,” a song about Lucifer falling in love and becoming a better person. Mythological themes run throughout tracks like “Behind The Wall of Sleep,” an obvious nod to H.P. Lovecraft, and “The Wizard” and its Tolkien-inspired lyrics inspired by the character of Gandalf; Ozzy’s bluesy harmonical stylings are exceptional! In place of their cover of Crow’s “Evil Woman” (found on UK pressings) is its b-side, “Wicked World,” which fits the group’s “doom and gloom” ethos more rightly. The album climaxes with a cover of The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation’s “Warning,” which is transformed into a 10-minute Tony Iommi shredding masterclass.

After unanimous panning from contemporary critics upon its release, Black Sabbath’s debut has seen better stature in retrospect, often appearing on best albums lists. The album has been numerously reissued, albeit all-analog, colored vinyl, and 2LP deluxe editions. Not another reissue of this album was warranted until Warner Music selected this title as part of their premier audiophile series, Rhino High Fidelity. 

For the first time, the eerie cover of a cloaked woman in front of the Mapledurham Watermill adorns a deluxe, glossy Stoughton tip-on jacket with a sturdy OBI strip. Although not featured on original Warner Brothers pressings, the inverted cross gatefold from the original UK Vertigo pressing (much to the band’s disdain) is featured. Specially designed 4-panel insert featuring scans of the original Warner Brother master tape boxes and an interview with engineer Tom Allom. His recollections give plenty of insight behind the album’s making, down to the inventory of microphones used and Regent Sound’s primitive recording console. The olive-green Warner Brothers label of the early ‘70s is swapped for the specially designed custom label that adorns all Rhino High Fidelity titles. Limited and numbered to 5,000, it’s no surprise this title sold out in under a week!

The introduction of the album’s title track is a classic example of creating an atmosphere with thunder, rain, and a distant tolling bell. Every time I hear it, whether on vinyl or digitally, there’s a certain creeping chill when that final thunderclap hits and the band kicks in. On this pressing, the impact frightened me just as much as the early spectators who ran for the doors when Black Sabbath played this song in clubs early during their career. The intricate guitar riff on the third verse tended to blend itself into the mix, never sounding so direct and singled out until now. While intended to come off as a heavy/in-your-face recording, this album offers plenty of air, whether it's the harmonica on “The Wizard” or the guitar solo on “Warning.” Bassist Geezer Butler takes center stage on “Behind The Wall of Sleep” with counterpointed bass lines juxtaposed by Iommi’s wall of crunching guitars. This pressing is heavy and in-your-face but doesn’t lend itself to excessive overdrive. It offers the best of both worlds: audiophiles can enjoy the nuances and the headbangers can let loose.

Speaking of the best of both worlds, the Rhino High Fidelity pressing of Black Sabbath’s debut packs in the advantages heard on previous reissues from the past 15 years. The 2010 Rhino analog cut by Ron McMaster emphasizes the higher frequencies, leaving plenty of sizzle on Bill Ward’s cymbals, but leaves the mids and bottom end to be average at best. The 2016 digitally sourced cut by Sean Magee is almost the opposite, offering plenty of bass but muffling the top. Kevin Gray’s all-analog cut balances the two with plenty of bass and crispness. For those lucky to secure a copy, enjoy what may be considered the best-sounding pressing of this album.

With Dylan's kind permission, Michael Johnson, owner of a U.K. Vertigo "Swirl" pressing adds his impressions of the Rhino reissue:

Michael offered me a little space to wax a bit about one of the big elephants in the room for any Black Sabbath vinyl fan: UK Vertigo Swirl pressings. I am very lucky to be the owner of a (admittedly somewhat VG/VG+) swirl of this heavy metal masterpiece. To be precise, it’s a 1971 3rd issue cut at Phonodisc, the final pressing to use the Swirl label. My particular runout stampers are A: V0 6 27 1 420 1223 and B: B V06 1Y 1 420 139. Now as Dylan pointed out, these are slightly different records with a different tracklisting, but still, I was very curious to compare a modern audiophile cutting of a US copy tape with a rare (semi) original UK press.

Kevin Gray’s new mastering does a lot to open up this recording, and there is an impressive amount of space around instruments on this new pressing. Also, Geezer Butler’s bass is really fleshed out and colorful on the Rhino, which is not something I was used to hearing. However there’s things that the Rhino just cannot compete with present on the Vertigo pressing, primarily: Tony Iommi’s guitar. The original presents the guitar sound in such a vivid and textured way, it is far more sharp, biting and “hot.” It sounds like an overdriven cab playing onstage in front of you, compared to a more “off the board” sound on the Rhino. This is most apparent on Warning, which sounds somewhat tame on the Rhino. On the Vertigo, it sounds maniacal and out of control.

Ozzy’s vocals similarly have a more pronounced and direct timbre on the UK copy that makes every word sound more menacing and meaningful, even if the studio effects on his voice are a little bit more noticeably wacky than on Kevin’s cut. There is a little bit of vocal sibilance on my copy, but some of that does sound like groove wear to me, still I prefer this presentation over the slightly more opaque presentation on the Rhino.

Kevin has thankfully added a little more low bass to this version, which helps the kick drum which is barely audible at times in the original. However, other parts of Bill Ward’s drum kit sound rather flat and one dimensional, and that’s not an EQ issue, but one I suspect that is present in the tape he had to work with. Some of the drum fills just sound small and tinny when compared with the UK, particularly in the cymbals which just completely dissipate once struck. My vertigo loves its cymbal sound, and the shimmer and decay is very long and rich. This is very obvious on tracks like N.I.B. where the hi-hat sounds small and toylike. The Vertigo presents it with much more presence and character.

Kevin Gray has done an excellent job remastering this new Rhino High Fidelity pressing, and as Dylan has pointed out, it does mark a significant step up over numerous copies that came before it, but as we’ve always known on this site, the tape matters. In this case the UK Vertigo benefits not only from being cut presumably from the first-generation master, but also from being made when the tape was fresh out of the studio. When it comes to the sharper transients, more colorful and rich highs, and overall, more intense presentation, these things are likely aided by a very fresh tape, and that’s why no matter how good the mastering engineer is, originals often have a certain magic about them.

What does this all mean? It means if you have a Vertigo Swirl and you’re wondering if this new Kevin Gray cut can beat it, the answer in my humble opinion is no. It also means that if you are a diehard audiophile Black Sabbath fan, one of these pressings is worth at least hearing if budget allows. It helps that on the UK cut, you get the excellent “Evil Woman” on side B that while maybe not as fitting in character as Wicked World, is one of the sonic highlights on my copy. But given that the albums are so different on the B side of the record, why not have both?

Music Specifications

Catalog No: RHF1 1871 / 081227817381

Pressing Plant: Optimal Media GmbH


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 200 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: Original analog master tapes

Presentation: Single LP


  • 2024-06-03 03:28:23 PM

    Jim Shue wrote:

    Excellent review Dylan! Sadly the flippers are already offering up sealed copies for $150+

  • 2024-06-03 05:03:06 PM

    Scotty wrote:

    Great review! My copy 2229/5000 arrived this morning and will be cranking it up later this afternoon. BTW, did you compare this to the original UK Vertigo which many consider to be the best sounding of this amazing record...

  • 2024-06-03 10:43:22 PM

    Zaphod wrote:

    Pure Greed! Yes, it is unethical, in my opinion, to purposely buy up more copies of an album than you personally need, especially so if done with the sole intention of reselling the album for more than you paid for it, thus causing the album to be sold out, prevent us honest music lovers from buying it. Selling a $40 album for $150 is just pure greed.

    If everyone only bought 1 copy, allowing more people to have the oppurtonity to buy it to enjoy it. Is that not the loving thing to do? Remember, Love does not look for its own interest but the interest of others.

    This is different from old records that have been out of print and thus have more value, especially if in great condition.

    Greed is a sin and so I am sure I will ruffle the feathers of many, but the truth hurts, don’t it.

    • 2024-06-09 02:05:01 PM

      Paul wrote:

      Well said Zaphod!! I couldn’t agree more.

  • 2024-06-03 11:41:55 PM

    JBL Frank wrote:

    The WB green label is one of the best sounding records in my collection, period. I’m not sure how you can top that, but you never know. Maybe I just have one of those Tom Port type pressings.

  • 2024-06-04 12:37:18 AM

    Chris O'Shea wrote:

    Please, JBL Frank......No Tom Port "Hot Sucker"...err "Hot Stamper" mentions here....

  • 2024-06-04 05:47:36 AM

    bwb wrote:

    Buying a record $40 and selling it for $150 is a great business decision on the part of the flipper. Buying something that is in high demand and comes in limited quantities with the intention of reselling it for a profit is a textbook example of the law of supply and demand. It is how everything in a capitalistic society works unless the government steps in and imposes price controls.

    We see it every holiday season when the next hot toy or gizmo takes off and the stores run low. Next thing you know that toy is on eBay marked way up. Was it unethical when some got $1000 for a $30 doll in 1996 during the Tickle Me Elmo craze??

    ---Gouging people for water and essential living supplies after a hurricane is greed. ---Making a profit on luxury items like vinyl records and toys and other non-essential items is smart business.

    Sometimes the flipper comes out ahead, sometimes they lose their ass (think Beanie Babies)

  • 2024-06-04 09:33:09 AM

    Andrew Curtis wrote:

    I’d counter the negative flipper argument… I thank them for taking the risk and am happy to reward them occasionally with a premium price on something I was too slow to move on. I figured that if no flippers bought the records, then I may have missed out completely. I see it as a service.

  • 2024-06-04 12:38:08 PM

    Dan wrote:

    Great review, thank you! And to think I almost passed on this one!

  • 2024-06-04 01:22:46 PM

    Zaphod wrote:

    I want to thank those who expressed the positive aspects of buying to flip. Like most things in life there are pros & cons to most decisions we make or the way we look at things. This variety is the spice of life.

  • 2024-06-04 02:00:09 PM

    Paul Robertson wrote:

    I'm been enjoying your record reviews Dylan, including this one.

    Regarding showing this release as being 200 gram and confirming that, as I might be mistaken (happens more than I'd like to admit) but I thought these Rhinos were standard 140 gram or so standard weight?

  • 2024-06-04 04:17:46 PM

    Matthew Williams wrote:

    How dare anyone sin over a Black Sabbath album!

  • 2024-06-04 05:31:15 PM

    Scotty wrote:

    Dylan Peggin, you were indeed right giving this new version both 11's! I listened to my copy yesterday and cranked and I have never heard this record sound so amazing! It's the best mastered rock album I have heard from KG. Yes, I am very familiar with all key original versions, but this for me is the best yet! I just like the way the sound is here and it's anything but tame. And how interesting to read positive comments regarding floppers here, never seen anything like that before. People can do what they choose, so I don't have an opinion either way about them.

  • 2024-06-04 05:48:35 PM

    Scotty wrote:

    One other thing to keep in mind regarding this new version is that yes the tapes are much older, but take into consideration the gear Kevin is using now to master compared to back then.

  • 2024-06-05 06:09:02 AM

    PeterPani wrote:

    Being a tape collector: I own tapes from Furtwangler dated 1957. And they still beat the original or later editions on vinyl soundwise. I guess, I own 600 tapes. Not own needs baking. Sometimes (50 tapes, I guess) there is wow and dropout, because of insufficient storage by earlier owners. So, I am not convinced that sound on old tapes must deteriorate always.

  • 2024-06-05 03:36:03 PM

    Anton wrote:

    Sin, that's tough.

    If we opine about flippers, does that not prove that we covet what they acquired?

    If we call flippers sinners, are we not judging others?

    Where lies the line between calling out sinners vs. acting as though we are Pharisees?

    "I am a righteous record collector who saw something I covet taken by sinners. See how I stand righteously on the steps of the Vinyl Temple and point out their sins. Thank the Lord I am not a sinner like they they are."

    Besides, this is a Black Sabbath album. Shouldn't y'all be blaming the band for the fall of everything that is holy? Isn't being a fan of Black Sabbath some sort of sin? Black. Sabbath.

    "Satan's comin' 'round the bend..."

    "Misty morning, clouds in the sky Without warning, a wizard walks by Casting his shadow, weaving his spell Long, grey cloak, tinkling bell Never talking Just keeps walking Spreading his magic..."

    That's OK for those who consider flipping a sin?


    Audiophiles are awesome.


    On the other hand, I do resent people trying to insinuate themselves into the process of me trying to give Rhino my money and thinking they deserve more money than Rhino made on the product.

    Then again. hey, Rhino, make enough records so we don't have to hustle trying to overcome your model of artificial scarcity! (That's a sin, too, right?)


    There, that about covers it.

  • 2024-06-05 05:17:03 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    I, myself am dying to hear the Rhino reissue. But, due to what Fed-Ex calls a "weather delay" my copy is not here yet. As my order was shipped via Fed-Ex ground, there is a part of me that is longing for the good old days when trucks were waterproof enough to drive in the rain. Also, I myself work for a fresh pork product company whose trucks currently do drive without incident in the rain. I myself have completed 4 days of delivery on time without incident since Fed-Ex declared a "weather delay" on my package of said product. Hopefully one day, when the spoiled young Gen Zs who currently work for Fed-Ex find a way to reconcile their all so important feelings with weather challenges I too will get to listen to this (by all accounts) killer reissue.

  • 2024-06-05 05:29:27 PM

    Michael Weintraub wrote:

    I think you yourself should start your own shipping company, and show them themselves how it should be done. Also, you yourself should make sure you have good insurance.

  • 2024-06-05 08:55:18 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    Michael, that ain't a bad idea except for the fact that I'm circling the drain biologically speaking. I have had the necessary experience from the various firms I've worked for over the years to be able to create a better (for the customer) shipping company. The main problem that I forsee is where in the hell am I going to get a proper workforce? The best & brightest I'm familiar with all live in nursing homes & retirement communities. I fear that once all the boomers (like me) & my next door brethren the Gen-Xers die out that this world is going to be FUBARed forever. Also, thank you so much for recognizing the I, myself trope. It's a little word thingy I've been enamored with ever since Charles Schultz used it in a Peanuts comic strip about an aspiring artist who was unable to "draw hands".

  • 2024-06-05 09:55:48 PM

    Anton wrote:

    Tim and Socrates. "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households."

    2,400 years and the old dudes still whine about "kids these days."

    Looking at what boomers are leaving behind for other generations, we should feel lucky they don't hunt us all down and exterminate us, let alone is going with the old curmudgeonly BS about how they don't work.....blah, blah, blah.

    It's a bit of an embarrassment.

    We have been reduced to whining and mewling about shipping. Old guys....immediate gratification is too slow.

    Boomers, the victimhood generation.

  • 2024-06-05 10:40:42 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    Anton, I truly enjoy your views not only on my comments but on many other topics on this here Tracking Angle. In my defense as meager as it is I would offer up the following factoid concerning my perspective, I've felt the same level of alienation & dropping the ball from many other generations as early as my pre-school days. I'm talking about my parents & grandparents & associated peoples dialogues with me. They all left me feeling fairly certain that they were all full of shit. As I've aged through the life cycle I've found that those who've came after are just more of the same. Perhaps I'm just like Prince's mother. According to his lyrics she's never satisfied. Or maybe I'm just too picky...LOL!

  • 2024-06-05 10:50:11 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    Additionally, my views on next gens not pulling their fair share of the load comes from 4 plus decades of experience in the workplace watching them younger folk come into my work enviroment & "fuck shit up old school" for lack of a better phrase & then observe them try to deny, lie, & all around rationalize why their failures were not their fault. I guess at the end of the day my biggest gripe with the rest of humanity is their inherent desire to never be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.

  • 2024-06-05 11:38:47 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    I'm starting to feel like perhaps I should have never strayed so far off topic but initi

  • 2024-06-05 11:47:12 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    ally, I felt it was my duty to share my own personal experiences with this reissue to date. In an attempt to branch out I offer the following impressions & queries. Did any of you fine folk on this here thread also acquire the 4 lp Rhino Box set of Black Sabbath's Tony Martin era? I did & I was highly impressed with Mr. Iommi's remix of the Forbidden lp. I also thought that the remaster of Headless Cross was audibly superior to the original pressing which means now I'm going to have to think long & hard about just who among my friends I should donate the OP to as I've always felt that reselling rare great music media was somehow cheap & vulgar & beneath me.

  • 2024-06-06 04:50:01 AM

    Rob wrote:

    Re. bwb's post of capitalism and the law of supply and demand being a didactic that covers material with which the bulk of us are already familiar, the freedom to do something is not equivalent to it being a good ethical choice. There are countless capitalist choices and activities that can provide net enrichment to society and consumers, which flipping doesn't do: it simply intentionally re-shuffles limited items priced at a certain level from less to more wealthy consumers, or simply to ones willing to pay more, with no creative or substantive work, simply to profit the re-seller. If Rhino Exclusive prices a record at $150, one can at least say (re. supply and demand) that they are choosing how to price their net service of providing a new record master/pressing. The 'service' flippers provide is to simply take something out of a potential someone's hands and give it to someone else. It's motive is parasitic- to make money without providing a service society generally considers worthy. Without knocking capitalism itself, one can reasonably say that many of those who defend this manner of behavior (e.g., flipping) could benefit from a basic didactic in normative ethics.

  • 2024-06-06 05:05:38 AM

    Rob wrote:

    Just want to append a consideration to my last post- as Zaphod implied, if a long-out-of-print item is made accessible to someone, that's ok in terms of providing a net benefit to society- e.g., locating/storing/listing/discussing an item. In the case to with bwb is referring, while flipped LPs are indeed a luxury item, recently available from an online site and something that would still be available to the extent that the supply is not at all withdrawn to be flipped, no net service is provided at all. No particular ethical problem may be associated with the net provision or creation of luxury items per se, but simply taking them out of someone's future hands to sell to them or someone else for more neither creates luxury nor provides any net additional value- in effect, it removes value from those of society to personally profit off of supplying it later to the same or other person(s). The fact that risk is involved to the flipper doesn't in any way redeem record flipping. There are plenty of unethical, not to mention loathsome and/or illegal pursuits that entail risk to the undertaker(s); and similarly, that inherent risk in no way justify such pursuits. But sure, it's not as bad as flipping necessities would be, in the order of things, one can at least say.

  • 2024-06-06 05:55:24 AM

    bwb wrote:

    "There are countless capitalist choices and activities that can provide net enrichment to society and consumers, which flipping doesn't do."

    Please,,,, come down off of your cloud.

    There is nothing about buying/selling vinyl records that in any way enriches society. There is nothing about being able to buy a Black Sabbath record for $40 instead of $150 that enriches society. The very idea that it might be is ludicrous.

    People who are down on flippers are simply pissed that somebody else beat them to it.

  • 2024-06-06 06:44:32 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    OK! My copy finally made it to my door. 1st impression - I was disappointed that the Fed-ex delivery guy did not get my Cheech & Chong reference,"That's MY Black Sabbath record man!". 2nd impression - Holy Hell! This is one dirty record. 3 skips on the 1st verse. Needle inspection revealed hair, lint, & general tiny debris. I never suspected Rhinos were such slovenly housekeepers. I'm off to clean it now & later on I'll weigh in on sound impressions. Course, by then this will probably be a dead thread due to my being a day late & a dullard short.

  • 2024-06-06 09:52:45 PM

    Anton wrote:


    I think your opinion of the sound would be HUGELY valuable.

    Keep us in the loop!

  • 2024-06-07 07:19:38 AM

    tim davis wrote:

    Thank you SO much Anton. I would like to read your opinions not only on the sound quality of this reissue but also the music of Black Sabbath in general, your favorite editions of their works, whether or not you prefer any line-up over any other & what your favorite Sabbath records are, not from the perspective of sound quality but of the actual songs & performances.

  • 2024-06-08 02:54:21 AM

    Zaphod wrote:

    I just like to stir things up and push buttons.

    Only a few got the key to my joking when I use the word “sin” in regard to a Black Sabbath album being flipped.

    Love the comments so keep em comming!

  • 2024-06-08 09:57:05 AM

    tim davis wrote:

    Zaphod, I like that you like what's going on with peeps responding to the flipper/sin/evil heavy metal band/moral outrage dichotomy. I would like to offer a suggestion for enhancing the vibe of the comments section, I usually, & especially on my contribitions to this thread have consumed around a half a fifth of 100 proof vodka or rum afore I start reading & responding. In the interest of a level playing field perhaps some others might like to give it a try? If alcohol isn't really your thing perhaps 52 mg of thc just might be your cup of tea?

  • 2024-06-09 05:57:26 AM

    Rob wrote:

    bwb- your rebuttal to part of what I wrote is just a semantic dodge. One can easily and just as well substitute the term ‘value’ for that of ‘enrichment’ if he finds the latter too lofty. Or just substitute the phrase “there are many ways to make money in ways that, whether or not regarding something ‘necessary’ or ‘generically important,’ still are not parasitic, so why be a parasite?”

    BTW- what you call ‘smart business’ one could also just as easily call ‘selfish, noxious business.’ For all the people out there annoyed by such behaviors, of course there are always some who wave off the ethics of it by A) more or less suggesting it’s no big deal (& of course it’s no big deal- it’s just unethical, that’s all- flipping is bad in a mundane but nevertheless annoying way, like people who like to race their cars/motorcycles at top volume down your street, only for their own perverse benefit); or B) suggest something to the effect of, ‘it’s just capitalism” (but neglect to add that it’s at the useless, negative end of its spectrum).

    The people making new lp editions, regardless of relative value, are bringing something somewhat a bit new and extra into the world. The flipper contributes absolutely nothing. Comparing the matter of flipping with that of a manufacturer’s own pricing, as you do, is a false equivalence. After all, there are people out there who want new lp editions, but who in the world, other than a flipper, wants flipping?

    No, I’m not “pissed off that someone else beat (me) to it.” My copy is on the way. I’m pissed off by people making it needlessly more expensive for other people wanting the lp who weren’t able to quickly snatch up a copy for personal enjoyment as I did. You apparently doesn’t (or can’t?) understand why someone would resent someone else who makes things more expensive for others, when the flipper contributed nothing to the item except making it more expensive. Maybe that’s something a flipper will never be capable of grasping- a little bit more of a consideration for others’ experiences.

    Or- that there are many people like me, who own credit cards, have a fair degree of discretionary funds, get the early announcement emails, and usually know what will tend to sell for more over time (such as a copies of a limited-and-likely-good (i.e., K Gray) Black Sabbath lp release) who reject the notion of making easy money at someone else’s expense, i.e., respect the golden rule kind of thing.

  • 2024-06-09 04:17:27 PM

    bwb wrote:

    Rob, you said "if a long-out-of-print item is made accessible to someone, that's ok in terms of providing a net benefit to society" So you agree flipping is OK, It's not a matter of doing it, what matters is how long you wait? These Black Sabbath records are out of print so it's OK if someone sells one and makes a profit once it is "long-out-of-print" but not OK if it is only recently out of print? It's bad if I buy a Black Sabbath recently out of print and make a few $$, but if find a rare Blue Note at a thrift shop for a dollar and flip it for $500 that's OK?

    Most but not all of the Music Matters Blue Note titles have gone up in value since they were released. Should I feel bad if I sell my set for more than I paid for it, or since I've had it a few years it's now ok to sell it for a profit?

    There are countless examples of such goods. Tickets to the Masters, some wines, some editions of women's luxury handbags, exotic limited edition sports cars, limited edition bourbons, some luxury watches, the latest hot toy every Christmas, Sriracha sauce when there was a shortage, and on and on.... all sell for more on the second hand market than when they were new, and more importantly for the sake of this discussion, just like this record, nobody actually needs any of those things. Retail for a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is $70 but street price is closer to $700. Do you think it is unethical that someone flips a bottle for more than they paid?

    Most of these Rhino release have not sold out. They are still only worth $40 at most. The price for the Black Sabbath has now fallen to around $115. I suspect since there are about 30 currently listed it will fall even further. A perfect example of prices being driven by supply and demand. Like it or not, that's how our economy works, always has.

    You can make all of the high-minded arguments you want, you will never convince me that making a profit on something that nobody actually needs is in any way unethical

    BTW comparing loud motorcycles to flipping is a very poor analogy

    It has been fun, but this is The end

  • 2024-06-09 04:35:13 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    bwb wrote: "BTW comparing loud motorcycles to flipping is a very poor analogy" I would like to suggest that changes if the loud motorcycle tearing it up in a quiet residential neighborhood itself flips over. It also then becomes quite hilarious in my opinion.

  • 2024-06-11 10:54:57 PM

    Rob wrote:

    Hi, bwb, not trying to have the last word here - obviously you can respond if you desire (or not), and when I dialogue/debate w/ someone like this, sometimes they do get the last word- but I want to clarify something- my issue is with people swooping up a chunk of limited supply-anything with the clear expectation/hope that soon they can turn a big (proportional) profit on it- I regard that as price-gouging. I think the critical distinction here is really one of intention. If the item in question is not a limited edition/strictly limited supply, and/or a person later determines that they want to sell a non-essential/discretionary item (limited edition or not) at a hefty profit, in that sense I don't regard the behavior as price-gouging- just the capitalism of collectibles. So if someone buys a copy of this and somewhere down the line, even if just months down the line, they change their mind and want to make a hefty profit on it, that's (IMO) essentially different than someone who deliberately contributes to eliminating the limited retail supply (and some of these have gone quickly) with the expectation/hope that the people left out at that time (to a degree due to the effort of flippers) later have no choice but to pay a much higher price for the same item if they want it enough, to benefit those flippers. For limited editions in high demand, flipping basically requires conceptualizing 'getting the jump on someone else' not for your own interest in the product (your personal copy) but to deliberately create circumstances to extract some money from them only because you beat them to it.

    You said, "You can make all of the high-minded arguments you want, you will never convince me that making a profit on something that nobody actually needs is in any way unethical." To clarify, I certainly wouldn't characterize it as being on the level of theft or injury to others or price-gouging of essentials or other much more substantive transgressions - that would be a crazy outlook. I'd characterize it as a modest-but-avoidable and highly selfish approach under the very particular circumstances I described. You also said, "BTW comparing loud motorcycles to flipping is a very poor analogy." Yeah, I think that was a poor analogy on my part.

    • 2024-06-12 05:34:55 AM

      bwb wrote:

      well stated, points taken, thanks for the exchange