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Ask The Expert: Meaningful Black Sabbath vinyl?

A copy of Black Sabbath’s first album has side two of 'Paranoid' pressed on its flip side. Does it have any value?
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Q: I have a copy of Black Sabbath’s first album (shown above), pressed on side two is the album Paranoid’s side two. What’s the story?
— AJ LaRue, via Facebook

A: Congratulations! From deep within the apparently bottomless pit of meaningless LP mispressings that most record collectors file under “curio,” you have extracted one that is both genuinely fascinating, and surely of interest to most Black Sabbath completists.

There is no way of being certain precisely how this mispressing came to pass — in most cases, consecutive (or thereabouts) catalog numbers are the most obvious suspect. But that is clearly not the case here — Sabbath’s first, eponymous, album was #1871; the follow-up, Paranoid, was # 1887. More likely, it occurred during one of many repressings of the catalog undertaken post-1973

Either way, it is definitely a score, and one that would be of interest to a far wider cross section of Sabbath collectors than the usual mispressings, involving two utterly unrelated artists, that we usually hear about in these pages.

Well found!

— Dave Thompson
Author of the Goldmine Record Album Price Guide, 9th Ed.