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Inspiration & Obligation

Two bands that have been justifiably celebrated by a younger generation of metallists and hard-rockers are Black Sabbath and Rush. Sabbath's Reunion (Epic), featuring the original quartet, is a cause for celebration as the years melt away on earsplitting versions of "War Pigs," "Paranoid" and "Iron Man." Ozzy Osbourne's between-song non-sequiturs "We love you!" and "God bless you!" seem hilariously out of place yet completely sincere. Welcome back, lads. Rush's massive three-disc Different Stages: Live (Atlantic) contains performances from 1978, 1994 and 1997, and though overkill is typical of the trio from the Great White North, the set does offer crisp versions of such classics as "Tom Sawyer," "Closer to the Heart" and "The Trees."

And finally, on Live from the Middle East, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones turn in a sweaty ska-core set from their favorite hometown hangout. Too bad it's marred by vocalist Dicky Barrett's typically sore-throated barking. Will someone get this guy a cough drop

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