Black Sabbath: Technical Ecstasy: Super Deluxe (Rhino/Warner Records, 4 CDs). After six classic albums, Black Sabbath was starting to fall apart when it released “Technical Ecstasy” in October 1976. As much as anything, drugs were the cause and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne would only last one more album in his first tenure with the band. Musically, the album is more diverse, but only a couple of the songs really stand out.

This Super Deluxe edition features a remastered original album, plus the album, outtakes and alternate mixes remixed by Steven Wilson over two discs, and live performances from the 1976-77 world tour. There also is a 60-page hardcover book with photos, artwork and liner notes; a color poster; and a wonderful replica of the 1976-77 world tour concert book.

Highlights of the album are “You Won’t Change Me,” with its doom and gloom opening bass riff, before a keyboard comes in and there is nice late guitar by Tony Iommi; drummer Bill Ward singing the simpler, Beatlesque “It’s Alright,” with its touch of acoustic guitar; and “Back Street Kids,” one of a trio of standard rockers here. The other two rockers are “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor” and “Dirty Women.” Right after Ward’s vocal on “It’s Alright,” he opens “Gypsy” with some wild drumming. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” is rather ho-hum except for a funky bass line. The bleak ballad “She’s Gone” is highly orchestrated.

Overall, the second disc with Wilson’s remix improves the album slightly. Osbourne’s vocals come off better and the music on “Gypsy” sounds good. Also sounding better is “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor.” The one track not remixed is the mono single version of “It’s Alright.” Disc three has eight tracks remixed by Wilson, with “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” using harmonica instead of the keyboard on the final version. Here, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor” has a more seesaw rhythm. There are two versions of “She’s Gone,” one being an outtake and the other the instrumental mix.

On the concert disc, there are good performances of the band chestnuts “War Pigs” and “Snowblind.” The band performs three songs from the album, with “Gypsy” working well. The other two are “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” and “Dirty Women.” There is a combined drum and guitar solo. Bassist Geezer Butler does not get to solo.

The hardcover book, like the previous deluxe sets, features quotes from the band members and those around them made during the time and subsequently. The poster is of the cover image, with four semi-mechanical drawings of the band members beneath it. The 24-page official program reproduction, despite having very small type, is an excellent keepsake, including a one-page comic. Grade: overall package B

Roger Taylor: Outsider (EMI CD). The Queen drummer’s sixth solo album, but first in eight years, is a more reflective effort, with several songs considering mortality and others looking back on the 72-year-old’s life. Restricted to his home during the Coiv-19 pandemic, the opener “Tides” contains the sound of the tides he could hear from his seaside house. The track is very atmospheric, as it considers old age and mortality.

“I Know I Know I Know” is a remorseful lover’s confession, while “More Kicks,” the album’s first rocker, and with sax, is a celebration of Taylor’s wild youth. The song speeds up dramatically in the second half. The title track is optimistic, as opposed to the protest song, “Gangsters Are Running the World.” There are two versions of the latter, with the “Purple Version” being quite funky and loud. In between is “We’re All Just Trying To Get By,” featuring harmony vocals by Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.

A highlight of the album is Taylor’s bright, funky cover of “The Clapping Song,” a happy number that reached the Top Ten when recorded by Shirley Ellis in 1965 and again was a hit in 1982 for The Belle Stars. Taylor also returns to three numbers from his back catalog, with the ballad “Absolutely Anything,” featuring some late nice guitar, having been a song in the 2015 film of that name; “Foreign Sand” being a stripped-down version of the song he wrote with Japan’s Yashiki that was a Top 30 hit in 1994; and the closing, 7-minute “Journey’s End,” another reflective piece that was a single and a mini-movie four years ago. The latter gives a good sense of the cosmos. A booklet contains the lyrics. Grade: A-

The Chameleons: Elevated Living: Live in Manchester, London & Spain” (Cherry Red, 2 CDs + DVD, 2 hours 20 min.). The quartet, fronted by bassist-vocalist Mark Burgess, created post-punk music in the 1980s that was notable for the poetic quality and intensity of the lyrics. The band formed in Middleton, part of Greater Manchester, England in 1981. The guitarists were Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies, both from the band Years, and the drummer was John Lever. Burgess often played a driving bass reminiscent of Joy Division and the guitarists played fuzzy, distorted hooks, adding to the moodiness of many of the songs.

The band was briefly signed to Geffen Records, releasing their third album, “Strange Times,” in 1986. Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher has cited that album as a tremendous influence on him, while Verve guitarist Nick McCabe names their debut album, “Script of the Bridge” (1983), as one of his top 10 favorites. The Chameleons’ second album was “What Does Anything Mean? Basically” in 1985. The band broke up in 1987, after the sudden death of its manager, but reformed 2000 to 2003, releasing “Why Call It Anything” in 2001. In 2009, Burgess and Lever came together as ChameleonVox. Lever eventually left again and he died in 2017. According to the 16-page booklet with this release, Burgess and Smithies have teamed up and are playing again as The Chameleons.

The first disc here contains two early Manchester shows, recorded months before the August 1983 release of their first album. Some of the songs eventually will be reworked and two actually get lost. It is the third show in London, on disc two, where the band’s brilliance is fully realized. The DVD contains all three complete shows and the complete Spanish “Arsenal” TV broadcast, including light-hearted interview bits with Burgess and Lever, while the second CD only contains the four complete songs from “Arsenal.”

The first show is Dec. 18, 1982 at The Gallery Club in Manchester. The mono sound contributes to a bit of sameness, especially in Burgess’ singing, but some of their classics already are in the set list, including “Don’t Fall,” “Monkeyland” (about the deceit in the music business), “Pleasure & Pain” and “Second Skin,” a song about mortality and a near-death experience. The Joy Division-like sounds come through on “In Shreds,” which was their first single, produced by Steve Lillywhite in 1982. Lever, who came from Politicians,” is particularly effective on “Here Today,” written as a reaction to John Lennon’s murder. “As High As You Can Go” is more melodic, with some keyboard play. “Lost” songs – never recorded – are “Things I Wish I’d Said,” which Burgess says at the end that “that one was dreadful,” and “Nathan’s Phase,” a good rocker with the lyric, “Just a phase you’re going through.” This show only has been previously released on CD  in both 1996 and 2001.

The second show, with the crowd already larger and more appreciative, is from Jan. 28, 1983 at The Hacienda in Manchester. Standouts are “Pleasure & Pain,” “In Shreds,” “Don’t Fall” and “Second Skin,’ as five of the seven songs repeat. Two other songs are earlier incarnations: “Men of Steel” will evolve into “A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days”; and “Years Ago” will become “Thursday’s Child.” The sound is better for this show.

The third show, on disc two, was recorded Nov. 9, 1984 at The Camden Palace in London, which Burgess describes as “posh” at one point. This is the best looking of the concerts; the second Manchester one was too dark. The group performs eight songs from the debut album; a wild cover of Alternate TV’s “Splitting in Two,” with Smithies moving to drums and Lever to bass; and four songs from what would be their second album, which they would begin recording two weeks later. The latter include the forceful “Singing Rule Britannia (While the Walls Close In),” a reaction to the government of Margaret Thatcher, and the guitar-driven “Return of the Roughnecks. “Singing Rule Britannia,” in which a bit of “On Broadway” is added near the end, would be a future single. Another new song is the heavy “Intrigue in Tangiers.” All the previous highlights from the second show are repeated, and sound even better.

The final concert, for the Spanish TV show “Arsenal,” was recorded at Discoteca 666 in Barcelona on June 7, 1985. The full songs, on the CD, are “Here Today,” “Return of the Roughnecks,” “Less Than Human” and “Splitting in Two.” The Spanish narrator of the show talks a lot, but there are no translation subtitles. The whole show lasts 37 minutes on the DVD. The package comes with an informative essay by Lois Wilson of MOJO Magazine in the booklet, which has nine nice photos as well. Grade: A-

The Chameleons in the mid-1980s were, from left, Dave Fielding, Reg Smithies, Mark Burgess and John Lever.