Well today a couple of Sabbath reissues drop those being “Heaven And Hell” and “The Mob Rules”. I thought maybe it would be fun to step back in the time machine with you all…
It was a fellow student at high school back in early 83 who had the vinyl copy of “Live Evil” by Black Sabbath as it ended up being the farewell album for vocalist Ronnie James Dio and his sidekick drummer Vinny Appice.
Who knew that back in 82?
I sure as hell didn’t..
Anyways that fellow’s name I went to school with was Dave Kumas (M.IA) and he loved, and I mean loved Sabbath. Ozzy era, Dave had all the records. Dio era of Sabbath, Dave had the two Ronnie fronted Sabbath albums at the time (“Heaven and Hell”,”Mob Rules”)
I had one Sabbath album back in 82 and that was “Mob Rules”. I had just gotten for Christmas 1982, Ozzy’s “Speak of the Devil”. Needless to say I was way behind the times in Sabbath but Dave displayed his loyalty and passion for Sabbath so I respected that as I had some catching up to do.
“Live Evil” in 83 was me making an attempt at catching up on Sabbath as Ronnie,Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice released this double live album recorded on the Mob Rules Tour (Seattle, San Antonio and Dallas were the chosen spots) back in 81-82.
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. E5150 (2:21)
2. Neon Knights (4:36)
3. N.I.B. (5:09)
4. Children of the Sea (6:08)
5. Voodoo (6:07)
6. Black Sabbath (8:39)
7. War Pigs (9:19)
8. Iron Man (7:29)
9. The Mob Rules (4:10)
10. Heaven & Hell (12:04)
11. The Sign of the Southern Cross/Heaven & Hell (Continued) (7:15)
12. Paranoid (3:46)
13. Children of the Grave (5:25)
14. Fluff (0:59)
Total Time 83:27
Line-up / Musicians
Tony Iommi / Lead Guitar
Geezer Butler / Bass
Ronnie James Dio / Vocals
Vinny Appice / Drums
Geoff Nicholls / Keyboards
Looking at this list of songs now and listening to it in 2021 I realized that Ronnie’s interpretations of the Ozzy led material on this album was the first time I heard these tracks musically done by the two guys that created the riffs. (Iommi and Butler) whereas listening to Speak of the Devil by Ozzy I first heard those Sabbath tracks by the vocalist that originally sang on them.
The Ronnie Sabbath material on here like from “Heaven and Hell” and the followup “The Mob Rules” are stellar. Sure, Dio and Appice after quitting accused Iommi and Butler of tweaking the studio dials when they weren’t around as there was a ton of cocaine about so maybe someone was Paranoid (see what I just did there?).
Looking back Dio does justice to Ozzy songs and there is Ronnie shouting Geezer Butler and and were off and running into “N.I.B”.
Iommi and his guitar tone is stellar. Sounding heavy yet clear while Appice drives the train forward with his drumming.
The band sounds loud on this and the audience is mixed quietly. lol. Yet still this is a great live album that for some reason is kinda forgotten about.
So however much dicking about in the studio that was or wasn’t done on “Live Evil” in the end doesn’t really matter to me as if Sabbath was indeed coked up then so be it.
Why isn’t Snowblind on here then?
I think I need to track this one down on vinyl at some point or perhaps now that the reissues of “Heaven and Hell” and “The Mob Rules” have surfaced perhaps Iommi and Butler may rerelease “Live Evil” which to me they should.
dEke’s Stream-A-Rater: 8.5/10