Black Sabbath: Mob Rules (1981)

Since I’m on a DIO kick at the moment and as Amazon has not made available the deluxe reissues of both Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules available on vinyl, streaming will have to do..

“Sam The Record Man” was a record store chain here in Canada that was quite popular in the 80’s.

Tbay had one store and every Saturday morning from 9-9:15 am you could buy the new release that week on vinyl for $4.99. I saw that cover of Mob Rules and I was hooked.

I have always dug this cover even now. I mean album artwork was huge with the Iron Maiden covers, Judas Priest’s “Screaming For Vengeance”  even AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock cover was simple yet effective statement that made you take notice and Salute!

Let’s check out what Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi and Vinny Appice had cooking in those grooves…

Sabbath 1982 and I finally hop aboard the Slippery  Sludge Slope  Known as Black Sabbath!

“TURN UP THE NIGHT”- New drum boy Appice goes to town on the drums and we’re off! No Sludgey Pudgey Sabbath here as this is Iommi, Geezer and Ronnie forging new sonics! Martin Birch of Iron Maiden production fame twiddled the knobs here and I love the gruffness of the sound not clear, not mucky, not 80’s sounding  Martin just makes it sound like a Metal record.  The chorus here is real catchy…

“VOODOO”-Iommi the King  of Doom Riffs plays a not so doom riff and the boys all join in and Dio and company write a real catchy tune! The verses are beyond solid and the chorus is awesome! 2 songs in and I’m in…

“SIGN OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS”-Some real nice chill Iommi electric with Dio’s voice that starts this tune and just like whoosh here comes Geezer and Vinny laying down some Sabbath Sludge and it’s so good.  Appice is a monster on the drums here no doubt! This song just goes and goes where it stops only Ozzy knows! Hahahaha! Seriously though this is to my ears old school Sabbath but packed with a little more punch. Dio man he sings it and he delivers ….

“E5150”-I think this  was written on the studio console with a huge bag of (Ahem!)  party treats as it’s just a bunch of twiddling Synthy sounds that goes Into the immortal …

“MOB RULES”-Gem,Gem,Gem! Iommi pastes this song from  the get go and once “My Cousin Vinny” pounds his drums and Ol Geezer slams his bass this is a lean mean Sabbath Sonic Rocket Machine. Ronnie once he joins in with his opening line of… 

“Close the city and tell the people that something’s coming to call, death and darkness are rushing forward to take a bite from the wall!”

Holy shit this is the real deal as Dio spews it I buy into it! It’s as easy as that. Iommi  tosses down a very memorable solo and it’s back to mega riffs,bombastic drums,wicked lead vocals and Yep I got a sonic hard on!  Dio sings it best “Your all fools…..Mob Rules!” Ditto that RJD!

“COUNTRY GIRL”-Country Girl! Track 6 and here’s the Sludgey Sabbath I have been waiting for! The song gets out of the gate with the boys slamming the song with cymbal smashes and doom riffs and Ronnie throws down a real wicked vocal. This is a dirty Sabbath which has Country Girl burning down the Farmhouse with the witches she met at Black Masses!

“SLIPPING AWAY”-Vinny totally rocks this song he pounds the tom toms into submission while Iommi and crew keep up to his pace and Dio brings a melodic approach to the vocals and melodies and that with Tony’s riffing they make a great one two punch! Geezer is baked as the crispy sun shines slaps the crap out of his Bass and Vinny he’s a beast, plain and simple.

“FALLING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD”-7 plus minutes of classic 70s Sabbath.The song starts off at a snails pace and slowly builds and builds up and than of course the song shifts into overdrive close to halfway thru and 80s Sabbath does 70s Sabbath Justice. It doesn’t conform to the 3 minute Shake N Bake Cheese Rock of many! (I ain’t naming names but if your a reader here you  know the deal!) instead these are songs that have no rules attached to no formula! Hey were Sabbath!

“OVER AND OVER”-Doomie an Gloomie are on tap! Iommi powers down every last stitch of doom rock he’s got Into Over and Over! Sabbath saves the last two tracks of Mob Rules to my ears anyways that I thought the whole record was gonna sound like! Them Sabbath fellas fooled me.  Dio belts it out. Vinny slams it out. Geezer 4 strings it out. Iommi dooms it out and Over And Over knocks me out. You want heavy, this is and heavy not played a million miles a hour!

Now if you buy the Deluxe version of  “Mob Rules” on CD here is a show that may interest you. “Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, April 22, 1982″ which features pretty much the same track listing as the Live Evil which was to come at the conclusion of the Mob Rules Tour.

It’s a great live recording(listen to Geezer smack the Bass at the beginning of “N.I.B”) and being totally live the keyboards are jacked up which takes a few listens to get used to but once you get past that this is Sabbath Live. Period.

Lot’s of extra goodies stuffed on this…

Bonus Tracks
10.    “The Mob Rules” – Heavy Metal Soundtrack Version
11.    “Die Young” – Live B-Side Of “Mob Rules” 7” *
12.    “The Mob Rules” – New 2021 Mix **
Live At The Hammersmith Odeon London (31/12/81 – 2/1/82)
13.    “Country Girl”
14.    “Slipping Away” 
15.    “The Mob Rules”
16.    “Voodoo”
Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, April 22, 1982 
17.    Intro **
18.    “Neon Knights” **
Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR, April 22, 1982
1.       “N.I.B.” **
2.       “Children Of The Sea” **
3.       “Voodoo” **
4.       “Black Sabbath” **
5.       “War Pigs” **
6.       Drum Solo **
7.       “Iron Man” **
8.       “The Mob Rules” **
9.       “Heaven And Hell” **
10.    Guitar Solo **
11.    “Sign Of The Southern Cross/Heaven And Hell” – Reprise **
12.    “Paranoid” **
13.    “Children Of The Grave” **

More value bang for the buck!

dEke’s Stream-A-Rater-Rating….10/10





41 thoughts on “Black Sabbath: Mob Rules (1981)”

      1. I love it. No two albums after the Dio era are the same. Variety is the spice of life they say. And hearing the different vocalist’s takes on the classic songs too. Sabbath are my second favourite band largely due to all the variety

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree variety is good and it does take time to get used to. Maybe the reason why I dig AC/DC is because they never changed their sound. So I guess change is something I need to get used to. I watched Sea of Tranquility tackle the history of Black Sabbath, so I definitely want to give them a try eventually. The Born Again album sounds interesting because I like the album cover. Idk, what would you recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Indeed yes, consistency also has its merits. And AC/DC have perfected that ideology for sure.

        As for Sabbath, I would recommend Mob Rules. If you’re feeling a little adventurous then Seventh Star, but that one is a very different one to their usual style. Heaven and Hell is also considered to be a high point in the discography.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Or maybe it is Mob Rules and Seventh Star is two. The math is the same for both of them. Depends on my mood I guess


  1. I think this one is actually better than Heaven & Hell, even if the highlights are quite as monstrous as the prior record, it’s more consistent. And it’s highs are no slouch either. It’s just some of the greatest metal songs of all time against more of the greatest, but not as mind bendingly awesome.


    1. There was always people in the store but never any lineups to get into the store at that time plus to was in the dead of winter so all my friends were sleeping at the time. lol
      They used to print an add in Fridays paper with a coupon in it and that one Saturday I cut it out and took the bus down with coupon in hand.
      Man, I miss those days…


      1. That’s beautiful. Takes me back to standing in line at midnight at Dr. Disc in Windsor to buy Day For Night direct from the shipping box on the countertop… I love it when memories like that get attached to albums. Right on!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Deke. This is definitely one of Sabbath’s very best of any era. Southern Cross is the one for me – I just love the vastness of that one.

    I’ve always liked this one way better than Heaven & Hell too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is actually 1981! Speaking of which I wanted to ask you – one of my favourite shows last year was the 1980 show. The one where you and I did a deep dive into three albums from that year. Wanna do it again this summer but for 1981?

    At least three of these riffs were mentioned on Friday’s show! A testament to Mob Rules.

    King of doom riffs indeed…but I like it! Gotta get this new reissue. How is that 2021 remix?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn good catch.i guess the fact that I discovered it early in 82 must have stuck in my head. So much for fact checking lol
      Doing a deep dive into the albums of 81 would be fun…
      Remix to me sounds fine but you would be the better gauge of that one…I really like the Portland show added.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. November 81 — so a month later and it was 82.

        Let’s do it next summer, just like we did last time — outdoors in the sun on a Friday night.

        Portland show is NOT on the prior edition, so added value there for me!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Deke. I’ll be honest… I never really got into Sabbath beyond the first 6 albums and haven’t spend a great deal of time with the Dio stuff. A few cursory listens. Playing in the background. Listening to a few select tracks. I’ll make an effort to give this a whirl.


  5. Geez, Deke! The one-liners! “My Cousin Vinny” got me the most! Are you here all night? lol

    And 9-9:15 am. What a small window!

    I need to upgrade my scratchy vinyl copy of this. I’ll get it one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A movie quote for the master of movie views! Actually some of these reviews I have been adding from my original ones I had scribbled about 8-9 years ago when I started. Clean em up and add my 2 cents..
      Thanks for noticing my goofiness In full effect! lol


  6. Yes !!! I love this record Deke. I remember when you got it. The Dio years were my favourite sabbath era. Spinning this one at work as I write this. Good one buddy !!

    Liked by 1 person

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