Black Sabbath: Live Evil (1983)

What I find amusing currently in the world of rock is the fact that Journey is a band that is suing each other.

Neil Schon and Jon ‘The Preacher’ Cain are there night after night up onstage yet (collecting huge paycheques) they are both being pissy with each other over finances or whatever it is they are haggling over.

I tell you all as an outsider I love reading this stuff as those two guys are millionaires yet they are tweaked sideways with each other for whatever reason.

Old Man Rock Drama… It’s the best!

So now you’re probably going “why is deKe yakking about Journey?” Well, kids its simple as back in  82 a whole lotta  pissy pants rock drama went down with Sabbath while mixing this album.

So the Sabs were riding high with Ronnie James Dio fronting the band and his pal Vinny Appice on the drums along with of course Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. So it was decided that Sabbath would record some shows (Seattle, Dallas and San Antonio) for a live album titled “Live Evil”(perfect title for a live Sabbath record if you were to ask me).

From what I have read the tensions were building on the “Mob Rules” tour as the and was divided into two camps. Tony/Geezer on one side and Vinny/Ronnie on the other.

Guess things really boiled over when the band was mixing this live record as Tony and Geezer were coked out of there heads and didn’t show up to the studio whereas Ronnie and Vinny did and due to a breakdown in communication the band blew apart before “Live Evil” hit the shops. (you can read about this online its everywhere if you are looking for a more detailed account)

So by January ’83 when the double live record hit store shelves this incarnation of Sabbath was done.

A shame really as I prefer the Dio fronted Sabbath as “Mob Rules” (studio album) was my entry point into their world back in 81.

Love that gatefold and the 14 songs presented here is a great cross section of material during not only Dio’s time in the band but also Ozzy’s time as well.

How much fixing up did this record undergo in the studio? I have no idea and I really don’t care as this is a great time capsule of a band that had put out two stellar studio albums and one live album in under three years and yet they were done.

Dio does the Ozzy tunes justice and in his own style whereas Tony, Geezer and Vinny drive the band with they’re musical muscle chops.

Now in regards to this live album when it hit the stores Tony and Geezer really laid out Ronnie and Vinny under the bus. Look at the credits on the back cover pictured below.

Has there ever been any Dio release (Rainbow or solo) where the credits have the singer listed as Ronnie Dio and no James in the middle?

How about Vinny Appice being listed in smaller print under the “Special Guests” on the album below the Keyboardist (Geoff Nicholls) who was offstage on the tour.


Course the album was produced by Tony and Geezer as well so there’s that issue I’m sure with Dio at the time.

The reason why I brought up Journey drama at the top of the page as it would have made for some great reading if back in ’83 there was social media like Twitter and FaceCrack so these guys could have been verbally been taken cheap shots at each other. But just like the Journey fiasco I could have sat at home and read about the silliness pettiness between millionaires.

In saying all that I have never owned this album in any format until a few weeks ago when I came across it in my local record shop (Spins) for $15! (I had it taped for me on cassette tape back in high school from a fella named Dave Kumas who was a huge Sabbath fan). So for me this album is so worth it now to own on vinyl.

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Live Evil….8.5/10




30 thoughts on “Black Sabbath: Live Evil (1983)”

  1. I stopped listening to Journey after Steve left. I did see them live a few years ago with Def Leppard, but that is it. Now, I do love the behind the scenes drama for both bands mentioned here. They are all such little flowers with their egos…so delicate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never really listened to Journey when Steve was in the band lol other than having at one point Greatest Hits on CD which I got from Columbia House back in the day.
      You’re right they are delicate fragile egos. Makes for a great read though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never seen Journey live, and on the day they are playing in Toronto, my wife and I will already be in the city. I checked for tickets and the “cheapest” nosebleeds are $163 each at face value. Maybe that’s what they’re arguing about. Perhaps one of them hates gouging fans and charging 2-3 times what the tickets should be worth.
    Nice comparison between Dio fronted Sabbath and Journey with the new guy.
    It makes me wonder if Live Evil era Sabbath was kind of like Van Halen and to some extent AC/DC, especially later on, in which the lead guitarist ruled the roost, and egos took over.
    After Live Evil Tony put out decent albums, but treaded water for the most part for 10 years. Geezer probably lived up to his name and told kids to get off his lawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…Geezer yelling at kids! Those Journey tix are crazy. My daughters paid for my maiden tix in Toronto last year and with all the fees included it was around $160 but we were lower level at centre ice roughly…
      Like many Journey are a brand now…its about the dough as I think the lead singer they have is going to bolt at some point…thats my 2 cents…


  3. I like the way that keyboardist spells his first name!
    I think it was Chuck Klosterman that wrote about rock stars having a sort of ‘arrested development’ where in a lot of cases, they don’t really mature beyond their late teens and don’t tend to surround themselves with people that can offer them perspective. And so you get the (very well said by the way, Deke!) “silliness pettiness between millionaires” from their lack of communication / conflict resolution skills, fragile egos etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thats a great point about bands not maturing which makes total sense as they all get surrounded by handlers and yes men as no one can tell them no!
      That was a huge problem for Motley Crue in the mid 90s when there career was tanking and they were being told No by the record company and those Crue guys could not handle the fact they were being told that….
      So are you playing the keyboards today Geoff? lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He did have a great voice…no denying that. I just listened to him do Ozzy songs…it was really good. Gotta love those dramas! I can’t believe the listings…that is so small and petty.

    It’s just me…but Cain ruined Journey in my opinion…I know I’m in the minority.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on Cain. Watch YouTube clips of him live and he’s so mopey like he wants to be anywhere but on a concert stage.
      They should have brought back Rollie. Cain though have no problem counting the money in his offering plate after each show lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rollie yes! And YES again. Cain is grumpy…he should tour with Don Henley.
        In my pointy head…the band that I liked ended after Departure.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a good album. Shame about all the in-fighting but then again it’s a pretty hilarious story to wind up blowing a band apart over a live album. Dio Sabbath made some great music but couldn’t ever keep it together.

    Liked by 1 person

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