Black Sabbath album released in 1980.
Black Sabbath May 1979. Exit Ozzy Osbourne, enter Ronnie James Dio. A lot of Black Sabbath conossieurs had negative feelings towards the line-up change thinking nobody could replace Ozzy, but former Rainbow and Elf singer Dio blew them completely away. Heaven And Hell contains some of the most well known songs to come out of Black Sabbath, including Children Of The Sea, Lady Evil, Neon Knights and of course the title track Heaven And Hell.
This album isn't just Dio's however. The undisputed riff-meister Tony Iommi again showed excactly why he was and is considered the godfather of heavy metal guitarism. Sabbath's proven recipe of guitar riffs followed closely by Geezer Butler's bass and held together by the steady drumming of Bill Ward, again had metalheads througout the world banging their heads in perfect synchronization.
Black Sabbath with Dio had truly arrived, leading the massive frontal assault that was to become Heavy Metal in the 1980's. A lot of the early 80's upcoming metal bands have evidently lent an ear or two to Heaven And Hell.
The album has a very tight sounding and polished appearance, thanks to the recording veteran Martin Birch. He managed to do away with the sloppy sounding Sabbath of the 70's completely, something he followed up nicely on Sabbath's 1981 studio album Mob Rules. Heaven And Hell was recorded in Miami, Florida with some additional work done in Studio Ferber in Paris, France.
While some say that Dio's lyrics sometimes are unintentionally funny, medieval themes and the fight between good and evil have always been prevalent in his writing. At least then, he is consistently unintentionally funny. Heaven And Hell follows the pattern in that respect, featuring smoking and card playing angels with painted fingernails on the album cover illustrated by Lynn Curlee.
Heaven And Hell was released April 1, 1980 and was received well by both critics and fans. It eventually sold enough to earn Black Sabbath a U.S. gold record trophy. Because of Sabbath entering the charts they were invited to appear on Top Of The Pops, something they declined. Instead, they dragged their gear to Roxy in Harlesden, London to shoot a staged live performance with overdubbed music. The only two songs to appear as music videos from Heaven And Hell were Die Young and Neon Knights. The art of making music videos was evidently in its infancy in 1980. The synchronization of sound and picture are so-so in several places, and overall it's a pretty boring display of guitar close-ups and drummer Bill Ward's upper body. Oh well.
On April 17, 1980, Black Sabbath embarked on the Heaven And Hell World Tour which lasted until February 2, 1981. This tour had both Dio's first live appearance with Black Sabbath as well as Bill Ward's final live appearance for years. On August 23, 1980, in the middle of the tour, drummer Bill Ward bowed out of Black Sabbath to be replaced by Vinnie Appice.
In 1996 Heaven And Hell was digitally remastered and re-released on CD.
- Neon Knights (3:44)
- Children Of The Sea (5:33)
- Lady Evil (4:23)
- Heaven And Hell (6:55)
- Wishing Well (4:04)
- Die Young (4:36)
- Walk Away (4:18)
- Lonely Is The Word (5:47)
The vinyl release starts out with Wishing Well on the B-side.
Performers and credits
All lyrics were written by Ronnie James Dio and all songs were written and arranged by Butler/Dio/Iommi/Ward, although it is rumoured that Geoff Nicholls - the keyboardist who had to perform off stage during concerts - came up with the bass line for the title track. Another rumour floating about is that Craig Gruber, bassist for Elf and Rainbow and at one stage considered as a member of Sabbath, played and co-wrote all the songs on the album. I personally find this a bit hard to believe after hearing both Geezer Butler's and Craig Gruber's playing style.
Heaven And Hell
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil
The Devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you're a taker
So it's on and on and on, it's Heaven and Hell, oh well
The lover of life's not a sinner
The ending is just a beginner
The closer you get to the meaning
The sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell
I can tell, fool, fool!
Well if it seems to be real, it's illusion
For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it's on and on, on and on and on....
They say that life's a carousel
Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
The world is full of Kings and Queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It's Heaven and Hell, oh well
And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It's Heaven and Hell, oh no!
You've got to bleed for the dancer!
Look for the answer!
Fool, fool, fool!
On the 1982 live album Live Evil, Heaven And Hell is intertwined with Sign Of The Southern Cross from the 1981 album Mob Rules. Towards the end of the "medley", Dio sings two verses not on the studio album:
There's a big black shape looking up at me
He says "I know where you ought to be"
He says come with me and I'll give you ... desire!
But first you've got to burn burn burn burn in fire!
Then a little white shape look down at me
Saying "I know where you ought to be"
"Come with me, cause I know just what to do"
But I say go away, I'm gonna burn in hell with all of you!
With every last one of you!
See you there
Don't be late
I'll take you there.
Lyrics taken from Black Sabbath's official website and reprinted without permission.