We’ve reached ‘Live Evil’ in the super deluxe reissues from Black Sabbath and whilst the box sets have been of the highest standards the last few Dio year’s releases have been something else. from the quality of the packaging and what in the sets for Sabbath fans it’s been the ultimate treat as far as reissues and remastered packages go they’ve truly gone the extra mile for the fans. So ‘Live Evil’ might get its critics for featuring the remastered vinyl and the original but I guess it would be live evil overload to include an extra live show as part of this set anyway seeing as the original was culled from various live recordings as part of the tour.

In this box, you have a hard case with superb artwork from the original as well as the heavyweight records but the cream of this package is the lavish 40-page hardback book depicting the Dio era of Sabbath which had its critics but it also took the band in a different direction of creativity and threw up the two mightily impressive studio albums that provide the majority of the material on this live album. As you’d expect BMG has done a pretty amazing job on the remaster as they have done on all the Sabbath box sets thus far and the inclusion of the book to muse through whilst revelling in the remaster is a beautiful thing.

Stop moaning about having a pristine 180gm version of the original and marvel at yet another top-tier Sabbath box to add to your collection. Adding Dio to the ranks of Sabbath was always contentious due to the shadow cast by Ozzy but Dio committed 100% to the task at hand and with one of the most amazing vocals in metal he delivered on all fronts holding his own in such an iconic role. The myths and stories about the recording of this record have never gone away but the one thing I can say is his vocals stand tall and are incredible after all these years and Wyn Davies has done a brilliant job on the remastering ‘Neon Nights’, ‘Mob Rules’, ‘Heaven And Hell’ easily stand up to the interpretations of Sabbath classics such as ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Paranoid’ and the monster version of ‘The Sign Of The Southern Cross’ is still a magical highlight from any of the band’s output.

With this being the band’s first live album it stands as a true testament to the awesomeness of Ronnie James Dio’s vocals and live presence. A masterpiece in live albums for many many people and on the evidence of this box set BMG and Camp Sabbath have done yet another truly awesome job. Add live Evil to your collection as a matter of urgency. Sabbath mark ii was truly a giant and rightly so. What next? ‘Born Again’ please and give some kudos to the Gillan mark iii era of Sabbath. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley




2-CD And 2-LP Versions Of First Black Sabbath Albums With Ronnie James Dio On Vocals Feature Newly Remastered Audio Along With Rare And Unreleased Music

Ronnie James Dio joined Black Sabbath in 1979 which resulted in two back-to-back classic albums: Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules. On those memorable albums, Dio’s soaring tenor and gothic songwriting were the perfect foil for the band’s bone-crushing mix of razor-sharp riffs, intense grooves, and dark imagery.

BMG salutes the long shadow cast by this short-lived line-up with newly remastered versions of both albums expanded with rare and unreleased music. HEAVEN AND HELL: DELUXE EDITION and MOB RULES: DELUXE EDITION will be released separately on November 4th and November 18th. Each album will be available on 2-CDs, or a 2-LP set. Due to space constraints, both vinyl editions include a selection of bonus material from the CDs. The music will also be available via digital download and streaming services the same day.

Dio joined Black Sabbath for the first time in 1979 and quickly found kindred spirits in guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward. When Heaven And Hell was released in April 1980, the album was met with effusive reviews for the band’s return to form on metal masterpieces like “Neon Knights” and the title track. The album reached #9 in the U.K. and #28 in the U.S., where it was also certified platinum.

HEAVEN AND HELL: DELUXE EDITION adds several bonus tracks, including versions of “Children Of The Sea” and “Die Young” recorded live in 1980 in Hartford, CT. The set concludes with live rarities like “E5150” and “Neon Knights” that originally appeared in 2007 on the limited-edition collection, Black Sabbath: Live At Hammersmith Odeon.

To follow-up Heaven And Hell, the group returned to the studio in 1981 to begin recording Mob Rules, with drummer Vinny Appice joining the band for the first time. Released in October 1981 and certified gold, the album was another Sabbath classic, including standouts like “The Sign Of The Southern Cross,” “Turn Up The Night” and the title track.

MOB RULES: DELUXE EDITION boasts an expansive selection of rare and unreleased recordings. Along with additional tracks from Live At Hammersmith Odeon, the collection also includes a newly mixed version of “The Mob Rules.” The cherry on top is an entire concert recorded in 1982 in Portland, OR. Highlights include stellar performances of “Neon Knights”, “Heaven And Hell” and “Voodoo.”