heavy metal film

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1981. Mob Rules

 is the tenth album by band Black Sabbath, released in November. It followed 1980’s Heaven and Hell, and it was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio prior to the 1992 .

The very first new recording Black Sabbath made after the Heaven and Hell album was an alternate version of the title track “The Mob Rules”, recorded at John Lennon’s old English home Tittenhurst Park, which appeared on the soundtrack of the film Heavy Metal released earlier in the year in July. In the liner notes to the 2008 box set The Rules of Hell, bassist Geezer Butler claims the famous white piano that Lennon (who had been assassinated the previous December) had written his famous song “Imagine” on was still in the room. 

Tony Iommi  writes that initially the band had hoped to record in their own studio to save money and actually purchased a sound desk but “We just couldn’t get a guitar sound. We tried it in the studio. We tried it in the hallway. We tried it everywhere but it just wasn’t working. We’d bought a studio and it wasn’t working!” The band eventually recorded the album at the Record Plant in Los Angeles and wound up spending twice as much money.

Mob Rules was the first Black Sabbath release to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward in the middle of the tour in support of the previous year’s Heaven and Hell. Dio explained that, while playing with Ward on Heaven and Hell had been wonderful, “Vinnie added this other flavor. He was a real listener. Instead of thinking of himself as one kind of player, he was part of the band and really played off people.

The seeds of discontent appear to have sprouted when Dio was offered a solo deal by Warner Brothers, with Iommi stating in his memoir, "After the (Heaven and Hell) record became such a great success, Warner Brothers extended the contract at the same time, offering Ronnie a solo deal. That felt a bit odd to us, because we were a band and we didn’t want to separate anybody. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have a solo deal, but it seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time.” Dio confided in an interview , the recording of Mob Rules was a far more difficult process for him than Heaven and Hell had been because “we approached the writing very much differently than the first one.  

another great Sabbath album, this one a bit different than its predecessors but still a pleasant listening. Recommended to all those who liked “Heaven and Hell”; it’s basically the same thing.

Tony Iommi       Geezer Butler      Ronnie James Dio    Vinny Appice