At just some 40 minutes of air-time and a meager 8 tracks, with a new front man the band just hired off The Rainbow bar on the Sunset Strip in L.A., a record really needed to be good. The classic and 9th studio album Heaven and Hell from Black Sabbath will qualify – to an extent. And yes, to an extent only. ‘Tis not all great and shiny disco lights. Not all tracks will really open heaven’s gates on this disk. But be this as it may, there definitely is improvement on this album, and this on several fronts at once. But more to that later.
Ronnie James Padavone aka Dio was hired to pull this supposedly foundering ship called Black Sabbath off its moorings and into the deep sea where it belonged. Whisperings abound that one Sharon Arden actually introduced the new guy to Tony Iommy. The very same lady that should get some fame as Ozzy’s wife and manager later on. And isn’t it ironic that Dio had his hiring interview in a bar of the same name than his last band Rainbow? And with this crew he celebrated remarkable successes like Rising or Long Live Rock’n’Roll. [...]