Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell (1980) – Review

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Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell Album CoverAt 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. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Dio – Holy Diver (1983) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Dio - Holy Diver - Album CoverWhen – in 1982 – Ronnie James Dio defected from Black Sabbath and got his own band in a tearing hurry, we were all kind of scratching our heads. Not knowing where this was all going to end. Of course also counting the fact that Vinnie Appice took off with him on this flight from the witches. The vapors surrounding their somewhat abrupt departure were pregnant with disconsolate news. About infights at Black Sabbath, all about power and who should be calling the shots. And am I not surprised: The alpha-males assembled were probably incapable to let go and work together. All severely opiniated to a point, I can only imagine how these fights got underway and were somewhat impossible to resolve. So, once the chicken came to roost, it is only logical that Dio had to leave – or else.

But there was more. True shenanigans!

The main reason hinted back in time were rumors about mixing and remixing schemes of pre-produced tracks, the unauthorized kind in cloak-and-dagger actions during foggy nights. Of course, one party accused and the other denied, what have you. So, by and large it was an unhappy departure. This is all a long time past and water well under the bridge as we say. And whatever it was, we ended up with a new stellar player in the metal universe. Very interestingly, the new band Dio emerged this same year and – lo and behold – their first album Holy Diver appeared shortly thereafter in 1983. Quite a feat following such a hasty departure.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970) – Review


Ah, lauded be thy beginnings, oh black tainted and (kind of wannabe) occult Black Sabbath! I still remember the hazy-daze atmosphere way back in time when we listened to this first 'Black Sabbath' record. 

Still in a drug induced haze - like the whole music industry at that time, it appears to me and the after effects can still be seen from within the band today - they actually went to the dark side of the moon, whereas the other potheads rode the wave of peace and love into oblivion.