Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell (1980)
‘Heaven And Hell’ deservedly goes down as one of rock n roll’s great resurrection jobs. Black Sabbath looked dead in the water before it came: their iconic singer had left in a druggy mess, they had lost their mojo creatively and they were coming off their two poorest albums, ‘Technical Ecstasy’ and ‘Never Say Die’. Yet the arrival of Ronnie James Dio and the verdant creative partnership he struck with Tony Iommi turned everything around in an instant.
The agenda is set early. ‘Neon Knights’ is a thunderous opener, thrillingly sung by Dio. It showed immediately that Iommi still had his gift for a memorable riff, and also that Dio was capable of doing something original with it. The record contained two other tunes that entered the Sabbath canon, the epic fantasy of ‘Children Of The Sea’, and the title track, which echoed the band’s very first recorded song ‘Black Sabbath’ in terms of structure (doom-laden opening, wicked, hooky end) and yet was entirely of its day. ‘Die Young’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Wishing Well’ also suggested the unthinkable – that Sabbath could write catchy, at times almost commercial radio rock.
No wonder they were so pleased with themselves.
Neon Knights / Children Of The Sea / Lady Evil / Heaven And Hell / Wishing Well / Die Young / Walk Away / Lonely Is The Word
- The song 'Children Of The Sea' was recorded during the very first practice in which Ronnie James Dio took part with the band.
- The painting which adorns the cover is by Lynn Curlee and it was called "Smoking Angels"
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