Black Sabbath - Mob Rules (1981)
Following up an album as critically and commercially successful as ‘Heaven And Hell’ was never going to be particularly easy, and ‘Mob Rules’ has perhaps been overlooked down the years: it is a fine record that lacks the two or three outstanding songs that set ‘Heaven And Hell’ apart.
The sound, again courtesy of Martin Birch, is darker and more distorted than it’s predecessor. ‘Turn Up The Night’ rumbles where ‘Neon Knights’ thundered; the title tune, which the band also recorded for the movie Heavy Metal, lacks a killer chorus. There are highpoints, though. 'Voodoo’ has a classic Iommi riff, as does ‘Falling Off The Edge of the World’, ‘The Sign of the Southern Cross’ is a ‘Heaven And Hell’-style monster and the excellent ‘Country Girl’ would have made a better single than the two they chose, ‘Mob Rules’ and ‘Turn Up The Night’.
The songs slipped easily into Sabbath’s live set, and it would have been fascinating to hear what the line-up would have done next had they recorded again straight away. ‘Mob Rules’ demonstrates that they already had a strong hold on both their identity and their craft.
Turn Up The Night / Voodoo / Sign Of The Southern Cross / E5150 / Mob Rules / Country Girl / Slipping Away / Falling Off The Edge Of The World / Over And Over
- The album cover is a modified version of Greg Hildebrandt's piece entitled Dream 1: Crucifiers from 1971
- The album was Sabbath's first to not feature Bill Ward at all - he had left the band during the previous summer.
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