06 December 2007

Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell (1980) review

If you follow the "no Ozzy, no Sabbath" philosophy, you will miss out on this essential heavy metal landmark. With Ozzy booted or quit, depending on whose version you believe, the Brumbies team up with Ronnie James Dio. One of the world's greatest singers teams up with one of the world's greatest bands. With his miniature Gandalf stance, Dio helped to forge Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules and Dehumanizer at different periods in their career.

Ozzy sustained himself on a diet of spandex and pigeons. Dio sustained Black Sabbath with a diet of Elvish magic. His Dioisms are encoded in Quenya and then translated into English for our pleasure. One of Dio's magical abilities is transcending the boundaries that space and time infringe on us mere mortals, as with the phrase "throw away the key, and lock the door". By employing the logic of the imagination first described by Elliot, Dio manages to defy even logic. Indeed, Dio laughs in the face of logic, as with "love isn't money, it isn't something you buy". To you and I, money is not something you buy either, but Dio can buy money.

Couple this ingenuity with the Camel sponsored cherubs on the cover and the supreme groove machine that is Black Sabbath, and you possess one ring-shaped disk to rule them all!

Interesting facts
Dio gave heavy metal its trademark mano cornuta or devil's horns sign during his first tour with Black Sabbath. Drummer Bill Ward can allegedly not remember recording this album due to drug problems. Ozzy thought he recorded this album due to drug problems, but later realised it was Dio instead. Ozzy then referred to the new Black Sabbath as "Blackmore Sabbath", referring to Dio's former band Rainbow. Rainbow featured Richie Blackmore on guitar, and from there the snide name.


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