Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath album)

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Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell.jpg
Studio album by
Released25 April 1980
RecordedOctober 1979 – January 1980
Studio Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida
Studio Ferber, Paris, France
Genre Heavy metal
Length39:46
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Martin Birch
Black Sabbath chronology
Never Say Die!
(1978)
Heaven and Hell
(1980)
Mob Rules
(1981)
Ronnie James Dio chronology
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
(1978)
Heaven and Hell
(1980)
Mob Rules
(1981)
Singles from Heaven and Hell
  1. "Neon Knights"
    Released: July 1980
  2. "Die Young"
    Released: December 1980

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Ronnie James Dio American singer-songwriter and composer

Ronald James Padavona known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname "The Prince of Darkness". Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and helped record the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city, Birmingham, England, in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Contents

Produced by Martin Birch, the album was a commercial success, particularly in the United States, where it reached number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was certified platinum for 1 million sales in the United States alone. [1] In the band's native country, it sold well enough to be certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry in April 1982.

Martin Birch is a British former music producer and sound engineer, who became renowned for engineering and producing albums by the British rock bands Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

British Phonographic Industry Trade association of the recorded music industry in the United Kingdom

The BPI Limited, commonly known as the British Phonographic Industry or BPI, is the British recorded music industry's trade association.

Overview

The initial sessions for what became Heaven and Hell began with Ozzy Osbourne after Sabbath's Never Say Die! tour. The band moved to Los Angeles for eleven months to record a new album; a process that guitarist Tony Iommi described in his autobiography as a "highly frustrating, never-ending process". In his own autobiography, Osbourne states that he had become fed up with the experimentation on the preceding albums Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! , preferring the band's earlier, heavier sound. And he admits, "It was clear they'd had enough of my insane behaviour." In his memoir, Iommi revealed that he has a tape featuring Osbourne singing an early version of what would become "Children of the Sea" with a different lyric and a totally different vocal melody.

The Never Say Die! Tour was a concert tour by the English heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. The tour began on 16 May 1978 in Sheffield and ended on 11 December 1978 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was the last full tour with Ozzy Osbourne until the band reunited for Ozzfest 1997.

Tony Iommi British guitarist

Anthony Frank Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was lead guitarist and one of the four founding members of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was the band's primary composer and sole continual member for nearly five decades.

<i>Technical Ecstasy</i> 1976 studio album by Black Sabbath

Technical Ecstasy is the seventh studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and released in September 1976. The album was certified Gold on 19 June 1997 and peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200 Album chart.

Ronnie James Dio was introduced to Iommi in 1979 by Sharon Arden, who would later marry Osbourne. [2] Initially, Dio and Iommi discussed forming a new band, rather than a continuation of Black Sabbath. [2] The pair met again by chance at The Rainbow on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles later that year. [3] Both men were in similar situations: Dio was seeking a new project and Iommi requiring a vocalist. "It must have been fate," Dio recalled, "because we connected so instantly." [3] The pair kept in touch via telephone, until Dio arrived at Iommi's Los Angeles house for a relaxed, getting-to-know-you jam session. On that first day, the duo finished "Children of the Sea", [3] a song Iommi had abandoned prior to Osbourne's firing.

Sharon Osbourne English television host, author, music manager, businesswoman and promoter

Sharon Rachel Osbourne is an English media personality, businesswoman, television host, talent competition judge, music manager, live promoter, and author. She is the wife of heavy metal singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne and first came into public prominence after appearing on The Osbournes, a reality television show that followed her family's daily life. Osbourne later became a talent show judge on television shows such as the British and original version of The X Factor, from 2004 to 2007, returning in 2013, and again from 2016 to 2017. She also was a judge on America's Got Talent from 2007 until 2012.

Rainbow Bar and Grill Bar and restaurant in California, United States

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.

"Children of the Sea" is a song by heavy metal band Black Sabbath, from their ninth studio album, Heaven and Hell (1980).

"Sabbath was a band that was floundering," Dio observed. "And, with my inclusion in it, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, cared a lot about each other, and knew that we could do it again – especially under the banner of a band that had been so successful." [4]

Sabbath's line-up was in flux before the recording of Heaven and Hell. The band replaced its vocalist, and drummer Bill Ward was battling personal issues that would see him eventually leave the band. Demos for the album featured Geoff Nicholls on bass, as longtime bassist Geezer Butler was going through a divorce and his future with the band was in question. [3] In fact, when Dio joined the band he doubled as bassist and vocalist, [2] having played bass in the band Elf in the early 1970s. At one point Iommi contacted close friend Frank Zappa for help finding a bassist [2] . Zappa offered his bassist for the Heaven and Hell sessions but Iommi preferred a permanent member. [2] Eventually Butler returned and Nicholls stayed on as the band's unofficial keyboardist. [3]

William Thomas Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: "It's Alright" from the album Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from the album Never Say Die!.

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, producers, or other artists.

Geoff Nicholls English musician

Geoffrey James Nicholls was a British musician and keyboardist, and longtime member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, until 2004. Nicholls also played in the NWOBHM band Quartz, before joining Black Sabbath. In the 1960s/early 1970s, Geoff played lead guitar for the Birmingham bands The Boll Weevils, The Seed, Johnny Neal and the Starliners and keyboards for World Of Oz.

Former Elf and Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber also rehearsed with the band, though the extent of his involvement is unclear. In a 1996 interview, Iommi stated that Gruber participated only "for a bit". [5] Gruber has stated that his contribution was more substantial; he says he cowrote most of Heaven and Hell's songs and that it was he and not Butler who played bass on the album. [6] Despite not being credited for his contributions, Gruber asserted, "We came to a suitable financial arrangement". [6] Iommi stated in his 2011 autobiography that Gruber recorded all the bass parts on Heaven and Hell, but that Butler rerecorded the parts upon his return, without listening to Gruber's bass tracks.

Black Sabbath performing in Cardiff in 1981 Black Sabbath Cardiff 1981.jpg
Black Sabbath performing in Cardiff in 1981

Heaven and Hell was recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios (in which the band recorded Technical Ecstasy ) and Studio Ferber in Paris. Dio suggested the band hire producer Martin Birch. [3] Birch was Sabbath's first outside producer since 1971's Master of Reality ; Iommi had primarily produced the albums since then. [2] Iommi stated that the band felt that they were creating something special. In his memoir, he wrote, "Ozzy would sing with the riff. Just listen to 'Iron Man' and you'll catch my drift: his vocal melody line copies the melody of the music. There was nothing wrong with that, but Ronnie liked singing across the riff instead of with it, come up with a melody that was different from that of the music, which musically opens a lot more doors. I don't want to sound like I'm knocking Ozzy, but Ronnie's approach opened up a new way for me to think ..."

"Heaven and Hell for me wasn't a turning point," Ward recalled. "Heaven and Hell was the beginning of a new band of which I had no idea what band I was in… It was almost like Ron was capable of coming up with lyrics that seemed to fit his idea of how Black Sabbath ought to be, and I sensed a kind of... unrealness about the lyrics. My favourite song on Heaven and Hell was a blues song that we did, 'Lonely Is the Word' – and that seemed to be real… But things like 'Lady Evil', they seemed almost like bandwagon-type lyrics… 'Lonely Is the Word', I definitely liked playing that song. And 'Children of the Sea' – I did like to play that too. I thought Ronnie was a very good singer." [7]

During a slow day in the studio, Iommi doused Ward with a solution used by studio technicians to clean the tape heads. He then set light to the solution, which was more flammable than he had anticipated. Ward suffered third degree burns as a result and still has scars on his legs from the incident. [2] Ward has stated that, due to his alcoholism, he has no memory at all of the period in which the album was recorded. [8] His behaviour became erratic; on the Heaven & Hell Tour, Ward began dictating long and rambling press releases to the band's public relations representatives after every show, instructing them to "get that out on the news wires tonight". [3] Ward's personal issues, which included the deaths of both his parents, would soon force him to leave the band. Dio reportedly answered the telephone in his hotel room one morning mid-tour to hear Ward say "I'm off then, Ron", to which Dio replied "That's nice Bill, where are you going?" "No, I'm off mate. I'm at the airport now"; indicating that he was incapable of completing the tour. [3] American drummer Vinny Appice was quickly brought in to replace him. The Heaven and Hell album represents the only Sabbath material recorded during the Dio-era that does not feature Appice on drums.

Artwork

Back cover artwork of the album HeavenandHellback.jpg
Back cover artwork of the album

The album's cover art was taken from a painting by artist Lynn Curlee, Smoking Angels, inspired by a 1928 photograph of women dressed as angels smoking backstage during a break at a college pageant. [9] [10] Curlee was also commissioned to do an album cover for Blue Öyster Cult by Sandy Pearlman, who managed both bands. The album's back cover illustration of the band was drawn by artist Harry Carmean. [11]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]
Drowned in Sound 8/10 [12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [13]
Sputnikmusic (5.0/5) [14]
Martin Popoff Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [15]

The album was successful, becoming their highest-charting album (No. 9 UK, No. 28 US [16] ) since 1975's Sabotage and the third highest-selling album of Black Sabbath behind Paranoid and Master of Reality , respectively. It was eventually certified platinum in 1986 for selling 1 million copies in the United States. In the UK, it became the third Black Sabbath studio album to attain silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in November 1980. It subsequently attained gold certification (100,000 units sold) in April 1982, the only Black Sabbath studio album to be thus certified. Heaven and Hell was re-released as part of the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell in 2008. [17] In 2017, it was ranked 37th at Rolling Stone 's "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". [18]

Greg Prato of AllMusic calls Heaven and Hell "One of Sabbath's finest records" and maintains that the band "sounds reborn and re-energized throughout." Giving the album five stars, Sputnikmusic's Tyler Munro opines, "Musically, the album speeds thing up, while still retaining the Sabbath sound ... Complete with a slow plodding bassline and repetitive drumming, the album's title track is quite possibly the best thing Sabbath have ever done ... it's one of the best doom metal songs ever recorded."

While Dio's addition revitalised Sabbath and brought them a younger, more enthusiastic[ citation needed ] fan base, there were some critics and listeners who insist Sabbath had been irretrievably altered, with Rolling Stone contending, "Although Dio could belt with the best of them, Sabbath would never be the same." In his autobiography Iommi admits, "We were doing big shows and it was difficult for Ronnie to go out and stand in front of people who had seen Ozzy in that spot for ten years. Some of the kids hated it and they'd shout: 'Ozzy, Ozzy!' But eventually Ronnie won them over." In an interview with Songfacts, former Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society dismisses the idea of the Dio-era being authentic Sabbath: "You listen to Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio in it, and it's not Black Sabbath. They should have just called it Heaven & Hell right from the beginning. Because you listen to that Heaven and Hell album, that doesn't sound anything close to Black Sabbath. I mean, that sounds about as much like Black Sabbath as Blizzard of Ozz sounds like Black Sabbath. If you were to play Black Sabbath for me – and I'm a huge Sabbath freako – and then with Father Dio over there, I'd be going, 'Oh, cool, what band is this? This is good stuff.' I mean, the songs don't even sound Black Sabbath-y. I mean, 'Neon Knights', could you picture Ozzy singing over that song?" Regardless of what Ozzy loyalists thought, Sabbath was back, with Mick Wall noting in his book Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe: "For once their timing was spot on. In Britain, Sounds magazine had begun championing a new musical phenomenon it dubbed 'The New Wave of British Heavy Metal' ... The reborn Black Sabbath, with their glistening new sound, incomparable new singer and top-drawer new album, were seen as part of a widespread revival in rock fandom."

Track listing

All music written and arranged by Butler, Dio, Iommi, and Ward; lyrics by Dio [11]

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Neon Knights"3:53
2."Children of the Sea"5:34
3."Lady Evil"4:26
4."Heaven and Hell"6:59
Side two
No.TitleLength
5."Wishing Well"4:07
6."Die Young"4:45
7."Walk Away"4:25
8."Lonely Is the Word"5:51

2010 deluxe edition

Disc one contains the original album with no bonus tracks.

Disc two
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1."Children of the Sea""Neon Knights" live B-side6:24
2."Heaven and Hell""Die Young" live B-side7:19
3."Lady Evil"Mono Edit, 7" Single3:54
4."Neon Knights"Live, Hartford, CT, 19804:49
5."Children of the Sea"Live, Hartford, CT, 19805:58
6."Heaven and Hell"Live, Hartford, CT, 1980 & 12" single version12:34
7."Die Young"Live, Hartford, CT, 19804:36

Singles

YearSongChart positions
US Singles Chart UK Singles Chart
1980
"Neon Knights"22
"Die Young"41

Personnel

Black Sabbath
Additional performer
Production

Release history

RegionDateLabel
United Kingdom1980 Vertigo Records
United States1980 Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom2004 Sanctuary Records
United States2008 Rhino Records

Certifications

Covers

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 Prato, Greg. "Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN   978-0306819551.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hotten, Jon. "The Dio Years" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. Ronnie James Dio interview with Tommy Vance for BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show ; broadcast 21 August 1987; transcribed by editor Peter Scott for Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross #11, October 1996, p27
  5. "The Iron Man Speaks". black-sabbath.com. March 1996. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  6. 1 2 Dome, Malcolm (1 October 2009). "Craig Gruber: 'I Played On The Heaven & Hell Album'". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  7. Schroer, Ron (October 1996). "Bill Ward and the Hand of Doom – Part III: Disturbing the Peace". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #18. p. 16-17.
  8. Brien, Jeb (producer/director); Hardiman, Monica (producer/director) (1999). Black Sabbath: the Last Supper (Documentary/Concert). Automatic Productions.
  9. Time-Life Books: This Fabulous Century 1920–1930, pg. 200
  10. Black Sabbath Online (http://www.black-sabbath.com/2008/12/lynn curlee interview)
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Heaven and Hell (CD) album notes. Warner Bros. Records, Inc. 1980. pp. 2–3.
  12. Stannard, Joseph (8 April 2010). "Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell; Mob Rules; Live Evil (remastered)". Drowned in Sound . Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  13. "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  14. Munro, Tyler (15 August 2006). "Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell". Sputnikmusic . Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  15. Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN   978-1-894959-31-5.
  16. "Heaven and Hell: Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic . Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  17. Welte, Jim (22 April 2008). "Legends align for Metal Masters Tour". MP3.com. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  18. Greene, Andy (21 June 2017). "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone . Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  19. "American album certifications – Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  20. "British album certifications – Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Type Heaven and Hell in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. "Canadian album certifications – Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell". Music Canada.