Live Evil (Black Sabbath album)

Last updated
Live Evil
BlackSabbath-LiveEvil-Front.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedDecember 1982
Recorded2324 April, 1213 May 1982 in Seattle, Dallas and San Antonio
Genre Heavy metal
Length83:27
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler
Black Sabbath live albums chronology
Live at Last
(1980)
Live Evil
(1982)
Cross Purposes Live
(1995)
Ronnie James Dio chronology
Mob Rules
(1981)
Live Evil
(1982)
Holy Diver
(1983)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]

Live Evil is the first official live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The previously released Live at Last (1980) was not sanctioned by the band. Live Evil peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. [3]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

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.

<i>Live at Last</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1980 live album by Black Sabbath

Live at Last is a 1980 live album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Despite its wide distribution and success, the album was released without the permission or knowledge of the band, and is thus regarded in some quarters as an unofficial bootleg live album. The album was, however, released legally by the band's former manager Patrick Meehan who owned the rights to the recording. The album was re-released with the approval of the band on 27 September 2010.

Contents

Recording

In early 1982 Black Sabbath's publishing deal with their previous management expired. By re-recording several songs from their earlier catalog and releasing them as a live album, all the songwriters stood to see a hefty profit from the publishing royalties. [4] The liner notes state that the album was recorded in Seattle, San Antonio and Dallas during the 1982 tour in support of the Mob Rules album, but doesn't give specific information on which songs were performed in which location.

Seattle City in Washington, United States

Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area's population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas, officially the City of Dallas, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

In his autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, guitarist Tony Iommi recalls that the band's live show during this period featured "lots of pyro with fire and bombs" and that while playing the Hammersmith Odeon the bombs had been tested and "blew a two-foot-wide hole in the floor on my side. If I'd been there, I would have been blown up. Christ, it was dangerous." Iommi also admits that the band had to cancel a show at Madison Square Garden when the bombs blew out the tubes in all the amps during the first note of the first song "War Pigs". In the liner notes to the 2008 retrospective The Rules of Hell, vocalist Ronnie James Dio remembers, "It was an excellent tour. I think we were probably riding quite high on the Heaven and Hell success, and so we ended up playing really, really well. Even towards the end the shows were still great." Tension, however, had been building for some time between the band members, with rock journalist Steffan Chirazi observing in 2008 that the story behind the creation of Live Evil is one of "quiet yet savagely visceral turmoil and a band collapsing under their weight of silence, unspoken accusation, and an unforgiving schedule."

Tony Iommi British guitarist

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

Madison Square Garden Multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City, New York, United States

Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. It is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden"; the first two were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden (1925) further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.

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.

Of the oddly distant crowd sound, Iommi remarked: "We forgot about the audience!" In the same interview, asked to choose "a track that the engineer didn't cock up", he said: "I liked 'Heaven and Hell' flowing into 'Sign of the Southern Cross'. It had its moments, that one." [5]

Breakup

During the mixing of Live Evil, Dio and drummer Vinny Appice abruptly left the group, leaving original members Iommi and Geezer Butler to carry on. The two factions would provide vastly different accounts of what transpired as things fell apart.

Vinny Appice American musician

Vincent Samson Appice is an American rock drummer best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, and Heaven & Hell. Of Italian descent, he is the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice.

Geezer Butler English musician, bassist and lyricist of Black Sabbath

Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He has also recorded and performed with Heaven & Hell, GZR, and Ozzy Osbourne. He currently serves as bassist of Deadland Ritual.

"Ronnie had started to take over a little bit too much and was becoming a bit of a Hitler," Iommi explained to Steve Gett of Guitar for the Practicing Musician. "We were working on the Live Evil record in Los Angeles, and in fact we nicknamed him 'Little Hitler.'"[ citation needed ] In his 2011 memoir, Iommi was considerably less harsh in his summation of Dio's behaviour, stating "By then Ronnie did come over a little more...I suppose, bossy. The way he conducted himself, the way he talked, it might have given that impression to the outside world, but he usually didn't mean anything by it. Ronnie was just very outspoken."[ citation needed ] Iommi also contends that he and bassist Geezer Butler were concerned about Dio already rehearsing with other musicians for a proposed solo album offered to him by Warner Brothers Records.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Dio's account attributed the breakup to a misunderstanding arising as the result of Iommi's drug abuse. Dio has stated that while he and Appice were not interested in drugs, Iommi and Butler were using cocaine very heavily at that time. When Dio and Appice arrived at the studio to begin the Live Evil mixing process, Iommi and Butler never showed up. While waiting for their bandmates at the studio over a period of several days, Dio and Appice passed the time by listening to the recordings and frequently experimented with the mix by asking the engineer to adjust the levels of various parts. No mixing had commenced, and the tracks were merely being listened to. When Iommi arrived days later, he asked the engineer what Dio had been doing in his absence and was told that he had frequently requested that the vocals be brought up higher in the mix. Iommi, in his drug-addled state, misunderstood what he was being told and came to the conclusion that Dio was not only mixing the album without him, but was trying to push his own vocals much too prominently in the mix. Iommi, a founding member of the band, reckoned he had a power struggle on his hands and he wasn't about to relinquish creative control of Black Sabbath. Dio steadfastly denied that he altered the mix and accused Iommi and Butler of fabricating the story. [6] Iommi later laid the blame on the engineer. [7] On the Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell DVD, both Dio and Appice claim the mixing sessions were scheduled to start in the early afternoon but, on the third day, Iommi and Butler didn't show up until much later. This exacerbated the rift between the new and original members until the singer was asked to leave.[ citation needed ] In the same interview series, Butler described the Live Evil mixing sessions as "the Yanks against the Brits," adding, "I think Ronnie seemed to desperately want to do his own stuff and we sort of wanted to keep it going as it was."[ citation needed ] In the liner notes to The Rules of Hell, Appice states, "I knew things were coming to a close from some of the things that were happening on the road. Ronnie and I would ride in one car, Geezer and Tony in another car, and everybody was breaking away from each other a little bit."[ citation needed ]

Release

Iommi has said that the decision to release Live Evil was prompted by two factors. The first was the 1980 release of the unsanctioned Live at Last album, and the second was former lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's 1982 release of a live album consisting entirely of Black Sabbath songs. [8] In his autobiography, Iommi confesses that he was "unpleasantly surprised" that Osbourne had included only Sabbath songs and speculates "I think putting out the live album like that was down to Sharon (Osbourne, Ozzy's wife and manager), trying to put the cat among the pigeons." At the time, Sharon was severely at odds with her father Don Arden, who was managing Sabbath and was attempting to steer Osbourne away from his deal with Arden's label Jet and on to a new deal with Jet's distribution company CBS. "We had to give the old man two albums, well, a live album counted as two," she is quoted as saying in Mick Wall's 2013 biography on the band. "I knew he'd go for it because it wouldn't cost anything to make...But Don was expecting something with Randy (Rhoads) on it and I just thought fuck that. I'm not giving him that. He can have something with a load of old Sabbath shit on it."[ citation needed ]

Live Evil hit both the UK Top 30 and the US Top 40 Album charts.[ citation needed ] AllMusic states that "Live Evil does benefit from a crystal clear, in-your-face sound, and by showcasing even amounts of both Ozzy and Dio material, effectively documents Black Sabbath's renascent tours of the early '80s. Ronnie certainly has the vocal chops, if not the same everyman charm, to handle the Osbourne classics, but his incessant banter between (and during!) songs sometimes verges on the unbearable." The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell . [9] The Live Evil album cover features literal interpretations of Sabbath songs.

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."E5150" (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler)2:21
2."Neon Knights" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Bill Ward)4:36
3."N.I.B." (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)5:09
4."Children of the Sea" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)6:05
5."Voodoo" (Dio, Butler, Iommi)6:07
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Black Sabbath" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)8:39
7."War Pigs" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)9:19
8."Iron Man" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)7:29
Side three
No.TitleLength
9."The Mob Rules" (Dio, Iommi, Butler)4:10
10."Heaven and Hell" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)12:04
Side four
No.TitleLength
11."The Sign of the Southern Cross/Heaven and Hell (Continued)" (Dio, Butler, Iommi/Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)7:15
12."Paranoid" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)3:46
13."Children of the Grave" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)5:25
14."Fluff" (Butler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward)0:59

Personnel

Black Sabbath
Additional performers

Neither Appice nor Nicholls are given full credits, instead being listed under "Special Thanks".

Production

Release history

RegionDateLabel
United States December 1982 Warner Bros. Records
Canada 1982Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 18 January 1983 Vertigo Records
Japan 1983 Vertigo Records
Germany 1983Vertigo Records
Netherlands 1983Phonogram GmbH
Israel 1983Phonokol/Vertigo
Venezuela 1983 Polydor Records
South Korea 1986Vertigo Records
United Kingdom1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom2004 Sanctuary Records
United StatesOctober 2008 Rhino Records

See also

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References

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  2. Mitchell, Ben. "Review Live Evil". Blender . Alpha Media Group. Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
  3. "AllMusic Billboard albums" . Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  4. Sarzo, Rudy (2017). Off the Rails (third edition). CreateSpace Publishing. ISBN   1-53743-746-1
  5. Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show , BBC Radio 1, 28 June 1992, transcribed in Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross #14, October 1994, p39
  6. Welch, Chris (June 1983). "London Calling". Record. 2 (8): 4.
  7. Marszalek, Julian. "Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Recalls the 'Heaven and Hell' Era". Spiner.com. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  8. Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN   978-0306819551.
  9. Welte, Jim (2008-04-22). "Legends align for Metal Masters Tour". MP3.com . Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  10. Saulnier, Jason (24 March 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.