Mob Rules (album)

Last updated

Mob Rules
SabbathMob.jpg
Studio album by
Released4 November 1981
Recorded1981
Studio Record Plant, Los Angeles, California
Genre Heavy metal
Length40:25
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Martin Birch
Black Sabbath chronology
Heaven and Hell
(1980)
Mob Rules
(1981)
Born Again
(1983)
Singles from Mob Rules
  1. "The Mob Rules"
    Released: 1981
  2. "Turn Up the Night"
    Released: 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Martin Popoff Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [4]

Mob Rules is the 10th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in November 1981. It followed 1980's Heaven and Hell , and it was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio prior to the 1992 album Dehumanizer . [5]

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>Heaven and Hell</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1980 studio album by Black Sabbath

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.

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.

Contents

Produced and engineered by Martin Birch, the album received an expanded edition release in 2010.

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.

Recording

The first new recording Black Sabbath made after the Heaven and Hell album was a version of the title track "The Mob Rules" for the soundtrack of the film Heavy Metal . The track "E5150" is also heard in the film but not included on the soundtrack. According to guitarist Tony Iommi's autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, the band began writing and rehearsing songs for Mob Rules at a rented house in Toluca Lake in Los Angeles. Initially the band hoped to record in their own studio to save money and actually purchased a sound desk; but, according to Iommi, "We just couldn't get a guitar sound. We tried it in the studio. We tried it in the hallway. We tried it everywhere but it just wasn't working. We'd bought a studio and it wasn't working!" The band eventually recorded the album at the Record Plant in Los Angeles.

The Mob Rules 1981 single by Black Sabbath

"The Mob Rules" is a song by British rock band Black Sabbath from their 1981 album, Mob Rules. The song was primarily written by Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi. The song was also released as the first single from the album.

<i>Heavy Metal</i> (film) 1981 film by Jimmy Murakami, Gerald Potterton

Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian adult animated sci-fi-fantasy film directed by Gerald Potterton, produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of Heavy Metal magazine, which was the basis for the film, and starring the voices of Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks, Martin Lavut, Marilyn Lightstone, Eugene Levy, Alice Playten, Harold Ramis, Percy Rodriguez, Susan Roman, Richard Romanus, August Schellenberg, John Vernon, and Zal Yanovsky. The screenplay was written by Daniel Goldberg and Len Blum.

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.

Mob Rules was the first Sabbath album to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward in the middle of the Heaven and Hell tour. [6] Asked by Joe Matera in 2007 if working with a new drummer was jarring after so many years, bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler replied, "No, because Vinnie was a big fan of the band and loved Bill's playing. Bill was one of his favourite drummers and so he knew all his parts and my bass parts and he adjusted accordingly to everybody in the band. He was brilliant. He came in and totally filled in Bill's shoes."

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.

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!.

The Heaven & Hell Tour was the ninth world concert tour by Black Sabbath between April 1980 and February 1981 to promote their 1980 studio album, Heaven and Hell. The tour marked the band's first live shows with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne the previous year; drummer Vinny Appice, who replaced original drummer Bill Ward in the middle of the tour's North American leg after Ward suddenly left the band due to personal issues; and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, who played keyboards on the Heaven and Hell album and accompanied the band on this tour as a sideman. For a portion of the North American tour, which was popularly known as the "Black and Blue Tour", Black Sabbath co-headlined with Blue Öyster Cult, with whom they shared a manager, Sandy Pearlman. The arrangement reportedly set attendance records but caused friction between the two bands as well as between Black Sabbath and Pearlman.

In an interview for the concert film Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell, Butler cites "The Sign of the Southern Cross" as his favourite Mob Rules track because "it gave me a chance to experiment with some bass effects". The album was the last time the band worked with producer and engineer Martin Birch, who went on to work with Iron Maiden until his retirement in 1992. Iommi explained to Guitar World in 1992, "We were all going through a lot of problems at that time, most of it related to drugs. Even the producer, Martin Birch, was having drug problems, and it hurt the sound of that record. Once that happens to your producer, you’re really screwed."

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-nine albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.

Mob Rules would be singer Ronnie James Dio's second and final studio recording with Black Sabbath until the Mob Rules-era line-up reunited for 1992's Dehumanizer. The seeds of discontent appear to have sprouted when Dio was offered a solo deal by Warner Brothers, with Iommi stating in his memoir, "After the (Heaven and Hell) record became such a great success, Warner Brothers extended the contract at the same time, offering Ronnie a solo deal. That felt a bit odd to us, because we were a band and we didn't want to separate anybody." Dio confided in an interview on the Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell DVD that the recording of Mob Rules was far more difficult for him than Heaven and Hell because "we approached the writing very much differently than the first one. Geezer had gone so we wrote in a very controlled environment in a living room with little amplifiers. And with Mob Rules we hired a studio, turned up as loud as possible and smashed through it all. So it made for a different kind of an attitude".

Iommi reflected to Guitar World in 1992, "Mob Rules was a confusing album for us. We started writing songs differently for some reason, and ended up not using a lot of really great material. That line-up was really great, and the whole thing fell apart for very silly reasons — we were all acting like children." The major problem, noted by Mick Wall in his book Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe, was that the balance of power within the band had shifted: "With Bill and Ozzy happy to leave the heavy lifting to Tony and Geezer, in terms of songwriting, coming into the studio only when they were called, even as their flair deserted them over the final, dismal Ozzy-era albums, at least everybody knew where they stood. Now, though, the creative chemistry had shifted."

"I still like that album," Iommi reflected in 1997. [7]

Artwork

The cover art is a modified version of artist Greg Hildebrandt's piece entitled Dream 1: Crucifiers from 1971, with Black Sabbath licensing its use for the cover of Mob Rules.[ citation needed ] Some fans claim the name 'Ozzy' was spelled out on the album cover, something Iommi dismisses as "rubbish" in his autobiography: "There was a little controversy about some stains on the floor in the picture. According to some people it spelled out 'Ozzy'. Somebody mentioned it to us and we went: 'What?'...I never noticed anything and I still wouldn't know where to find it."

Release and reception

Mob Rules was released on 4 November 1981 to mixed reviews. In the U.S. it went gold and in the UK it reached the Top 20 and spawned two chart singles, the title track and "Turn Up the Night". AllMusic's Greg Prato calls the album "underrated" [8] and enthuses, "Mob Rules was given a much punchier, in-your-face mix by Birch, who seemed re-energized after his work on new wave of British heavy metal upstarts Iron Maiden's Killers album. Essentially, Mob Rules is a magnificent record, with the only serious problem being the sequencing of the material, which mirrors Heaven and Hell's almost to a tee." Iommi acknowledged this common criticism in his memoir, admitting that he was frustrated at being accused of making Heaven and Hell part two' and speculating that the band would have been criticised regardless of their approach. Appraising the album in the February 1986 edition of Rolling Stone, writer J.D. Constantine trashed Mob Rules. Profiling the album in 2008, Bryan Reesman noted, "Even with Dio bringing in more fantasy-based lyrics, and moving the group away from seemingly Satanic verses, the title track to Mob Rules, not to mention its menacing cover, could easily imply a call to anarchy. But beyond the snarling guitars and vocals is actually a cautionary tale against mindless mayhem."[ citation needed ]

Track listing

All songs were written by Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler. All lyrics were written by Ronnie James Dio except where noted. [9]

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Turn Up the Night"3:42
2."Voodoo"4:32
3."The Sign of the Southern Cross"7:46
4."E5150"2:54
5."The Mob Rules"3:14
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Country Girl"4:02
7."Slipping Away"3:45
8."Falling Off the Edge of the World"5:02
9."Over and Over"5:28

2010 Deluxe Edition

Disc 2 is a repackaging of the previously released Limited Edition CD Live at Hammersmith Odeon

Disc 1
No.TitleLength
1."Turn Up the Night"3:42
2."Voodoo"4:32
3."The Sign of the Southern Cross"7:44
4."E5150"2:54
5."The Mob Rules"3:15
6."Country Girl"4:02
7."Slipping Away"3:42
8."Falling Off the Edge of the World"5:03
9."Over and Over"5:28
10."Die Young" (Live, 12" Single B-Side of Mob Rules)4:04
11."The Mob Rules" (Heavy Metal OMPS/ Original demo version)3:14
Disc 2
No.TitleRecording dateLength
1."E5150"2 January 19821:18
2."Neon Knights" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Bill Ward)2 January 19824:37
3."N.I.B." (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)1 January 19825:16
4."Children of the Sea" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)1 January 19826:07
5."Country Girl"1 January 19823:53
6."Black Sabbath" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)31 December 19818:24
7."War Pigs" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)1 January 19827:40
8."Slipping Away"31 December 19813:18
9."Iron Man" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)1 January 19827:04
10."The Mob Rules"31 December 19813:35
11."Heaven and Hell" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)1 January 198214:24
12."Paranoid" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)31 December 19813:21
13."Voodoo"2 January 19825:45
14."Children of the Grave" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)31 December 19815:05

Singles

YearSongChart positions
US
Mainstream Rock
UK
Singles Chart
1981"The Mob Rules"46
1982"Turn Up the Night"2437
1982"Voodoo"46

Personnel

Black Sabbath
Additional performer
Production

Release history

RegionDateLabel
United KingdomNovember 1981 Vertigo Records
United StatesNovember 1981 Warner Bros. Records
CanadaNovember 1981Warner Bros. Records
SFR Yugoslavia1982PGP RTB/Philips
Mexico1982Vertigo Records
United Kingdom1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom2004 Sanctuary Records
United StatesOctober 2008 Rhino Records

Certifications

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References

  1. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Black Sabbath: Mob Rules > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  2. Considine, J. D. (19 February 1986). "Album reviews Mob Rules". Rolling Stone . Wenner Media . Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  3. "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. 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.
  5. "Mob Rules: Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic . Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  6. Saulnier, Jason (24 March 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  7. Scott, Peter (May 1998). "Tony Iommi Interview". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #21. p. 40.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |magazine= (help)
  8. Prato, Greg. "Black Sabbath: Live at Hammersmith Odeon > Review" at AllMusic . Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Mob Rules (CD) album notes. Warner Bros. Records, Inc. 1981. pp. 2–3.
  10. "Black Sabbath: Mob Rules > Credits" at AllMusic . Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  11. "American album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  12. "British album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Type Mob Rules in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  13. "Canadian album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". Music Canada.