BLACK SABBATH – Heaven and Hell & Mob Rules [Deluxe Editions]

BLACK SABBATH - Heaven and Hell & Mob Rules [Deluxe Editions]
  • 8.8/10
    BLACK SABBATH - Heaven And Hell (Original Studio Album) - 8.8/10
  • 9.2/10
    BLACK SABBATH - Heaven And Hell (Deluxe Edition) - 9.2/10
  • 7/10
    BLACK SABBATH - Mob Rules (Original Studio Album) - 7/10
  • 9/10
    BLACK SABBATH - Mob Rules (Deluxe Edition) - 9/10


Rhino Records
Release date: March 5, 2021

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Backstory

Legendary Heavy Metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio joined the mighty Black Sabbath (Iommi, Butler, and Ward) in 1979, after parting ways with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. This sometimes over-shadowed era of Black Sabbath was short lived but produced two classic albums. Rhino Records celebrates those two albums with the Deluxe Edition treatment on March 5, 2021. CD & LP formats of the albums will be released separately on the same date.

Heaven And Hell was released in 1980 and charted at #9 in the U.K. and #28 in the U.S. Mob Rules, now featuring Vinny Appice on drums, was released in 1981 and certified Gold. Both albums have been released as Deluxe Editions before, but the 2021 versions boast even more rare and unreleased material. The Dio helmed Black Sabbath would reunite twice in later years. In 1992 they returned to release Dehumanizer. In 2009 under the moniker Heaven & Hell they released their final studio album together The Devil You Know.

Heaven And Hell [Deluxe Edition]

The hard-charging riffage of “Neon Knights” exclaim that a new Black Sabbath is here. Iommi still has his tone, but Ronnie James Dio injected new life into the band’s vocals. “Children of the Sea” is sort of a preview of how Dio wrote some of his biggest solo hits. The track starts off slow, then kicks up the intensity. Bassist Geezer Butler gets his time in the spotlight on “Lady Evil.” “Heaven and Hell” is no doubt in every Heavy Metal fan’s playlist. The riff is so memorable that you find yourself singing along with it. Dio is the consummate storyteller.

“Die Young” injects a little Blues into the mix with a wink and a nod to Rainbow. “Walk Away” could have easily been a single with its brighter tone and production. The B-side live tracks “Children of the Sea” and “Heaven and Hell” are a bit on the raw side, but deliver a great glimpse into a band just getting used to each other. The live tracks from Hartford, CT 1980 and Hammersmith Oden 1981 are sure to please live recording aficionados. It’s also cool to compare how far the band grew from one year to the next.

What’s New in This Edition

As I mentioned earlier, there are two live tracks that have never been released in the U.S. before, “Children of the Sea” and “Die Young,” but they were available as B-Sides. Four other live songs, “E5150,” Children of the Sea”, “Heaven and Hell,” and “Neon Nights” were previously released in 2007 on Black Sabbath: Live at Hammersmith Odeon. This release was limited to 5000 CDs through Rhino Handmade. Is it worth updating your previous Deluxe Edition for 4 live songs? Probably not. The LPs only include a brief selection of the bonus material. And is it really that tough to get non-US released material these days? Maybe in 1982.

The Verdict

Adding Ronnie James Dio to Black Sabbath took the band to melodic and lyrical places they would have never reached with Ozzy Osbourne. Sabbath managed to retain their dark and ominous sound while Ronnie was the light shining over the darkness. Heaven and Hell showcased just the beginning of what Dio could do when challenged. While the 2021 Deluxe Edition sounds great in every way, if you own the previous version, there may not be enough bonuses here to upgrade. If you don’t own the album, than it’s a must have for classic Heavy Metal fans. Of course if you were a true Heavy Metal fan, then you’d already have it.


Disc One: Original Album (2021 Remaster)

  1. Neon Knights”
  2. Children Of The Sea”
  3. Lady Evil”
  4. Heaven And Hell”
  5. Wishing Well”
  6. Die Young”
  7. Walk Away”
  8. Lonely Is The Word”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. Children Of The Sea – Live B-Side Of “Neon Knights
  2. Heaven And Hell – Live B-Side Of “Die Young
  3. Lady Evil – 7” Mono Edit (unreleased on CD)
  4. Neon Knights (Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT August 10, 1980)*
  5. Children Of The Sea*
  6. Heaven And Hell*
  7. Die Young*
  8. E5150 (Hammersmith Odeon, London Dec 31, 1981- Jan 2, 1982)**
  9. Neon Knights**
  10. Children Of The Sea**
  11. Heaven And Hell**

Mob Rules [Deluxe Edition]

The addition of drummer Vinny Appice is audibly noticeable from the opening track “Turn Up the Night.” You can feel more energetic vigor from Appice’s beats. Ronnie of course is firing on all cylinders vocally. Iommi is even going places you’d never thought he would with his fiery licks. “Voodoo” is an often overlooked track. The driving marching beats and muddy riffs paint a great backdrop for Dio’s dark tale. Some see “The Sign of the Southern Cross” as a nod to Black Sabbath’s early days.

The spitfire delivery of “Mob Rules” should have made it the opening track on the album. You’ll be hard pressed to find a Metalhead that doesn’t reply to the phrase “when you listen to fools,” with “the mob rules!” While the 1st half of the original Mob Rules album packs a punch, the second half of the original album kind of putters out. This was a fractured band at the time.

“Country Girl” doesn’t really seem to fit in with the Black Sabbath or Dio catalogs. The chorus of “Slipping Away” gets a little too 1960s. “Falling Off the Edge of the World” brings the vibe back to head nod and horns throwing levels. By the time you get to the 2019 remix of “Mob Rules,” you have heard the song three different ways. Nothing tops the original studio version.

The Hammersmith Oden show from Heaven And Hell Deluxe Edition continues after the bonus tracks. A little strange that the show is broken up between two albums. As I mentioned before, the performance sounds great. More so than prior live performances. Black Sabbath and Dio are gelling perfectly now. If you can believe it, the newly added 15 track 1982 Portland Oregon live show sounds even better. This show covers Dio-era Sabbath, Ozzy-era Sabbath, and even the instrumental solos. Dio does sound weird singing Ozzy’s material.

What’s New in This Edition

A newly remixed version of “Mob Rules” is included, as well as the rest of the Black Sabbath: Live at Hammersmith Odeon performance. Is it really the best idea to split that show between two releases? If you plan to buy both releases, sure it does, but the performance still remains fragmented. Unless of course you go with the digital release. Then you can put it together through a playlist or customize it in iTunes.

Mob Rules does have the meatiest bonus material versus Heaven and Hell and its prior Deluxe Edition due to the inclusion of a full live show from 1982 at the Portland Memorial Coliseum. Once again, the LPs only include a brief selection of the bonus material. This of course is due to space and timing of a LP.

The Verdict

Mob Rules has some memorable songs, but the album falls apart just like the band did behind the scenes. It’s a good album, but it doesn’t surpass Heaven And Hell. Black Sabbath more than makes up for this on 1992’s Dehumanizer. The 1st half of Mob Rules could have been Dio’s first solo LP, because that’s the direction he went after departing. It is worth upgrading your prior Deluxe Edition of Mob Rules for the added live show from Oregon. It is top-notch, even if you’re not that into live recordings.


Disc One: Original Album (2021 Remaster)

  1. Turn Up The Night
  2. Voodoo
  3. The Sign Of The Southern Cross
  4. E5150
  5. The Mob Rules
  6. Country Girl
  7. Slipping Away
  8. Falling Off The Edge Of The World
  9. Over And Over
  10. The Mob Rules – Heavy Metal Soundtrack Version (Bonus Track)
  11. Die Young – Live B-Side Of “Mob Rules” 7” (Bonus Track)
  12. The Mob Rules – New 2021 Mix (Bonus Track)
  13. Country Girl (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon London (1981 – 1982)*
  14. Slipping Away*
  15. The Mob Rules*
  16. Voodoo*
  17. Intro (Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR 1982)**
  18. Neon Knights **

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. N.I.B. (Live At Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR 1982)**
  2. Children Of The Sea**
  3. Voodoo**
  4. Black Sabbath**
  5. War Pigs**
  6. Drum Solo**
  7. Iron Man**
  8. The Mob Rules**
  9. Heaven And Hell**
  10. Guitar Solo**
  11. Sign Of The Southern Cross/Heaven And Hell**
  12. Paranoid**
  13. Children Of The Grave**

Black Sabbath 1979-1982 was

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler -Bass
Bill Ward – Drums (Heaven And Hell)
Vinny Appice – Drums (Mob Rules)


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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