Customer Review

52 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' Roll done right, February 25, 2003
This review is from: Mob Rules (Audio CD)
I am sure glad to see I'm not the only one to prefer this over "Heaven and Hell," the first Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio. That was a good album, but this is better--in fact, this is really, really good.
I've always found the drum and bass on Sabbath albums a bit sluggish, and while it always seemed to match the dark brooding songs, Vinnie Appice is a bit more energetic and I like that. The real star, though, is Tony Iommi, who is at his best on this album, whether on the slower tunes like "Sign of the Southern Cross" or the faster ones like "The Mob Rules"--wait, that is the only up-tempo song on the album, if you don't count "Slipping Away," which is a throwaway standard rocker.
Someone on this page mentioned Dio's 'Dungeons and Dragons' thematics, and they were right. But I can live with it, it doesn't bother me too much, and fortunately Dio has the register and the volume to pull it off. Tenacious D may have claimed to have taken the torch from RJD, but they can't touch the vocals on this album.
I honestly can't tell if my CD is remastered (so it probably isn't), but I can tell you that it sounds great--sure you can do rock and roll using all the perks of studio equipment. Twenty-two years old now, "Mob Rules" stands as a classic, not as a replacement for the old Sabbath, but on its own. Bravo Martin Birch, bravo Sabbath--long live rock and roll.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 26, 2007 3:40:49 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 16, 2008 1:18:20 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2007 7:21:51 PM PDT
Alto Eager says:
No, it is in fact TONY.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 2:27:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2009 11:00:23 PM PST
F Fields says:
Nice review, but you clearly neither get Mr Butler nor the art of bass-playing. Butler was and remains a seminal bassist: He pioneered the up-in-the-mix INTERESTING style of bass playing in heavy rock from the first Sabbath album and on. Not one to rest on his impressive debut-skills, he developed tremendously from album to album, especially during the "classic lineup" years. So...it may sound "sluggish" to you because of his purposeful emphasis on heaviness--the band and its many fans owe this to Mr Butler and it obviously pleased all of them very much or there would've been a "next victim" bassist long ago. Also, Mr Butler's most obvious influence is the blues and unlike many musicians, he actually gets it, shapes it to fit HIS genre, and still manages to display his understanding and respect for the early Blues-Bass masters such as Willie Dixon. No, no, no: Geezer Butler is a bass prodigy with an appreciation for the power of the bass in music of many genres (blues isn't metal, kiddo). No one in the professional bass community would dare dispute that. I mean, listen to an early cut like War Pigs: The Bass sets the apocalyptic tone of the entire song. Listen very carefully, and, if you have a clue about bass playing, you will be astounded at this man's "ahead of his times" playing. Contrast his bass-symphonies to the pathetic root-note-following playing of most metal bassists...they know who they are and so will you if you listen carefully (and, if you don't know, find out what a root-note is). We need MORE Geezer Butlers. Do not anger the Bass Gods: Give the man the immense respect he so richly deserves. He opened the floodgates for bass-giants like Steve Harris. Bow your head in shame. Geezer Butler is known to be one of the most modest recognised musical geniuses on the planet. Who are you to be immodest and tread on feet you don't even feel?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2009 9:44:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2009 9:46:40 AM PDT
bass boy says:
Agree Five-Stringer (I'm a five-stringer too, and a four at times)

Butler is amazing, still. Saw him in 2007 with Heaven and Hell (OK, Black Sabbath Mark II) and they were fantastic. Also got to shake his mighty hand and we rapped about John Entwistle. Good times. Butler was very kind (he even signed my "Live Evil" CD cover, an album he is not proud of - he also signed my "Mob Rules" cover.) Tony Iommi teased us for being bassists. It was surreal, to say the least.

You are right about the root-note players. Their found now in almost all corners of rock and pop,unfortunately. Trevor Horn, a great bassist and singer who a lot of Yes fans despise for some strange reason, hit the nail on the head when he said the bass is such an interesting instrument; it's too bad so many players don't play it adventurously like Entwistle, Butler, Free's Andy Fraser, Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Stanley Clark, Wille Weeks, Boz Burrel (early fretless stuff in rock) and Horn himself. We do need more players like that for sure ... they do inspire me on my basses ...

P.S. Vinny Appice is good on "Mob Rules" and "Live at Hammersmith Odeon," and he was pretty good live at the show I saw in 2007, but my favorite Sabbath drummer will always be Bill Ward. He can play both heavy and swing like jazz. I must admit, I did miss Ward more than Ozzy (and I'm an Ozzy fan) at the H&H concert I witnesed. Good, good stuff.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 7:10:49 PM PDT
Herding Cats says:
woah now. a "throwaway standard rocker"? no song thats a rocker is EVER a throwaway :D

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2009 3:39:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2009 3:52:59 AM PDT
F Fields says:
Hey, bass boy, thanks for the support, man! I started off on bass when I was so young that I had to play a short-scale (30") crummy Fender Bullet Bass. Back then, when the dinosaurs roamed, you could have any bass you wanted as long as it had four strings. But, hoodoggy, does that low B on our blessed fivers augment the groove! I play four-stringers when I play (yikes) unlined fretless. I'm still working on that. Gotta love that "mwah" it produces, dude. Funny how people talk about groove-this, groove-that, yet so many of them don't realize that it's the bass that either makes or breaks the groove. And it's the groove that moves, literally, the listener, because those low freqs hit you viscerally, just as nicely in the gut as they do in the (usually) two ears. Yep, people pay way too much attention to the high-frequency slingers, AKA guitarists. Very few get what that "big guitar" that you and I call "bass" is really for. Those who think they do believe that it's sole purpose is to synch up with the bass-drum (yeah, that's for starters, true) and furiously play the root-note of the oh-so-important lead guitarist's flamboyant chords and nothing more (ummm, no, unless you're a poor bassist). You mention Bill Ward. Geezer and Ward were a formidable team! They were able to play tight-as-can-be yet allow one another the freedom to explore. So Butler did his blues-bass in yo' face and Ward, darn you're right, let his jazz influences shine.

P.S.: You shook Geezer Butler's hand?! You got his autograph? Yeah, Tony would joke about bassists, but a joke from Tony is worth a block of gold. You lucky man, you. Maybe if I shook your hand, I could get some Geezer "energy" in some New-Age type of way, ahahah. Durn, your observation about Geezer's personality is spot-on. He's the kindest, most modest guy in the business. I've heard this from everyone (except unkind people), plus I've noticed that, in every interview, he treats the interviewer like a king/queen. And this is a guy who lives in a castle.

Hold that bass-flag high, brother.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 10:28:35 PM PST
Diohead says:
Have to disagree with the reviewer here. Although all four o' the guys (not including Geoff Nicholls) kicked ass on this album. Dio is clearly the star here. I think Vinny Appice did a great job as well. I've always loved the production of this album, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 1:08:47 PM PST
bass boy says:
Hey Samuel,

Yeah, Geezer, Tony, Dio (RIP) and Vinny were really cool after that show in 2007. I think my brother and I were the only ones allowed to go in the very deepest parts of the backstage area (our backstage passes were from Rhino/WB, while everyone else's were from radio stations). Dio stood out in the hallway and told stories about his 1980, 1981 and 1982 Sabbath tours, and signed anything, literally, that was put in front of him by the fans. Vinny was cool but kind of quiet (maybe tired? but still nice). This guy with an Australian accent pointed to me and my brother (we had forgotten that our passes looked different than everyone else's) and said "You, and you, come with me!" Oh, we thought we were going to get taken in back and popped in the head with baseball bats, that guy sounded that serious. Ha ha. Anyway, he walks us to this door, about 40 feet from where Dio was greeting fans, and pushes a door open and said "Please go in there." We walked in, and in this small, dimly-lit room stood Geezer and Tony. They were the only two in the room. If I remember right, the road manager guy left the room. So it's me and my brother (we're both bassplayers and massive Sabbath fans), standing, staring at Tony and Geezer. After I went all rubber-mouthed, a la the late Chris Farley, Geezer and Tony signed our "Mob Rules," "Live Evil" and "Heaven and Hell (1980 LP)" CD covers. In a way, the meeting seemed like two seconds long, but it also seemed like we stood frozen for an eternity. Ha ha. It was fun and I feel fortunate to have meet all four of them. Anyway, not to brag. I'm just sharing my experience. All four guys were very nice. Dio definitely is missed these days.

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 2:40:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 8, 2014 2:40:19 PM PDT
2ed Samuel says:
What about Gene Simmons' innovative bass playing and all the techniques HE invented????
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