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Heaven And Hell

4.6 out of 5 stars 347 customer reviews

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Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath

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After kicking vocalist Ozzy Osbourne out of the band in 1978, Black Sabbath knew they would have to strike back with a powerful record if they were to retain their credibility. They recruited Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio, whose melodramatic vibrato shuddered with menace, and in 1980, they released Heaven and Hell, their most potent offering since Master of Reality. Faster and more theatrical than Sabbath's earlier oeuvre, Heaven and Hell features the dynamic seven-minute title track, which builds from a lazy throb to a high-octane roar, and the dynamic "Die Young," which segues from an uptempo saunter to a flamboyant midsection strangely reminiscent of Queen. Although the album helped build Sabbath a younger, more enthusiastic fan base, Dio only remained with the band for one more studio album, after which Sabbath's star slowly began to fade. --Jon Wiederhorn
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • Run Time: 40 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002KKS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,743 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Wesley Townsend on July 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have had this for about a year, and I cannot stress this enough: Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath is very possibly the best rock album EVER. I cannot put into words how great this album is. Ronnie James Dio's powerful voice was not so much a replacement for Ozzy Osbourne, it was more of a transformation. This "new" Sabbath sounds NOTHING like the old Sabbath. The musical and lyrical themes are magical, mystical kinds of stuff.
The album kicks off with, in my opinion, the best Sabbath song in their entire career. "Neon Knights" also happens to be my all-time favorite rock song. Right from the start, you know that something has changed about the band. They start off with a hard-rocking groove, and then all of a sudden... Dio's amazing voice takes the music into another dimension! In terms of songwriting, this is one of the best songs in either Sabbath's or Dio's catalog. The climax of the song, though, is Iommi's guitar solo. I could listen to this guitar solo on repeat for the rest of my life. Feel it!
The second song, "Children of the Sea," is slower, and heavier. The main crawling criff is one of the best on the album, and Dio's vocal part is very melodic and beautiful. This is one of the best songs on the album.
"Lady Evil" is an uptempo rocker that makes you want to move! "There's a place just south of Witches' Valley..." This is also a highlight of the album. It has one of the best guitar solos on the record, as well.
"Heaven and Hell," for many people, is the climax of the album (and for good reason!). From the opening hard-driving riff, you know this song is going to be something special. The guitar pummels away with the rhythm section for a little while, then pulls back, leaving only the drums and a mid-paced, galloping bass line. Enter Dio!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the greatest LP ever recorded. You don't have to believe me. Buy it and find out for yourself.

This is Black Sabbath's first album without Ozzy, and Dio's divine performance reveals all of the band's former front man's shortcomings. Dio has better tone, better range, and better lyrics, and is just much more powerful than anything the band released in the 70's, though most those albums stand on their own as heavy metal masterpieces.

Also improved are the guitar sound and the rhythm section. Iommi crunches out riffs that are more than heavy, more than fast, and more than perfect. Bill ward proves he can play straight 4/4 and do it incredibly well, and Geezer plays bass in a way that is unparalleled in rock.

Every song is great, the production is good, and the lyrics will suck you in. From the opening chords of "Neon Nights" to the last tear-jerking chorus and solo in "lonely is the word" Heaven and Hell will enthrall you. It is utter musical perfection and I have no doubt that it will never be equaled.

Heaven and Hell is proof that metal can be powerful, melodic, heavy, and meaningful all at the same time. It is not just for metal heads, but anyone who loves real music.

Again, utter musical perfection. The best album ever recorded.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, maybe not perfection, but dang close! Sabbath absolutely made the perfect choice by picking up ex-Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to fill Ozzy's shoes. Personally I find Dio to be a MUCH better singer than the now over-blown Ozzy.

I actually got into the Dio-Sabbath era backwards because at first I got into Dio's solo efforts. After loving his solo albums Holy Diver, The Last in Line, and Sacred Heart, I decided to go back and check out his efforts with Sabbath. Of course I heard and liked Sabbath of old but for some reason I never gave the Dio era Sabbath a whirl. All I can say is WOW!

The album definitely has the traditional Sabbath sound thanks to the guitar talents of Tony Iommi, but it also isn't exactly like their past releases either. For this we can thank Dio as like the vocalists to follow him, he was the main lyrical writer. Because he is the main lyrical writer it comes to be no surprise that a lot of these songs seem like they come straight from a Dio solo album. We even get an epic fantasy song called Children of a Sea about a society that lives under the ocean.

The album opener Neon Knights is one of Sabbath's best songs. It's a faster number with a great sing along course. Another faster song is the most excellent Die Young which features a simple yet monstrous riff by Iommi. The epic doomier title track is another one of Sabbath's best songs.

Everything is just grand about this album. The song-writing is mature and well structured and the production is crisp thanks to producer Martin Birch (who later went on to produce Iron Maiden). The songs are all catchy and the guitarmanship is aw-inspiring. The album may not be as groundbreaking as their debut or Paranoid, but it very well might be better.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The verdict is in...and the 1996 UK Castle remaster wins!!!
I have done a Hi-Fi(and Lo-Fi MP3 player) comparison between the 2008 Rhino and the 1996 UK castle remaster....the Castle remaster wins!

Well, on the Rhino label release it sounds like engineers attempted to add punch and volume to the mid-bass 1.0 KHZ range and they succeeded...BUT at the same time muddied the treble clarity at around the 6.0 KHZ-10 KHZ range. Normally I like juiced-up remasters, but this one sounds forced and strained in the Mid-Bass. Imagine your speakers cranked at high volume with bass all the way up..now throw a pillow over the speaker... It's so bad that you'll have listener fatigue and become annoyed by the second song.
That's how the Rhino sounds to me.

The Castle remaster as compared to the original 1980 recording has been remastered with great balance and clarity. The bass drum and bass guitar have added "whump" without the muddiness of the Rhino version. Now keep in mind, the bass drum/tom recording style of the time (1980)was with alot of dampening, so don't expect it to sound too "Fat". It was intended to sound hard and tight.
The higher frequencies have been opened up with a wider soundstage. Dio's lyrics are much easier to understand and Tony's guitar blazes just right (especially on the guitar solos of the title track #4).

...and if that wasn't enough!...the liner notes have been expanded with LYRICS!! and a short history surrounding the recording of this groundbreaking Heavy Metal recording.

It took me two tries to get the 1996 Import I was looking for, so do yourself a favor and e-mail the seller beforehand to verify just what version they have.
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