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THE DISC: (1981) 9 tracks clocking in at approximately 40 minutes. Included with the disc is a minimal 2-page foldout containing song titles/credits/times, band members and thank you's (no photo or song lyrics). This is the band's tenth studio album (and Dio's 2nd with Sabbath). Recorded at the Record Plant (Los Angeles). Album cover artwork by the famed Greg Hildebrandt (with twin brother Tim, they created the artwork for the original Lord Of The Rings - circa 1970's, the Star Wars posters and assorted Marvel comics). Label - Warner Bros / Vertigo Records (UK).
COMMETS: As much as I liked "Heaven And Hell" (1980), I always thought "Mob Rules" was more of a complete album. Keep in mind - both albums are outright Dio/Sabbath classics. Ronnie James Dio was clearly in his prime - a five year stint with Rainbow, two classic albums with Black Sabbath, and then his solo career taking off with "Holy Diver" (1983). Somehow I feel "Mob Rules" got the short end of the stick being stuck between two monstrous albums. From the opening cymbal crashes on "Turn Up The Night", this album rocks. This opening track really kicks the album off to a great start. The lone single "Voodoo" is a slower track with ultra heavy drums. Both tracks have trademark Iommi guitars - rhythm and solos. The 8-minute masterpiece - "The Sign Of The Southern Cross" - is one of handful of Dio's best tunes (with ANY band). * How did Sabbath's compilation, "The Dio Years" (2007), miss this single most important song? A sluggish beat, trodden and heavy, cool guitars and effects, and stunning Dio vocals.Read more ›
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.
Turn Up The Night: Like Neon Knights on the last outing, this is a great opening song. Straight out of the gate you know the Sabs came here to knock you down. The wall of sound. Vinnie Appice fits right in. A rumble of thunder I'm suddenly under your spell...
Voodoo: Iommi gives us yet another classic Sabbath riff. This song is stellar. Lyrically, Dio was outdoing everything he had done in Rainbow (don't get me wrong, I love Dio/Rainbow, but this was dark and nasty). A live staple. Call me the devil, it's true...
Sign Of The Southern Cross: Along with Children Of The Sea, one of my all-time favorite songs. Seeing this live on Heaven & Hell's (Sharon Osbourne be damned) final tour with Ronnie back in '07 gave me goosebumps. If there was ever truly a single song that Sabbath did that you would call epic, this is it. Phenomenal. Superb. On a small world west of wonder...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the Black Sabbath Dio years! This has some great classics - Voodoo, Mob Rules, Sign of the Southern Cross, but "B-sides" like Country Girl, Falling off the Edge of... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Karl A. Rodriguez
I know most will call blasphemy on this but I think the first two Dio/Sabbath pairings are far and away my favorite Sabbath albums. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeremy Juliano
The structure of this album definitely can be related to its predecesor HEAVEN AND HELL, the songwriting is on almost as high of a level, and the riffing and rhythm section are... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Harold
What else can be said that wasn't said by others here?
I've had this album for decades - and have been enjoying it again. Read more
After the success of "Heaven and Hell," Black Sabbath saw the departure of their original drummer, Bill Ward, their second major loss since the departure of Ozzy Osbourne... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anthony Nasti