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4.0 out of 5 stars
Live Evil
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2002
It's a shame that now Sabbath (and Ozzy in particular) have become household names again with the advent of the reunion of the classic lineup, Ozzfest and "The Osbournes" (d'oh!) that Messrs Iommi and Butler have decided to disown any other incarnations of Sabbath and remark that for them the original lineup was the only one that could "cut it". Sure there have been some pretty bad ones (Glenn Hughes and Ian Gillan to name two rather baffling choices as front men) but I would argue that drafting Dio and Appice into the band perhaps enhanced the musical ability of the group. Maybe the band should have formed under a diferent name but it's fair to say that this live offering is a tremendous chronicle of this group's first outing (they reformed in 1992 with the "Dehumaniser" album). The best cuts on this album for me are "Children Of The Sea", "Heaven And Hell" (complete with elongated and brinking on pretentious solos by Iommi) and, my personal favourite from this reincarnation, the ultra heavy "Sign Of The Southern Cross". So why not a five star album. Well "Paranoid" and "War Pigs " just sound wrong with Dio singing and the liner notes look suspiciously similar to those of "The Mob Rules". However for all those anti-Dio Sabbathites, maybe it's a chance to be a little more open-minded and appreciate just how good this incarnation was
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This was a missed opportunity,having seen Sabbath with Dio at the Glasgow Apollo 1980 i was well aware how great they were live,sadly this overproduced disc fails to recreate this.

All the classics from both camps are here,and although it took a bit getting used to Dio singing Ozzy material he does it with ease,highlights for me as 'Black Sabbath' love the intro and a superb 'Voodoo' with excellent solo.

However for the most part this overproduced disc sucks the life out of the music,the crowd appear to be in a different stadium and its really only for completists

If you buy the deluxe edition of MOB RULES then the bonus Live At Hammersmith disc is a truer representation of how they actually sounded.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2003
This was Black Sabbath's first official live album, recorded while touring in support the band's second album with Ronnie James Dio, "Mob Rules". The track-list is good, although it ommits several classics like "Snowblind", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Turn up the Night". "Live Evil" contains a great selection nonetheless, and Dio puts a new perspective on Ozzy-era songs like "War Pigs", "Black Sabbath" and "NIB". The rest of the band are also on top form, with a drum solo by Vinnie Appice, and a long guitar solo during "Heaven and Hell" by Tony Iommi. The aforementioned track is the centrepiece of the setlist, to which Sabbath return to at the end of "The Sign of the Southern Cross" and "Paranoid".
However, a few complaints about this album must be said. While the band themselves have been captured in full flight, the crowd is barely audible. This is evidenced especially during "Heaven and Hell", when Dio lets the crowd participate. This is a great idea, but they can't be heard! For this reason, it doesn't have a good live feel to it; you can't picture yourself being at this gig like you can on Iron Maiden's "Rock in Rio", for example.
The other complaint is: where are song introductions? Dio barely talks to the crowd on this one. This can be answered by the fact that when remastering the album and putting it all onto one CD (the original was split onto two CDs), all in-between song talking had to be cut out, and "Fluff" reduced to a mere nine seconds of audible sound. I'd have been willing to pay an extra few quid for a full concert! My advice would be if you can get hold of the 2-CD version, then do, it must be better than this.
If you want a decent live album, then look elsewhere. But if you're interested in hearing Mr Dio singing Ozzy-era Sabbath, then this album delivers in loads aplenty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2009
I should lay my cards on the table on the Dio v Ozzy debate. My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that Sabbath under Ozzy were, as most people know, hugely influential on metal generally, but personally I struggle with the vocals, particularly in a live environment. By contrast Sabbath under Dio produced two of the slickest best 80s metal albums and the contrast to the Ozzy era is like comparing chalk and cheese. Ozzy's Sabbath crawled out of the Midlands in the late 60s early 70s and the songs reflected the drugs, wars and social issues of the time. The Sabbath of Dio's era are the product of LA and the sorcery and wizard fodder of Dio's former band, Rainbow. This contrast is usefully highlighted by comparing Live Evil and Live At Last. The latter is a beautifully raw mess, propelled along by frenzied drumming, monster riffs, crowd adulation and that slightly unhinged vocal - it doesn't come more live than this. Live Evil is a slick behemoth with the crowd a distant memory, faded out so as to not interfere with the quality of the music, and let's be honest, the growing egos. However, I am a teenager of the 80s, not the 70s, so it's Live Evil that gets the higher marks in my book. Although not a great, great live album it is a testament to the power of the Dio era music, particularly on the barnstorming opener Neon Nights and the quirky Voodoo. The Ozzy era stuff translates reasonably well, particularly the crunching NIB, but Paranoid is best left to Ozzy, as he lives and breathes the lyric - Dio simply sings the song too well.

As a post script it's worth mentioning that the Mob Rules Deluxe release has the Hammersmith concert from the same tour as a bonus CD and this live recording addresses all of the concerns above. It's raw and it's distinctly live and has the bonus that it chucks in a couple of obscure numbers from the Dio albums, namely Slipping Away and Country Girl. Dio is also in playful mood, trying and failing to get a female member of the audience to sing and, in true English fashion, shouting at the angel to p*** off during heaven and hell. This, and the rawer production, gives it a rare immediacy that is unfortunately lacking from the more sanitised Live Evil. I am not surprised that, previous to its re release, copies of the original were trading for nearly £200 on a well known auction web site!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2011
The production on this is pretty terrible, but considering the circumstances it isn't surprising. The performances may be all right, but it's difficult to tell when they're covered up by all this sludge. There were four concerts, one in Dallas, one in San Antonio and two in Seattle, all during the spring of 1982. After the tapes were made, the band retired to the studio with various other personnel with an eye toward mixing the album. The actual circumstances are not NEARLY as sinister as we have all been led to believe. You know how folks really love to blow things way out of proportion and make things seem much worse than they really are; I'm never sure why, possibly because it's fun to get a big reaction when being the bearer of really bad/interesting news. Anyway, you know the type. Apparently, Dio and Appice were supposed to show up at 2:00 in the afternoon and they did so. Iommi and Geezer apparently thought the time had been agreed upon as being some hours later. The fact that the two 'camps' weren't speaking at the time did not help matters and made sure this issue did not get resolved. When Iommi and Butler didn't show, what could Dio and Appice do but go to work? Then after working and waiting for the other two, they left. Some time later, Iommi and Butler would show up and when Dio and Appice didn't show (having already been there that day) they quit waiting and got to work. Therefore it appeared they were intentionally working at (pardon the pun) 'cross purposes'. Which was not the case. It was a simple matter of miscommunication compounded by the fact that they were not speaking to each other. Finally, Iommi and Butler got sick of what appeared to be going on and gave pink slips to Dio and Appice and that was that. Iommi and Butler finished 'mixing' the album the way they wanted it and out it came the way it is. The 'new' 'Live At Hammersmith' from January 1982 sounds one hundred times better than 'Live Evil', having been newly mixed with a pair of objective ears just a couple of years ago. There are many of the same songs on it and a couple that really ought to have been on 'Live Evil'. What really ought to happen in a few years is that Warner Brothers should get the same guy that mixed the Hammersmith project to do a nice re-mix on all four of the spring 1982 shows and release a boxed set for comparison purposes, somewhat like Deep Purple's 'Live In Japan' triple from (my god...) almost twenty years ago now. Failing that, a nice re-mix of the album proper would be nice. There is always the possibility that the tapes were poorly RECORDED, a problem which NO amount of remixing can solve. Sometimes it's the recording, not the mixing that's the problem. Sometimes it's both. Some day we'll be able to customize the actual mixes on our own home machines, that'll be a fine day.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2010
This album is the best ever Sabbath Live but in this edition there is nothing different with original album there is no bonus track or anything else but it's still the best .
booklet is excellent . nice price .
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2007
(This review relates to the single CD release.) Myself, I think the mix is fine as far as the band goes but a crowd would have been nice! For this, I dock a star. Trackwise, it is a faithful representation of the set on the US-leg of the 'Mob Rules' tour.

First time this was released in the UK on CD they dropped 'War Pigs' (or 'Warpigs', as they had it) so as to fit onto a single CD at a price we fans could afford. Eeh, thanks, mister!

The remaster was in an era of longer CD running times, so 'War Pigs' returned. However, this was at the expense of most, if not all, of RJD's chat. To hear this album as originally released on vinyl, get the 2CD US Warner Bros version. (For info, even the original cassette release swopped sides 2 & 3 of the vinyl so as to give equal running-times, rather than Vertigo having to pay for a more expensive tape!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This remastering job cures all of the ills that the Castle mastering suffered from. Spreading it out onto 2 discs has allowed Warner to let us hear Ronnie James Dios intersong patter and has let the pace of the album reflect the feel of a real gig as opposed to a mad run through.

The sonic improvements are numerous. Everyone can be heard easily, even the long buried keyboards of Geoff Nicholls. Anyone who says the vinyl was better has not heard this version. I had the vinyl and never heard loads of stuff that I picked up on the first play through of this double discer.

An essential purchase for fans of RJD helmed Sabbath.
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on 31 July 2008
Despite the pretty bad production (i hardly ever care about the production but here it's very noticeable) this is excellent. I downloaded this superb live just so I could hear Dio singing Ozzy's songs from when he was with Sabbath, and Dio does them brilliant and makes them his own, come on he aint gonna sound excactly like Ozzy is he?. He sings his own excellent aswell. I think the most annoying things about this album is you can barely hear the croud, they are gone for most off the album. I never say this about an album because i only consider the quality of music on it, but this is pretty bad, you can hear the band perfectly but the crowd is almost none existent (sorry for mentioning it twice but it's true).

All the songs on the album are performed very well, and I really like Dio's version of N.I.B he sounds more evil and it still has a bluesy feel to it. The song selection are very good aswell taking the best off Sabbath. I think the annoying thing aswell is on Heaven And Hell while the added solos by Iommi is cool they missed the best part off the song just when the solo finishes on the studio album they missed all off it (dissapointing). Despite it's flaws it is an excellent album sure wish i was alive then to be at that show. Dio is awesome on this album (same with rest of the band). A must have for Dio/Black Sabbath fans. I'm sure theirs a remasterd version off this somewhere if you look hard. Long live Tony Iommi & Dio. Black Sabbath bloody Rock!!!!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I am confused as to why this so-called "deluxe edition" was released! They have taken an album that fit on one cd and spread it across two. There is absolutely no extra material at all! They could have maybe included some songs from different nights of the tour like on the deluxe edition of Motorheads "No sleep till Hammersmith" or Lynyrd skynyrds "One More For the Road". The packaging is better than the other versions released and the booklet is nice but it does feel like a rip-off. The sound quality is clearer than the others but lets face it: We buy these deluxe editions for the bonus material!
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