on 21 April 2010
As I already mentioned in my review of the new Deluxe Edition of "Heaven And Hell", this new mastering also retains the dynamic range of the original recording quite nicely (some might complain about it not being loud enough compared to other remasterings, but that is indeed a good thing - just use your volume knob to make it louder).
Compared to the original mastering on the Warner Bros. CD for the US market, this new mastering does not quite sound as good, but it is still a good mastering and the second best available option in my opinion (if you love this album you owe it to yourself to track down an original Warner Bros. US pressing of this CD).
The greatest part of this new Deluxe Edition is the 2nd disc which features the rare Rhino Handmade CD release "Live at Hammersmith" from a few years ago (the concert was recorded around New Year's Eve/Day 1981/1982). This bonus disc is a 1:1 digital clone of that Rhino Handmade release (which is long out of print and quite expensive on the secondary market). Now you can get it for a low price together with a decent mastering of "Mob Rules".
By the way, the mastering of the bonus live disc is also decent and still has some dynamics left. It is in my opinion the best available live recording of Dio era Black Sabbath, both from a performance point of view as well as from a mix/sound quality point of view. I like it better than "Live Evil".
Ok, I will keep this short and to the point. I can not hear any difference worth talking about on the remaster of Mob Rules.
Why five stars then? Simple, this issue of Mob Rules has a stoater of a live album, that was going for the ton on ebay, as the bonus disc. Live at Hammersmith was orginally issued by Rhino in a limited run of 5000, but is now featured here at less than the original price of the Rhino version. The sound quality of this live album is a tad more aggresive than Live Evil, a great album in itself IMHO, but has tracks that it did not, Slipping Away and Country Girl, that help fill in the missing gaps in Sabbaths live song list in those days.
Five stars for the hard to get live gig, otherwise a great album in any case that is worthy of your attention.
on 11 March 2010
Continuing pretty much where Heaven and Hell left off, Mob Rules is wider in scope than its predecessor, has less to prove, and even sees the return of the classic Sabbath curveball (E5150 being this album's Planet Caravan). Turn up the Night is as intense and brutal as Neon Knights; The Sign of the Southern Cross and Falling off the Edge of the World are from the same loud-quiet-loud school as Die Young, Children of the Sea and Heaven and Hell. Ultimately, this album is marginally less satisfying than its predecessor, but still towers over everything any of its perpetrators have done since.
This 2010 remaster is a must-have, featuring extras that I personally crawled over hot coals to get over the years - in particular the live version of Die Young that appeared as the b-side to The Mob Rules single and the full Live at Hammersmith CD that I spent a small fortune personally importing on release. All are outstanding - Live at Hammersmith has an energy and edge that I find lacking from Live Evil - as well as a setlist featuring more Dio era material. Die Young, along with final extra The Mob Rules demo, is raw, raucous and unpolished - and is all the more exciting for that. As with Heaven & Hell (Deluxe Edition), the 2010 remaster is quieter than the 2004 Sanctuary release, however this is easily solved by just turning up the volume.
Now all they need to do is unearth recordings of the Heaven and Hell rehearsals featuring Ozzy and I can die a happy man!
How many bands could have followed Heaven and Hell,not many,this is a damn fine effort,opening with the heavy 'Turn up the Night' we have another fast and furious opening however its the next 2 tracks that raise the disc to the heights,firstly the magnificent ,evil, 'Voodoo' before the best song this era of Sabbath ever produced,the sublime 'Sign Of The Southern Cross',a majestic composition which encapsulates everything that this line up stood for,how they could leave it off the future compiliation'The Dio Years' is beyond me.
Unfortunately E5150 brings back memories of FX before the title track assaults the senses and pretty much represents the entire metal genre in its fantastic 3 minutes or so,the remainder of the album retains a high level if not quite reaching the peak that earlier tracks have,'Fallin Of The Edge' reminiscent of Dio's Rainbow days while the likes of 'Slippin Away,Country Girl' and 'Over and Over'are fine rock tracks .
Possibly given that Bill Ward was no longer part of the band,maybe the name change should have taken place at this point,it didnt and the band carried on,Vini Appice was a fantastic drummer although i did miss Wards variety of drumming skills as opposed to the thunder rock that Vini brought,who knew this would fall apart so quickly.
Unlike the 'Heaven and Hell' deluxe edition,this is a more than worthy reissue of an album that was always in the shadow of its illustrious predecesor.
Disc 1 : The original album remastered,Fantastic album with several tracks that easily held their own with the previous album,namely the title track,the magnificent 'Voodoo' and the best,IMHO,track they recorded 'Sign Of The Southern Cross'.As with the other reissue,i cannot tell any major difference from previous remaster,other than the decrease in volume.Two bonus tracks added are an unremarkable 'die young' from the Mob Rules 12' single and a superb version of 'Mob Rules' which is arguably better than that which appeared on the final album.
Disc 2 : the dogs dangly bits,the long craved 'Live At Hammersmith' from 1981 14 superb,heavy Sabbath moments,which are generally superior to those found on 'Live Evil' which sadly had the life sucked out of them when it was (over) produced,this is Sabbath the way they were meant to be heard,that it includes several tracks that never made 'Live Evil' is all the better,I would imagine those that paid over the odds for the Rhino ltd edition set may be a tad aggrieved.
Packaging : as mentioned in other review,basic,nothing spectacular.
on 21 January 2014
Here is Black Sabbath's Tenth Studio Album and 2nd with Ronnie James Dio on Vocals, this another Epic album from Black Sabbath, its in a totally different vein from The Ozzy Era and more so from Dio's First Album "Heaven And Hell" with the band. Vinny Appice on Drums taking over from Bill Ward does a good job, hard hitting and to the point. Tony as always has some killer riffs on this album (As he does on all 20 Studio Albums of Sabbath's) and some of the song's are just Classic Sabbath like "Sign Of The Southern Cross", "Country Girl" and "Mob Rules" the extra disc on The Deluxe Edition gives you "Live At Hammersmith" and its a brilliant showcase of Dio Era Sabbath so don't listen to The Ozzy Fools... Sabbath Continued To Rule (even after Dio as well with Tony Martin \M/)
on 30 December 2011
Sabbath with Dio is an entirely different beast to Sabbath with Ozzy. If I had to choose, I would choose Sabbath with Ozzy. Yet the first 2 Sabbath/Dio albums are awesome too. Just in a different way. Even with half the original line up missing (Bill Ward absent now too), I would consider this album the end of Sabbath proper.
on 28 March 2007
A great album that follows on well from Heaven & Hell. Forget the notion that Sabbath were nothing without Ozzy - remember the Never Say Die album guys?? I saw them live and great news that they are reforming and touring as Heaven & Hell this year.
on 5 April 2007
... in my humble opinion, of course!
This record, the second Sabbath album to feature Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals, brings out the best in both the singer and the band. The collaboration was a very controversial one at the time, with Ozzy having forged his own path with Blizzard of Ozz the fanbase polarised into pro and anti-Dio camps. The situation was not helped with the departure of original drummer Bill Ward, leaving just Iommi and Butler of the classic line-up. Vinnie Appice was recruited to fill the drum stool, and the band headed off to the studio, once again with Martin Birch in the producer's chair. Those who could not accept anyone other than Ozzy to front Sabbath however, missed out on this superb album.
As well as above-average regular Metal, as heard on the lead-off track 'Turn Up The Night', and 'The Mob Rules', there are more off-the-wall moments, such as the slow-burning 'Sign Of The Southern Cross', leading into the eerie synth-based intrumental 'E5150'. Side two (as it was on the vinyl) started on a lighter note, with 'Country Girl', more in the vein of the previous album 'Heaven and Hell', and is followed by 'Slipping Away', featuring excellent guitar/bass interplay from Iommi and Butler. Both tracks are built on superb riffs which was Iommi's stock in trade.
The album's real highpoint is 'Falling Off The Edge Of The World'. Once again it starts off quiet, and smoulders menacingly before the fast bit kicks in. They don't make them like this any more; a classic example of light and shade with Dio in top form, one minute singing softly, then roaring out the heavy part and all the while making it all seem so easy.
The final track is 'Over and Over', an old-fashioned Metal ballad with a searing Iommi solo to play us out. Little did we know it, but a live album apart, that would be it for this incarnation of the band for over a decade.
The contribution of keyboardist Geoff Nicholls should not be overlooked here; although not a full member of the band he plays a full part, his synth textures are dark, Gothic and he creates a suitably doomy atmosphere for Iommi to dredge up those immense riffs.
Following this album, the partnership did not see out 1982 - a dispute over mixing the live album 'Live Evil' resulted in Dio's departure, taking Vinnie Appice with him to form the band Dio (and create the classic 'Holy Diver' album). Iommi meanwhile soldiered on with a succession of line-ups, despite recruiting first Ian Gillan then Glenn Hughes, before settling on Dio soundalike Tony Martin, Sabbath's credibility ebbed away.
IF I were allowed to keep only two albums from all my LPs or CDs, this and AC/DC's 'Back In Black' would be the two I would choose. 25 years on, this is one of those that really does stand the test of time. With the current Heaven and Hell tour taking place which reunites the band who made this record, the time is right to give this excellent album a listen.
on 14 June 2006
Dio's vocals are great on this, and Iommi's guitar comes up with some great riffs. They work well together to create some powerful mosters of tracks that define the metal of the 1970s.
The early part of the record is great: Sign of the Southern Cross, E5150 and then booting in the door on the fearsome Mob Rules make a powerhouse of a stretch that means the following Country Girl suffers. The end of the album does tail off a little.
They're at their best loud, fast and heavy, then again when they get slow and dark. The tracks that do this are delicious, and earn the album historic status.