Classic Albums Column – Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell

Black Sabbath Heaven And Hell Mars Attacks Podcast


This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 95 features comments from former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice, Charlie Benante, Gene Hoglan, Michael Wilton , Jon Schaffer, Sharlee D’Angelo, Ernie C, Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal, and from One On One with Mitch Lafon, Mitch Lafon. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.



Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – The thing about Sabbath is that whatever they did, whatever changes happened, the music never suffered for it. Ozzy, Dio, Gillan, Hughes, Gillen, they always had the best of the best. The Dio era Sabbath albums were classics.

Greg PratoHeaven & Hell: Sabbath’s Ozzy era is responsible for countless all-time metal anthems, but you cannot underestimate the greatness of the 2 albums Ronnie James Dio did with the group in the early ’80s. In fact, I can honestly say I’ve listened to those 2 albums (Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules) nearly as much as “Paranoid”, “Master of Reality”, etc. The guitar riff to “Heaven and Hell” is one of metal’s greatest, and Ronnie James Dio was one of the few soulful metal singers in history.

Dave Starr – A landmark album in metal. I think Sabbath sounded better with Dio, and Ozzy sounded better after he went out on his own.

Dan Lorenzo – I remember buying this album (yes, album) and being very curious to hear the combination of Dio and Sabbath. After listening to side one, I thought this may be the best Sabbath album ever. Ronnie is obviously a superior vocalist and the band sounded re-energized. Side 2 never really meant much to me. Not even close. I’m not sure I can think of any classic album where the first half of the record is so much better than the 2nd.

I also have a very clear memory of Twisted Sister playing a medley of “Neon Nights”, “Lady Evil” and one other song (I guess my memory isn’t THAT clear) from side one and Dee Snider just killing it vocally. Killing it in a good way. It might be hard to imagine Dee being able to handle those songs, but back when Twisted were a cover band Dee had more vocal range and handled RJD’s vocals commendably. When this album came out HADES were a cover band and we did “Children of The Sea”. I wanted to also cover “Neon Nights”, but there were parts of that song where the bass is louder than the guitar and I couldn’t hear the guitar chords.

On an unrelated note: Anthrax (who I’ve never really been a fan of) kick ass performing “Neon Nights” on the new Dio tribute cd.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the first 4 songs are monumental. The rest of the album is OK, but I still consider this a classic.

Chris Shrum – The original Classic metal album for all time.

Will Carroll – A question that has been asked backstage at DA shows-“Which album is better, Heavan And Hell or Blizzard Of Oz?” The answer has yet to be uttered. Thats how fucking AMAZING H&H is. I pick H&H.

Steve Smyth – One of the all-time classic metal albums! Strong songs, brilliant performances from Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, and the irreplaceable Ronnie James Dio. I love this album from start to finish! I actually was successful in convincing Forbidden that we should do a cover of this song,(soon to be released), and we do play it live every now and again, and get everybody to sing along. Great, great album! “Neon Knights”!

David Ellefson – This album ushered in a whole new melodic, yet heavy era for Metal music. Every song is flat out great on this record! “Neon Knights” is so catchy it’s hard to even call it Metal but yet it’s got everything a great Metal tune should have…a riff, moving bass lines and Ronnie James Dio!

Bat – I love this album, the title track again a classic, “Die Young” is another great track, fuck it the whole thing is brilliant.

Bruce Moore – Absolutely killer album. It was Dio’s debut in Sabbath and still ranks as one of my favorite Sabbath albums of all-time.

Patrick Kennison – I remember diggin the Dio sabbath more than the Ozzy stuff. He had an evil mystical quality to his voice that I really dug. Even though Ozzy created metal w/ Sabbath, Dio kept the torch burning bright.

Jose Izquierdo – I’m more of an Ozzy guy, I’ve really never paid attention to any other era of Sabbath. I’ve listened to Ozzy era to death, and still love it.

Peter Ellis – I have always been one of those people that actually prefer Sabbath with Dio behind the mic instead of Ozzy and to me Heaven & Hell is not only one of the best Black Sabbath albums but one of the best albums in the history of Metal. This was the album that revived Black Sabbath and gave them new life at a time when it seemed their best days were behind them. The vocals from Ronnie James Dio on this album are a masterclass in Heavy Metal singing!

Jon Leon – I have always said and still maintain Sabbath truly became a metal band with this release and reaffirmed the argument they started heavy metal. Though Iommi did create the concept of scaring people like a horror film does musically and the sound of a power chord, early Sabbath to me is hard rock, psych and garage. I feel Sad Wings by Judas Priest was the first Metal Album, with the “Ripper” and “Tyrant” being the first songs that really shape what Heavy Metal is to me….. This album to me, is when Sabbath and Dio both became “METAL” In Rainbow DIO was not metal yet. It was progressive and cutting edge-but not metal. I think the NWOBHM inspired both sides to create the album that would set the tone for the whole movement. It was perfect timing of events to have them all come together, be inspired and Metal would never be the same. The definitive Metal album. I would rate it one of the most important of all time in metal history. It, along with Back in Black and British Steel started something very special for the next few years and planted seeds that still reverberate. Every song is classic and it is the best work DIO or Sabbath ever did.

Joel Gausten – The title track features the best Metal drumming of all time. Such a deceptively simple groove that no other timekeeper has ever been able to properly duplicate.

Phil Rind – Black Sabbath Mach II. “Neon Nights”! First concert I saw was Mob Rules

James J. LaRue – Ronnie was one of the most amazing singers and performers in any style, a virtuoso and master. I don’t listen to Ozzy Sabbath at all, after hearing Dio. I never get caught up on how ‘classic’ something is, and always side with people who put in hard work to build their craft to amazing levels through study and practice.

Kevin Estrada – This album blew me away.  Another cassette that was in my pocket or the boom box at all times.  The band re-invented themselves with the addition of Ronnie James Dio – a new sound and new energy, and not to mention a new fan-base.  The first song I ever heard from that album was “Die Young” – it changed my life!

Check out Black Sabbath's 1980 Classic Heaven And Hell here:

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