Mob Rulesby Black Sabbath
1981's Mob Rules was the second Black Sabbath album to feature vertically challenged singer Ronnie James Dio, whose powerful pipes and Dungeons and Dragons lyrics initially seemed like the perfect replacement for the recently departed and wildly popular Ozzy Osbourne. In fact, all the ingredients which had made their first outing, Heaven and Hell, so successful are re-utilized on this album, including legendary metal producer Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, etc.) and supporting keyboard player Geoff Nichols. And while it lacks some of its predecessor's inspired songwriting, Mob Rules was given a much punchier, in-your-face mix by Birch, who seemed re-energized after his work on New Wave of British Heavy Metal upstarts Iron Maiden's Killers album. Essentially, Mob Rules is a magnificent record, with the only serious problem being the sequencing of the material, which mirrors Heaven and Hell's almost to a tee. In that light, one can't help but compare otherwise compelling tracks like "Turn Up the Night" and "Voodoo" to their more impressive Heaven and Hell counterparts, "Neon Knights" and "Children of the Sea." That streak is soon snapped, first by the unbelievably heavy seven-minute epic "The Sign of the Southern Cross," which delivers one of the album's best moments, then its segue into an unconventional synthesizer-driven instrumental ("E5150") and the appearance of the roaring title track. Side two is less consistent, hiding the awesome "Falling off the Edge of the World" (perhaps the most overlooked secret gem to come from the Dio lineup) amongst rather average tracks like "Slipping Away" and "Over and Over." Over the next year, the wheels fell off for Black Sabbath, and Dio's exit marked Mob Rules as the last widely respected studio release of the band's storied career.
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Performance CreditsBlack Sabbath Primary Artist
Vinny Appice Drums
Geezer Butler Bass
Ronnie James Dio Vocals
Tony Iommi Guitar
Geoff Nicholls Keyboards
Technical CreditsMartin Birch Producer,Engineer
Richard Seireeni Art Direction
Bryan Reesman Liner Notes
Masaki Koike Art Direction
Paul Clark Artwork
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Over all this is a heavier album then Heaven and Hell, it may not be quit as good but its still great. This should be a part of all Sabbath album collections along with the first six with Ozzy, and the other two with Dio.
Mob Rules is the second out of three studio albums featuring Ronnie James Dio. It comes in as third place in my opinion. Most the songs are average mid-tempo plodders.With one exception-''The Sign of the Southern Cross'' this song is HEAVY beyond discription and makes the album worth buying.(You just have to hear it yourself!) There are some nice guitar,bass and drum solo breaks in the song ''Slipping away'',the title track ''Mob Rules'' is a little more dynamic then the rest, but in all honesty some of the songs are so mundane I can't even listen to then in full. What really brings this album to 4 stars is Vinnie Appice's awsome drumming.You can really tell he is giving %110 percent on each song - he plays with the perfect balance of raw spontaneous power mixed with sensitivity and solid time.His drumming adds excitement to otherwise dull songs. Overall, this album is recommended for any serious Black Sabbath fan. But for newcomers, I recommend Heaven & Hell or Paranoid.
The Mob Rules was the second post-Ozzy Black Sabbath album and it rocks nearly as hard as its predecessor, Heaven & Hell. Once again, Ronnie James Dio handled the vocal duties for the departed Ozzy Osbourne; but for this album, Vinnie Appice stepped behind the drumkit for the then-ailing Bill Ward, slamming the skins for all he was worth. In fact, Vinnie's addition seemed to light a fire under Sabbath's butt instrumentally-speaking. There were certain similarities to Heaven & Hell. Hard to avoid, with RJD's iron lungs tearing up the vocal duties again and long-time Deep Purple producer Martin Birch once again at the production helm. However, there were some interesting and notable stylistic differences. For one, the trippy E5150, an instrumental many attribute to Tony Iommi messing about with a synthesizer. I've always wondered if he didn't just figure out a way to rejigger some of his famous guitar noise, especially considering some of the deep, bone-rattling chiming sounds one would be more inclined to believe could only come from a guitar. E5150 proves the perfect lead in to the roaring title track, The Mob Rules, a raging stomper of a song if there ever was one (both of which also appeared, very appropriately, on the soundtrack for the movie Heavy Metal). Other subtleties also make this different from Heaven & Hell. The Sign Of The Southern Cross sounds like "typcial" Sabbath, long and slow-burning; but one of the real surprises is the vastly under-rated (as someone else pointed out) Falling Off The Edge Of The World, which totally sneaks up on you all unexpected-like. It starts out calm and slow, with a very soothing, airy vocal from RJD...so calming, in fact, that when the rest of the band finally kicks in, you're caught almost totally off-guard. A brutal beauty. Interestingly, the lyrics to that particular track hark back most strongly to Dio's tenure with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow...and actually reinforce Ozzy's nickname for the Dio-fronted version of the band, Blackmore Sabbath. Even Country Girl proves a really cool song. It's odd, but in a way it sounds so non-Sabbath that it could only be Black Sabbath. Strange but true. Sadly, this would prove RJD's last studio album with Sabbath for many years, because he and the band parted company on rather acrimonious terms and Ronnie finally launched his solo career, taking powerhouse drummer Vinnie Appice along with him. They reunited briefly in the studio for Dehumanizer before ego conflicts once again got in the way and they splintered yet again. Too bad because, excluding the Ian Gillan-fronted Sabbath that released the very heavy and darkly-evil-sounding Born Again, the RJ Dio-fronted version of Sabbath was truly the best non-Ozzy version. If you're a died-in-the-wool Black Sabbath fan, you already own this. If you don't, get it. A worthy successor to Heaven & Hell (and nowhere near as "angry" as Dehumanizer sounded when Dio and Sabbath reunited a few years later, good as that album was).
Im not an ozzy fan at all so it might explain why this is the only black sabbath cd i have. the lyrics and musical compositions are the most original i heard out of all the 80's metal i heard. plus no ozzy. the only reason i gave it 3 stars is that it think this album could really be remixed and remastered hopefully it will a lot albums are of late. other than that everything on this album is A-Ok.
This album is what inspired a lot of dark imagery in my art and music. The songs are great, even my least favorite (Turn Up The Night) is a great jam. This is metal at it's finest! Strangely there is no swearing, but "mom" still finds it offensive which makes it that much better
The first part of the album is good from "Turn up the Night" to "Country Girl" but the next two songs are too simple ones. The last song is very touchy. This is good rock album if you like Dio's voice...