5.0 out of 5 stars "22 Year Old Sabbath Masterpiece with Dio!
Eventhough this album was released some 22 years ago, "Mob Rules" stands as one of Black Sabbath's best albums without the aid of Ozzy Osbourne. Ronnie James Dio does a great job on vocals, and presents a much more interesting vocal range than anything Ozzy put out in the 1970's. The tracks "Turn Up the Night", "The Sign of the Southern...
Published on Oct. 5 2003 by Alex Shuris
3.0 out of 5 stars Did they rush things? I think so...
Black Sabbath's "Heaven and hell" (1980) was a real masterpiece and clearly one of the finest heavy metal albums of all time. The follow up "Mob rules" from 1981 isn't equally good and that's not surprising. Even 'tho the production as well as the quality in material is inferior to "Heaven and hell" there's good moments on "Mob rules". The opening rocker "Turn up the...
Published on May 23 2003 by L. B. Ivarsson
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Heaven & Hell",
I know what they're going to say: "There's no way 'Mob Rules' is better than 'Heaven & Hell'". Let me explain.
Simply put, "Mob Rules" is a harder, more edgy effort than "Heaven & Hell". The album opens with a fast, churning rocker, "Turn up the Night". We then move into a more "typical" Sabbath sound with the bluesy "Voodoo". The third piece is one of the best on the album: "The Sign of the Southern Cross". It's an epic worthy of a Black Sabbath Greatest Hits album. It also shows Dio's voice as we'll never hear it again on any other effort - Soft, serene, soothing (only to be shattered by a strategically placed power chord to introduce the rest of the band). E5150 is, well, dumb - and the low point of the album. I'm not sure what Sabbath was toying with here, but I do know that "5150" is the American Police Code for the criminally insane. The title track is the hardest song on the album, and another one of my faves. Also a contribution to the soundtrack for 1981's "Heavy Metal: The Movie", "The Mob Rules" makes you want to really stand up and shout (no pun intended). I call the next two songs, "Country Girl" & "Slipping Away", twin songs for obvious reasons. Though many fans overlook these two, I really like the blues-metal, foot-stomping "Slipping Away". It comes complete with guitar rests to show off Vinny Appice's drumming, & an echo effect on Dio's vocals for some added attitude. This song also shows a glimpse of some chops from Geezer Butler & Tony Iommi. I don't think the album ends well with the last two cuts, "Falling Off the Edge of the World" & "Over and Over". These last two songs sound much like an afterthought, and as a result, they are rather forgettable.
The album cover is one of the best "traditional" heavy metal covers I've seen, whose hooded figures look like inner city dregs stalking thier next victim. Martin Birch's production is clean and crisp, especially for the 1980's.
On the downside, E5150 is a waste of time & the last two cuts are weak. I wish the CD had photos and lyrics...
After listening to this album, (I know this may be blasphemy to some) I think Dio-era Sabbath is better than the traditional line-up with Ozzy. Either way, the album is a must have for any fans of the "Golden Age" of traditional heavy metal.
5.0 out of 5 stars "22 Year Old Sabbath Masterpiece with Dio!,
This review is from: Mob Rules (Rm) (Audio CD)
Eventhough this album was released some 22 years ago, "Mob Rules" stands as one of Black Sabbath's best albums without the aid of Ozzy Osbourne. Ronnie James Dio does a great job on vocals, and presents a much more interesting vocal range than anything Ozzy put out in the 1970's. The tracks "Turn Up the Night", "The Sign of the Southern Cross", and "The Mob Rules" are the obvious hits, but who could forget "Country Girl", "Over & Over", & "Falling Off the Edge of the World."
These songs really rock, and illustrate the talents of Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Vinny Appice, and Dio. "Heaven & Hell (1980)" released 2 years earlier was also good, but not great.
Many of it's songs were filler, but "Mob Rules" is a consistant and enjoyable album from beginning to end. Anyone who enjoys Black Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow, and early Ozzy, will love this CD for it's heaviness on such tunes as "Voodoo" or it's non-stop rockers like the title cut "The Mob Rules."
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sign of Greatness,
Destined to be overshadowed by it's predecessor, the immensely popular (and deservedly so) HEAVEN AND HELL, Dio's second effort with the band is actually one of the most underrated and under-appreciated album in Black Sabbath's canon. I would even try to argue that MOB RULES is just as good, if not a little bit better at times, than HEAVEN AND HELL.
The main credit to this album's success is that it maintains its brilliance all the way though... HEAVEN AND HELL is a great album, no doubt, but the album's best and most memorable songs are tagged onto the front of the album, with the last song on it being the worst on the album (still good, but not fantastic). Not so with MOB RULES... every song on this album is absolutely fantastic, with no slip in quality whatsoever.
"Turn up the Night" is what we've come to expect from Dio... an upbeat and fast-paced metal song with infectious harmonies and wailing vocals. "Voodoo" is a nice mid-paced rocker with some impressive riffs to its credit. "The Sign of the Southern Cross" is without a doubt the masterpiece of the album, and the best song Dio ever did (Sabbath and otherwise). An epic that clocks in at 7:49, it's an undeniable highpoint in the band's career... nothing that Sabbath did afterwards even comes close to matching it.
The band does some experimenting with "E5150," which I guess you could compare to VOLUME 4's "FX," SABOTAGE'S "Don't Start (Too Late)" or any other tinkerings the band did throughout its career. The title track is another instant classic, and when the band slows things down in the middle of the otherwise heavy "Country Girl," you can't help but be impressed. Out of the last three songs (all of them amazing songs), the incredibly catchy "Falling Off The Edge of the World" comes across as the best...
If you haven't picked this up for some crazy reason, drop what you're doing and do so immediately. Not to put down anything that Dio did in his solo career (which was much better than Ozzy's, by the way), MOB RULES is perhaps the best thing that he was ever associated with. It's an unsung classic in the metal community, and an essential release. One of the very best...
3.0 out of 5 stars Did they rush things? I think so...,
Black Sabbath's "Heaven and hell" (1980) was a real masterpiece and clearly one of the finest heavy metal albums of all time. The follow up "Mob rules" from 1981 isn't equally good and that's not surprising. Even 'tho the production as well as the quality in material is inferior to "Heaven and hell" there's good moments on "Mob rules". The opening rocker "Turn up the night" is rather similar to later songs by Ronnie James Dio, like "Evil eyes". It also reminds of "Neon knights" and "Wishing well" from the "Heaven and hell" album, but hasn't quite the same quality. "Country girl" have a similar structure to early Rainbow songs, and could easily have been on the album "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow". "Voodoo" stand out a bit and I wouldn't be surprised if Jake E Lee (ex Ozzy Osbourne) listened a lot to this song while recording the second Badlands album, funnily called "Voodoo highway". Songs like "The mob rules" and "Slipping away" is nothing to be excited about because they are of rather average standard. Tony Iommi has always had a thing for meaningless instrumental tunes and "E5-150" is another one. Personally I find the epic "The sign of the southern cross" and "Falling off the edge of the world" to be the most interesting songs on this album. Both are built the same way and they are both soft and heavy at the same time. Especially the later clearly bare connection to earlier efforts from Dio (like "Gates if babylon") but doesn't reach the same heights. I guess "Mob rules" was forced in a way and came too soon after "Heaven and hell".
5.0 out of 5 stars Dio Sabbath Part II,
After 1980's successful Heaven&Hell, Black Sabbath continued down an almost identical path for its follow-uo, 1981's Mob Rules. The album is a near exact copy of H&H, but when the music is this good I'm not gonna complain. Ronnie James Dio's vocals remain strong(indeed his voice is far superior to Ozzy's) and he continues to lead the band effectively. Tony Iommi's guitar work is great, just as in H&H(somewhere between Ozzy and Dio his guitar style changed totally, and this change fits Dio's vocal style perfectly). Geezer Butler lays some good rythems on bass, espescially on Voodoo. New drummer Vinny Appice is no Bill Ward, but still a very good skin-pounder.
The songs themselves are great again(with the exception of the odd E5150) with epics(Sign of the Southern Cross), mid paced tracks(Voodoo, Country Girl) and all-out heavy metal(Turn Up the Night, Mob Rules).
Black Sabbath would never be quite as good after Dio's departure in late 1982. Mob Rules represents Black Sabbath at their Dio-era peak, and one is left to wonder about what they might have gone on to do had he and Tony Iommi not had a falling out.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' Roll done right,
I am sure glad to see I'm not the only one to prefer this over "Heaven and Hell," the first Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio. That was a good album, but this is better--in fact, this is really, really good.
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mob Rules - Der Kommissar's Definitive Review,
Dio's first album with Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell, was a masterpiece - no questions asked. The follow-up effort, The Mob Rules, proved to be more of the same. The line-up consists of the following members
Tony Iommi - Guitar (The ONLY person to play on EVERY Sabbath album)
Geezer Butler - Bass
Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
Vinnie Appice - Drums (New drummer, he replaced Bill Ward. After this album he followed Dio out of the band to form Dio.)
Now, onto the album itself. Overall the style used here isn't too different from that of Heaven And Hell, though the material isn't quite as unique, and the album seems redundant at times. At times it even seems like some of the songs are rehashes of songs from the previous album. This isn't to say it's not a good album though. For example, Turn Up The Night is a fast-paced melodic rocker that is unquestionably reminiscent of Neon Knights, the track that started Heaven And Hell. The Sign Of The Southern Cross is slow and soft in the verses, and hard and melodic in the chorus. It fades into the most unique track on the album E5150. This is an instrumental that uses many bizzare instrumental effects. The title track and Country Girl are melodic hard rockers that certainly won't fail to please. The other tracks on here are also excellent as well.
My final verdict? If you only get one Dio-Sabbath album, get Heaven And Hell. This is an excellent album, certainly worthy of four stars, but Heaven And Hell is five-star material all the way, and in my opinion superior to this album. This is NOT a bad album though, and any Black Sabbath or Ronnie James Dio fan would be doing a smart thing to purchase it.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Formula Works,
While it might be heresy to say so, I like Dio Sabbath better than Ozzy Sabbath. RJDs voice is a better match for Iommi's low, pre-goth guitar than Ozzy's high pitched, nasal offerings. Dont get me wrong, "Paranoid" and "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" were terrific achievements, but Sabbath met their true voice on "Heaven and Hell."
Speaking of "Heaven and Hell," many have effectively argued that "Mob Rules" is less consisten, and a slightly less successful rehash of its predacessor. Be that as it may, "Mob Rules" is still a superb album and one of the finest examples of heavy metal ever cut.
Like "H&H," the disc opens with a fast-paced, straight-ahead heavy metal rocker, "Turn up the Night." "Voodoo" and "The Sign of the Southern Cross" get most of the attention, but the fun really starts after the title cut.
RJD's voice effectively safes "Country Girl" from being mere filler. Then comes "Slipping Away," where RJD once again turns up the vocal growl among the masterful Iommi Riffing and Geezer Butler's improbable bass line. Butler is clearly an underrated bassist and metal's finest. Like Iommi's influence on rock/metal guitar to come, Butler elevated the bass beyond mere rhythm instrument. There would have been no Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)without Geezer first. After ripping great lines throughout, Iommi and Butler then have a rolicking good time trading scorching leads. All good, clean fun in a very dark vein. "Falling off the Edge of the World" starts with a quiet, slow lament, flows into a heavy gothic riff, then finishes with a full-fledged metal assualt ont he aural senses. This one alone is worth the price of admission. Unfortunately these latter cuts, despite being the best, are not available for sample here at amazon. Take my word for it-- they rule!
Given its admittedly minor weaknesses, I hesitate to give this one 5 stars, but it's simply too good to be left behind with the second tier. Should you get "Heaven and Hell" or "Mob Rules?" What the hell--get 'em both. At a mid-range price, they're a steal.
5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal for "Sign of the Southern Cross" alone!,
Tommy Iommi's firing of Ozzy Osbourne was the best thing to happen to Sabbath......and to Ozzy. Face it, the band was going nowhere fast, and could you imagine living without such Ozzy scorchers as "Crazy Train," "No More Tears," "Bark at the Moon" and "Perry Mason" (don't bust my chops on this last one, Ozzmosis RULES, so there!)?
Now, Ozzy may be the Prince of Darkness, but Ronnie James Dio was Lord of the Night. Asking me whether I prefer Ozzy or Dio is like asking whether I prefer Scotch or Canadian whiskey; Couldn't I have BOTH? Dio was technically better -- that guy can hold a note for close to a minute, which is something he does every other line or so. Ozzy's strength is embuing each song with this bottomless pit of emotion.
I love this whole record, but the sheer mastery of "Sign of the Southern Cross" is reason alone to buy it. "Concept Rock" is something best left where it came from, in the 1970s. Spinal Tap's parody song "Stonehenge" and concept album "Rock and Roll Creation" is evidence enough to support this contention. But, occassionally, someone with the sheer melodic talent of Dio comes along and pulls it off audaciously. "Heaven and Hell" was more of a concept album in this regard, but I think that Dio's contribution with Sabbath to concept rock rivals even Rush's "2112" or "Farewell to Kings" or Dio's own first solo record, "Holy Diver."
4.0 out of 5 stars Slipping Away rocks,
By A Customer
Dio era Sabbath gave the band energy and speed.
There is an enthusiasm and vitality in the playing that was largely absent from the last Ozzy records.
There is also a tightness in the rhythm section. The band plays like a well-oiled machine. It's not just a showcase for Tony. All the instruments are featured equally and are not lost in the mix (remember Geezer's mushy bass mix from Vol. 4?)
You can listen to Geezer's bass lines alone and be entertained. Probably his best playing on these records. His playing is all over the place in a Geddy Lee sort of way.
I don't know why people dis the Dio albums. Yes, there is a sameness to the compositions, Dio as a songwriter seems to dominate in all of his work (see Rainbow). That also helps establish the Dio material with its own coherent style, though. Overall this was a good thing as Iommi was running out of ideas before Dio came around which would become more apparent after Dio (and Gillan, the last gasp of inspiration).
I happen to like Slipping Away the best on this album because of the call-and response guitar and bass soloing. It's only the 2nd time Geezer had a chance to do a real solo.
Also, the title track is ultra-heavy. I saw Sabbath durign the Dehumanizer tour and Mob Rules was the opening song and Tony's rig was so loud and raw it cut right through my head. It's a great riff.
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