Ginger Nuts of Horror
You’ve nothing to say, they’re breaking away, If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules
November 4, 1981, saw the release of Black Sabbath’s highly anticipated tenth studio album. Mob Rules was the second and last with Ronnie James Dio until he returned for the Dehumanizer album in 1992. The lineup included Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice who replaced Bill Ward after he suffered a heart attack. It was mixed by Martin Birch who had worked with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and White Snake. Ronnie James Dio ended up being offered a contract for solo work after the success of the previous album, Heaven and Hell, which created a feeling of separation amidst the band. Entering the studio there was already a shift in the balance of power that made working together strained which some claimed was apparent in the final product. It was revealed years later that during the recording of the first Album with Dio, Heaven and Hell, Ronnie and Iommi had worked mostly separately on it so when they came back together to work on Mob Rules the relationships were pushed to the point of nearly snapping. A tour followed and in 1982, during the mixing of Live Evil, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice parted ways with the rest of the incarnation of Black Sabbath.
Mob Rules, was admittedly an awkward album to record for the band, who were all struggling with personal conflicts, and was met with mixed reviews but spawned some real gems that are truly unforgettable, like the title track Mob Rules, which was recorded for the soundtrack to the cult classic movie, Heavy Metal. There was also Voodoo, Turn up the Night and the classic The sign of the southern cross. In 2010 a deluxe edition was released with a bonus limited edition CD of Live at Hammersmith Odeon which included recordings of classics like Children of the Sea, Neon Knights and Paranoid. The cover art was a Greg Hildebrandt piece that some fans complained had a secret message to the former front man, Ozzy Osbourne, which spelled out “Kill Ozzy”. The band says it was complete bullshit and just the mind of rabid fans trying to stir up more conflict.
Though when it was released, it wasn’t met with the enthusiasm the band hoped, it has become an essential album for many metal heads. It was created by some of the founding fathers of the genre and did produce a great track listing. After decades the music still holds true. There is still a heaviness many only aspire to and the strong hypnotic voice of Dio leading the listener onto a path of dark horizons, an image only he could paint in your mind. Timeless lyrics that cryptically follow each generation through their woes, like a band of bards foretelling the bleak futures of all to come.
Break the circle and stop the movement, the wheel is thrown to the ground.
Just remember it might start rolling and take you right back around.
You’re all fools!
The Mob Rules!