Live Evil (Black Sabbath album)

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Live Evil
Live album by Black Sabbath
Released December 1982
Recorded 23–24 April, 12–13 May 1982 in Seattle, Dallas and San Antonio
Genre Heavy metal
Length 83:27
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler
Black Sabbath live albums chronology
Live at Last
(1980)
Live Evil
(1982)
Cross Purposes Live
(1995)
Ronnie James Dio chronology
Mob Rules
(1981)
Live Evil
(1982)
Holy Diver
(1983)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[2]

Live Evil is the first official live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The previously released Live at Last (1980) was not sanctioned by the band. Live Evil peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.[3]

Recording[edit]

The Live Evil album was recorded on the Mob Rules tour. The sleeve states that the songs were recorded in Seattle, San Antonio and Dallas during the 1982 tour in support of the Mob Rules album, but doesn't give the venues or recording dates for the individual tracks. In his autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, guitarist Tony Iommi recalls that the band's live show during this period featured "lots of pyro with fire and bombs" and that while playing the Hammersmith Odeon the bombs had been tested and "blew a two-foot-wide hole in the floor on my side. If I'd been there, I would have been blown up. Christ, it was dangerous." Iommi also admits that the band had to cancel a show at Madison Square Garden when the bombs blew out the tubes in all the amps during the first note of the first song "War Pigs". In the liner notes to the 2008 retrospective The Rules of Hell, vocalist Ronnie James Dio remembers, "It was an excellent tour. I think we were probably riding quite high on the Heaven and Hell success, and so we ended up playing really, really well. Even towards the end the shows were still great." However, tension had been building for some time between the band members, with Steffan Chirazi observing in 2008 that the story behind the creation of Live Evil is one of "quiet yet savagely visceral turmoil and a band collapsing under their weight of silence, unspoken accusation, and an unforgiving schedule."

Mixing[edit]

Dio and drummer Vinny Appice abruptly left the group during the mixing of Live Evil. "Ronnie had started to take over a little bit too much and was becoming a bit of a Hitler," Iommi explained to Steve Gett of Guitar for the Practicing Musician. "We were working on the Live Evil record in Los Angeles, and in fact we nicknamed him 'Little Hitler.'" In 2011, Iommi was less harsh in his memoir: "By then Ronnie did come over a little more...I suppose, bossy. The way he conducted himself, the way he talked, it might have given that impression to the outside world, but he usually didn't mean anything by it. Ronnie was just very outspoken." Iommi also contends that he and bassist Geezer Butler were unhappy that Dio was already rehearsing with his own band for a solo album that Warner Brothers had offered him. Dio and Appice bolted after the album's engineer told Iommi that Dio had been sneaking into the studio at night to adjust the mix. Dio steadfastly denied that this ever occurred and laid the blame on the engineer, who was 'telling tales'.[4] On the Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell DVD, both Dio and Appice claim that the mixing sessions were scheduled to start in the early afternoon but on the third day Iommi and Butler didn't show up until much later, and this ongoing schedule exacerbated the already apparent rift between the new and original band members until, Dio claimed, "we both got a call that said, 'I think we should let Tony mix this album.'" Dio also insisted the idea of him secretly altering the mixes was "complete and total bullshit." In the same interview series, Butler described the Live Evil mixing sessions as "the Yanks against the Brits," adding, "I think Ronnie seemed to desperately want to do his own stuff and we sort of wanted to keep it going as it was." In the liner notes to The Rules of Hell, Appice states, "I knew things were coming to a close from some of the things that were happening on the road. Ronnie and I would ride in one car, Geezer and Tony in another car, and everybody was breaking away from each other a little bit."

Release & Reception[edit]

Iommi has said that the decision to release Live Evil was prompted by two factors. The first was the 1980 release of the unsanctioned Live at Last album, and the second was former lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's 1982 release of a live album consisting entirely of Black Sabbath songs.[5] In his autobiography, Iommi confesses that he was "unpleasantly surprised" that Osbourne had included only Sabbath songs and speculates that "I think putting out the live album like that was down to Sharon (Osbourne, Ozzy's wife and manager), trying to put the cat among the pigeons." Despite the rancor, Live Evil hit both the UK Top 30 and the US Top 40 Album charts. AllMusic states that "Live Evil does benefit from a crystal clear, in-your-face sound, and by showcasing even amounts of both Ozzy and Dio material, effectively documents Black Sabbath's renascent tours of the early '80s. Ronnie certainly has the vocal chops, if not the same everyman charm, to handle the Osbourne classics, but his incessant banter between (and during!) songs sometimes verges on the unbearable." The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell.[6] and in the liner notes the album is described as "up-front and aggressive, a virtual front row seat dynamically delivering renditions of cuts like 'Neon Knights' and 'The Sign of the Southern Cross/Heaven and Hell' straight into your ears." The Live Evil album cover features literal interpretations of Sabbath songs and reflects the material, which covers both the Dio and Ozzy eras.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "E5150" (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler) 2:21
2. "Neon Knights" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Bill Ward) 4:36
3. "N.I.B." (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 5:09
4. "Children of the Sea" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 6:05
5. "Voodoo" (Dio, Butler, Iommi) 6:07
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Black Sabbath" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 8:39
7. "War Pigs" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 9:19
8. "Iron Man" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 7:29
Side three
No. Title Length
9. "The Mob Rules" (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 4:10
10. "Heaven and Hell" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 12:04
Side four
No. Title Length
11. "The Sign of the Southern Cross/Heaven and Hell (Continued)" (Dio, Butler, Iommi/Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 7:15
12. "Paranoid" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 3:46
13. "Children of the Grave" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) 5:25
14. "Fluff" (Butler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward) 0:59
  • The UK cassette release had, as its first side, sides 1 and 3 of the vinyl release, with side two of the cassette being vinyl sides 2 and 4.[citation needed] It seems this was not a mistake, rather a money-saving exercise, since the running-times of the two sides of the tape were more-or-less equal in this configuration.[citation needed]
  • The first UK CD release omitted "War Pigs" (or "Warpigs" as it was titled in the explanation for its cutting, printed on the rear of the tray-insert), so as to fit onto a single CD. The 1996 UK remaster restored this track but cut much of the stage banter, so as to again fit onto a single CD: this reduced the 'live' feel of the recordings.
  • In the US Warner Brothers released a 2-CD set, which matched the running-order of the vinyl. Each of these WB CDs came in its own jewel-case, complete with artwork, rather than a 2CD jewel-case.
  • Universal Music Corporation released a "deluxe edition" worldwide in 2010 which contained the entire album in its original running order.

Personnel[edit]

Black Sabbath
Additional performers
Production
  • Recorded with The Record Plant Mobile, Los Angeles
  • Engineered by Lee De Carlo and Bill Freesh
  • Mobile crew: Bill Hutcheson, Jim Scott, Scott Stogel
  • Mixed at The Record Plant, Los Angeles
  • Remastered by Dan Hersch (2008 reissue)
  • Album cover concept by Paul Clark
  • Art direction and design by Jay Vigon
  • Illustration by Stan Watts
  • Photography by Mark Weiss and Par Harbron

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United States December 1982 Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 18 January 1983 Vertigo Records
Canada  ??? Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom 2004 Sanctuary Records
United States October 2008 Rhino Records

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Review Live Evil". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Ben. "Review Live Evil". Blender. Alpha Media Group. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  3. ^ "AllMusic Billboard albums". Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  4. ^ Marszalek, Julian. "Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Recalls the 'Heaven and Hell' Era"[1]. Spiner.com. Retrieved 2010-04-05
  5. ^ Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306819551. 
  6. ^ Welte, Jim (2008-04-22). "Legends align for Metal Masters Tour". MP3.com. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  7. ^ Saulnier, Jason (24 March 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.