|Studio album by Black Sabbath|
|Released||22 June 1992|
|Recorded||Late 1991 – Early 1992|
|Studio||Rockfield Studios, Wales|
|Black Sabbath chronology|
|Ronnie James Dio chronology|
|Singles from Dehumanizer|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
It was the first Black Sabbath studio album in over a decade to feature Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Vinny Appice on drums. It is also the first in nine years to feature original bassist Geezer Butler. Initial writing and demo sessions at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham featured drummer Cozy Powell; bootlegs of these sessions exist.
This album's line-up of Dio, Appice, Butler, and guitarist Tony Iommi later reunited in 2006 for a greatest hits set, Black Sabbath: The Dio Years, and a new studio album in 2009, The Devil You Know (billed as "Heaven & Hell").
Both lyrically and musically, it is considered one of Black Sabbath's heaviest albums. Lyrical themes vary from a computer worshipped as a god, to televangelists, to individualism and doubts about the afterlife. The album was recorded in Wales, at Rockfield Studios.
The record was originally to be done with drummer Cozy Powell, then Black Sabbath's current drummer, but he was immobilised by a broken pelvic bone he had sustained in a horse riding accident. Dio initially wanted to replace Powell with Simon Wright, from AC/DC and his own band, but Butler and Iommi rejected him. They subsequently recruited Vinny Appice, who had served as Black Sabbath's drummer during most of Dio's previous tenure with the band, from 1980–1982. During the recording session for the album, Tony Martin made a short comeback when invited by the band members to try the songs out but stayed just for a couple of days and the band then continued with Dio. Tony Martin stated: "I had already started my first solo album Back Where I Belong so when I got the call to go back I was committed by that point. And in fact it was just a couple of months after they had started the thing with Ronnie James Dio. I was determined to finish my solo thing and so turned them down at that point. We did keep in touch though and I went to some shows. Ronnie wasn’t too pleased, but eventually they had enough and asked me to rejoin again later so it felt like I hadn’t actually left. In fact, I was never formally fired, the phone just stopped ringing. Ian Gillan (Deep Purple singer, also another ex-Black Sabbath lead singer) asked me once if I had actually been fired and I said, “No.” He said, “Neither have I.” We should just turn up one day and walk on stage!"
Initial demo sessions with Powell yielded numerous recordings, including two unreleased songs – "The Night Life" (also called "Next Time"), the riff being later used for "Psychophobia" on Cross Purposes, and "Bad Blood", which sounds very similar to "I" on Dehumanizer. These songs can be found, along with other demos and untitled songs, on the Complete Dehumanizer Sessions bootleg. "Computer God" was the title of an unreleased song by The Geezer Butler Band, in 1986 – only the title made it to Dehumanizer. The Geezer Butler Band's version is available as a download on Butler's website. "Master of Insanity" was also an unreleased Geezer Butler Band track and the Dehumanizer version is essentially a re-recording of this. (1:17 minutes of this track is available as a download on the website of Carl Sentance, erstwhile vocalist with the Geezer Butler Band.)
"We wanted it to be real rock 'n' roll, real basic", Dio told WERS' Nasty Habits show. "We wanted to capture what we are live and that's really what I think we did. We didn't do tons of overdubs or a lot of chorus-y kind of things. I think the important thing is that a band should be able to do all the things they do on record live, without any kind of sampling crap or that rubbish – so, of course, we didn't. We recorded it true to what the band is: just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, y'know – a couple of keyboard things here and there."
Although the Black Sabbath line-up is the same as 1981's Mob Rules, the musical direction is very different, a marked change from their previous material, particularly their previous album, TYR. Much of the album anticipates the directions taken by Dio in his eponymous solo band's next two records, Strange Highways (1994) and Angry Machines (1996). Commercially, the album marked a resurgence for Black Sabbath. It reached the Top 40 in the UK, and peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 chart.
This incarnation of Black Sabbath ended when Dio's contract with the band ended several days before the Costa Mesa reunion shows in November 1992. According to Tony Iommi, Dio quit because he was asked to support Ozzy Osbourne's final shows at Costa Mesa, referring to Ozzy as a "clown". Dio would not record or perform with the band again until 2006. For the two Costa Mesa shows the band replaced Dio with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford; on the second night, Iommi, Butler and original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward also joined Osbourne onstage for four songs. Halford and Dio were friends (Dio having been impressed with Halford's work ethic on the 'Stars' project) and Halford would only do the Costa Mesa shows with Dio's blessing, which he received when he spoke with Dio by phone. Both shows were recorded in their entireties and are now widely circulated as audio and video bootlegs.
The album was re-released on 7 February 2011. This version includes a bonus disc with alternate recordings of several songs ("Master of Insanity", "Letters from Earth" and "Time Machine", the latter of which is available on the US version of the album as a bonus track) and several other songs recorded on 25 July 1992 in Tampa, Florida.
|2.||"After All (The Dead)"||5:37|
|4.||"Letters from Earth"||4:12|
|5.||"Master of Insanity"||5:54|
|7.||"Sins of the Father"||4:43|
|US Edition bonus track|
|11.||"Time Machine" (Wayne's World version)||4:18|
|2011 Deluxe Edition Disc 2|
|1.||"Master of Insanity"||Single edit|
|2.||"Letters from Earth"||B-side of "TV Crimes"|
|3.||"Time Machine"||Wayne's World version|
|4.||"Children of the Sea" (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Bill Ward)||Recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, 25 July 1992|
|5.||"Die Young" (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward)||Recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, 25 July 1992|
|6.||"TV Crimes"||Recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, 25 July 1992|
|7.||"Master of Insanity/After All (The Dead)"||Recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, 25 July 1992|
|8.||"Neon Knights" (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward)||Recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, 25 July 1992|
In the 2011 Deluxe Edition, "After All (The Dead)" is not noted in the title on Disc 2
- Jørn Lande covers "Letters from Earth" on his album Unlocking the Past.
- Viking/Folk metal band Týr covers "I" on the 2011 album The Lay of Thrym.
Info taken from Dehumanizer liner notes
- Black Sabbath
- Additional performer
- Geoff Nicholls – keyboards
- Produced, engineered, and mixed by Mack
- "Time Machine" (Wayne's World Version) produced by Black Sabbath
- Assistant engineers – Darren Galer and Stephen Wissnet
- Remastered by Dan Hersch (2008 reissue)
- Remastered by Andy Pearce (2011 reissue)
- Cover illustration – Wil Rees
- Photography – Mark "Weissguy" Weiss
|United Kingdom||30 June 1992||I.R.S. Records|
|United States||1992||Reprise Records|
|United States||October 2008||Rhino Records|
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