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Friday, May 27, 2011

Black Sabbath: 30 Years Since the Release of "Mob Rules"

"Mob Rules" is Black Sabbath´s tenth studio album, released in November 1981.
In the UK, it became the fourth Black Sabbath studio-album to attain Silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in February 1982.

It was the first album to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward in the middle of the tour in support of the previous year's "Heaven an Hell".
The cover art is a modified version of artist Greg Hildebrandt´s  piece entitled "Dream 1: Crucifiers" from 1971, with Black Sabbath licensing its use for the cover of "Mob Rules". The original artwork has been augmented for the album, where not only have the band and album names been conspicuously added to the back wall, but also the hook hanging on the left side of the structure was changed to a crucifix, and the stain in the middle of the structure has been altered to resemble a devil's head. Lastly, Greg Hildebrandt's name has been added to the bottom center of the piece, as the original was rectangular in shape with the artist's name & year in the lower left corner, thus being truncated in the album's square presentation. The lyrical themes are dark, notably on tracks such as "The Sign of the Southern Cross" and "Falling Off the Edge of the World".
You can find more info on it at Hildebrant's site; you can buy it, too.  No wait, you could, it's been sold.   You can also check out a two part audio interview with Greg about the artwork.  You can listen to that here and here.
The "Live Evil" album was recorded on the "Mob Rules tour". The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set "The Rules of Hell". 
A different recording of the title track appeared in the animated motion picture "Heavy Metal"  and is featured on the soundtrack album. In the UK, a 7" and 12" picture-sleeve single of "Mob Rules" (album version) preceded the album release. The B-side was a previously unavailable live version of "Die Young" (the studio version of which is on the Heaven and Hell album).
  • Tony Iommi - Lead Guitar
  • Geezer Butler - Bass
  • Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
  • Vinny Appice - Drums
  • Geoff Nicholls - Keyboards
  • Produced & Engineered by Martin Birch
  • Assistant Engineers: Eddie DeLena & Angelo Arcuri
  • Recorded at the Record Plant, Los Angeles
  • Cover Art by Greg Hildebrandt


  • No known (to me, anyway) music videos for this album.
  • E5150 and Mob Rules from this album also appear on the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal with a slightly different mix.
  • Does Ozzy's name appear on this album?  Check it out here.
  • When asked via email in March 2007, Geezer Butler said the voice in E5150 said this..   "It says "Up The Villa" in Latin".
  • Look up the word "ochlocracy" in a dictionary.  :)

1 comment:

  1. E5150 and Mob Rules from this album also appear on the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal with a slightly different mix.
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