Like all good demons, Black Sabbath proved they could rise from the dead - or, at the very least, the loss of their iconic frontman - with the recruitment of Ronnie James Dio as lead singer in the early '80s. Now, the live document they issued chronicling this era will get a new look for its 40th anniversary.
Live Evil, the 1983 double album that followed Dio, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinny Appice as they toured in support of Mob Rules and Heaven and Hell the year before, gets the super deluxe treatment on June 2. The 4CD or 4LP sets include the original album newly remastered by Andy Pearce, plus a remix of the same program by longtime band associate Wyn Davies. Both sets will come with a hardcover book including both new liner notes about the album and replicas of the Mob Rules tour program and poster.
While Live At Last, an official yet band-unsanctioned concert album, had hit stores in 1980, Live Evil was released with the full consent of Black Sabbath. And it came at a great time for everyone: a new publishing contract meant greater royalties from Dio singing songs from the group's back catalogue. (Just months before Live Evil hit stores, former frontman Ozzy Osbourne took advantage of this new deal with 1982's Speak of the Devil, a double live album that only featured Sabbath cuts.) Thus, newer tracks like "Neon Knights," "Children of the Sea," "Heaven and Hell" and "The Mob Rules" share disc space with classics like "Iron Man," "Paranoid" and "War Pigs." Culled from performances in Seattle, San Francisco and Dallas, the members of Sabbath all acknowledged the tour as one of their best. But Iommi and Butler reportedly squabbled with Dio during the mixing of the record, and the tension caused Dio to leave for his own celebrated solo career, taking Appice with him.
Live Evil will rise again this summer and can be pre-ordered at the links below.
Live Evil (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (Rhino, 2023)
CD/LP 1-2: Original album remastered by Andy Pearce (originally released as Warner Bros. 23702, 1983)
CD/LP 3-4: Original album remixed by Wyn Davis (previously unreleased)
- Neon Knights
- Children of the Sea
- Black Sabbath
- War Pigs
- Iron Man
- The Mob Rules
- Heaven and Hell
- Sign of the Southern Cross
- Heaven and Hell (Reprise)
- Children of the Grave