Tag Archives: black sabbath

“Stand Up And Shout – The Anthology” by Dio

Artist: Dio
Title: “Stand Up And Shout – The Anthology”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 5/27/2003
Genre: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Rating: 5/5

If you call yourself a Heavy Metal fan and you don’t have a reasonably strong background on the career and accomplishments of singer Ronnie James Dio, then I feel your proclamation will be called into question. Historically, the lead singer began with Elf, his Honky Tonk Blues band and eventually joined forced with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow when the axe slinger had grown discontent about Deep Purple. Together they would break musical ground and after a couple of great recordings he would move on to replace Ozzy Osbourne in the legendary Black Sabbath. From Sabbath it seemed the tale was only beginning as he would begin a meteoric solo career that was nothing less than prolific when it came to song writing and impact on the Heavy Metal genre. This Anthology from Rhino Entertainment takes us on a trip through all of the facets of Ronnie’s career and comes off as one of the most expansive and detailed releases of its type based on the material it features. The album begins at the beginning with a few tracks from Elf and while this is not much in the way of Metal as opposed to Blues-influenced Honky-tonk Rock – I am pretty certain that many of Dio’s fans has never even heard this stuff before it was placed here. It’s decent stuff and while never my preference I enjoyed finding out just how versatile Dio actually was at such an early stage of his career. The inclusion of Elf makes this as much an education as it makes it an enjoyable music experience.
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“The Dio Years” by Black Sabbath

Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: “The Dio Years”
Label: Rhino Records
Release Date: 4/3/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

The saying is that all good things come to an end and such would be the case for Ozzy Osbourne and his mates in the legendary Black Sabbath. After defining a generation and founding a genre they would each go in separate directions. Ozzy would begin a prolific solo career while Sabbath would carry on once a suitable performer had been found. A replacement was found in former Rainbow/Elf singer Ronnie James Dio whose voice was like the shriek of a banshee compared to that of Osbourne, and while the fans cried “blasphemy” or “this will never work” – it very simply would. They would record “Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules” and follow them up with the concert recording “Live Evil”. Bill Ward would move on after “H&H” to find Vinny Appice in the drummers chair from then on. Dio would eventually move on to front his own band and years later return to help the guys once again with the recording of “Dehumanizer”. This long overdue collection of Black Sabbath’s years with Dio celebrates some of the classic music they made together and as you listen you will be reminded of how Sabbath became a new and threatening presence to the non-believers of the Heavy Metal cause. Songs like the epic “Heaven And Hell” and “Children Of The Sea” became favorites while the follow up “Mob Rules” and “Turn Up The Night” showed the group as very in touch with the current Metal vibe. Leaders yes, but still capable of adapting to an ever-shifting musical scene. Sabbath was different with Dio and this allowed the classics to remain as such until years later when some of this lineup’s songs would achieve similar status. A long time coming, but most certainly deserving of such acclaim.
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“Greatest Hits 1970-1978” by Black Sabbath

Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: “Greatest Hits 1970-1978”
Label: Rhino Records
Release Date: 3/14/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 9/10

Is there really the need for comments on a Black Sabbath “greatest hits” package in today’s world? Well, let’s review a few things before we decide on that. For starters we live in a world with no real music station to watch outside of a couple of good VH1 shows. The former major player in Rock video now caters more to bling-bling shows or idiotic Prom & Sweet 16 things; more kids who watch those stations know Ozzy more for his appearance as the Rock star on that reality show. We also live in a world where it took the “esteemed” Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame a number of years passed their eligible time frame to vote them in. They opted to place The Pretenders and others ahead and while some were good bands, none were as important to music as the mighty Black Sabbath. Given these factors I say yes, it is high time to review a CD like this, so let’s go to it.
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“The Last Supper” by Black Sabbath

Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: “The Last Supper”
Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 1/1/2000
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 5/10

Black Sabbath is the band that started it all, they say. Hard Rock was given a new, darker edge and became Heavy Metal as a result of the efforts of these four Brits: Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and father of the Metal guitar Tony Iommi. Every Hard Rock/Metal musician has found inspiration in their music and most likely all have played a Sabbath song or two in their bands. Today their music holds a level of power still and is listened to with reverence. History was to be made at one of the Ozzfest concerts when the original members made an appearance (sans Bill Ward) and performed a couple of tunes to the elation of everyone present. Shortly after that monumental event, the discussions started and the wounds mended. From there a full world tour was planned for Black Sabbath’s official Reunion. The final shows were recorded for a live CD release and footage from these shows culled together to give the fans something to own as a reminder on video. The DVD is shot very well and the legendary songs sound pretty good considering there was not a lot of preparation time before the tour. However, I felt there were a number of concerns which proved this DVD to be a larger disappointment than I expected.
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Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ozzfest” @ Jones Beach Theater (7/14/2004)

Logo - Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzfest 2004 @ Jones Beach, NY: 7-14-2004

As far as concerts go, it would seem that if you were a heavy metal music fan and chose to miss these years Ozzfest for any reason that you were doing yourself a great injustice. This years Ozzfest would prove to be the one with perhaps the best lineup of all time for when it was at the planning stages it seemed as though each act was getting better and better upon the announcement. The Main Stage bands listed were Black Label Society, Superjoint Ritual, Dimmu Borgir, Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. The second stage bands were also very good this time around, mixing some new and some staple acts. Among this list were Slipknot, Hatebreed, Lamb of God and Lacuna Coil and Otep.
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