Mob Rules (album)

Mob Rules
Studio album by Black Sabbath
Released 4 November 1981
Recorded 1981 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles, California
Genre Heavy metal
Length 40:25
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Martin Birch
Black Sabbath chronology
Heaven and Hell
Mob Rules
Live Evil
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [2]

Mob Rules is Black Sabbath's tenth studio album, released in November 1981. It peaked at number 29 on the U.S. charts.[3]

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.


Album information

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 and Hell. This led to Ozzy Osbourne dubbing the line-up "Geezer and the three Wops".[citation needed]

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 and 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".

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.[4] The Mob Rules lineup toured under the name Heaven & Hell from 2006 until Ronnie James Dio's death in 2010. Their only album, The Devil You Know, was released in 2009.

Track listing

All songs were written by Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler. All lyrics were written by Ronnie James Dio.[5]

Side one

  1. "Turn Up the Night" – 3:42
  2. "Voodoo" – 4:32
  3. "The Sign of the Southern Cross" – 7:46
  4. "E5150" – 2:54
  5. "The Mob Rules" – 3:14

Side two

  1. "Country Girl" – 4:02
  2. "Slipping Away" – 3:45
  3. "Falling Off the Edge of the World" – 5:02
  4. "Over and Over" – 5:28

2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 1 Bonus Tracks

  1. Die Young (Live, 12" Single B-Side of Mob Rules)
  2. The Mob Rules (Heavy Metal OMPS/ Original demo version)

2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 2

This is a repackaging of the previously released Limited Edition CD Live at Hammersmith Odeon

  1. "E5150" (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler)
  2. "Neon Knights" (2 January 1982) (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Bill Ward)
  3. "N.I.B." (1 January 1982) (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  4. "Children of the Sea" (1 January 1982) (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  5. "Country Girl" (1 January 1982) (Dio, Iommi, Butler)
  6. "Black Sabbath" (31 December 1981) (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  7. "War Pigs" (1 January 1982) (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  8. "Slipping Away" (31 December 1981) (Dio, Iommi, Butler)
  9. "Iron Man" (1 January 1981) (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  10. "The Mob Rules" (31 December 1981) (Dio, Iommi, Butler)
  11. "Heaven and Hell" (1 January 1982) (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  12. "Paranoid" (31 December 1981) (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)
  13. "Voodoo" (2 January 1982) (Dio, Iommi, Butler)
  14. "Children of the Grave" (31 December 1981) (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward)

Track information


This instrumental interlude became the concert opener on the supporting tour, replacing "Supertzar", which had been used since 1975. "E5150" would also be the opener on subsequent tours with Dio. The title is "EVIL" as roughly translated from Roman numerals: 5=V, 1=I and 50=L.

"The Mob Rules"

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).


Year Song Chart positions
Singles Chart
Mainstream Rock
Modern Rock
Singles Chart
1981 "The Mob Rules"/"Die Young" 46
1982 "Turn Up the Night"/"Lonely Is the Word" 24 37
1982 "Voodoo" 46
1982 "E5150"


Black Sabbath
Additional performer
  • Cover illustration by Greg Hildebrandt[5]
  • Art direction by Richard Seireeni[5]

Release history

Region Date Label
United Kingdom November 1981 Vertigo Records
United States November 1981 Warner Bros. Records
Canada November 1981 Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom 2004 Sanctuary Records
United States October 2008 Rhino Records

Sales accomplishments

RIAA certification[7] (United States)

Date Designation Total Sales
13 May
Gold 500,000

BPI certification[8] (United Kingdom)

Date Designation Total Sales
5 February
Silver 60,000

CRIA certification[9] (Canada)

Date Designation Total Sales
1 March
Gold 50,000

See also


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Black Sabbath: Mob Rules > Review" at Allmusic. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mob Rules: Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at Allmusic. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  4. ^ Welte, Jim (22 April 2008). "Legends align for Metal Masters Tour". Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mob Rules (CD) album notes. Warner Bros. Records, Inc.. 1981. pp. 2-3. 
  6. ^ "Black Sabbath: Mob Rules > Credits" at Allmusic. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  7. ^ "American album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  8. ^ "British album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Mob Rules in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Black Sabbath – Mob Rules". Music Canada. 

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