Live Evil

Infobox Album
Name = Live Evil
Type = live
Artist = Black Sabbath

Released = December 1982
Recorded = April 23 and 24, May 12 and 13, 1982 in Seattle, Dallas and San Antonio
Genre = Heavy metal
Length = 83:27
Label = Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer = Black Sabbath
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|2|5 [ link]
Last album = "Mob Rules"
This album = "Live Evil"
Next album = "Born Again"

"Live Evil", released in 1982 (see 1982 in music) and in January 1983 in the UK, is the first "official" live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, the previously released "Live at Last" (1980) not having been sanctioned by the band. It was recorded with Ronnie James Dio singing and is a document of the "Mob Rules" World Tour, that ran from November 15 1981 to August 13 1982. The 2007 limited-edition release "Live at Hammersmith Odeon" is from this same tour.

The sleeve states that "Live Evil" was recorded in Seattle, San Antonio and Dallas, but doesn't give the venues or recording dates for the individual songs. Indeed, the sleeve doesn't give dates for those shows but it is known that Black Sabbath played Seattle on April 23rd and 24th 1982, Dallas on May 10th and San Antonio on May 13 1982. However, to further confuse matters, during a radio broadcast of his band Dio, recorded live in 1983 in Fresno, CA, Ronnie James Dio says, 'Just in case you didn't know, the album "Live Evil" that we (RJD & Vinny Appice) did with Black Sabbath here last time was recorded at Fresno.' It is not unreasonable to assume that many of the shows were recorded with a view to the live album (see the aforementioned "Live at Hammersmith Odeon") but whether any of the tracks recorded at Fresno, where Sabbath played April 18 1982, made the final cut is unknown at this moment.

Already having tense relations with the other band members, Dio and drummer Vinny Appice abruptly left the group sometime in October 1982, during the mixing of the album, amidst rumors that they had sneaked into the studio late at night to mix the drums and vocals higher. All parties have since denied that this occurred and laid the blame on the engineer, who was 'telling tales'. In what Dio has called retaliation for him and Appice leaving the group, on the back of the album, Dio is listed as "Ronnie Dio" instead of his stage-name of "Ronnie James Dio," and Vinny Appice is listed as a special guest rather than a member of the band. Production credits were ultimately for Iommi and Butler and whilst the band sound well-mixed, the crowd is all but inaudible. It is interesting to note that when the "Neon Knights" single was released in 1980, it was Iommi and Dio who had produced the live version of "Children Of the Sea" which was the B-side.

One of the most popular tracks on the album is a near 20-minute long medley that includes "Heaven And Hell" (with its extended break-down section and additional lyrics), "Sign of the Southern Cross", a guitar solo, and finishing off the ending of "Heaven and Hell".

Another favourite is an extended War Pigs which featured a drum solo from Appice whose playing more closely resembled John Bonham than original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward's jazzier style.

At one point Dio says 'Not only are we filming this one...', although the footage has never been commercially available, (the show in San Antonio was filmed), but some bits have been shown on YouTube. (It is "not" the footage on the "Black & Blue" video, laserdisc and ultimately the DVD pulled before general release, which was recorded on the Heaven and Hell tour on October 17, 1980.)

The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set "The Rules of Hell".cite news | first=Jim | last=Welte | coauthors= | title=Legends align for Metal Masters Tour | date=2008-04-22 | publisher= | url = | work | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-23 | language = ]

Album cover

The album cover shows a group of beings that each represent specific Black Sabbath songs. They are:

* a screaming man in a straitjacket ("Paranoid")
* a voodoo shaman ("Voodoo")
* an angel and a devil ("Heaven and Hell")
* a knight with a sword emitting an eerie glow ("Neon Knights")
* a hooded man ("Black Sabbath"/"N.I.B.")
* a metallic-skinned man flexing his muscles ("Iron Man")
* a pig dressed as a sergeant ("War Pigs")
* a group of children inside a casket ("Children of the Grave") floating on the water ("Children of the Sea")
* a man with a whip ("The Mob Rules")
* lightning in the shape of a devil's head ("E5150")
* (On the back of the sleeve,) an acoustic guitar washed up on the shore ("Fluff")
* (On the back of the sleeve) the Southern Cross in the sky ("Sign of the Southern Cross")

Track listing

Side one

#"E5150" (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler) – 2:21
#"Neon Knights" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Bill Ward) – 4:36
#"N.I.B." (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 5:09
#"Children of the Sea" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 6:08
#"Voodoo" (Dio, Butler, Iommi) – 6:07

Side two

#"Black Sabbath" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 8:39
#"War Pigs" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 9:19
#"Iron Man" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 7:29

Side three

#"The Mob Rules" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 4:10
#"Heaven And Hell" (Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 12:04

Side four

#"Sign of the Southern Cross/Heaven and Hell (Continued)" (Dio, Butler, Iommi/Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 7:15
#"Paranoid" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 3:46
#"Children of the Grave" (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward) – 5:25
#"Fluff" (Iommi) – 0:59

The packaging was far from the lavish presentation fans were expecting to mark Sabbath's first live album. In the UK the 2LP set was released in a gatefold sleeve but with plain, generic Vertigo inners, rather than the photo-inners that graced the live-album of many other bands.

The cassette release had, as its first side, sides 1 and 3 of the vinyl release, with side two of the cassette being vinyl sides 2 and 4. It seems this was not a mistake, rather a money-saving exercise, since the running-times of the two sides of the tape were more-or-less equal in this configuration.

For fans, this disappointing state-of-affairs continued when the album was released on CD. The first UK CD release omitted "War Pigs" (or "Warpigs" as it was titled in the explanation for its cutting, printed on the rear of the tray-insert), so as to fit onto a single CD. The 1996 UK remaster restored this track but cut much of the stage banter, so as to again fit onto a single CD: this reduced the 'live' feel of the recordings.

In the US Warner Brothers released a 2CD set, which matched the running-order of the vinyl. Each of these WB CDs came in its own jewel-case, complete with artwork, rather than a 2CD jewel-case.


* Ronnie James Dio – vocals
* Tony Iommi – guitar
* Geezer Butler – bass guitar
* Vinny Appice – drums
* Geoff Nicholls – keyboards

Release history


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