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Anyone else have really negative first impressions of Heaven & Hell?

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  • Anyone else have really negative first impressions of Heaven & Hell?

    Man, I hated that album when I first heard it, I'm ashamed to admit.

    I now rightfully consider it one of the best albums ever made, but I just couldn't get on board with the change in sound when I first heard it. It wasn't that I was close-minded to RJD as such, but musically, it didn't feel like the same band to me. All the fantasy/mythology in the lyrics didn't help, plus there were no trademark Iommi riffs that harkened back to Sabbath of old. I remember reading that around the time Ozzy had been given the boot, Tony initially wanted to start a new band with Dio and move on from Sabbath and I think to some degree, you can hear that on the record, even though it was eventually released under the Black Sabbath moniker.

    I find it somewhat amusing now, as I grew to absolutely love the bones of Heaven & Hell. I think it's easy to forget just how bold a move it was when they released Heaven & Hell. To change not only their lead singer but also their signature sound so drastically in the space of one album would be career suicide for most bands, but not these guys. Not only did it work, it became a seminal album in rock history. Lonely Is The Word, Die Young, Heaven & Hell, Neon Knights, Wishing Well... it's like a greatest hits on one album. But it took me time to get on board with that change in sound.
    Last edited by Towelie; 06-20-2019, 02:12 AM.

  • #2
    For me, it was an instant favorite and still is.... If i want to hear Black Sabbath, i listen to the whole album. I have nothing else to say, the stuff speaks itself....

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    • #3
      I got it the best possible way: a dual-cassette of Paranoid/Heaven and Hell. I was still very new to Sabbath at that time.

      I was 13 and it was 1985. A guy like me wasn't exposed to Ozzy or Dio beyond maybe a passing video on MTV.

      So....LSS...I was indoctrinated to love both from the get-go. It was like a two-sided p

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      • #4
        Ya see, with me, I had heard nothing but the Ozzy albums and had spent years listening to em and avoiding H&H like the plague, despite everyone I knew saying I should give it a go. When I finally did, I was very much in the "No Ozzy, no Sabbath" camp and despite really trying to like H&H, it just didn't grab me.

        And then after years of not listening to any Sabbath, I returned to it and it was better than I remembered. Slowly over time I started accepting the Dio and Martin eras and discovered that I actually loved non-Ozzy Sabbath just as much as the old line-up. And these days, I would probably rate H&H amongst my favourite albums of all time. And possibly more than any Ozzy Sabbath album. Quite the turnaround, eh?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Towelie View Post
          Man, I hated that album when I first heard it, I'm ashamed to admit.

          I now rightfully consider it one of the best albums ever made, but I just couldn't get on board with the change in sound when I first heard it. It wasn't that I was close-minded to RJD as such, but musically, it didn't feel like the same band to me. All the fantasy/mythology in the lyrics didn't help, plus there were no trademark Iommi riffs that harkened back to Sabbath of old. I remember reading that around the time Ozzy had been given the boot, Tony initially wanted to start a new band with Dio and move on from Sabbath and I think to some degree, you can hear that on the record, even though it was eventually released under the Black Sabbath moniker.

          I find it somewhat amusing now, as I grew to absolutely love the bones of Heaven & Hell. I think it's easy to forget just how bold a move it was when they released Heaven & Hell. To change not only their lead singer but also their signature sound so drastically in the space of one album would be career suicide for most bands, but not these guys. Not only did it work, it became a seminal album in rock history. Lonely Is The Word, Die Young, Heaven & Hell, Neon Knights, Wishing Well... it's like a greatest hits on one album. But it took me time to get on board with that change in sound.
          This is pretty much my story with Heaven and Hell. Took me a while to get used to it coming from the 70's Black Sabbath sound...especially Dio's voice...I actually made a thread in this forum about my first impressions of Heaven and Hell...but yea, after listening for some time, I grew to love the exact songs you mentioned...Lonely Is The Word, Die Young, Heaven & Hell, Neon Knights, Wishing Well. So yea, it was worth it, now I can appreciate Dio era Sabbath thanks to the likes of the Heaven and Hell album.
          ♫Forget all your sorrow, don't live in the past,
          and look to the future, 'cause life goes too fast, you know♫

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          • #6
            No, just the opposite. When I first heard Heaven And Hell in 1986 I remember being amazed by the quality of the music. That said, I certainly enjoyed the first three Dio albums (and the live shows) though.

            However, after getting the album for my 16th birthday that year, I thought it was a shame that Ronnie didn't continue with Sabbath. In short order, the Dio albums didn't come close to what Ronnie achieved (artistically) with Black Sabbath. And that's really saying something.

            Eventually, I bought Mob Rules and then, of course, the Dehumanizer album and tour emerged a few years later. Ronnie and Vinny were back where they belonged. It was an honor witnessing the only "other", REAL, Black Sabbath for the first time! ...

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            • #7
              When I first heard it when it came out I thought it rocked, along with Blizzard of Ozz. I have said before to me the first 2 solo Ozzy albums and the first 2 Black Sabbath albums with Dio were way better than the last 2 that Ozzy had done with Sabbath.

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              • #8
                Only ever had good impressions with Heaven and Hell, the album, it's their best DIO/Sabbath album.
                "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by A Sabbath Historian View Post
                  No, just the opposite. When I first heard Heaven And Hell in 1986 I remember being amazed by the quality of the music. That said, I certainly enjoyed the first three Dio albums (and the live shows) though.

                  However, after getting the album for my 16th birthday that year, I thought it was a shame that Ronnie didn't continue with Sabbath. In short order, the Dio albums didn't come close to what Ronnie achieved (artistically) with Black Sabbath. And that's really saying something.

                  Eventually, I bought Mob Rules and then, of course, the Dehumanizer album and tour emerged a few years later. Ronnie and Vinny were back where they belonged. It was an honor witnessing the only "other", REAL, Black Sabbath for the first time! ...
                  Great post Sab Historian.
                  "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                  "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                  ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, that one took some time to grow on me. I still loved the song Heaven And Hell, though, cuz I'm still human, after all, but I was SO all about Ozzy/solo-Ozzy at the time, it just didn't do it for me. Heaven And Hell still isn't my favorite album from the Dio era. Despite having an inferior drummer, I'm still a Mob Rules guy. Better songs, I think. And doomier. I was still disppointed the Devil You Know wasn't an actual Heaven And Hell reunion. Would have been interesting to here a modern version of that band.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tromafreak View Post
                      Yeah, that one took some time to grow on me. I still loved the song Heaven And Hell, though, cuz I'm still human, after all, but I was SO all about Ozzy/solo-Ozzy at the time, it just didn't do it for me. Heaven And Hell still isn't my favorite album from the Dio era. Despite having an inferior drummer, I'm still a Mob Rules guy. Better songs, I think. And doomier. I was still disppointed the Devil You Know wasn't an actual Heaven And Hell reunion. Would have been interesting to here a modern version of that band.
                      Yeah it's a shame Bill skipped out on the Heaven and Hell project for The Devil You Know, it would've been great to see and hear the Bill.
                      "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                      "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                      ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
                        Yeah it's a shame Bill skipped out on the Heaven and Hell project for The Devil You Know, it would've been great to see and hear the Bill.
                        I totally agree with this!

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                        • #13
                          I have always loved this album from the first note to the last.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scorpio 2000 View Post
                            I have always loved this album from the first note to the last.
                            Me too Scorpio, it was probably the first Sabbath album I had, given to me by a friend in high school, on cassette and the first Sabbath album I heard was Mob Rules when it first came out, I was about 11 or 12, this was before I became a Metalhead, then once I heard Ozzy, that just took over everything.
                            "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                            "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                            ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by led sabbath View Post
                              When I first heard it when it came out I thought it rocked, along with Blizzard of Ozz. I have said before to me the first 2 solo Ozzy albums and the first 2 Black Sabbath albums with Dio were way better than the last 2 that Ozzy had done with Sabbath.
                              Agreed led. The planets definitely aligned artistically for both Black Sabbath and Ozzy in 1980-81, in spite of the petty bickering between both camps in the press.

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