Friday, August 31, 2007

It Goes On And On And On...It's Heaven and Hell

The other day, I learned that my local record store (a place called The Exchange) is offering the new Heaven & Hell live video and audio releases for obscenely low prices until September 2. The CD is $9.99, while the DVD is only $6.66 (ha!).

It's always fun when one of your favorite bands gets back together after a long separation, and the version of Black Sabbath that my friends and I called "Dio's Sabbath" is no exception. Sometimes it's hard to listen to a once-great vocalist in his sixties; by that time, years of stretching the chords (as well as, quite often, excessive drinking and smoking) have taken their toll on the performer. Not so with Ronnie James Dio. The man (on the silver mountain) sounds top-notch in this performance, which was recorded at Radio City Music Hall in NYC several months ago. The rest of the band (Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice) have not lost a step either. Listen to a live performance of Black Sabbath in 1982, or in 1992, and compare it with this recording of H&H from 2007. There's almost no way to tell the difference.

These remarkably affordable recordings almost make up for the fact that the Heaven & Hell tour doesn't seem to be stopping anywhere near Pittsburgh. Fair enough -- now that I have them, I'm going to play the hell out of them!

Here's a different show from the World Tour, with lots more crowd noise than an official release:

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