Black Sabbath: Ronnie James Dio (vocals); Tony Iommi (guitar); Geezer Butler (bass); Vinnie Appice (drums).
Recorded live in Seattle, Washington, San Antonio, Texas and Dallas, Texas.
Released in January 1983, LIVE EVIL was competing against Ozzy Osbourne's live SPEAK OF THE DEVIL for the dominant share of Black Sabbath fans' favor. Both albums did fairly well, and EVIL features Ozzy's successor Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Recorded in Seattle, San Antonio, and Dallas on the Mob Rules tour, excellent production only enhances these powerful live performances.
With two Dio-era albums under their belt, Sabbath opens with "E5150" and "Neon Knights" for a rousing start. Then Dio tackles "N.I.B.," the first of many Ozzy classics. Longtime Sabbath fans were curious as to how the former Rainbow belter would handle "Black Sabbath," "War Pigs" and "Iron Man." Quite well, as it turns out. Dio's vocal style is drastically different from Ozzy's, but his range and power sustain the songs formidably. While "Heaven And Hell" and "Children of the Sea" are two of the finer Dio-era Sabbath songs, "Paranoid" and "Children Of The Grave" drive the point home. Although Black Sabbath mark II did not last long, Dio did return to front the band 10 years later. LIVE EVIL is an excellent recording from a classic lineup.