Live Evil (Deluxe Edition)
Why they didn’t do a decent live release during the Ozzy era is beyond me.
Anyway, what of this luxurious reworking of Mr. Dio’s onstage contribution to the Sabbath sound? It has a Hollywood sheen to it, despite the thumping riffs and slough of old classics. Take N.I.B. - rather than ooze fuzzily, disturbingly, as the original does, this version swaggers. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe that of Ronnie James but he is the consummate rock performer here - you’re never more than a few minutes away from an extended ‘Oh yeahhhh!!!!’ or ‘Oooooooooo!’ ad-lib. Often where it’s not necessary, such as during Black Sabbath. Purists can balk once again at his ‘No! no! no! Yeahhhhh!’ turning the once-genuinely scary piece of music into a Heavy Metal panto. I mean, laughing after the ‘Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling’ line. I ask you. This is Sabbath, not bloody Aladdin.
I shall forgive him, however, because when he’s on it, he’s on it and, thankfully, that’s most of the time. The constant ‘Oh yeahhhh-ing’ is just what I believe the Americans call his ‘shtick’, anyway. Children of the Sea, The Mob Rules, an epic Sign of the Southern Cross - his own material, basically. He’s fine, there. Stick to what you know. Oh yeah.