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My favorite live album ever - 97%

danyates, July 5th, 2007

Most casual Black Sabbath listeners seem to think that Black Sabbath is Ozzy Osbourne, and Black Sabbath without Ozzy never existed. They never look into the 80s, when metal legend Ronnie James Dio joined the band. I love the Ozzy era of Black Sabbath, but Dio is up there. I can't decide which one I like best, since they're both very different.

This is the perfect album for "converting" Ozzy fans into Dio fans. It has Dio singing Ozzy's classic songs, like Paranoid, War Pigs, Iron Man, and more, and singing songs from the albums he's featured on (at the time), Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules.

Dio is much different from Ozzy. Dio has a way better voice, and Ozzy is more fit for their "doom" era. Both are amazing for the music that was played when they were vocalists. Dio somehow pulls off Ozzy's vocals flawlessly, despite the extreme difference of the two vocalists. He doesn't try to copy Ozzy, but he tries to make the songs his own... and it works.

The recording quality on this album is good. Typical live album production, with the crowd still audible. Some small chat between each song, and some parts where Dio has the audience sing along (such as Heaven and Hell). There is one medley in here, with Heaven and Hell split with Sign of the Southern Cross in between the two parts of Heaven and Hell. There is a small part with some improvisation by Tony Iommi, and it's great. Definitely sounds like old Sabbath.

The performance is great. The band nailed all their parts (naturally, it is Black Sabbath after all). Dio stole the show, as I described earlier.

The best thing about this CD is the track list. Probably the best setlist Black Sabbath could have come up with at the time of this recording.

Any Black Sabbath fan should check this out. Even if you're only into 70s Sabbath. Hear the songs sung by a different vocalist that isn't the local cover band at the bar. It is worth your money, I assure you.