Mob Rules is the tenth studio album by English doom metal band Black Sabbath, released on November 4, 1981. It followed 1980’s Heaven and Hell, and it was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio prior to the 1992 album Dehumanizer.
The very first new recording Black Sabbath made after the Heaven and Hell album was a version of the title track “The Mob Rules” for the soundtrack of the film Heavy Metal. The track “E5150” also is heard in the film but is not included in the soundtrack. According to guitarist Tony Iommi’s autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, the band began writing and rehearsing songs for Mob Rules at a rented house in Toluca Lake in Los Angeles. Initially the band had hoped to record in their own studio to save money and actually purchased a sound desk but, according to Iommi,
“We just couldn’t get a guitar sound. We tried it in the studio. We tried it in the hallway. We tried it everywhere but it just wasn’t working. We’d bought a studio and it wasn’t working!”
The band eventually recorded the album at the Record Plant in Los Angeles.
Mob Rules was the first Black Sabbath album to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward in the middle of the tour in support of the previous year’s Heaven and Hell. Asked by Joe Matera in 2007 if working with a new drummer was jarring after so many years, Butler replied,
“No, because Vinnie was a big fan of the band and loved Bill’s playing. Bill was one of his favorite drummers and so he knew all his parts and my bass parts and he adjusted accordingly to everybody in the band. He was brilliant. He came in and totally filled in Bill’s shoes.”
1. Turn Up the Night 3:42
2. Voodoo 4:32
3. The Sign of the Southern Cross 7:46
4. E5150 2:54
5. The Mob Rules 3:14
6. Country Girl 4:02
7. Slipping Away 3:45
8. Falling Off the Edge of the World 5:02
9. Over and Over 5:28