45 Songs, 3 Hours 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist, the American rock singer appeared to be signing up for an impossible task. Ozzy was one of the most beloved frontmen in rock history, and his inimitably disaffected wail was an integral part of the Sabbath architecture. Against all odds, Dio not only lived up to fans’ massive expectations but deepened and expanded Sabbath’s legacy in the process. The Rules of Hell contains the four albums Dio recorded with Sabbath, all of which are essential: 1980’s Heaven and Hell, 1981’s Mob Rules, 1982’s Live Evil, and the underrated 1992 reunion album Dehumanizer (arguably the best of them all). Under Dio’s leadership, Sabbath became less of a doomy stoner’s dream and more of a mighty rock battalion. Dio kept the band on the vanguard of a changing heavy metal scene, and he put his imprint on the group without discarding Ozzy’s legacy or commercializing the group’s sound. On the contrary, the tracks here are some of the most uncompromisingly heavy songs ever recorded by a major-label rock band.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist, the American rock singer appeared to be signing up for an impossible task. Ozzy was one of the most beloved frontmen in rock history, and his inimitably disaffected wail was an integral part of the Sabbath architecture. Against all odds, Dio not only lived up to fans’ massive expectations but deepened and expanded Sabbath’s legacy in the process. The Rules of Hell contains the four albums Dio recorded with Sabbath, all of which are essential: 1980’s Heaven and Hell, 1981’s Mob Rules, 1982’s Live Evil, and the underrated 1992 reunion album Dehumanizer (arguably the best of them all). Under Dio’s leadership, Sabbath became less of a doomy stoner’s dream and more of a mighty rock battalion. Dio kept the band on the vanguard of a changing heavy metal scene, and he put his imprint on the group without discarding Ozzy’s legacy or commercializing the group’s sound. On the contrary, the tracks here are some of the most uncompromisingly heavy songs ever recorded by a major-label rock band.

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