Black Sabbath’s tenth studio album ‘Mob Rules’ was released on November 4, 1981. Ronnie James Dio infused Black Sabbath with incredible energy when he joined the band in 1980. Heaven and Hell is an absolute classic, and just one year later they followed it up with Mob Rules. Drummer Bill Ward checked out midway through the Heaven and Hell tour, so Vinny Appice took his place behind the kit. When they released Heaven and Hell, Ozzy had yet to kick off his solo career, but by the time of Mob Rules he was scoring massive hits and packing arenas. The competition was probably a good thing, and tracks like “The Sign of the Southern Cross” and “The Mob Rules” rank up there with anything in the Sabbath catalog. This was the last album with Dio for over a decade, and it began a long period of decline for Sabbath.
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 animated film Heavy Metal. The track “E5150” also is heard in the film but is not included in the soundtrack. Do you remember this badass scene in the movie? So freakin’ awesome!
In an interview for the concert film Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell, Geezer Butler cites “The Sign of the Southern Cross” as his favorite Mob Rules track because “it gave me a chance to experiment with some bass effects.” (It’s also my favorite!)