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Why I ❤️ Black Sabbath's Heaven And Hell, by Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate with the Heaven And Hell artwork
(Image credit: Vertigo Records/Frontiers Music)

“I’m a huge fan of the three studio albums that Black Sabbath made with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. I suppose I like Heaven And Hell the best of the three because it was the trilogy’s first. I still remember buying my original copy on vinyl. 

"The five members of what became Queensrÿche sat around and listened to that album, talked about it and really digested it. It was a great springboard to push our own creativity. 

“As a well-respected guy who’d been working with bands like Iron Maiden, Martin Birch did a great job with the production. He really helped to bring the songs to life. 

“One thing that’s sometimes forgotten is that Black Sabbath were on a downward curve until Heaven And Hell. After sacking Ozzy Osbourne they were written off by just about everybody. It was almost expected that they would fade out.

"But together with Ronnie they made an extraordinary album, and of course the opposite thing happened. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it could have been longer. Eight songs aren’t enough. But that’s how records were made in those days.

“For me, Heaven And Hell was where it all began. It had so much musicality. Sabbath took their songs into areas I’d never experienced before. Maybe the best compliment I could pay is that it was elegant yet very brutal."

Geoff Tate was speaking with Dave Ling.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.