Ronnie James Dio - vocals; Tony Iommi - guitar; Bill Ward - drums; Geezer Butler - bass
After the Never Say Die album and tour, which ran between 1978 and 1979, Black Sabbath could no longer effectively function with the overt drug and alcohol dependency of their lead singer, Ozzy Osbourne. They fired him, and he went on to develop what would become a hugely successful solo career with the help of his future wife, Sharon Arden (daughter of Sabbath's manager, Don Arden.) The rest of Black Sabbath knew it would be difficult to replace such an iconoclastic figurehead, but were determined to try. They eventually recruited Ronnie James Dio, a very powerful hard rock singer from Cortland, NY. Dio had fronted a moderately successful rock band called Elf (so named because everyone in the band was short!) before being recruited by Ritchie Blackmore to join his post Deep Purple project, Rainbow.
Dio was approached and although he had apprehensions about trying to revive such a successful band whose previous lead singer was a household name, he was willing to give it a go. To the credit of the band, they welcomed Dio's composing contributions and gave him equal credit on all the songs that would appear on their new album, Heaven & Hell. That version of Sabbath (and there would be several more to follow this one until the original Osbourne lineup regrouped in 1996), was the only other version of the band to see platinum success. It became known as the Heaven & Hell lineup. Although Ward would eventually be replaced by drummer Carmine Appice's younger brother, Vinnie, this version with Dio stayed together for a number of albums and tours.
This King Biscuit show features a healthy chunk of material from the Heaven & Hell record, but shows the band when they were still dependent on many of the Osbourne-era hits. Among those are revamped versions of "War Pigs," "Sweet Leaf," "Black Sabbath," "Iron Man," "Paranoid" and the ominous "Children Of The Grave," which closes the show. The Heaven & Hell lineup of Sabbath has reunited to tour with Vinnie Appice, but another re-grouping of the original Black Sabbath is likely when and if Ozzy deems it so.