Hear Ronnie James Dio isolated Black Sabbath vocals on “Heaven And Hell”
Ronnie James Dio is forever remembered for his powerful low tenor voice and it often assumed that he had a very large range to go with it. While that was always true he almost always sang at a register between D4 and D5. Low notes were very rare for him, and anything above E5 etched itself into your soul.
Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell (Isolated Vocals)
Heaven And Hell is the title track of Black Sabbath’s ninth studio album released on 25 April 1980. It was the first album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.
The song’s main guitar riff and overall music was written by guitarist Tony Iommi with inspiration and input from Geoff Nicholls but as with almost all Sabbath albums credit is given to the entire main band. The lyrics and vocal melodies were written by the newly arrived Ronnie James Dio.
Everybody involved with the song cites it one of the defining songs from the band. “That was on our initial album [with Dio]”, Iommi said. “That track has stood the test of time. Even Ronnie, when he went out on his solo thing, he’d always play Heaven And Hell. It became a very popular song.”
The initial sessions for what became the Heaven and Hell album started after the Never Say Die tour with Ozzy Osbourne still in the band. The band convened in Los Angeles for eleven months to record a new album, a process described by guitarist Tony Iommi as a “highly frustrating, never-ending process.” The last few albums Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die had been less successful, embracing a more experimental style that Osbourne in particular was fed up with. He preferred the band’s earlier more direct and heavier sound. Iommi revealed in his memoir that he still possesses a recording featuring Osbourne singing an early version of what would become the track Children of the Sea with different lyrics and a totally different vocal melody. [Source]
In the video below, join professional opera singer Elizabeth Zharoff, as she listens to Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio on vocals for the first time, in a live performance of “Heaven and Hell.”
Black Sabbath “Heaven and Hell” REACTION & ANALYSIS by Vocal Coach/Opera Singer
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