An extremely rare Black Sabbath demo recording from a rehearsal session of ‘Heaven And Hell’ has surfaced online, the forty two year old cassette tape features Ronnie James Dio and Geoff Nicholls in the line-up.
In 1979, ‘Heaven And Hell’ was the very first song written for the newly Ronnie James Dio fronted Black Sabbath after the departure of Ozzy Osbourne.
The rare Black Sabbath demo recording features Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar, Bill Ward on drums and Geoff Nicholls on bass. Nicholls joined Black Sabbath as a replacement for Geezer Butler and ultimately became the bands keyboardist from 1979 through 2004.
The demo recording was shared on January 28th by the estate of Geoff Nicholls commemorating the fourth anniversary of the musicians death.
The video description on YouTube read as follows: “I recently found this SONY C-90 tape cassette amongst the thousands in Geoff Nicholls’ archive. On the inlay card is written ‘ON & ON HEAVEN & HELL ORIGINAL VERSION GEOFF PLAYING BASS’. “Inside the cassette case was a Maxell UD 90. The B side is written ‘On + On HEAVEN HELL ORIGINAL GEOFF ON BASS’ Nowhere does it say that this is Black Sabbath on the cassette. On And On Heaven And Hell may have been the original working title.”
The estate noted that, on the chance that it wasn’t Black Sabbath playing on the tape, that it may have been “a good cover version”.
Listen to the rare Black Sabbath ‘Heaven And Hell’ demo below, and you’ll hear that it is entirely legitimate!
Heaven & Hell – Black Sabbath (1979 rehearsal featuring Geoff Nicholls on bass)
Birth name Geoffrey James Nicholls
Born 29 February 1944
Birmingham, England, UK
Died 28 January 2017 (aged 72)
Instruments Keyboards, bass, guitar, vocals
Associated acts Black Sabbath, Quartz, Tony Martin, Johnny Neal and the Starliners, World of Oz, Jimmy Helms.