Heaven and Hell

HEAVEN AND HELL

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HEAVEN AND HELL (2006–PRESENT). Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), Vinnie Appice (drums).

Pseudonym of a Black Sabbath lineup used by the Ronnie James Dio version of the band during their reunion tours in 2006 and 2007. By the late nineties the Black Sabbath name had once again became a lucrative franchise and frequent tours with the original lineup of Iommi, Butler, Ward, and Osbourne had become a cash cow with new T-shirts being sold to enraptured fans that had never seen the original lineup play live. However, many older fans were also nostalgic for what was considered to be the second great Black Sabbath of the post-Ozzy band led by former Rainbow and Elf singer Ronnie James Dio (along with frequent drummer Vinnie Appice). When Iommi wished to take a break from touring with the original Black Sabbath, he proposed doing several tours with Dio, a move that was blocked by Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, who insisted that the Ozzy-less band be clearly identified as not being the original Sabbath.

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

The compromise solution was to call the band “Heaven and Hell” (named after one of the group’s most popular albums) and the tour went on to fill huge venues in America and elsewhere. Perhaps it was the fact that the original Black Sabbath was no longer a novelty, or it might have been that Iommi and Butler appeared much more interested and lively than usual, but the Heaven and Hell tours inspired a level of fan interest almost unforeseen at the time. At this point the reunion has produced several new tracks but it is unclear if a new full-length album and future tours are in the works.

Discography: Black Sabbath: The Dio Years (Rhino, 2007).