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Song of the Moment: Heaven and Hell

We finish Dio Week here at the Beachwood honoring the late, great Ronnie James Dio with a look at a song that is purportedly his favorite - and ours. It was from his debut with Black Sabbath, after the departure of Ozzy Osbourne, and it was a classic, crystallizing the morality play of our existence that marked Dio's lyrics through his career.

Released: 1980

Length: 6:59

Label: Vertigo/Warner Bros.

Charts: No. 81 on VH1's list of the top 100 hard rock songs.

Black_Sabbath_Heaven_and_Hell.jpgWikipedia: The music was written mainly by Tony Iommi, but credit is given to the entire band. The lyrics were written entirely by Dio. In Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Dio explains the song is about how every individual has "heaven and hell" inside him or herself, as well as the ability and the choice whether to choose good or evil.

AllMusic: After Ozzy Osbourne left the mighty Black Sabbath, they hunted down Elf singer Ronnie James Dio and tried their hand at making an album with him. Bassist Geezer Butler stepped aside as head lyricist for the first time in a decade and allowed Dio to pen his own songs, which drastically changed the direction of the band and affected them years after Dio had moved on to do solo work.

"Heaven and Hell" is one of the first songs they ever collaborated on, and the result is one of the best songs they managed to muster in their post- Ozzy years.

Lyrics:

Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil
The devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you're a taker
So it's on and on and on, it's heaven and hell, oh well

The lover of life's not a sinner
The ending is just a beginning
The closer you get to the meaning
The sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, heaven and hell
I can tell, fool, fool!

Well if it seems to be real, it's illusion
For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it's on and on, on and on and on . . .

They say that life's a carousel
Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
The world is full of kings and queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
Its heaven and hell, oh well

And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
Its heaven and hell, oh no!

Fool, fool!
You've got to bleed for the dancer!
Fool, fool!
Look for the answer!
Fool, fool, fool!

Video:

1. Studio version.

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2. Live in Chicago, '83 bootleg, presumably Ian Gillan on vocals.

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3. Live, 2007.

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4. Rob Halford steps in on the Ozzy (short-lived) retirement tour.

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See also:
- Dio in Chicago
- 666 Words For Ronnie James Dio
- The Tao of Ronnie James Dio

*

Comments welcome.

*

Previously in Song of the Moment:
* Iron Man
* The Story of Bo Diddley
* Teach Your Children
* Dream Vacation
* When The Levee Breaks
* I Kissed A Girl
* Theme From Shaft
* Rocky Mountain High
* North to Alaska
* Barracuda
* Rainy Days and Mondays
* Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
* Baby, It's Cold Outside
* Man in the Mirror
* Birthday Sex
* Rio
* My Sharona
* Alex Chilton
* Surfin' Bird
* By The Time I Get To Arizona



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Posted on May 21, 2010


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