Heaven And Hell

Album: Heaven And Hell (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • During an interview for VH1's Heavy: The Story of Metal, Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio stated that the song is about each human being's ability to choose between doing good and doing evil, essentially that each person has "heaven and hell" inside themselves. Dio said it was one of his favorites. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Neil - Conroe, TX
  • This is the title track to the first of three albums Black Sabbath recorded with Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals. Guitarist Tony Iommi considers it the defining song from that era. He told Songfacts: "That was on our initial album, and 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."
  • When Dio returned to Sabbath in 2006, they re-named the band Heaven And Hell after this song because they weren't going to play any Ozzy Osbourne-era songs when they toured. Heaven And Hell released an album in 2009 called The Devil You Know.
  • Tenacious D parodied this song in Dio's music video for "Push." In the video, Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D are playing "Heaven And Hell" on a sidewalk with modified lyrics about marijuana when Dio approaches and offers them money to play one of their songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Neil - Conroe, TX
  • The Christian metal band Stryper surprised some of their fans by recording a version of this song for their 2011 covers album, The Covering. However, frontman Michael Sweet told Rock Confidential they should give the lyrics a listen before condemning the music. Said the singer: "There were some songs we were thinking about and decided we probably shouldn't. There were some Ozzy songs, some Maiden songs, some Priest songs. We tried our best to be appropriate with the lyrical choices. Some may argue, 'How can they justify doing a Sabbath song?' If you read the words to 'Heaven and Hell,' those are lyrics that Stryper would've written. There's nothing wrong with those lyrics. They're absolutely dead-on the money."

Comments: 17

  • Dale from OregonHey cyberpope... Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is one of the Ozzy albums. Yes Dio is good, in fact he was very good and yes he was never Ozzy and thank God for that. You know Ozzy never wrote a single note of music and is responsible for about 1% of the lyrics on the first 8 albums combined. In other words he sang... and not that good either. Sabbath is Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and too an extent Bill Ward. Sabbath succeeded in spite of Ozzy not because of Ozzy and for proof one need look no further than Heaven and Hell, an album that Sabbath could have never created with Ozzy, not in a million years.
  • Jodie from XxLmao at Michael Sweet thinking he could have written the lyrics to Heaven and Hell. There's only one thing worse than Christian metal and that's country and not by far.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaDio's good, but he was never an Ozzy, for meshing with Sabbath. . . I am fortunate enough to own all Ozzy's Black Sabbath albums on vinyl; got Heaven & Hell, too, & Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but nothing beats Ozzy's!
  • William from Reno, NvFrank in Loma Linda,.......

    I think the "dancer" could be the entertainer/performer that performs for you (ie the people). You pay for the show but that's it. I'm most likely wrong but that's what I get from the song.

    K/H D
  • Michael from Santa Cruz, Ca"Heaven & Hell" is a GREAT album,but for my money,"Turn Up The Night",the first track from the album "Mob Rules" marked a decided change of direction for the band(for the better as the band was becoming dated IMHO)."The world is full of kings & queens/who blind your eyes/& steal your dreams/it's heaven & hell"is one of the best,descriptive lyrics of it's time.
  • Beck from Stockton, CaI was never much of a Dio fan but he is a good singer. Honestly though? When it comes to Black Sabbath, I do prefer Ozzy.
  • Frank from Loma Linda, CaWho's the "Dancer" Dio is singing about?
    -Frank, Loma Linda, CA
  • Johua from Sydney, Australiadio is a better singer and muso but ozzy is what made black sabbath the great band that it is
  • Anthony from Parsippany, NjFirst song I ever heard RJD sing. I was hooked like a salmon!
  • David from Huron, SdRonnie Dio kicks ass on this album. In my opinion he took Black Sabbath to new horizons just because he was willing to change with the band and go different directions
  • Greg from Slidell, Laozzy is def better...he got kicked out then hooked up with randy rhoads and became way more popular than sabbath ever was...then dio wanted 2 do the same thing so he left but he never came anywhere near ozzys popularity.
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaI love the classic Ozzy Sabbath, but I gotta say, when I first heard this song, my jaw dropped. I can certainly make room for Ronnie Dio and his contributions to the Sabbath legacy. I've seen both singers front the band live and was equally impressed.
  • Lester from New York City, NyThis is one of the great rock albums ever. My favorite song is 'Lonely Is The Word'. Heavy-Metal blues.
  • Steve from Lake Havasu City, AzI saw Black Sabbath with Dio sing this song live in 1980 they were touring with Molly Hatchet. I saw Dio twice in the 90's sing too. He still sounds good even now live. I know alot of people like Black Sabbath with Ozzy, but Heaven and Hell was and still is their most popular album ever. And it got more radio time than any other Black Sabbath Albums ever did.
  • Kent from Stockholm, SwedenJacko you sick bastard >:
    Black Sabbath without Ozzy is just not Black Sabbath...
  • Jacko from London, EnglandTotally agree with Ralph - this is one Sabbaths finest offerings.I actually prefer Sabbath with Dio to Ozzy - a far superior,more powerful voice.
    Never had the pleasure of seeing them live tho !!
  • Ralph from Houston, TxI can't believe that there are no comments about this song. It is one of the top five rock songs ever written, IMHO. It is amazingly diverse and progressive tempo-wise. I love the baseline in the first verse and the way it switches to a guitar riff in the third verse. The up-tempo ending is reminiscent of the end of Stairway to Heaven. Awesome lead guitar as well, and the classical guitar outro is amazing. I saw them, as the band 'Heaven and Hell' with Dio, do this in Houston in May 2007 and it rocked. I was in the second row and caught one of Toni Iommi's pics. Next to my late Grandfathers pocket watch and my late mother's graduation ring, it is my most cherished possession.
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