Saturday, January 30, 2021

Black Sabbath: Heaven And Hell demo surfaces online

A demo recording of the 1980 Black Sabbath classic, “Heaven And Hell”, has surfaced online.

The unreleased footage was captured during pre-production sessions for the project, which marked the legendary band’s first with Ronnie James Dio after Ozzy Osbourne was fired by the group.

The 1979 recording features keyboardist Geoff Nicholls on bass in place of founding member Geezer Butler, who was absent during the 1979 sessions while dealing with issues surrounding the eventual divorce from his first wife the following year.

Audio of the title track was uploaded to YouTube by Nicholls’ stepson and executor of his estate, Gary Rees, in sync with the anniversary of the rocker’s passing after a long battle with lung cancer.

“Geoff Nicholls passed away 4 years ago, 28th January 2017,” shared Rees. “This upload is a tribute to him. 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.”

Nicholls recorded and toured with Black Sabbath until 2004.

“Heaven And Hell” delivered a number of classics, including the lead single “Neon Knights”, “Lady Evil”, “Children Of The Sea” and the title track, earning the revitalized band a Top 10 album in the UK while peaking at No. 28 on the US Billboard 200 on its way to sales of a million copies.

Black Sabbath will release expanded editions of “Heaven And Hell” and 1981’s “Mob Rules” on March 5.

See also:

Black Sabbath announce expanded reissues of Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules
Ozzy Osbourne new album update
Black Sabbath announce Vol. 4 expanded reissue
Ozzy Osbourne streams Blizzard Of Ozzy yule log
Search Black Sabbath at hennemusic