Mob Rules (album)

Mob Rules is Black Sabbath's tenth studio album, released in 1981 following the success of Heaven and Hell.

Album information

It was the first album to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward on the tour in support of the previous year's Heaven and Hell. This led to Ozzy Osbourne dubbing the line-up "Geezer and the three Wops".

It is rumoured that the cover art for this album, by famed artist Greg Hildebrandt, contains a heavily-disguised message that reads "KILL OZZY,". It is apparently located toward the bottom of the picture, on the ground, written in a dark, crimson colour. However, the message is barely legible, and it is widely believed that the purported text is coincidental. The artwork was not created specifically for the album, for one thing, having been done in the 1970s, but was licensed for use.

The lyrical themes are dark, notably on tracks such as "Sign of the Southern Cross" and "Falling Off the Edge of the World".

The Live Evil album was recorded on the Mob Rules tour.

The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell.

Track listing

All songs written by Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi. All lyrics written by Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler.

Side one

  1. "Turn up the Night" – 3:42
  2. "Voodoo" – 4:32
  3. "The Sign of the Southern Cross" – 7:46
  4. "E5150" – 2:54
  5. "The Mob Rules" – 3:14

Side two

  1. "Country Girl" – 4:02
  2. "Slipping Away" – 3:45
  3. "Falling Off the Edge of the World" – 5:02
  4. "Over and Over" – 5:28

Track information


This instrumental interlude became the concert opener on the supporting tour, replacing "Supertzar", which had been used since 1975. "E5150" would also be the opener on subsequent tours with Dio. The title is "EVIL" as roughly translated from Roman numerals: 5=V, 1=I and 50=L.

"The Mob Rules"

A different recording of the title track appeared in the animated motion picture Heavy Metal and is featured on the soundtrack album. In the UK, a 7" and 12" picture-sleeve single of Mob Rules (album version) preceded the album release. The B-side was a previously unavailable live version of "Die Young" (the studio version of which is on the Heaven and Hell album). It is used in the first trailer for the upcoming video game, Brütal Legend.


Year Song Chart positions
Singles Chart
Mainstream Rock
Modern Rock
Singles Chart
1981 "The Mob Rules"/"Die Young" 46
1982 "Turn Up the Night"/"Lonely Is the Word" 24 37
1982 "Voodoo" 46
1982 "E5150"


Release history

Region Date Label
United Kingdom November 1981 Vertigo Records
United States ??? Warner Bros. Records
Canada ??? Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom 2004 Sanctuary Records


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