“We were all going through a lot of problems at that time, most of it related to drugs,” Toni Iommi told Guitar World, recalling the recording sessions for the band’s 1981 album Mob Rules. “Even the producer, Martin Birch, was having drug problems, and it hurt the sound of that record. Once that happens to your producer, you’re really screwed.”
Screwed or not, Mob Rules has generally been compared unfavourably with its predecessor, Heaven And Hell. Original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward had departed, Vinny Appice had replaced him, but he wasn’t going to stay for long: Appice and singer Ronnie James Dio would move on after disagreements the following year about the Live Evil album, hooking up to form Dio.