Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult Concert DVD To Be Released

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Thursday, September 5, 2002 @ 1:04 PM

The 1980 Sabbath/BOC Concert D

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BLACK SABBATH And BLUE OYSTER CULT's 1980 Concert Film Black & Blue Coming To DVD From Classic Pictures On October 8th, 2002

Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult were two of the biggest hard-rock titans of the 1970s, and an ingenious idea was conceived to have them join forces on a co-headlining tour. They hit the road together in 1980, and the result was the concert film Black & Blue.

Black & Blue will make its eagerly-awaited North American DVD debut when Classic Pictures releases it on October 8, 2002. In fact, Black & Blue has never been issued on home video at all until now. This 80-minute cult film is such a rarity that it has even managed to avoid being widely bootlegged.

More than 1.5 million people saw this 1980 tour, so it made sense to capture it on film. Black & Blue was produced by George Harrison; the legendary Beatles guitarist had moved into the film production business by the late 1970s. The songs performed by Black Sabbath on Black & Blue are: "War Pigs," "N.I.B.," "Iron Man," "Paranoid," "Die Young," "Neon Knights" and "Heaven and Hell." The Blue Oyster Cult selections included are: "Cities on Flame With Rock & Roll," "Dr. Music," "The Marshall Plan," "Divine Wind," "Godzilla," the Steppenwolf cover "Born to Be Wild" and the Doors cover "Roadhouse Blues."

DVD bonus extras will include a new interview with Ronnie James Dio, biographies, discographies and a reproduction of the original movie poster. Black Sabbath's lineup of vocalist Ronnie James Dio, guitarist Tony Iommi, bass guitarist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinnie Appice was touring to promote the release of Heaven and Hell, the first album since Dio had replaced Ozzy Osbourne. Dio had faced the unenviable task of replacing Osbourne, but the Rainbow veteran brought an entirely new sonic dimension to the band with his fearsome voice and songwriting skills. Appice replaced original drummer Bill Ward, who'd recorded Heaven and Hell but soon left due to health reasons and his unhappiness about Osbourne's departure. Heaven and Hell is deservedly considered one of Black Sabbath's best albums -- regardless of lineups -- and its stature as one of heavy metal's greatest albums ever increases with time. The Dio/Iommi/Butler/Appice version of Black Sabbath would go on to record 1981's underrated Mob Rules, 1982's double live Live Evil and 1992's Dehumanizer.

Blue Oyster Cult was in the middle of its creative and commercial peak in 1980. The band was on concert trail supporting the new album Cultosaurus Erectus. Vocalist/lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom, keyboardist/guitarist Allen Lanier, bass guitarist Joe Bouchard and drummer Albert Bouchard had combined forces to become one of the precious few hard rock/heavy metal bands to ever earn critical acclaim from the mainstream music press. Ever since its self-titled 1972 debut, Blue Oyster Cult was praised as "the thinking man's heavy metal band." BOC's "story" songs combined elements of horror, science fiction, fantasy, violence, love, and even humor. The 1976 album Agents of Fortune spawned the huge hit "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," a simultaneously haunting and mesmerizing song that still receives widespread airplay.

Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult pack such a fierce wallop on Black & Blue that viewers will be left just that -- black and blue.


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