Singer Ronnie James Dio was driven to prove himself on 1980's 'Heaven and Hell,’ Black Sabbath’s first album to feature the former Rainbow vocalist as Ozzy Osbourne's replacement. It turned out to be the band's big comeback.

With Tony Iommi writing a topnotch set of modernized metal anthems, Sabbath were ready to enter the new decade. (Geezer Butler was going through a divorce and largely M.I.A. at the time, and Bill Ward barely made it through the sessions before finally entering alcohol rehab.)

'Heaven and Hell' features Sabbath's best songs in years: ‘Neon Knights’ (relentless, never looking back), ‘Children of the Sea’ (regal and quickly penned during Iommi and Dio’s very first meeting), ‘Die Young’ (a magnificent showcase for the stellar keyboards of unofficial new band member Geoff Nicholls) and the absolutely majestic title track, a multi-sectioned epic as inspired and commanding as any Osbourne-era classic.

All of which helped rescue Sabbath’s career from the jaws of certain death. But for how long?