The estate of late Black Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls has released a previously unreleased rehearsal recording of Sabbath rehearsing an early version of their classic song “Heaven And Hell” in 1979 during the pre-production sessions for the album of the same name. The track, which features Nicholls on bass, was uploaded to YouTube by Geoff’s stepson and executor of his estate, Gary Rees.
Rees stated about the “Heaven And Hell” 1979 rehearsal recording: “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. On the A side again in blue ink ballpoint is written ‘LADY EVIL (crossed out) BLUES + SLAPBACK’. 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. At the end of the uploaded song you can hear talking that sounds to me like Geoff talking then laughing.
“I have uploaded the most complete version closest to the album version. This recording, in my opinion, is from July 1979 in their rented house in Bel Air, California. On And On Heaven And Hell may have been the original working title.”
Lineup on the recording:
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Tony Iommi – guitar
Geoff Nicholls – bass
Bill Ward – drums