Released on November 4, 1981 “Mob Rules” is the tenth studio album by Black Sabbath. It was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio after Ozzy Osbourne was kicked out of the band. (Dio later teamed up with Sabbath again for the 1992 album “Dehumanizer“)
The cover art is a modified version of artist Greg Hildebrandt’s piece entitled Dream 1: Crucifiers from 1971, with Black Sabbath licensing its use for the cover of Mob Rules. Here is Hildendrandt’s original artwork.
Some fans claim the name “Ozzy” or even “Kill Ozzy” was spelled out hidden on the bottom right of the album cover. Here is the section in question.
Looking close, this is how I see it.
Tony Iommi dismisses as “rubbish” in his autobiography:
“There was a little controversy about some stains on the floor in the picture. According to some people it spelled out ‘Ozzy’. Somebody mentioned it to us and we went: ‘What?’…I never noticed anything and I still wouldn’t know where to find it.”
It was probably just a coincidence since the painting was made before is was licensed by the band even though I do see some slight changes. Record albums used to have all kinds of hidden messages and photos. People claimed to see The Beatles images in a tree on a Bob Dylan album cover.
Click on photo to read about it.