DIO: HEAVEN AND HELL

Ronnie James Dio is one of the Greatest Vocalists and front men to ever walk the stages in the Metal Kingdom. We all know that he is responsible for the Heavy Metal Horns Symbol. We also know him for his creative lyrics and his wide range of vocal chords which enable him to hit every note.

DIO had an extremely successful solo career making many masterpieces, the most famous of which was Holy Diver. He also had a very great period with Black Sabbath when he replaced the legend in his own right, Ozzy Osbourne. The first album released by Black Sabbath with Dio was Heaven and Hell. Heaven and Hell was an instant classic. I believe I have it ranked as the 3rd greatest Sabbath album of all time.

In 2009 Heaven and Hell released their only studio album as the Combination of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former front man Dio and his counterpart Vinny Appicie. The album was called The Devil You Know. For those Black Sabbath fans this is a must album for your collection. The Devil You Know is heavier than the last previous Sabbath album Dehumanizer.

Atom and Evil, Bible Black, Rock N Roll Screw, Eating the Cannibals, and. Follow The Tears are the best songs that were produced on the album. Follow the Tears is a cross between solo DIO and Black Sabbath mixed with an Ozzy vibe. This album is very underrated and is an excellent Metal album. This was one of Dio’s last studio material to come out before his untimely death. Dio has a way of bringing Sabbath to another level. There will always be the debate of who was a better singer for the band. I guess it’s safe to say DIO has a way better voice but Ozzy was the better frontman. After listening to The Devil You Know…you will not know the Difference Between Heaven and Hell and Black Sabbath.

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Remembering Ronnie James Dio

6/10/42-5/16/10…As a metal fan…when I hear the name Ronnie James Dio…I immediately think of the “Metal Horns” hand gesture for which he is known for popularizing. When Ronnie (Otherwise known as DIO) passed away in May of 2010 of stomach cancer, the Heavy Metal community lost a true legend. As I sit here listening to the Black Sabbath Album…”Heaven and Hell”…it sends chills down my spine. I mean…Ozzy Osbourne was the face of Black Sabbath…but I am not sure there has ever been a band where a lead vocalist left and the band did not miss a beat. I mean, Ozzy does not come close to matching Ronnie as far as vocal intensity and range. Ronnie will always be known for his high range pitch and the knack for hitting every vocal note possible.
Ronnie was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1942. He graduated from the Cortland City School in 1960 and went on to attend pharmacy school. He would never finish as he started his own band. His first significant band was called “Elf”, which formed in 1969. Ronnie adopted the nickname “Dio” named after the mafia member, Johnny Dio.
While performing in the band Elf, Ronnie recorded 3 albums and was the main opening act for the band Deep Purple. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple took a liking to Dio’s vocals and recruited him for his own band when he left Deep Purple. The band was known as Rainbow. His time in Rainbow was short lived as he only stuck around for 2 albums. In 1979 Dio left Rainbow and took over for Ozzy as lead vocalist for Metal Legend Black Sabbath.
In 1980, Black Sabbath released the album Heaven and Hell, which revitalized the career of Black Sabbath. The album was a huge success and hit platinum in sales in just 6 years (1,000,000)! After Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath produced “The Mob Rules,” which was Dio’s 2nd and last album with Sabbath as their were disagreements between the band members.
At this point, Dio and Vinny Apice (Drummer) left and formed “DIO.”. The band featured Dio on vocals, Apice on Drums, Vivian Campbell (who later joined Whitesnake and Def Leppard) on guitar, and Jimmy Bain on Bass, Bain having played with Rainbow. The first album “Holy Diver” was released in 1982. Holy Diver hit 56 on the Billboard 200 in the US and hit #13 in the UK. The album featured the hit title track as well as the single Rainbow in the Dark. All in all, DIO released 10 Studio Albums and was constantly on tour until the band broke up and Ronnie formed “Heaven and Hell” which featured former Sabbath mates Geezer Butler and Toni Iommi along with Vinny Apice in 1986. Ronnie is also accredited for writing some of the very first power metal lyrics in metal music.
Ronnie also participated in many fund raisers during his career, the most notable being Hear n Aid, which was similar to Live Aid. A huge festival that was created to raise money for hunger. Ronnie is known for his deafening lyrics and powerful dark themes. Dio was a musical genius and will always live in the hearts of us metal die Garda.
Ronnie James Dio was more than a vocalist…he was a field general when it came to his stage presence. He was performing right up until his death. Dio is an Icon/ Legend/ Star Vocalist. He popularized his style. Heaven and Hell is one of the top metal albums. Pop it in your CD player and let it play straight up! Ronnie is truly a musical genius. He will never be forgotten.

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