MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
On May 16th, 2010 we lost a legend. In this thread, we shall discuss the man, the myth, the horns, the legend, the god = Ronnie James Dio.

As lead singer of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio, Ronnie carried the metal torch far before many and longer than most.

Every year on this day, I listen to a playlist of as much Dio music as I can get my hands on. That dates back to the early 60s, when our heavy metal wonder was performing doo-wop with bands like Ronnie and the Red Caps. I encourage you to do this as well!

I also load up on thematic beer, mead, eat breads, cheeses, fruit (in "true" medieval royalty fashion), and then dine on a meal inspired by Dio. This year it shall by Indian food, which I have heard was one of Ronnie's favorite cuisines. Here is this year's haul:

2PiKrok.jpg

Things to discuss here:

- Favorite Dio band?
- Favorite Dio album?
- Favorite Dio song?

etc. etc. Let us remember the true vocal god of heavy metal.

p.s. I'll be returning here over the next 24 hours in various forms of drubl and probably posting a lot of songs to jam to!
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Friend took his own life earlier this year.
Dio was his man.
It was my friend's birthday yesterday.
We raised a few to both of them.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Sorry to hear it, mckindog. It always sucks to lose a friend. Oddly enough, this song was playing right now and I think the sentiment of the chorus fits nicely (minus the "honey" part):

 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Sorry to hear about your friend, mckindog.

Favorite Dio band: Rainbow
Favorite Dio album: Rising
Favorite Dio song: Stargazer

I might be biased. Dio's solo work has always been pretty hit or miss for me and with Sabbath I like Heaven and Hell a lot but don't care much for the other three Sabbath/H&H albums. Rainbow, on the other hand, is awesomeness through every album. Rising in particular would probably be in my top 20 favorite albums of all time, I love every song on it. Stargazer is one of those songs where the first listening experience is really magical. I remember it clicking from the very first time I heard it and needing to check out Rising ASAP.

Dio died when I was in 7th grade. I remember specifically being in English class and my friend (who was also into classic metal/hard rock like Maiden, Dio, Ozzy etc) told me that Dio died. I was in shock for the rest of the day. He was the first musical figure to die whom I really admired. Honestly, none of the musical losses we've had over the past year or so impacted me as much as Dio.

My actual introduction to Dio (besides seeing him open for Maiden) was the Holy Diver album. I still remember the first time I saw the cover, the imagery reminded me of Maiden, so clearly it had to be good. And it was! It was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for and stayed in my portable CD player for a pretty long time. Stand Up and Shout still gives me a kick of nostalgia whenever I hear it.

Another fun Dio memory was discovering the album Heaven & Hell. My dad isn't big into Sabbath, so he didn't have any of their CDs. They were a band I had to find on my own. Took a trip to the record store one day and they were playing the Heaven and Hell album. I recognized Neon Knights and the title track from this forum and Dio's live albums, but I was really unfamiliar with a lot of the back half of that album. But the one song that really grabbed me was Children of the Sea. I'm sure I had heard it before, but it didn't really stick out to me until that moment. The way Dio's voice went so swiftly from crystal clear to harsh and gritty amazed me. Needless to say, I went home with that CD and Heaven & Hell is a close 2nd favorite behind Rising. That first side is up there with the best album sides of all time.

Dio was one of my first Metal experiences, I can look back on nearly every musical phase I've had over the years and find a Dio memory in there somewhere. Definitely one of the greats!
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I might be biased. Dio's solo work has always been pretty hit or miss for me and with Sabbath I like Heaven and Hell a lot but don't care much for the other three Sabbath/H&H albums. Rainbow, on the other hand, is awesomeness through every album. Rising in particular would probably be in my top 20 favorite albums of all time, I love every song on it. Stargazer is one of those songs where the first listening experience is really magical. I remember it clicking from the very first time I heard it and needing to check out Rising ASAP.

Rainbow is absolutely stellar and Heaven and Hell is one of the greatest metal albums of all time (and certainly the best Sabbath album ever). Dio's solo material is curious: it contains his absolute best songs and his absolute worst songs. But the first few albums are incredible and there are bright spots up until the 90's, where it gets a little meh. But Magica, Killing the Dragon, and Master of the Moon are all very solid.

Dio died when I was in 7th grade. I remember specifically being in English class and my friend (who was also into classic metal/hard rock like Maiden, Dio, Ozzy etc) told me that Dio died. I was in shock for the rest of the day. He was the first musical figure to die whom I really admired. Honestly, none of the musical losses we've had over the past year or so impacted me as much as Dio.

My actual introduction to Dio (besides seeing him open for Maiden) was the Holy Diver album. I still remember the first time I saw the cover, the imagery reminded me of Maiden, so clearly it had to be good. And it was! It was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for and stayed in my portable CD player for a pretty long time. Stand Up and Shout still gives me a kick of nostalgia whenever I hear it.

Another fun Dio memory was discovering the album Heaven & Hell. My dad isn't big into Sabbath, so he didn't have any of their CDs. They were a band I had to find on my own. Took a trip to the record store one day and they were playing the Heaven and Hell album. I recognized Neon Knights and the title track from this forum and Dio's live albums, but I was really unfamiliar with a lot of the back half of that album. But the one song that really grabbed me was Children of the Sea. I'm sure I had heard it before, but it didn't really stick out to me until that moment. The way Dio's voice went so swiftly from crystal clear to harsh and gritty amazed me. Needless to say, I went home with that CD and Heaven & Hell is a close 2nd favorite behind Rising. That first side is up there with the best album sides of all time.

Dio's death came as a major shock to me, too. I had just seen him with Heaven and Hell a year and a half earlier and he sounded absolutely immense. When he was diagnosed with cancer I thought, "It can't possibly be that bad. He'll survive." And then literally 9 months later he was gone. Hence why I was so paranoid when Bruce got diagnosed. It's a monster of an asshole, that cancer.

Heaven and Hell is such a good album. It's honestly unbelievable how good of an album it is. There aren't many albums that stack up there as being nearly perfect. Maiden's got one (almost two or three), Armored Saint's got one, and Black Sabbath has one with Heaven and Hell. I think the most impressive thing about H&H is that the album is so strong while also being a pretty big sonic departure from the "traditional Sabbath" sound. Dio really took that band by the balls and gave them a new identity.

And man...Children of the Sea is one of the greatest songs I've heard. It's perfection. From the melodies, to the guitars, drums, and insanely-well placed bass fills, it's one of my favorite songs of all time.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I skipped Heaven & Hell on that tour, figured they'd be back the next summer. :(

Children of the Sea was my favorite Sabbath song at one point. Not sure if I'd still rank it that high, but it's definitely in the top 3, easily best on the album.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Just finished all of the Rainbow albums...my God, what amazing material. I was researching the early years and never knew that the drummer and bassist from Elf (Dio's previous band who recorded three albums) are on the first Rainbow album.

If you combine the best songs on the first three Rainbow albums you might possibly have the best hard rock/metal album of all time:

Rainbow - Forever Rising
01. Kill the King
02. Man on the Silver Mountain
03. Starstruck
04. Catch the Rainbow
05. Tarot Woman
06. Run With the Wolf
07. Gates of Babylon
08. The Temple of the King
09. A Light in the Black
10. Long Live Rock and Roll
11. Stargazer
Hidden track: Rainbow Eyes

Also, interesting fact: if you consider Heaven and Hell as a separate band and a one-off special, Dio only ever recorded 3 albums with each band he was in besides his own. 3 Elf, 3 Rainbow, 3 Sabbath.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Dio was special to me, even if I didn't get into all of his stuff until after he died. I remember reading about it here, being in shock at work for the rest of the day.

He was special to me because we agreed on many things. Heaven & Hell, the song, is one of the reasons why I am who I am. I never got to see him live. I wish I had gotten that experience.

We're all better for him, and that sentiment has been agreed upon by many of the people who knew him.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
He was special to me because we agreed on many things. Heaven & Hell, the song, is one of the reasons why I am who I am. I never got to see him live. I wish I had gotten that experience.

We're all better for him, and that sentiment has been agreed upon by many of the people who knew him.

I count myself incredibly lucky to have seen Dio three times and every single one of them was beyond amazing. I am so grateful to have witnessed Dio perform in the flesh.

The first show I ever saw was Motorhead, Dio, and Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden. I was mostly there to see Maiden, knew a good portion of Dio's material, and didn't really care about Motorhead. That said, it was one of the most special events I could ever attend. The fact that two of three vocal legends who appeared there are now deceased just makes it all the more special.

Second time was Dio, Scorpions, and Deep Purple. I was unfamiliar with the other bands besides their hit songs, but I looked forward to hearing them. After Dio's incredible opening set, however, I was basically catatonic for the rest of the night. I remember it being awesome, especially The Scorpions theatrics, but Dio's performance was simply astounding.

Third time was with Heaven & Hell. Megadeth opened and they played a nice set, but by that time I was over Megadeth. When Sabbath took the stage, though, it was just...fucking magical. That's what I remember about Dio. He was capable of taking a beer-soaked amphitheater and making it a magical space. The man was golden.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
If you combine the best songs on the first three Rainbow albums you might possibly have the best hard rock/metal album of all time:

Rainbow - Forever Rising
01. Kill the King
02. Man on the Silver Mountain
03. Starstruck
04. Catch the Rainbow
05. Tarot Woman
06. Run With the Wolf
07. Gates of Babylon
08. The Temple of the King
09. A Light in the Black
10. Long Live Rock and Roll
11. Stargazer
Hidden track: Rainbow Eyes
You've pretty much described Disc 1 of this fantastic compilation, which also happens to have the best-sounding versions of all but two of those songs -- it replaces Run With The Wolf and Temple of the King with Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (one of my faves) and Mistreated (live from On Stage album).
Rainbowanthology.jpg
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Didn't know that existed. The version of Mistreated on there is cool, but holy hell, Blackmore's bloated live takes are truly for completists only.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I tend to agree that Blackmore goes overboard too much, but Made In Japan is an essential album for any collection (not just completists).

I saw Dio live twice -- once on the Sacred Heart tour when I was a kid, and once on his last tour with Heaven & Hell (Sabbath). He sounded great both times, nearly 30 years apart. The Sacred Heart tour featured a swordfight with a dragon, which in hindsight was Spinal Tap-level cheese, but as a kid I thought it was great.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I've seen Dio once. When he played with Heaven and Hell on the Fields of Rock festival in 2007, which Iron Maiden headlined. I'll never forget Bruce's comment, saying that they (Black Sabbath I even think he mentioned them) should headline.

Setlist:
  1. E5150 (intro, played from tape)
  2. The Mob Rules
  3. Children of the Sea
  4. I
  5. The Sign of the Southern Cross
  6. Drum Sol
  7. Voodoo
  8. Die Young
  9. Heaven and Hell
  10. Neon Knights
I remember Dio being humble and friendly, enjoying a lot what he was doing. So did we. In hindsight, I feel lucky I have seen him, and of course also the rest of the band.


@mckindog I am also sad to hear you lost your friend. Dio will always be bound to him. May his music give you and others strength.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I tend to agree that Blackmore goes overboard too much, but Made In Japan is an essential album for any collection (not just completists).

I saw Dio live twice -- once on the Sacred Heart tour when I was a kid, and once on his last tour with Heaven & Hell (Sabbath). He sounded great both times, nearly 30 years apart. The Sacred Heart tour featured a swordfight with a dragon, which in hindsight was Spinal Tap-level cheese, but as a kid I thought it was great.

Agreed about MIJ, but I've heard so many of the Rainbow live bootlegs with 13-18 minute versions of songs that it drives me crazy. There's no reason to listen to a disc that literally has 4-5 songs on it and 40 minutes of lead guitar wanking. Blackmore is a god, but he is not a self-editing god.

I've seen Dio once. When he played with Heaven and Hell on the Fields of Rock festival in 2007, which Iron Maiden headlined. I'll never forget Bruce's comment, saying that they (Black Sabbath I even think he mentioned them) should headline.

2007 was the same year I saw H&H and they were phenomenal. As much as I love Maiden, it seems ludicrous that they would headline over Sabbath + Dio.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Must have albums with Dio:

Rising (1976)
On Stage (1977)
Heaven and Hell (1980)
Mob Rules (1981)
All Dio albums from the 1980s (1983-1987)
Magica (2000)

I must confess that I still don't know the Sacred Heart and Dream Evil albums that well, but I have two compilation CD's which contain songs from these albums (a.o.) and these are very good. E.g. Sunset Superman is one of my favourite Dio songs.

I love On Stage, I really like the long versions from these songs. I knew this album before the studio works.

Favourite Dio band: not sure...
Favourite Dio album: The Last in Line
Favourite Dio song: Egypt (The Chains Are On)
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Must have albums with Dio:

Rising (1976)
On Stage (1977)
Heaven and Hell (1980)
Mob Rules (1981)
All Dio albums from the 1980s (1983-1987)
Magica (2000)

I must confess that I still don't know the Sacred Heart and Dream Evil albums that well, but I have two compilation CD's with songs from these albums and these are very good. E.g. Sunset Superman is one of my favourite Dio songs.

I love On Stage, I really like the long versions from these songs. I knew this album before the studio works.

Favourite Dio band: not sure...
Favourite Dio album: The Last in Line
Favourite Dio song: Egypt (The Chains Are On)

On Stage is fantastic, but suffers from Blackmore's overplaying.

Sacred Heart and Dream Evil are both worth a listen! Some very good material on each. Also check out Killing the Dragon and Master of the Moon if you like Magica. The former is more of a throwback Dio release and the latter is more doom metal/Sabbath-influenced.

I saw Dio perform "Egypt" live and it was so awesome. I couldn't believe he played it. Back in the day before internet tour spoilers it was quite the pleasant surprise!
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
The Devil You Know was a disappointment to me. Most songs sounded alike. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll isn't that consistent IMO. Tarot Woman Gates of Babylon is awesome though.

On Stage has this brilliant live interaction between Tony Carey and Blackmore and I love Cozy Powell on it as well. An excellent Martin Birch recording. I find this album much more enjoyable than Purple's Live in Japan. Rainbow is more melodic I guess. Better music, or at least fitting better to my taste.

I heard the other Dio albums Knick. I remember I liked Master of the Moon more than Killing the Dragon. Death By Love contains such a good solo section: take some more of that beer and listen to this! :shred: Other memorable songs are The Eyes and the title track. Most of the rest didn't stick that much, I'm afraid. From Killing, I only cared for the title track, but it was a long time ago when I tried these albums.
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I heard the other Dio albums Knick. I remember I liked Master of the Moon more than Killing the Dragon. Death By Love contains such a good solo section: take some more of that beer and listen to this! :shred: Other memorable songs (if I remember well) are The Eyes and the title track. Most of the rest didn't stick that much, I am afraid. From Killing, I only cared for the title track, but it was a long time ago when I tried these albums.

I far prefer Master to Killing as well, it just has some better songs. And I know that solo section well! Should be getting to it in about...8-9 hours. The Eyes is incredible and One More For the Road is one of my favorite Dio openers of all time.
 
Top