This morning, over breakfast, I learnt the sad new that Ronnie James Dio had lost his battle with stomach cancer on Sunday morning.
So, I though I would dedicate today’s post to the great man. It is always difficult to do people justice when writing an obituary, so, I think I will just let his contributions to music do the talking.
However, what I can say is that I know that he will be sadly missed by fans. Anyone who has the experience and privilege of seeing him perform live, whether in Elf, Rainbow, Sabbath, Dio or Heaven and Hell, will know exactly why he is held in such high regard. His performances in the studio were excellent, but there was something about seeing him live and the professionalism that he exuded which really made you appreciate the greatness of the man. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see him at the Brighton Centre (UK) as part of Heaven and Hell in November 2007. Unbelievable performance and I have managed to find a clip of the gig on Youtube – Sign Of The Southern Cross.
I think I should start with a summary list of his studio performances (with relevant Spotify links where available) , although this list is by no means exhaustive it does give a good indication of how much he has recorded. You can check out a more thorough listing of his work starting from his page on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_James_Dio
- Heaven and Hell (1980) – http://open.spotify.com/album/2xlljcaxcJxmnGO4xJq7YZ
- Mob Rules (1981) – http://open.spotify.com/album/239f6HFDmTWbBKNezUR4BX
- Dehumanizer (1992) – http://open.spotify.com/album/2qyXLZvoWxsqb0ILGbyDNK
Heaven And Hell
- The Devil You Know (2009) – http://open.spotify.com/album/2eLwBr4FWHB9XUoeloyyzf
There are also a number of live albums that he appears on and are worth checking out as a snapshot of his live performances from a particular era, apart from Dio stuff, I’ve only listed one from each ‘band’. I also particularly enjoy the posthumous Rainbow live albums.
- The Elves – Live at the Bank (1972)
- Rainbow – On Stage (1977) – http://open.spotify.com/album/6DyINdfRW7rp5JKmskckJd
- Black Sabbath – Live Evil (1983) – http://open.spotify.com/album/0pTZWu6m0CCXWuLRZIVhgM
- Dio – Intermission (1986) – http://open.spotify.com/album/5VEEoVMgFelq51Xx9pPT8r
- Dio – Inferno: Last In Live (1998) – http://open.spotify.com/album/16uWU6R3s5DzdTiARtjYow
- Heaven and Hell – Live from Radio City Music Hall (2007) – http://open.spotify.com/album/35rdERkWtUtHjj2krS8wWh
Check out the live performance at Rockplast 2009 of Bible Black, from the album, The Devil You Know.
Then of course there is the Devil Horns…
Ronnie, you’re da man!