Τρίτη, 18 Μαΐου 2010

Ronnie James Dio : A tribute to the Godfather of Heavy Metal

Heaven has a new lead vocalist...



Heaven and Hell
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil
The devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you're a taker
So it's on and on and on, it's heaven and hell
Oh well

The lover of life's not a sinner
The ending is just a beginner
The closer you get to the meaning
The sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell
I can tell
Fool, fool

Oh uh
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Well if it seems to be real, it's illusion
For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it's on and on, on and on and on and on and on and on and on

They say that life's a carousel
Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
The world is full of kings and queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It's heaven and hell, oh well

And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It's heaven and hell, oh no

Fool, fool
You've got to bleed for the dancer
Fool, fool
Look for the answer
Fool, fool, fool


A small Biography of a great artist

The "dragon" Ronnie James Dio fought this time was stomach cancer. He had been diagnosed back in November 2009. Though his fight has been lost, he remains a severe class-act of renown in the genre on heavy metal, leaving behind a significant musical legacy.

Born Ronald James Padavona, he would use "Dio" as his last name as a performer, after an infamous mobster named Johnny Dioguardi. It also the Latin word for "God." After many attempts at being in rock bands, some of which actually recorded in the 1960's, Ronnie James Dio would gain prominence as lead singer of a blues based rock band called Elf in the early to mid 1970s, and which would go on to be an opening act for UK hard rock band, Deep Purple. They recorded three albums: Elf, Carolina County Ball, and finally Trying To Burn the Sun. The album Elf was produced by Ian Paice (drummer) and Roger Glover (bassist) of Deep Purple. Carolina County Ball was produced by Glover, as was Trying To Burn the Sun.

"Look away from the sea/ I can take you anywhere" – from "Gates Of Babylon"

When Ritchie Blackmore, guitarist of Deep Purple didn't like the direction the band was going for, he left to start his own. What is a guitarist without a singer? Enter, Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie James Dio's stature lent well to the band's name, but his vocal skill was giant. Minus Elf's guitarist, the rest of Elf became Rainbow. The artistic and creative sensibilities of Blackmore and Dio were a perfect match. 1975 saw the release of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, featuring "Man On The Silver Mountain," "Catch The Rainbow" and "16th Century Greensleeves" which would also remain regular set numbers for many tours after. Rainbow Rising, which would feature "Tarot Woman," "Star Struck," and especially the epic musical narrative of "Stargazer" stretched the boundaries of what could be done within a hard rock sound, fulfilling the promise the first album.

1978's Long Live Rock And Roll would be Dio's last studio release with Rainbow. But it was a departure at the top of his game, no matter the commercial pressures that Blackmore was feeling. The title track that started off the album had been road tested since '77 and was a flawless rock anthem, "Gates Of Babylon" was another epic-story song, backed by a symphony which expanded the power of Dio's words rather than softened. The song "Kill the King" would find later appreciation by those in the thrash and other genres of metal, and would eventually be covered by bands like Candlemass, Grave Digger, Heathen, Loudness, Primal Fear, and Stratovarius. "Long Live Rock And Roll" also appeared in the 2001 movie Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston (which had originally begun as a bio-pic of the band Judas Priest, but went entirely fictional when the studio basically wanted to cheap out Judas Priest on the rights to the real story).

"Break the circle and stop the movement/ the wheel is thrown to the ground" – from "Mob Rules"

When Ozzy Osbourne, the lead vocalist of Black Sabbath was dealing poorly with the high life of rock n' roll, so much so that his ability to rock with the rest of the band was in question, guitarist Tony Iommi decided Ozzy should be fired from the band, and he sent drummer, Bill Ward, to do the firing (Ward would be fired a couple of times himself over the years). Sharon Arden, who was the daughter of their manager Don Arden, suggested that Ronnie James Dio might be a good replacement (ironically enough Sharon would eventually marry Osbourne). The first Black Sabbath album fronted by Dio was 1980's Heaven And Hell and it gave new life to the endangered career of the band. The first song Dio wrote with Iommi was "Children Of The Sea." The title track was written by Dio, and suggested that rather than Heaven and Hell being external places or ethereal planes of existence, they might actually be the internal impulses to do good or bad that are within every individual. It would later be featured on the hit video game, Grand Theft Auto IV. The proto-power metal of the single Neon Knights, would oddly enough chart higher in the US (#17), than in the UK (#22), which had for some time been the reverse for the band. Seattle prog-metal band, Queensryche would do a very literal cover of the song in 2007 on their Take Cover album. "Die Young" a powerful regular in Sabbath's set while on the Black And Blue tour with Blue Oyster Cult in the US, would only chart in the UK.

After touring was done, work began on the follow-up and Mob Rules was released in 1981. The title track was the lead single and only charted at #46 in the UK. However, an alternate version of the song appeared on the soundtrack to the 1981 film Heavy Metal, based on the adult illustrated fantasy comic, Heavy Metal magazine. Dio would have a falling out with the band over the mixing of the concert album of the Mob Rules tour, Live Evil. Dio left to start a solo career and Black Sabbath soldiered on with Deep Purple's vocalist, Ian Gillan for one album, and then followed by line-up change after line-up change for years.



One thing that Dio left behind from his Sabbath tenure was the "devil sign" gesture, now synonomous with heavy metal. However, it was actually a ward against evil that Dio's grand mother had passed down to him from the old country (I believe it may also have been mentioned by Bram Stoker in that context as well). Take it as you will.

"You’re a runner/ but you’re chasing yourself" – from "Hungry For Heaven"

Ronnie James Dio's post-Sabbath solo album, Holy Diver (1982) bore two hits with the songs "Rainbow in The Dark" and "Holy Diver" and caught on with early MTV. The Last in Line was released in 1984, with the title song being a fan favorite, but especially the epic album closer "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" which resurfaced for further popularity when the former lead singer of the German Heavy Metal band Warlock, Doro Pesch, covered that song live. Sacred Heart was released in 1985. The song "Shoot Shoot" was deemed controversial by non-fans, even as the song "Hungry For Heaven" sold the album to many, and also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Vision Quest, starring Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino.

"But singers and songs / Will never change it alone" – from "Stars"

In 1985, with every genre of music seeming to have their own gathering of artists to fight world hunger, such as Band-Aid, and USA For Africa, Dio was a driving force for same within the heavy metal music community. He contributed a song called "Stars" for The Hear N Aid project, which featured guest turns on vox, guitars, and drums, from members of many bands in genre, including Blue Oyster Cult, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Journey, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Quiet Riot, Vanilla Fudge, Yngwie Malmsteen, and more.

The albums Dream Evil (1987) and Lock Up The Wolves (1990) followed. After which, Dio briefly reconnected with guitarist Tony Iommi for another Black Sabbath album, Dehumanizer, which returned to the earlier post-Ozzy '80s line-up of Black Sabbath with an even heavier sound and lyrics of more mature depth. The song "Time Machine" would appear on the soundtrack to the film, Wayne's World.

Unfortunately, good things don't last, and when Iommi wanted Black Sabbath to open for former vox Ozzy Osbourne, he quit. It is however a testament to the regard with which Dio was held by the heavy metal community, that when Iommi had asked Rob Halford of Judas Priest to fill in for the resigned Dio, Halford would not do so until he had the okay from Dio, who he had much respect for. It was granted, and is one of many reasons that Dio was sometimes called the "Godfather" of heavy metal.

"I tried to reveal that which is hidden/ in the depths of my soul and make it real" – from "I Remember A Day"

1994's Strange Highways and 1996's Angry Machines would divide some fans with the departure of the dark heroic-fantasy themed lyrics for songs of dark modern relevance. Magica, released in 2000 on the independent Spitfire Records label returned Dio to his former glory, with a concept album no less. 2002's follow-up, Killing The Dragon maintained his returned career momentum. The album generally utilized fantasy imagery to criticize the pervasiveness of technology overtaking society. The music video for "Push" featured an appearance by Tenacious D with Jack Black, which would later lead in turn to Dio appearing in the 2006 film, Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny. In 2004, Master Of The Moon was released. This was Dio's final album as a solo artist. Anthrax opened for them on this tour, and Dio played songs from his Rainbow and his Black Sabbath years as well as his own.

Dio would once again sing with Geoff Tate of Queensryche on the band's concept album-sequel, Operation Mindcrime II, contributing vocals to the character of the story's villain, Doctor X. This album charted as high as #14 for Queensryche, a ten year high, likely helped by the cult following of the original album, but Dio on one song was also a great assist up the album charts. 2006 also saw the release of Black Sabbath: The Dio Years saw Dio rejoining Black Sabbath initially just to record three new tracks for the compilation, "The Devil Cried," "Ear In The Wall" and "Shadow of the Wind." However, things were not as temporary as planned and the group, not only toured behind the compilation, they also worked on another full length album. The Devil You Know was released in 2009, but under the band name of Heaven And Hell. It reached #8 on the Billboard 200.

Dio leaves behind his wife, Wendy, also his manager, and an adopted son from a previous marriage.

Heaven And Hell have cancelled tour plans, with no plans to replace Dio, or to tour further at this time.

Dio had also planned to do a second and third instalment of Magica to make it a concept album trilogy after his Heaven And Hell touring, but that will never be.

The official website of Ronnie James Dio has gone black and Wendy has left there only her thoughts for fans, in part: "Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have given us."

Fans are able to leave their condolences on Facebook.

\m/

2 σχόλια:

Ο ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑΚΟΣ είπε...

τι να πεις φίλε Πολύκαρπε.
Είναι από τις περιπτώσεις που πραγματικά τα λόγια περιττεύουν.
Του βεληνεκούς του και στο είδος του έχει μείνει ακόμα ζωντανός ο Rob Halford.

Ο ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑΚΟΣ είπε...

Επί τη ευκαιρία έψαχνα τo mail σου πριν λίγο καιρό γιατι αυτό που έχεις στο blog σου βγαίνει λάθος. Μπορείς ναμου στείλεις ένα mail για να εχω το mail σου;

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