Dio - Ronnie James Dio, a.k.a Ronald Padavona, was born in New Hampshire, U.S.A. on 10 July 1940. He served his musical apprenticeship in the late 50's and in the early sixties, led "Ronnie Dio and The Prophets", not only as a vocalist, but also playing the trumpet, bass guitar and piano. He formed "The Electric Elves" in 1967 with his cousin David Feinstein. The Electric Elves evolved into "Elf". Deep Purple's Roger Glover and Ian Paice spotted the band and Elf would go on to support Purple on two US tours, as well as being signed to Purple Records. David Feinstein would later form The Rods, and most of the rest of Elf would eventually become the first line-up of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Dio included. Dio left Rainbow in 1979, replacing Ozzy in Black Sabbath. He recorded two studio albums and one live album with Sabbath before forming his own band, "Dio", in 1983, with musicians such as Vivian Campbell ( guitar), Vinnie Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards). Later members of his band were guitarists Rowan Robertson, THE guitar find of the late eighties/early nineties, and Craig Goldie, and, for this live album, Tracy G. Dio and Appice returned to Sabbath in 1992 for their "Dehumanizer" album, but this reunion was short-lived. Dio recently appeared on Deep Purple's new album, the one they recorded with the LSO at the Royal Albert Hall ( featured on The Dinosaur Days as a new release a number of weeks back ). He's still one of hard rock's best vocalists.
  

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Biography by Greg Prato
For a brief spell during the mid-'80s, the heavy metal quintet Dio was one of the top U.S. concert attractions, boasting one of the most over-the-top stage acts of its time loaded with props and special effects (lasers, explosions, a giant dragon, etc.). The group's leader was singer Ronnie James Dio, who had previously become acquainted with the metal masses as the frontman of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow from 1975-1978 and Black Sabbath from 1979-1982. Come the early '80s, Ronnie James was ready to finally head out on his own, forming Dio and recruiting a stellar backing band, consisting of a few former bandmembers, ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain and ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice (Carmine Appice's brother), in addition to ex-Sweet Savage guitar shredder Vivian Campbell. Lyrically, the group would retain the same subject matter that Ronnie James specialized in with his previous outfits (dungeons and dragons, swords and sorcery, damsels in distress, etc.), but musically, Dio was more melodically based than Rainbow or Sabbath. The group scored a hit right off the bat with their 1983 debut release, Holy Diver, which spawned such popular MTV videos as "Rainbow in the Dark," as well as its title track.

For their sophomore effort, 1984's The Last in Line, the band expanded its lineup to include keyboardist Claude Schnell, as the album would become the biggest hit of Dio's career (on the strength of another MTV-approved video, for the album's anthemic title track) and the group became an arena-headliner. Although Dio's next release, 1985's Sacred Heart, was commercially successful, Campbell had become disillusioned by the group's direction and split from the group a year later. Just prior to Campbell's exit, the entire Dio band helped organize Hear N' Aid, an all-star assembly of heavy metal artists that recorded a track called "Stars," which helped fight world hunger (a subsequent album was issued as well, collecting previously unreleased live tracks from a few of the day's top hard rock acts). Former Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy took Campbell's place, resulting in such releases as 1986's live EP Intermission and 1987's Dream Evil, which retained the group's headbanging audience, but failed to expand upon it as its previous releases had.

By 1990's Lock up the Wolves, Ronnie James Dio was the only original member of Dio left in attendance as the band's lineup continued to fluctuate throughout the '90s on such releases as 1994's Strange Highways, 1996's Angry Machines, and 1998's Inferno: Last in Live (Ronnie James took a brief break from Dio in 1992 to rejoin Black Sabbath for a lone release, Dehumanizer). In 2000, a pair of Dio releases emerged; first was Dio's first new studio album in four years, the concept album Magica (which saw past members Bain and Goldy return to the group), as well as a 16-track compilation titled The Very Beast of Dio. His medieval-themed metal returned two years later, when the Killing the Dragon album arrived in the spring of 2002. The album was a serious endevor, but Dio also learned to make fun of his image after years of defending it, inviting comedy duo Tenacious D to star in the video for "Push" and even including the clip on the fall re-release of Killing the Dragon. 

 

Craig Goldy
Vinny Appice
Jimmy Bain
Vivian Campbell
Ronnie James Dio
Jens Johansson
Jeff Pilson
Claude Schnell
Scott Warren
Simon Wright
Tracy G
Teddy Cook

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Dio - 1983 - Holy Diver - 4.5/5

Dio - 1984 - The Last in Line - 3.5/5

Dio - 1985 - Sacred Heart - 3/5

Dio - 1987 - Dream Evil - 4/5

Dio - 1990 - Lock up the Wolves - 3/5

Dio - 1994 - Strange Highways - 3/5

Dio - 1996 - Angry Machines - 2.5/5

Dio - 1998 - Inferno, Last in Live - 4/5

Dio - 2000 - Magica - 4/5

Dio - 2002 - Killing the Dragon - 3/5

Dio - 2004 - Master of the Moon - 3/5

Dio - 2005 - Evil or Divine - 3/5

Dio - 2006 - Holy diver Live - 3.5/5

Rating

 

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