Thursday, April 07, 2005

Get to Know Your Metal Gods - Part I

Ronnie James DioMeet the Elf man, Ronnie James Dio. Ozzy may joke about being the Prince of Darkness, but I truly believe Dio is the one who made a pact with Satan. How else can you explain the length of his career, his ageless appearance, and a voice that's just about as good now as it was in 1980?

Starting out with the Vegas Kings, people first started paying attention when he dominated the hard rock scene in Rainbow with Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore. Sporting a fascination for singing about all things related to:
  • whips and chains
  • circles and rings
  • dragons and kings
  • dark and light, and of course,
  • rainbows
...there's no denying the early metal influence on songs like "Man On the Silver Mountain" and "Kill the King". He gave Black Sabbath a kick they sorely needed when he replaced Ozzy, cranking out some of their best material in years ("Neon Nights", "Heaven and Hell", "Voodoo", and "The Mob Rules" ). Arguments with guitarist Tony Iommi over the production of Live Evil led to Dio going solo. With great freedom now before him, Dio often colored outside of the lines, combining many of his favorite topics into one song title, as he did with the ever popular "Rainbow In the Dark" (I kid because I love!), and played to many a packed house. He continues to spit out records (thankfully, about the aforementioned circles and rings) and tour to this day.

Though at times we have no idea exactly what you're trying to say ("Riders in the night can lift you out of sight when they call"?), the power behind that voice, plus strategic use of rhyme and melody, always make us believe. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll...and Dio!

2 Comments:

Anonymous AJB said...

And crosses - don't forget crosses. He sings about those an awful lot. :-)

11:55 AM  
Anonymous JTC said...

Fow those who have no idea of how long RJD has been making music, take a look at this site:
http://www.dimwhit.com/dio/index.html

2:13 PM  

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