We lost a true metal legend when Ronnie James Dio succumbed to cancer back in 2010. But if the guy did one thing in life, he influenced a lot of heavy metal talent and it shows in the soon to be released tribute album, Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life.
The album features covers the bulk of Dio’s successful career, with tracks picked from his time leading Rainbow with Richie Blackmore, taking the reigns of Black Sabbath after Ozzy left the band, and of course his solo work. From Blabbermouth:
Ronnie James Dio is one of the most beloved figures in rock history. His gifts, both as a singer and songwriter, are instantly recognizable, whether he was with RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, or leading DIO. Sadly, Dio lost his battle with stomach cancer in 2010 but his towering voice and legacy live on.
To celebrate one of rock’s most powerful voices, an all-star group of his friends and fans recorded 13 of their favorite tracks for a tribute album, 100% of proceeds from which will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Produced by his longtime manager and wife Wendy Dio, the album includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as METALLICA, MOTÖRHEAD, SCORPIONS, ANTHRAX, and Rob Halford, as well as appearances by many of the musicians who performed with Dio over the years.
The Killswitch Engage cover of “Holy Diver” is one that’s been heard before, but the rest of the album is full of previously unreleased covers. Corey Taylor’s cover of “Rainbow In The Dark” has especially gained some attention over the past few days, standing out from an already stacked group. Taylor had nothing but praise for Dio and his music. From Guitar World:
“Ronnie was the most natural singer I have ever witnessed,” Taylor says. “He could do anything, hit any note, make any audience lose their minds. He was one of the greatest and I’m so happy I got to see him live. ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ was the first Dio song I really loved to death–just a powerful, high-energy hard rock song that was so good I wished I’d written it.
“When I was asked to be a part of this album, I knew there was only one track I wanted to record and luckily I got it. I only hope I did it justice. Having had the privilege of meeting Ronnie before he passed, I hope he knows how much I loved him for who and what he was: One of the greatest.”
You can listen to most of the album tracks across the Internet, but we’ve embedded the official releases of Taylor’s cover and Metallica’s medley of Dio tracks, including “Stargazer” and “Tarot Card.” The whole album is going to be worth a listen though and one I’ll probably pick up.
It’s pretty bad ass and for a good cause, so it can’t get too much better than that. Unless we count “We’re Stars” by Hear N’ Aid back in the 80s, which I really don’t want to.
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Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life Tracklist:
01. “Neon Knights” – Anthrax*
02. “The Last In Line” – Tenacious D*
03. “The Mob Rules” – Adrenaline Mob
04. “Rainbow In The Dark” – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher*
05. “Straight Through The Heart” – Halestorm*
06. “Starstruck” – Motörhead with Biff of Saxon*
07. “Temple Of The King” – Scorpions*
08. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – Doro
09. “Holy Diver” – Killswitch Engage
10. “Catch the Rainbow” – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren*
11. “I” – Jimmy Bain, Oni Logan, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy*
12. “Man On The Silver Mountain” – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren*
13. “Ronnie Rising Medley (featuring “A Light in the Black”, “Tarot Woman”, “Stargazer”, “Kill the King”)”– Metallica*
14. “This Is Your Life” – Dio (via)