Tomorrow is Ronnie James Dio’s birthday! Tonight we pay Tribute!
Ronald James Padavona was born on July 10, 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Italian-American parents who had moved there from New York, where they had grown up, due to Dio’s father’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II. And the rest as they say is Heavy Metal history! And what a long history it was!
Recorded in a New York studio prior to the release of the Rainbow classic ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll is the title track from the third studio album by the band Rainbow, led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame. The album ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was released in April of 1978 and it was the last to feature original lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio. After the release and extensive world tour in 1977–78, Blackmore decided that he wanted to take the band in a new commercial direction away from the “sword and sorcery” theme. Dio on the other did did not agree with this change and he left Rainbow. And believe it or not Blackmore then asked vocalist Ian Gillan, also formerly of Deep Purple, to replace Dio, but Gillan turned him down. Which when you think about it is ironic or funny because he ended up later replacing Dio as the vocalist for Black Sabbath in 1983 for the ‘Born Again’ album. I chose this track tonight for a couple of reasons. First of all, because this was actually my first exposure to Ronnie James Dio, my Uncle used to crank the hell out of this album all the time!” It was always on repeat and I loved it! Also according to some critics, Long Live Live Rock ‘n’ Roll “would be cited as the last great album Rainbow would ever make, although they did enjoy a great deal of chart success in the post-Dio era.” The album is often cited as a strong influence on the formation of the Power metal genre, especially on its fantasy-themed lyrics and aesthetics. Another track on the album Kill the King has been referenced as “the first Power metal song”.
One of last songs ever recorded by Ronnie!
Metal Will Never Die featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals is actually a track by David “Rock” Feinstein, a former member of Ronnie Dio & The Prophets and Elf (both bands of course also featured Ronnie) and he is the leader of the legendary New York band The Rods and well he just so happens to also be Ronnie’s cousin! The track comes of his “Bitten By The Beast” solo album that was released in November of 2010, and it was one of the last-ever recorded vocals by Dio before his death that same year. David said in an interview that “I feel like it was meant for me to write ‘Metal Will Never Die’, And it was meant to be that Ronnie should sing it! Whatever power it was that brought the two of us back together musically, I am so thankful for. Now, ‘Metal Will Never Die’ means more to me than any other song that I have written in my whole career as a songwriter and musician!” Wow. Pretty strong stuff! Nobody sings like Dio did. Such a strong powerful voice and commanding presence for a man who stood only 5′ 4″! The track Metal Will Never Die can also be found on The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2 compilation album that was released in 2012 that includes tracks from the band Dio’s seventh through tenth studio albums.
Alright so once again Happy Birthday to the late great Ronnie James Dio who would have turned 75 tomorrow on July 10, 2017. His Legend will live forever in metal history!