TRACE THE ROOTS OF OZZY OSBOURNE WITH KILO’S OWN BOBBY OZ SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHTS AT 9PM!
34 years ago this past Thursday, DIO released ‘Holy Diver’, their Metal Masterpiece!
Holy Diver is the debut album by the band DIO, released on May 25th, 1983. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio had just quit or been kicked out Black Sabbath (depending on who tells the story) and he took drummer Vinny Appice with him to put together his own band. He then recruited bassist Jimmy Bain, whom he played with in Rainbow and hired 20-year-old unknown Irish guitar whiz Vivian Campbell (now with Def Leppard) and the rest as they say was hard rock or heavy metal history! The album was recorded and self-produced by Ronnie at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA and has been hailed by music critics as Dio’s best work and a classic staple in the heavy metal genre. Holy Diver literally kicks ass from beginning to end, with the opening adrenaline-charged fist pumper “Stand Up and Shout” to the darker, slow cooking closer “Shame on the Night”! All killer and no filler, full of epic rockin’ DIO classics!
“Holy Diver” was released in August 1983 as the lead single from the band’s debut album of the same name. Although it only reached number 40 on the Mainstream Rock chart at that time, today it is one of Dio’s most popular songs. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles. However I don’t think KILO ever stopped playing it! The cheesy music video for “Holy Diver”, directed and edited by Arthur Ellis, features Dio as a hairy barbarian adventuring through a desolate church striking down enemies with a sword! (Hey it was the 80’s!)
“Rainbow in the Dark” was the second single released from Holy Diver. It was numbered 13 on VH1’s “Top 40 Greatest Metal Songs”. The song was covered by Corey Taylor, with support from Steel Panther guitarist Satchel, Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga, plus touring buddies Jason Christopher and Christian Martucci for the 2014 Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life – Tribute album.
The iconic album art for Holy Diver depicted the band’s devil mascot, Murray, standing behind a mountain, wielding or spinning a silver chain that’s also tightly wrapped around a man, who appears to be a priest, in the water below, giving the appearance that he is drowning him. The sinister image fueled rumors that Ronnie James Dio was a Satanist, and some thought the “Dio” logo read “Devil” when turned upside-down (Dio dismissed the interpretation as coincidence). At the same time, he welcomed the public’s inability to define or pigeonhole him. Dio was quick to argue that appearances are misleading, that it could just as easily be a priest killing a devil, or being saved by him, wanting people to rush to “judge a book by its cover”.
Black Rain is the tenth studio album by Ozzy Osbourne, released 22 May 2007 on Epic Records. It is also the last album to feature Zakk Wylde and Mike Bordin, and the first to feature bassist Rob Nicholson. Black Rain debuted at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200, selling about 152,000 copies in its first week; making it Ozzy’s highest debut to date.
The album was released in several different versions. The original US version was released in a thin, brown digipak with the crowned skull Ozzy Osbourne logo, and for the rest of the world, it was released in a standard jewel case featuring cover art of Ozzy standing in front of some sort of war-torn or apocalyptic background with fires and ‘Black Rain’ falling down all around. This cover included a booklet complete with lyrics and album credits. The US version did not include any of that.
In the US, limited edition copies of the album were sold with special codes inside of the packets, which could be used to redeem a pair of OzzFest 2007 tickets. OzzFest 2007 was nicknamed “Freefest” because all tickets were free.
The song “I Don’t Wanna Stop” was also featured as the theme song for WWE Judgment Day 2007. The Japanese release was the same as the other releases outside of the US, except for the fact that it included two bonus tracks, “I Can’t Save You,” and “Nightmare”. The iTunes release of the album included the aforementioned “Nightmare”, plus an exclusive bonus track, (only for those who preordered through iTunes) “Love to Hate”. It also included a printable pdf file of the booklet, complete with lyrics and album credits. This same booklet was later made available as a free pdf download from Osbourne’s website on 1 June.
The album was reissued in the US on 14 August in a new jewel-case package containing the full booklet with lyrics and new colour cover art and photos, also containing CD extra bonus content featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the “Black Rain” photo shoot. A “tour edition” version of the album was released on 20 November 2007. This release includes an extra CD with 3 recently recorded live tracks and 3 studio tracks originally available on international releases and/or digital versions.
For me, Ronnie James Dio basically rules the month of May with all of the important album releases he was a part of throughout the month… as well as his unfortunate death due to stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. So tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ, I am giving you a couple of tracks from 2 different albums that were released this month.
“Lock Up the Wolves” is the title track off Dio’s fifth studio album, that was released on May 15, 1990. For this release Ronnie James Dio assembled a brand new version of the Dio line-up, including eighteen-year-old guitarist Rowan Robertson, and Simon Wright on drums who had played with AC/DC from 1983-89. While the band is completely different from that of the previous Dio records, they actually meld together quite well, bringing a straightforward heavy metal sound akin to the older Dio style but with a bit of a bluesy swing. The album reflects this heavily, as there is a strong presence of slower, more absorbed bluesy sections throughout. A few of these tracks lack aggression and edge, but there are also some fierce rockers to spice things up when needed. Lock Up the Wolves stands on its own quite nicely, and it’s actually one of my favorite Dio albums. Still it seems to be a bit underrated by many metal fans for reasons I’m unsure of.
“Push” is from Killing the Dragon, the ninth studio album by Dio. It was released May 21, 2002 through Spitfire Records and was produced by Ronnie James Dio himself. The song “Push” was a hit and had a music video that featured Tenacious D performing a humorous cover of Dio’s biggest song from his time with Black Sabbath, “Heaven and Hell”. Dio approaches them to tell them that he will pay them to play Tenacious D music. Ronnie became friends with Tenacious D frontman Jack Black, who told Dio about his plans to make a Tenacious D film and asked him to perform in the film as himself if anything became of it. This film of course was Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny and it came out in 2006.
The Killing the Dragon album also introduced guitarist Doug Aldrich to the band. He had previously performed with Burning Rain and later went on to join Whitesnake. Previous guitarist, Craig Goldy, co-wrote some of the songs before leaving the band. He would later return for 2004’s Master of the Moon album.
*In an interview, Dio stated that the “dragon” of the album title refers to technology. He expressed concern with it threatening society in the future. He also expressed belief that the computer has become a god in modern society. “It is a small god with an electrical heart…It is time to rebel against it.” (very reminiscent of the “Computer God” track he wrote with Black Sabbath for the bands Dehumanizer album released 10 years earlier)
Last Tuesday (5/16) was the 7th Anniversary of the Death of the Great Ronnie James Dio and Wednesday (5/17) was the 41st Anniversary of the Rainbow – Rising album. Tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ we celebrate the legacy of this album by spinning a couple of kick ass covers by artists that it has inspired or influenced!
Rising (also known as Rainbow Rising) is the second studio album by British hard rock band Rainbow, and was released in 1976. This time around the band featured leader Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame on guitar, Ronnie James Dio again on vocals, legendary drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboard player Tony Carey rounded out the roster. Rising captured “Blackmore and Dio at the peak of their creative powers… it chronicled both the guitarist’s neo-classical metal compositions at their most ambitious, and the singer’s growing fixation with fantasy lyrical themes – a blueprint Dio would adopt for his entire career thereafter. In issue 4 of Kerrang! magazine, Rising was voted the greatest heavy metal album of all time. Many musicians have paid tribute to the album in recent years, citing it as an influence and describing it as a masterpiece, saying that it “introduced a more Dungeons and Dragons type fantasy heavy rock to the masses.”
Ronnie Rising Medley was Metallica’s tribute to Ronnie James Dio from the 2014 Ronnie James Dio tribute album This Is Your Life. The recording is a combination of elements from the Rainbow songs Stargazer, Tarot Woman and A Light in the Black all from the Rainbow Rising album and then Kill the King from Rainbow’s ’78 follow up Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. And of course Metallica has cited Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore as being big influences for them especially drummer Lars Ulrich who in several interviews over the years has professed what a huge fan he is, claiming Ritchie was his all-time favorite guitarist and Ronnie hs favorite voaclist!
Motörhead with Biff Byford of Saxon on lead vocals and their cover of Starstruck that was also recorded for the Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life tribute album. The original Starstruck appears on the Rainbow – Rising album. And it was no secret that Lemmy of Motörhead and Ronnie were long-time friends and of course Motörhead and Saxon have a long history together, as a matter of fact Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, the two surviving members of Motörhead, have joined Saxon on stage a few times to play Motörhead classics in salute To Lemmy.
Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life is a 2014 tribute album to singer-songwriter Ronnie James Dio, lead singer of several heavy metal bands including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band Dio. The album features many of Dio’s contemporaries performing songs originally recorded by Dio. Album proceeds went to Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to ALL you hard Rockin’ Mama’s out there in the KILO Nation!!! Tonight it’s all about YOU in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ.
“Revelation (Mother Earth)” is a track off of Blizzard of Ozz, the debut solo by Ozzy, released in September 1980 in the UK and in March 1981 in the US. The album was Ozzy’s first release following his 1979 firing from Black Sabbath. The track itself deals with the “Ultimate Mother” our very own Mother Earth and the environmental damage caused to her by us, the human race! It also shows an apocalyptic vision taken straight from the Bible’s” Book of Revelation” from which the song borrows part of it’s title.
“Dee” is a 50-second classical guitar interlude from the album Blizzard of Ozz, that was written by Randy Rhoads in tribute to his mother Delores. Randy’s unique style of playing was formed from his classical guitar influences, which were definitely encouraged by his mother, since “Randy basically grew up in her Musonia School of Music in North Hollywood, CA.”
“Mama, I’m Coming Home” is the third song on Ozzy’s ’91 album No More Tears. The power ballad is about his estranged wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, whom he nicknames “Mama”, and his return to her following his imminent retirement tour. The song was co-written by guitarist Zakk Wylde, multi-platinum producer/engineer Tom Fletcher and long-time friend Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. Lemmy also provided the lyrics for “Hellraiser”, “Desire”, and “I Don’t Want to Change the World” on the album.
This Tuesday marks the Seven Year Anniversary of the Death of the Great Ronnie James Dio! Legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67. Tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ we pay Tribute.
The most tragic thing about Ronnie’s death from metastasized stomach cancer is that it likely could have been prevented. Dio had not been tested for stomach or colorectal cancer in at least 10 years! The American Cancer Foundation recommends men and women over the age of 50 at average risk for developing colorectal cancer receive a colonoscopy every 10 years to detect and prevent the spread of colon cancer. “All the doctors said if he’d have gone in [for a colonoscopy] a year earlier or two years earlier, they could have treated him,” said Dio’s Heaven and Hell and Black Sabbath bandmate, bassist Geezer Butler! (IF YOU ARE AT RISK, GET CHECKED OUT KILO ROCKERS!!!)
“Die Young” is a single by Black Sabbath from their ninth studio, Heaven and Hell. Released on 25 April 1980, it is the first Black Sabbath album to feature Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. And even though he was a few years shy of 70 at the time of his death, most people (including myself) feel as though Ronnie James Dio died too young!
“Hungry for Heaven” was the seventh single released by Dio and the second single from their 1985 LP, Sacred Heart. Released on August 15, 1985, it is one of Dio’s most well-known albums and this was the last Dio album to include guitarist Vivian Campbell, who was fired midway through the album’s tour. Campbell went on to join several other bands, most notably Def Leppard, Riverdogs, Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy.
In the history of metal, there are great singers and then there are LEGENDS! Even though he stood at only five-feet-four, Ronnie James Dio was a commanding presence, matching his majestic vocals with theatrical hand and arm gestures. He was and still is very synonymous with heavy metal and of course he introduced to us the metal salute, ‘The DeviL Horns’… so throw them up in Tribute to the Mighty MetaL God! Ronnie may be long gone, but his Legend Lives on …
Gus G. is Gone and Zakk Wylde is Back In Ozzy Osbourne’s Band!
Now that the brief, revival of Black Sabbath has reached its end, Ozzy will reunite with former longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde for a summer tour that marks the 30th anniversary of when the two first collaborated together. They first teamed up in 1987 when Zakk replaced Ozzy’s then-guitarist Jake E. Lee. Wylde contributed to Ozzy solo albums stretching from 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked to 2007’s Black Rain, which was the last Ozzy album to feature him.
They will hit the road for a series of Ozzy headlining shows in the U.S. this summer and fall, starting July 14. So far, they have announced four dates together, with “additional dates to be announced in the coming weeks.”
Ozzy also plans to record his 12th solo album, scheduled to arrive sometime in 2018; and at this time it’s unclear whether Zakk will also take part in the recording. But according to speculation it does look likely to be a done deal!
“Gets Me Through” is the first track from Ozzy’s eighth studio album Down to Earth, released in 2001. It is the only Ozzy studio album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo, who left the group to join Metallica in 2003. It was also the first album to feature drummer Mike Bordin, previously of Faith No More. And though he plays on the album, guitarist Zakk Wylde did not contribute as a songwriter for the first time since joining Ozzy’s band in 1988 and this was due to many of the songs being written before Wylde had rejoined the band after a brief split in ‘1996. (More on that later) Ozzy’s previous fill-in guitarist Joe Holmes was involved in the writing process and Ozzy also chose to utilize outside songwriters as well.
“Perry Mason”, was one of three singles released off of Ozzmosis, the seventh solo studio album by Ozzy. All guitars on the album were performed by Zakk, however Steve Vai was originally slated to be the guitarist on the album after writing a number of songs with Ozzy in 1994 (of which only the track “My Little Man” remained). Vai reportedly left the project due to a “falling out” with Ozzy, although this has been disputed by claims that they are still friends. (I personally asked Steve about this when I met him 2 years ago on a Monsters of Rock Cruise, and he denied any so-called falling out! And it’s funny because on that same cruise I met Gus G. and he hinted that Ozzy may eventually work with Zakk again.)
Zakk had split from Ozzy after recording Ozzmosis in ’96 to focus on his solo stuff. He recorded an album called Pride and Glory in the early 90’s, and the Book of Shadows solo album after that. He then formed Black Label Society. Joe Holmes was Ozzy’s live guitarist from 96 till about 2002 when he recorded the Down to Earth album. However Ozzy couldn’t write with Holmes, so he called in a favor to Zakk to help write and record the album. Then Zakk started pulling double duty, playing again in Ozzy’s band and with his BLS during Ozzfest! Writing credits on the album also included Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead.
OH… and what does Gus G. think about all of this? Well, the world-class shredder issued a response on Facebook thanking the Osbourne family for the opportunity, the fans for their acceptance and welcomed Zakk Wylde back to the fold. Offering his thoughts on the reunion, “As a fan, it’s great to see Ozzy and Zakk back together. It’s been long overdue!”
Original Black Sabbath drummer and founding member, William Thomas “Bill” Ward turned 69 yesterday. (born 5 May 1948) And in his honor, tonight I am hitting you with a triple shot of tracks that show off his skills on the skins! Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff. Drumming website Totaldrumsets has listed Bill among the “The 100 Most Influential Drummers Ever!” and has defined him as “the mastermind behind the unholy birth of heavy metal drumming”.
Coming from 1975’s seminal Sabotage album comes the pulverizing masterpiece that is ‘Symptom of the Universe’ –- a song that, also epitomizes the classic Bill Ward contribution to Black Sabbath. Just listen as he drives the tune’s nervous tempo like a ten-ton locomotive, holding the entire careening train on track with his explosive fills while negotiating the dizzying riff transitions that follow, before laying back and calmly steering the caboose into the station during the song’s acoustic coda.
From 1970’s nearly-perfect Paranoid album, ‘Rat Salad’ was essentially Sabbath’s answer to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Moby Dick.’ This short and sweet instrumental excursion provides a rare opportunity for Bill to cut loose and show his chops, unaccompanied!
Bill Ward’s superhuman strength with a pair of drumsticks in his fists never proved more devastating than on Vol. 4’s crushing ‘Supernaut’ –- and his solitary hi-hat preceding the song only heightens the decapitating impact of what’s to follow. Far from being a one-dimensional head-banging Goliath, though, the song eventually breaks down into an eye-opening Ward solo spot that drags the lords of doom and gloom away on a brief Caribbean holiday? Yeah that’s Bill for you.
*Excerpts taken from the “Top 10 Bill Ward Black Sabbath Songs” by Ultimate Classic Rock. Read the original piece HERE.
“THE DEVIL CRIED” and we “FOLLOW THE TEARS” tonight at 9!
“The Devil Cried” is a song by Black Sabbath 2.0 featured on the compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. It peaked on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks at No. 38 and was one of three new recordings the group did for the compilation (the others being “Shadow of the Wind” and “Ear in the Wall”). According to Dio in the “Heaven and Hell Road Movie” extra on the Live from Radio City Music Hall DVD, the song is about the ability to return to Heaven if a soul in Hell could succeed in actually making Satan cry.
Black Sabbath: The Dio Years, released in April 2007, is a CD compilation of recordings made during Ronnie James Dio’s tenure in the band. It contains full album length, remastered tracks culled from all three studio albums: Heaven and Hell (1980), Mob Rules (1981), Dehumanizer (1992), and the live album Live Evil (1982). Plus the aforementioned three newly recorded songs.
After the recording was completed the band members decided to tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, in order to differentiate the project from the Ozzy Osbourne-led Black Sabbath. The name of course was taken from the first Dio-fronted Black Sabbath album, 1980’s Heaven and Hell.
“Follow the Tears” is a song from The Devil You Know, the only studio album by the band Heaven & Hell; a collaboration featuring founding Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former Black Sabbath members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice. The album was released on April 28, 2009 and it was Ronnie James Dio’s final studio appearance prior to his death from stomach cancer in May 2010. It reached the top 10 in its first week of release, debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, with 30,000 copies sold.
The album artwork is adapted from a painting by Per Øyvind Haagensen entitled Satan. The artwork features the numbers 25 and 41. Geezer Butler stated in an interview that the numbers refer to the Bible verse Matthew 25:41, which deals with the Last Judgment where “those who sit at the left side of God are cast down into Hell” He also has explained that the name of the album is a reference to the name of the band, as fans know them as Black Sabbath.
Killswitch Engage and Anthrax killed it at the Fillmore last night when they rolled through on “THE KILLTHRAX TOUR”! So tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ I am giving you a concert cool down with a couple of their kick ass covers!
Killswitch Engage originally covered Dio’s “Holy Diver” for the compilation called High Voltage!: A Brief History of Rock for Kerrang! magazine. The song was later re-released for the special edition of their album As Daylight Dies. A live version of the song is also featured on the Special Edition of their self-titled 2009 album Killswitch Engage, then in 2014, the song was re-released on the Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life compilation album. The band released a music video for their version that features a comical take on Dio’s original music video. (The track features former lead vocalist Howard Jones. Currently original lead singer Jesse Leach is back fronting the band) And from what I was told they played this song as the final number in their set last night with Joey Belladonna of Anthrax helping out on vocals.
Anthrax covered Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” during live performances in tribute to Dio following his death in 2010. In 2014, the band recorded a studio version for the tribute album Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life. Unfortunately Anthrax did not play this track in their set last night. (And of course I played you the original version by Black Sabbath off their 1980 Heaven and Hell album that just turned 37 this past Tuesday) Anthrax of course also covered the Ozzy era Sabbath track, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” on their “I’m The Man EP” from ’88.