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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.


Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ album turns 37 this week!

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced Ozzy in 1979.

Dio was first introduced to Tony Iommi in 1979 by Sharon Arden, who would later marry the band’s then-recently fired original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Initially, Dio and Iommi discussed forming a new band, rather than a continuation of Black Sabbath. Both men were in similar situations, as Dio was seeking a new project and Iommi required a vocalist. Black Sabbath’s line-up was in chaos leading up to the recording of the album. Not only had the band recently replaced its lead singer, but drummer Bill Ward was battling personal issues that would see him eventually leave the band and original demo recordings for the album featured Geoff Nicholls on bass, as longtime bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler was going through a divorce and his future with the band was in question. In fact, when Dio first joined the band he doubled as bassist and vocalist, having played bass in the band Elf in the early 1970s. Eventually Butler returned and Nicholls stayed on as the band’s unofficial keyboardist. The album’s iconic cover art was taken from a painting by artist Lynn Curlee, called Smoking Angels, which was inspired by a 1928 photograph of women dressed as angels smoking backstage during a break at a college pageant. The album was successful, becoming their highest-charting album since 1975’s Sabotage and the third highest-selling album of Black Sabbath behind Paranoid and Master of Reality, respectively. It was eventually certified platinum in 1986 for selling 1 million copies in the United States. Regardless of what Ozzy loyalists thought, Sabbath was back and were seen as part of a widespread revival in rock fandom!

“Heaven and Hell” is the title track to Black Sabbath’s ninth studio album of the same name. The music was written mainly by guitarist Tony Iommi, but as with almost all Black Sabbath albums, credit is given to the entire band. The lyrics were written entirely by then newcomer Ronnie James Dio. In an interview for VH1’s “Heavy: The Story of Metal”, Dio stated that the song is about the ability of each human being to choose between doing good and doing evil, essentially that each person has “heaven and hell” inside themselves. When the song has been performed live by Black Sabbath, Dio or Heaven & Hell, it’s usually stretched out with an extended guitar solo, audience participation, ad-libbed lyrics, or additional lyrics regarding angelic and demonic apparitions and personal judgment. If you were ever lucky enough to catch it live … it was quite the Epic performance! Over the years, during live shows, it was sung by almost all Sabbath frontmen: Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, and Tony Martin, the only exception being Ozzy of course. Even Rob Halford of Judas Priest sang it with Black Sabbath in November 1992, when he filled in on vocals for two concerts.

“Neon Knights” is the opening number on Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell album, and it was actually the last song written for it. According to the band it was quickly written and recorded simply to fill time on the album’s first side. The lyrics were written by Dio. And it is the only song on this album to feature songwriting input from bassist Geezer Butler, the band’s main lyricist during the Ozzy era. Butler was absent for most of the songwriting process due to personal issues as well as his own uncertainty as to whether he wanted to remain in the band. Anthrax covered the song during live performances in tribute to Dio following his death in 2010. And in 2014, the band recorded a studio version for the tribute album Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life.


Tonight I am serving up another double shot of Black Label Society in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ!

“Stillborn” is from Black Label Society’s fourth studio album The Blessed Hellride released April 22, 2003. “Stillborn” was released as the sole single. Ozzy appears on the track, even though his name was not used to promote it. He is credited inside the booklet, due to Ozzy being on Sony Records at the time, Spitfire Records was not allowed to promote this song with his name – so a sticker on the cover of the album said “featuring special guest star”. Zakk’s own vocal style was becoming quite similar to Ozzy’s at this time and it was hard to distinguish them apart, which probably stems from singing backup for Ozzy for all those years as well as singing some of his lines whenever Ozzy fell ill while on tour. The video for “Stillborn” was directed by Rob Zombie, which featured his signature style and of course a cameo from Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie. The idea came together while touring together on Ozzfest.

“House of Doom” is a track from Hangover Music Vol. VI, the sixth album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society (that is if you count Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!!) It was released April 20, 2004. Again this album is a much more mellow affair than any other Black Label Society album, and some fans have recognized it as a nod back to Zakk Wylde’s solo effort, Book of Shadows, from 1996. The album contains a piano version of Procol Harum’s 1967 No. 1 “Whiter Shade of Pale” and a song entitled “Layne,” which is written in memory of Layne Staley of Alice in Chains.

This was the last album that BLS recorded for Spitfire Records – it was recorded as a contract fulfilling obligation, and therefore received very little promotion from the label. None of the songs from this album were performed live by the band until 2009.

Zakk Sabbath, featuring guitarist and vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie), and drummer Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queens Of The Stone Age, Bl’ast!), will be releasing a limited-edition Live In Detroit vinyl on June 16, which was captured at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI on October 28, 2016.

The vinyl will feature ‘War Pigs,” “Supernaut,” and “Faires Wear Boots,” and it sounds like it’ll be heavy as hell! Though Wylde has always sounded like Ozzy, so it’s not that shocking.

Zakk Wylde and Zakk Sabbath Premiere “War Pigs” Music Video

You can catch Zakk Sabbath Live at the Marquis Theater in Denver on Sunday June 4, 2017 @ 7PM with special guest Beastmaker. Click HERE to get your tix to the show!