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Dio

For a brief spell during the mid-'80s, the heavy metal quintet Dio were one of the top U.S. concert attractions, boasting one of the most over the top stage acts of its time loaded with props and special effects (lasers, explosions, a giant dragon, etc.). The group's leader was singer Ronnie James Dio, who had previously become acquainted with the metal masses as the frontman of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow from 1975-1978 and Black Sabbath from 1979-1982. Come the early '80s, Ronnie James was ready to finally head out on his own, forming Dio and recruiting a stellar backing band, consisting of a few former bandmembers, ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain and ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice (Carmine Appice's brother), in addition to ex-Sweet Savage guitar shredder Vivian Campbell. Lyrically, the group would retain the same subject matter that Ronnie James specialized in with his previous outfits (dungeons and dragons, swords and sorcery, damsels in distress, etc.), but musically, Dio were more melodically based than Rainbow or Sabbath. The group scored a hit right off the bat with its 1983 debut release, Holy Diver, which spawned such popular MTV videos as "Rainbow in the Dark," as well as its title track.

For their sophomore effort, 1984's The Last in Line, the band expanded its lineup to include keyboardist Claude Schnell, as the album would become the biggest hit of Dio's career (on the strength of another MTV-approved video, for the album's anthemic title track) and the group became an arena headliner. Although Dio's next release, 1985's Sacred Heart, was commercially successful, Campbell had become disillusioned by the group's direction and split from the group a year later. Just prior to Campbell's exit, the entire Dio band helped organize Hear n' Aid, an all-star assembly of heavy metal artists that recorded a track called "Stars," which helped fight world hunger (a subsequent album was issued as well, collecting previously unreleased live tracks from a few of the day's top hard rock acts). Former Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy took Campbell's place, resulting in such releases as 1986's live EP Intermission and 1987's Dream Evil, which retained the group's headbanging audience, but failed to expand upon it as its previous releases had.

By 1990's Lock Up the Wolves, Ronnie James Dio was the only original member of Dio left in attendance as the band's lineup continued to fluctuate throughout the '90s on such releases as 1994's Strange Highways, 1996's Angry Machines, and 1998's Inferno: Last in Live (Ronnie James took a brief break from Dio in 1992 to rejoin Black Sabbath for a lone release, Dehumanizer). In 2000, a pair of Dio releases emerged; first was Dio's first new studio album in four years, the concept album Magica (which saw past members Bain and Goldy return to the group), as well as a 16-track compilation titled The Very Beast of Dio. His medieval-themed metal returned two years later, when the Killing the Dragon album arrived in the spring of 2002. The album was a serious endeavor, but Dio also learned to make fun of his image after years of defending it, inviting comedy duo Tenacious D to star in the video for "Push" and even including the clip on the fall re-release of Killing the Dragon.

In the mid-2000s Dio the man and the band returned with the studio album Master of the Moon and the live Evil or Divine, but by 2006 the band had been sidelined upon the announcement that Ronnie James would be joining Heaven & Hell, a group reuniting the singer with his late-era Sabbath brethren Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice and named after the first Sabbath recording (released in 1980) that featured him as frontman. Heaven & Hell toured in the late 2000s and released a live (Live from Radio City Music Hall) and a studio (Devil You Know) recording, but by November of 2009 it was announced that the singer was suffering from stomach cancer, and Heaven & Hell subsequently canceled their summer 2010 touring plans. Ronnie James Dio succumbed to the disease on May 16, 2010, in Houston, TX. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Tigers are almost extinct on Earth.
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nicko252008
you can see his strips but you know he's clean!!
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Stand Up And Shout,,,, Classic Dio. .. RIP Ronnie, ,, ROCK ON EVERYONE
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where's the monster from master of the moon in blue ?
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Dio > twisted sister
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takes one to know one
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soulgrenade9
haohmaruofth e w i n d is a douchebag.
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I'm happy the drummer from twisted sister died
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Sacred Heart Dragon*
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They need to release more live concert DVD's of Dio and when Dio was in sabbath
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As Dio says it, We rock! We rock! Rock on everyone!
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Nice, real nice
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Evil eyes!
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Holy diver! Ride the tiger! Awesome song! One of the best! Rock on
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"Come with me and I'll give you DESIRE "!!!!!!
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Where's the real cover to master of the moon ?
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we rock
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Egypt ( The Chains Are On) ain't heard this Dio classic in along time. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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My mom saw the vhs with me.
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I want to buy the dragon from the sacred heart tour of the earth.
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I got and saw Dio's sacred heart vhs yesterday.
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It's weird so much Dio plays on maidens station. Similar vocals, different music style.
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okay but sfsgsw by Megadeth is better. Killing is my business is a better debut.
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Holy Diver is one of the top 20 metal albums of all time.
DIscuss...
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Dio is too slow to be like maiden. They are ore like sabbath.
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Dio is so much like iron maiden
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Rock on Dio..... You are truly missed
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Straight Thru The Heart, ,, True Classic! ! RIP DIO! Rock On Everyone
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Sacred Heart
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I hope bruce Dickinson gets better soon
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We miss you Ronnie!
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sacred heart
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bruce dickinson is still taking chemo
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He's from iron maiden
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bruce dickinson has cancer
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Invisible great f**kin tune. RIP DIO! ! Rock On Everyone
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We miss you so much Ronnie!!!
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Rjd is one of the most inspirationa l metal frontman in history.he shaped the way we hear metal.he made it real
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Seen him many times solo & w sabbath & heaven&hell. . . Always rocked but sacred heart tour was best stage show I've ever seen plus they crushed it musically R&R rip RJD
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I took my younger brother to see DIO in 1987. It made him a metal man from that point on. We miss you Ronnie!!!!!!
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Great song
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Straight Highways is a killer album.
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Sacred Heart .. One of my favs. Luv this album. .. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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rock on, I'm going to Kamigawa.
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Heaven and Hell live nothing like it.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Too bad dio went through a portal to elf land.
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DIO is the man
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We Rock, God I miss DIO. Last time I seen him was an interview on That Metal Show. RIP DIO! ! Rock On Everyone
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Strange Highways killer tune... no disrespect Jamey Prince he does have a golden voice and there's only 1 Dio, as far as the best vocalist in my opinion it's Halford hands down. But everyone's in titled 2 there opinion. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Rip Dio...
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The "Man with the Golden Voice" Ronnie has set the Bar and theirs no beatin it !!
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