Ronnie James Dio - 'This Is Your Life (tribute)


TRACK LISTING:

1.) "Neon Knights" - Anthrax
2.) "The Last In Line" - Tenacious D
3.) "Mob Rules" - Adrenaline Mob
4.) "Rainbow In The Dark" - Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher
5.) "Straight Through The Heart" - Halestorm
6.) "Starstruck" - Motorhead with Biff Byford of Saxon
7.) "The Temple Of The King" - The Scorpions
8.) "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" - Doro
9.) "Holy Diver" - Kill Switch Engage
10.) "Catch The Rainbow" - Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren
11.) "I" - Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
12.) "Man On The Silver Mountain" - Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
13.) Ronnie Rising Melody featuring:"A Light In The Black"/"Tarot Woman"/"Stargazer" and "Kill The King" - Metallica
14.) "This Is Your Life" - Ronnie James Dio
15.) "Buried Alive" (bonus track) - Jasta






BIOGRAPHY:
     Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona, July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American rock and heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He fronted numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band, Dio. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture in metal culture. Dio sold over 47 million albums throughout his career.
    Ronnie James Dio was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Italian American parents who had moved to Portsmouth from Cortland, New York, where they had grown up. The family resided in Portsmouth for only a short time before Dio's parents returned to Cortland. Dio listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza.  His first and only formal musical training began at age 5 learning to play the trumpet.  During high school, Dio played in the school band and was one of the youngest members selected to play in the school's official Dance Band. It was also during high school that Dio formed his first rock-n-roll group, the Vegas Kings (the name would soon change to Ronnie and the Rumblers, and then Ronnie and the Red Caps). Though Dio began his rock-n-roll career on trumpet, he quickly added bass guitar to his skillset once he assumed singing duties for the group.
     Dio graduated from Cortland High School in 1960. Though he claimed in a later interview to have been offered a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, he did not pursue it due to his continuing interest in rock-n-roll music.   Instead, after graduation, he attended the University at Buffalo, majoring in pharmacy. He only attended from 1960 to 1961, and played trumpet in the university's concert band, and did not graduate.
     Despite being known for his powerful singing voice, Dio claimed never to have taken any vocal training. Rather, he attributed his singing ability to the use of correct breathing techniques learned while playing trumpet.
    Dio's musical career began in 1957 when several Cortland, New York musicians formed the band, The Vegas Kings. The group's lineup consisted of Dio on bass guitar, Billy DeWolfe on lead vocals, Nick Pantas on guitar, Tom Rogers on drums, and Jack Musci on saxophone.
    In 1958, the band again changed their name from Ronnie & The Rumblers to Ronnie and the Redcaps. Musci left the band in 1960, and a new guitarist, Dick Botoff, joined the lineup. The Redcaps released two singles: The first single was "Conquest"/"Lover" with the A-side being an instrumental reminiscent of The Ventures and the B-side featuring DeWolfe on lead vocals. The second single was "An Angel Is Missing"/"What'd I Say" which featured Dio on lead vocals for both tracks.
     Explanations vary for how Padavona adopted the stage name "Dio". One story is that Dio was a reference to mafia member Johnny Dio. Another has it that Padavona's grandmother said he had a gift from God and should be called "Dio". Whatever the inspiration, Padavona first used it on a recording in 1960, when he added it to the band's second release on Seneca. Soon after that the band modified their name to Ronnie Dio and the Prophets. The Prophets lineup lasted for several years, touring throughout the New York region and playing college fraternity parties. They produced one single for Atlantic and one album. Some of the singles (such as "Mr. Misery", released on Swan) were labeled as being by Ronnie Dio as a solo artist even if the rest of the Prophets contributed to the recording. The group released several singles during the following years, until early 1967. Dio continued to use his birth name on any songwriting credits on those releases.
    In late 1967 Ronnie Dio and the Prophets transformed into a new band called The Electric Elves and added a keyboard player. Following recovery from a deadly car accident in February 1968 (which killed guitarist Nick Pantas and put Dio and other band members in the hospital briefly), the group shortened its name to The Elves and used that name until mid 1972 when it released its first proper album under the name Elf. Over the next few years, the group went on to become a regular opening act for Deep Purple. Elf recorded three albums until the members' involvement recording the first Rainbow album in early 1975 resulted in Elf disbanding.
     Dio's vocals caught the ear of Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in the mid-1970s, who was planning on leaving then due to creative differences over the band's new direction. Blackmore invited Dio along with Gary Driscoll to record two songs in Tampa, Florida on December 12, 1974. Blackmore stated in 1983 that "I left Deep Purple because I'd met up with Ronnie Dio, and he was so easy to work with. He was originally just going to do one track of a solo LP, but we ended up doing the whole LP in three weeks, which I was very excited about."  Being satisfied with the results, Blackmore decided to recruit more of Elf's musicians and form his own band, primarily known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. They released the self-entitled debut album Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow in early 1975. After that, Dio recorded two studio albums ('Rising' and 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll') and one live album (On Stage) with Blackmore. During his tenure with Rainbow, Dio and Blackmore were the only constant members. Dio is credited on those albums for all lyrical authorship as well as collaboration with Blackmore on musical arrangement. Dio and Blackmore split with Blackmore taking the band in a more commercial direction, with Graham Bonnet on vocals and the album "Down to Earth".
      Dio left Rainbow in 1979 and soon joined Black Sabbath, replacing the fired Ozzy Osbourne. Dio met Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi by chance at The Rainbow on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 1979.  Both men were in similar situations, as Dio was seeking a new project and Iommi required a vocalist. Said Dio of the encounter, "It must have been fate, because we connected so instantly."  The pair kept in touch via telephone, until Dio arrived at Iommi's Los Angeles house for a relaxed, getting-to-know-you jam session. On that first day the duo wrote the song "Children Of The Sea" which would appear on the Heaven and Hell album, the first the band recorded with Dio as vocalist in 1980.
      The follow-up, Mob Rules, featured new drummer Vinny Appice. Personality conflicts began emerging within the band. "Ronnie came into the band and he was doing whatever we told him, basically because he wanted the gig. The next album was a little different," Iommi recalled.  In 1982, conflict arose over the mixing of the Live Evil album. Iommi asserted that the album's engineer began complaining to him that he would work all day long on a mix, only to have Dio return to the studio at night to "do his own mix" in which his vocals were more prominent.  Dio denied doing anything of the sort. The conflict led to Dio and Appice ultimately quitting the band later that year.
     In 1992, Dio briefly returned to Black Sabbath to record the Dehumanizer album. The album was a minor hit, reaching the Top 40 in the United Kingdom and #44 on the Billboard 200. The single "Time Machine" was featured in the movie Wayne's World, the tenth highest-grossing film of 1992. Soon Dio and Appice again left the band, citing an inability to work with Iommi and Butler.
     Wanting to continue together as a band, Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice formed Dio, the band, in 1982. On guitar played Vivian Campbell and on bass Jimmy Bain, the latter whom he had known since the old Rainbow days. Their debut album, 'Holy Diver', included the hit singles "Rainbow in the Dark" and the title track, "Holy Diver". That lineup recorded three albums, before the band changed members over the years and leaving Dio as the only original member. Except a few breaks, Dio, the band, was always touring or recording. They released ten albums, with Master of the Moon being the last one, recorded in 2004.
     In October 2006, it was confirmed that Dio would be joining Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice to tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, the title of the first Dio era Black Sabbath album. They chose the name Heaven & Hell as Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were still in Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne and felt it was best to use a different moniker for the Dio version of the band. Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was to be involved in this project, but he later withdrew.
     In 2008, the band completed a 98-date world tour. The band released one album under the Heaven & Hell name, The Devil You Know, to critical and commercial acclaim. They also had planned to release a follow-up in 2010.
     In 1974, Dio sang on the Roger Glover conducted and produced concept album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast. Along other guest-singers, the album featured Deep Purple alumni Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale. Dio provided vocals for the songs "Homeward", "Sitting in a Dream", and the UK single "Love is All".
      In 1980, Dio sang the tracks "To Live for the King" and "Mask of the Great Deceiver" on Kerry Livgren's solo album, Seeds of Change. Dio, who was between stints as singer for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and Black Sabbath, later proved somewhat controversial among Livgren's Christian fans, as Black Sabbath and Dio were then perceived as "satanic" by many Christians. Dio said in an interview that he did not consider the album to be a "Christian" album and had performed on it as a favor to Livgren.
      In 1985, Dio contributed to the metal world's answer to Band Aid and USA for Africa with the Hear 'n Aid project. With a heavy metal all-star ensemble which was the brainchild of his fellow Dio band mates Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain, he sang some of the vocals on the single "Stars" and an album full of songs from other artists given to charity.  The project raised $1 million within a year.
     In 1997, Dio made a cameo on Pat Boone's In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, an album of famous heavy metal songs played in big band style. Dio can be heard singing backup on Boone's take of "Holy Diver". In 1999, he was parodied in the TV show South Park, in the episode Hooked on Monkey Fonics, which he later went on to describe as "wonderful".
     In 1999, Dio participated in a significant Deep Purple project, Concerto for Group and Orchestra, where he recorded cover versions of Deep Purple songs, and reprised his songs from the earlier The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast album.

     Tenacious D included a tribute song entitled "Dio" that appeared on their self-titled album. The song explains how he has to "pass the torch" for a new generation. Reportedly, Dio approved of it, and had Tenacious D appear in his video "Push" from Killing the Dragon in 2002. He also appeared in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, playing himself.
      In 2005, Dio was revealed to be the voice behind Dr. X in Operation: Mindcrime II, the sequel to Queensrÿche's seminal concept album Operation: Mindcrime. His part was shown in a prerecorded video on the subsequent tour, and Ronnie appeared onstage to sing the part live on at least one occasion (both shown on the Mindcrime at the Moore DVD).

      On January 17, 2007, he was inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame at Guitar Center on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard.
      Dio is thanked in the end credits of the 2011 film Atlas Shrugged: Part I, due to his being "one of the people who kept the project alive."
      On November 25, 2009, Wendy announced that Dio had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was being treated at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, but that he would be back on stage when recovered.
      On May 4, 2010, Heaven & Hell announced they were canceling all summer dates as a result of Dio's ill health.  His last live performance was with Heaven & Hell on August 29, 2009, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

      Dio died at 7:45 am (CDT) on May 16, 2010, of metastasized stomach cancer, according to official sources.
      A public memorial service was held on May 30, 2010 at The Hall Of Liberty, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. The hall was filled to capacity, with more fans sitting outside the hall watching from a screen. Friends, family, and former and current band mates of Dio gave speeches and performed including Rudy Sarzo, Geoff Tate, John Payne, Glenn Hughes, Joey Belladonna, and Heaven & Hell keyboard player, Scott Warren. On the screen was an accompanying documentary covering Dio's career from his early days with Elf to his final project with Heaven & Hell. The Westboro Baptist Church held a small rally denouncing Dio as a Satan worshiper. Wendy Dio urged those attending the funeral to ignore the protest.

      Dio's career spanned over fifty years. During this period, and particularly in the 21st century, he received a number of distinctions and awards. He was inducted into the Cortland City Hall of Fame in 2004, and has a street named after him there called Dio Way. Classic Rock Magazine awarded Dio with the "Metal Guru Award" at their yearly "Roll Of Honour" awards ceremony in 2006. On January 17, 2007, Dio was inducted into Guitar Center's Rock Walk of Fame in Hollywood, CA. Dio was named "Best Metal Singer" at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in April 2010 for his work on The Devil You Know, making him the oldest recipient of this award at age 67. He accepted the award in person at what was to be his final public appearance, less than one month before his death.  The main stage of Bloodstock Open Air is also named after him in tribute after Heaven & Hell pulled out upon his death. Also the main stage on Masters of Rock festival carries his name since summer 2010. A Dio monument has been unveiled in Kavarna, Bulgaria. In Mexico the biggest metal fest was named "Hell and Heaven" in honor of Dio; the organization says that the festival was named that way since they had worked with Dio, referring to him as "the greatest singer and person we ever had worked with, a really humble person"
      Rolling Stone magazine eulogized Dio with these words: "It wasn't just his mighty pipes that made him Ronnie James Dio — it was his moral fervor...what always stood out was Dio's raging compassion for the lost rock & roll children in his audience. Dio never pretended to be one of the kids — he sang as an adult assuring us that we weren't alone in our suffering, and some day we might even be proud of conquering it".

      On July 10, 2011, in parallel to Dio's birthday, his home town of Cortland, New York, held a day-long event featuring many central New York local bands and talent for a benefit to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer foundation for cancer research and Dio Memorial concert. Part of the proceeds from the event went to fund a memorial music scholarship for the local city high-school in his name.
On March 31, 2014, the tribute album Ronnie James Dio This Is Your Life was released. It was organized and produced by Wendy Gaxiola, with album proceeds benefitting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.


REVIEW:
     On May 16, 2010 the world of Heavy Metal not only lost a legend and icon, but we also lost one of the kindness souls to ever walk the face of the Earth.  March 31, 2014 Ronnie's wife Wendy Galaxiola is celebrating his life and career with the most impressive gathering of musicians since her husband recorded "We Are Stars" by Hear 'N' Aid in 1985.  All proceeds from 'This is Your Life' will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.

     The tribute covers songs from Dio's solo career, Black Sabbath and Rainbow.  I have heard several people not necessarily complain but do not really like the flute solo Tenacious D has on their cover of "The Last In Line".  I did not have a problem with this at all.  In fact, I thought it was somewhat cool.  Personally if I had a problem with any of the songs on the tribute it was track thirteen titled, Ronnie Rising Medley ("A Light In The Black"/"Tarot Woman"/"Stargazer"/"Kill The King").  My problem is with Lars Ulrich's bass drum work.  Most of the double-bass drum work sounded way too reminiscent of the exact double-bass drum work he played on Metallica's "One".  The title track is a haunting ballad sang by Ronnie himself consisting of a grand piano and string arrangement.  It is eerie listening to this tribute and hearing Ronnie's vocals knowing it will be the last time you will ever hear him sing again.  Each band personally picked the songs they recorded showing that Ronnie's songwriting is timeless.  'This Is Your Life' is a tribute release for all Hard Rock/Metal fans!!!!!