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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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I love master of the moon. He's the bad guy that possessed my friend in Samurai Shodown the motion picture on youtube.
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nicko252008
Most underrated Dio album? I like master of the moon
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Nice
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R.I.P one of the gods of metal you mean so much man you helped me find the greatest thing ever \m/ METAL\m/
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rip dio
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Man 5 years ago today. Time sure does fly. R.I.P Dio.
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Today marks the day RJD died we love and miss you Ronnie <3 RIP 5/16/10 keep rock'n
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sacred heart again
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were off to the witch. The magic of elves.
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I love dio last in line is the bomb and dio is awesome live
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Sacred Heart live
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I love caught in the middle such an iconic son rock out Ronnie we love and miss you !!!!!!!!!!��
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Haohmaru of wind on youtube. For lots and lots of pics.
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I declare this week Dio Week!!
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One of metals true voices
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Hmmm god needed a singer..... rip MR Ronnie J. Dio. We shall miss u. Untill we meet again Brother
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The Zelda Master Sword is cool.
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God rest the king go warriors
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my dad might get me a gig bag and a sony rx 100 camera
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haohmaru of wind on youtube.
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master of the moon, master of doom.
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ImI
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bmeg93
How do I EXTRA thumbs up on Rainbow In The Dark? Such an awesome song!
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I got my bc rich warlock guitar and the punisher war zone sountrack.
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Rainbow In The Dark, Classic Dio,,,, Rip Dio! !Rock On Everyone
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Holly Diver,,, Classic Dio. RIP DIO! !Rock On Everyone
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nicko252008
RIP
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or elf
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jp is nothing like dio. We need Megadeth here.
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last in line
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swm4ubabe
Ronnie James Dio is the ultimate Rocker! Love all of his works.
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7 adnd comics and one deathlok 7.
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free comic book day today
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cob webs in your mind, jump to the wind.
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I can play rainbow in the dark on guitar with tabs.
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Rainbow In The Dark, , that's a true Classic Dio... RIP DIO we all miss u.... U r never forgotten an ur music lives on thru all of us true fans. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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alabastervil l i s 0
dio was one of the good ones
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RJD legend lives on.....
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A toast to the late RJD
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Ronnie James dio is the voice I love to hear
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Rock out with DIO !!!!!!!!
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miss ya ronnie
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Love Dio he was a dream to go see in concert but sadly was taken from his fans and family in 2010. We love and miss you Ronnie keep rock'n wherever you are. His music will live on \m/ !!!!!!!
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my dad is getting me a bruce lee poster next month
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happy 66th birthday to my mom.
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Sacred Heart, , great tune. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Rip Dio!!
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I'm gonna watch mad max on the 15th.
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Mob rules best ever dio kick a&@
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Breathless, , on an only Dio,,,, Rip Dio we all miss an luv u.. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Dio headbangers ball usa
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