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DIO

Current Members

Past Members

Biography

1983 to 1984

Ronnie James Dio is a man blessed of a quite awesome vocal talent and as such as remained at the very pinnacle of esteem bestowed upon him by the Rock community for three decades and counting. Dio has fronted some of the biggest names in the business most notably BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW with many citing both bands as enjoying renaissance periods whilst Dio was at the helm.

Dio has always imbued his projects with unfettered medieval romanticism with such familiar, some might say overly familiar, imagery such as dragons and rainbows. This trademark lyrical content has been delivered with a majestic vocal range and tone that has made Dio one of the true Rock greats.

Born of Italian descent as Ronald James Padovana in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the singer was raised through his early years in Cortland, New York. The first acts to feel the DIO touch were school outfits such as THE VEGAS KINGS in 1957, RONNIE AND THE RUMBLERS and RONNIE AND THE RED CAPS. These bands issued a stream of 7" singles. Having graduated, Ronnie assembled THE PROPHETS but in the Autumn of 1967 a fresh project, THE ELECTRIC ELVES (subsequently THE ELVES, then simply ELF) was forged as Dio broke away from the Rock n' Roll format and began his journey into the realms of Hard Rock. Somewhere in the mix of these formative acts, Padovana assumed the stagename Dio, less than humbly translated into Italian as "God". ELF's adopted Country, Blues flavoured Rock won favour with DEEP PURPLE's ROGER GLOVER and Ian Paice at a showcase gig for Columbia Records in January of 1972, the famous British band recognising Dio's talent and promptly securing a record deal for his band. Signed to DEEP PURPLE's own imprint Purple Records ELF, together with Glover and Paice acting as producers, entered Studio One in Atlanta, Georgia during April to lay down the opening album simply titled 'Elf'. Once again seeing ROGER GLOVER as producer the sophomore outing emerged as 'Carolina County Ball'. A third ELF album, 'Trying To Burn The Sun', was recorded before the close of the year.

Dio began to break into the big league supporting DEEP PURPLE and issuing consistently better albums. Dio's relationship with DEEP PURPLE guitarist RITCHIE BLACKMORE eventually resulted in Dio's all conquering stint with RAINBOW before an equally lucrative if fraught sojourn with the mighty BLACK SABBATH which included the titanic albums 'Heaven and Hell' and 'Mob Rules', both records indelibly stamped with Dio's quite staggering vision and succeeding in not only breathing new life into BLACK SABBATH but placing them firmly in renaissance. The BLACK SABBATH tenure was, however to disintegrate in a vicious public airing of grievances and vilifications.

Constructing his new solo vehicle in October of 1982, the singer, keeping his partnership with ex-BLACK SABBATH drummer Vinnie Appice intact, initially requested the services of erstwhile RAINBOW bassist Bob Daisley, although the four-stringer was then still contracted with Dio's arch rival OZZY OSBOURNE. An auditioning process held in London eventually pulled in hotshot Irishman, former SWEET SAVAGE guitarist VIVIAN CAMPBELL, suggested, along with the rising star of TYGERS OF PAN TANG and THIN LIZZY's JOHN SYKES, by another RAINBOW colleague, bassist Jimmy Bain.

Dio's inaugural post BLACK SABBATH outing the glorious 'Holy Diver' album, hewn out at Sound City studios in Los Angeles and surfacing in May 1983, was a sharp statement of intent and an album of such magnitude it succeeded in carrying many BLACK SABBATH fans along with the new project. Indeed, 'Holy Diver' would be seen by many as more of an example as to the natural evolvement of BLACK SABBATH had Dio stayed the course than BLACK SABBATH's own follow up 'Born Again'. As well as delivering an album of world class proportions, DIO also aided their cause enormously with an electrifying performance at the annual Donington 'Monster Of Rock' festival, ranked alongside headliners WHITESNAKE with ZZ TOP, MEAT LOAF, TWISTED SISTER and DIAMOND HEAD.

Prior to this European inauguration, DIO , the band had put in its first public performance on July 23rd 1983 at the Concert Barn in Antioch. The group then burned up the road throughout July opening for a flagging AEROSMITH. Back on US soil, DIO took out QUEENSRŸCHE and Y&T as support for nationwide dates that winter. So rabid was support for the band that October 5th and 7th sold out concerts in San Jose and Santa Monica, California spilled over into double headers as matinee performances were added to cope with ticket demand. With UK fans having put 'Holy Diver' into the upper reaches of the charts, a British tour, with WAYSTED as guests, was scheduled in for November, extending into Scandinavian and European legs. 1983 closed out with Dio, bolstered by Y&T and ROUGH CUTT, hitting North American stages again in December. On the road keyboards were supplied by ex-MAGIC and ROUGH CUTT member Claude Schnell. In his previous outfit Schnell had adopted the stage name of Claude Steel but reverted to his birth name for DIO.

These shows, illustrating a pattern throughout DIO's career, paid equal homage to Dio's liaisons with BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW as well as fresher material. These dates also gave an indication of future extravagances with a stage set of mountains based on the album cover. 'Holy Diver''s artwork, a chain-whip wielding demon lashing out at a drowning priest, certainly made a lasting impact. Also making an impression would be the sales figures for 'Holy Diver'. By the close of the year DIO had sold over one million copies of his debut in the USA.

During 1984 Ronnie James Dio also added backing vocals to the Australian act HEAVEN's 'Where Angels Fear To Tread' album although for contractual reasons the man was credited simply as "Evil Eyes".

The fans, the label and the band were keen for a quick-fire follow up and DIO delivered with 'The Last In Line', if anything seeing ambitions stretched even further into some epic subject matter, the second album witnessed new heady peaks in Dio's songwriting ability. The world tour found the band backed by an Egyptian theme echoing the album artwork.

DIO opened up their second world tour sandwiched between an eclectic cast of artists at the 'Pinkpop' festival in Geleen, Holland on June 11th 1984. The summer months were allocated for nationwide US touring, firstly packaged with WHITESNAKE and BLACK N' BLUE then headlining over TWISTED SISTER stretching through into August. Back on the European continent, DIO played the AC/DC topped German 'Monsters Of Rock' events before undertaking UK shows in September backed up again by QUEENSRŸCHE. Not only was this British run twice as long as the first trek, but DIO easily sold out a three night stand at London's Hammersmith Odeon. QUEENSRŸCHE remained running mates into Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Germany. A second US campaign in November would find DOKKEN as warm up band until the tour finale in January 1985.

1985 to 1987

Although 1985's 'Sacred Heart' gave DIO another hit album, it gave the band a second top five position in the UK and broke the top thirty in the USA, it was generally recognised that the songs were not up to the standard of its predecessors. The album was not the only project to occupy Ronnie James Dio though. Upon an initial idea suggested by Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell, the singer put his full weight and enthusiasm behind the HEAR N' AID Heavy Metal benefit for famine relief in Africa. The all-star cast Dio assembled at short notice on May 21st and 22nd at the A&M Records Studio in Hollywood, California to record the hit single 'Stars', ranged from JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, Geoff Tate of QUEENSRŸCHE, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray of IRON MAIDEN, Dave Meniketti of Y&TBLUE ÖYSTER CULT, DOKKEN, NEAL SCHON of JOURNEY, TED NUGENT, QUIET RIOT and TWISTED SISTER, made a colossal impression on the global Rock community and raised over $1 million.

A further successful tour ensued, complete with an 18 foot mechanical dragon and a pair of duelling knights, but all was not well within the confines of the band. The band kicked off with their first live appearance in Japan at the 'Super Rock' festival flanking FOREIGNER, MAMA'S BOYS, ROUGH CUTT, EARTHSHAKER and STING on August 10th. From there DIO launched straight into a four month sustained slog of US concerts, backed by fellow management stable act ROUGH CUTT. In December, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN took over the role of opener. European concerts found KEEL doing the guest honours.

Increasingly disgruntled with an ongoing internal power struggle between himself and Dio, guitarist VIVIAN CAMPBELL quit in May of 1986 to form a new, low key act TRINITY with bassist Davy Watson and drummer Pat Waller. He would not be out of the limelight long though and was to enjoy high profile stints in WHITESNAKE, RIVERDOGS, SHADOWKING with FOREIGNER vocalist LOU GRAMM and later DEF LEPPARD. (VIVIAN CAMPBELL released his debut solo album, 'Two Sides Of If', in September 2005.)

Craig Goldy, an associate of DIO's from his time in the Wendy Dio managed ROUGH CUTT, was recruited from DRIVER. Since leaving ROUGH CUTT the guitarist had been involved with GIUFFRIA's successful first album and subsequent tour. Locked into a gruelling seemingly endless touring situation the band, traversing the USA packaged with ACCEPT in the summer months, put forward the idea for a full blown DIO live album to keep the momentum flowing. DIO's American record company Warner Bros. rejected the plan flat and so a compromise was reached in the stop gap mini-album 'Intermission' featuring mainly live tracks bolstered by one new studio cut 'Time To Burn'. The group's third global excursion closed in Japan and Australia in September 1986.

With Goldy's recruitment, DIO seemingly appeared to be losing ground and creatively treading water. 'Dream Evil', released in August 1987, heralded Schnell's admission as a full time band member, the keyboard player appearing onstage for the first time rather than in the wings. Touring commenced with a showing at a Los Angeles 'Children of the night' charity event at Irvine Meadows Theatre on 1st August before a special guest appearance at the 'Monsters of Rock' festivals across Europe second on the bill to BON JOVI and bolstered by METALLICA, ANTHRAX, W.A.S.P. and CINDERELLA, reminding one and all that DIO was very much still a force to be reckoned with.

The lavish stage production for headline dates, in Spain supported by HELLOWEEN with WARLOCK taking over for the rest of the continent, had the singer battling with not only a dragon but a huge mechanical spider. The tour was not without incident though as in Europe the band's bus was involved in a multi vehicle pile up. In december the group trailed across the USA with MEGADETH and SAVATAGE in tow.

1988 to 1991

After the 'Dream Evil' world tour, the US package shows with MEGADETH and SAVATAGE having been wrapped up in March 1988, DIO effectively splintered. During July Bain stepped into the breach to aid CINDERELLA for their tour when Eric Brittingham had to attend to his new born baby. Dio himself engaged in a brief outside endeavour, acting as producer for Ann Boleyn's HELLION, gaining credits for the track 'Run For Your Life' on the 'Postcards From The Asylum' album. The singer would also find recognition from his hometown of Cortland, New York that same year as a street between Central Avenue and East Court Street was officially re-named 'Dio Way' on 15thn November.

The exiled Bain and Appice would forge a new muscular Metal act WWIII for one over the top album fronted by Mandy Lion with guitars from Tracy G. Following his CRAIG GOLDY'S RITUAL project album Goldy would found HARD LUCK in 1992 with ex-ALIEN, FOUR HORSEMEN and BONE ANGELS singer Frank Starr, guitarist Tim Propearcy, ex-KILLERWATT, STEVE JONES and BONE ANGELS bassist Terry Nails and drummer Mark Bistany.

July 1989 was to provide the announcement that Dio had found his replacement for Goldie in the form of the fresh faced 17 year old British guitarist Rowan Robertson. Dio had deferred for quite some time on Robertson, then a member of his own act SHOOT THE MOON, due to his tender years but eventually announced his recruitment.

Longstanding ally Appice departed just weeks before recording of a new album and in his stead came former TYTAN and AC/DC drummer Simon Wright. The same year DIO added New York based former HOTSHOT bassist Teddy Cook and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN colleague keyboard player Jens Johansson, the latter drafted after the parting of ways with Claude Schnell. DIO debuted his new look band at the small Oliver's Pub in New York in July 1989.

Supporting the 'Lock Up The Wolves' album, co-produced by Tony Platt, DIO gained the valuable guest spot on METALLICA's June 1990 European tour on a bill that also included WARRIOR SOUL and BONHAM prior to British headline shows with openers TROUBLE. Further US gigs saw DIO heading up a billing comprising YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and the Wendy Dio managed COLD SWEAT. On August 28th 1990 the vocalist's erstwhile BLACK SABBATH cohort bassist Geezer Butler appeared as a guest onstage at the Minneapolis Forum. It was a portent of what was to come. Fan support was seriously on the wane, as evidenced on this US tour by half filled venues and even cancelled shows due to slow ticket sales. On September 23rd at the 18,000 capacity Costa Mesas Pacific Amphitheater backed up by STRYPER, LOVE/HATE and COLD SWEAT the venue only received just under 4,000 fans. These figures would come back to haunt Dio in the not too distant future.

1991 saw Dio somewhat enevitably succumbing to the temptation of a BLACK SABBATH reunion. Once a free agent, Johansson found fresh employment with noted Finns STRATOVARIUS. During Dio's BLACK SABBATH interlude Wright joined UFO. Robertson formed the short-lived FREEDOM with LYNCH MOB vocalist Oni Logan and TRIANGLE drummer Jimmy Paxson. The guitarist would later be found with his own act VIOLET'S DEMISE before joining V.A.S.T. for their 'Music For The People' album. Teddy Cook joined CHINA RAIN before enlistment into the ranks of GREAT WHITE in 1992, VIRGIN STEELE, RONDINELLI and THE SIGN.

The resulting BLACK SABBATH album 'Dehumanizer' was a patchy affair with few songs making the grade achieved by the illustrious early eighties predecessors but the subsequent tour had both Dio and BLACK SABBATH back on track. Predictably it was to end on a sour note. BLACK SABBATH's management agreed to a brace of shows as guests to OZZY OSBOURNE. Playing second fiddle to Osbourne was anathema to Dio who promptly announced he would not undertake the shows. Dio remained steadfast in his refusal to perform the shows and the resulting stalemate forced his departure once more. SABBATH went ahead with the shows using the guest talents of former JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford.

1992 to 1996

The vocalist had soon re-founded DIO with Appice and Bain in November of 1992. The errant bassist was soon forced out again though. Unfounded rumours also suggested the singer was part of a project titled VIENNA involving guitarist STEVE VAI and veteran drummer COZY POWELL. If true, the act never materialised.

The 1993 album 'Strange Highways', recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles, found DOKKEN man Jeff Pilson on bass and Appice's ex-WWIII colleague guitarist Tracy G (real name Grijalva), briefly a former member of LOVE/HATE, in the fold. The Japanese version of the album featured an exclusive cut 'God Hates Heavy Metal'. Pilson had to opt out of touring as the reformed DOKKEN were getting into gear and Larry Dennison took the bass slot. However, with DOKKEN's fortunes as tumultuous as ever Pilson returned in November of 1994. Bassist Jerry Best, previously with LION and FREAK OF NATURE, joined DIO in August of 1995 for a little over a month but Pilson resumed the role.

For the 1996 DIO album 'Angry Machines' Dio utilised the on loan talents of Jeff Pilson guitarist Tracy G once more. Employed on keyboards was ex-KEEL man Scott Warren. (The album track 'Stay Out Of My Mind' would later resurface on Pilson's WAR AND PEACE 2001 album 'The Light At The End Of The World').

DIO, with Larry Dennison taking over on bass again, set about a mammoth world tour to revive the band's fortunes touring in America and Europe co-headlining with MOTÖRHEAD prior to American headliners with support from MY DYING BRIDE. Following these dates Warren hooked up with WARRANT for their American tour and would later session Pop Rockers BERLIN as an aside to DIO.

Appice and G undertook negotiations with the UFO pairing of vocalist PHIL MOGG and bassist PETE WAY to create a new version of UFO. Contractually the new act could not be titled UFO minus guitarist Michael Schenker so the legalities put paid to this venture.

1997 to 1998

The DIO triumvirate of Ronnie James Dio, Tracy G and Jeff Pilson made a rare and collective guest appearance in 1997, featuring on the 'Dreamcastle - Free World' album released by MUNETAKA HIGUCHI, drummer for veteran Japanese Heavy Metal band LOUDNESS. Released only in Japan, this guest involvement passed most fans by.

DIO delivered the double live album 'Dio's Inferno', the group's first real live representation making for an accurate snapshot of a live set seeing DIO tracks alongside RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH standards. DIO's 1997-98 tour promoting 'Dio's Inferno' hit problems with Appice soon being forced out through ill health, the drummer contracting pneumonia. KINGDOM COME and SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak took over the reins until Appice resumed fitness. In May of 1998 DIO embarked upon a nationwide headline set of dates supported by LOVE/HATE. However, just three dates into the trek, at San Francisco's Maritime Hall on the 22nd, Appice put in his last show. By the time DIO hit Las Vegas the following day Simon Wright was the man behind the drum kit. In late June DIO hooked up with IRON MAIDEN and DIRTY DEEDS for a Summer round of arena dates.

Returning to Europe the group headlined an extensive European schedule backed up by BLACK SYMPHONY and NARNIA. Pilson also made a return for the South American leg of the tour after which Dennison was back in position. Late 1998 found DIO opening for MOTÖRHEAD in Scandinavia backing up the release of a double live album. Unable to make these date due to prior commitments Dennison did not appear and in October the veteran ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, URIAH HEEP, RAINBOW and MOTHERS ARMY man Bob Daisley filled the gap. Vinnie Appice also left the fold to rejoin BLACK SABBATH then create his own HUNGER FARM and previous incumbent Simon Wright was re-enlisted.

1999 to 2007

During 1999 Craig Goldy made a return to the band in time for appearances at European festivals. DIO was then linked to speculations regarding a classic RAINBOW reunion apparently involving guitarist RITCHIE BLACKMORE, drummer COZY POWELL and Jimmy Bain. Despite Dio himself stating he would not be averse to such a move any such moves were crushed with the death of Powell in a car crash.

The millennium was rounded off nicely for Ronnie with the release of an album 'Holy Dio', a worthy collection of name acts offering tribute including YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, HAMMERFALL, STRATOVARIUS, etc. 2000 found DIO full steam ahead with the 'Magica' album, a sci-fi conceptual record cut at Total Access in Redondo Beach, that had many critics announcing a return to former glories. The album, originally set to be the first in a three part trilogy, climaxed with an 18 minute spoken narration by Ronnie. Both Bain and Wright returned to their former positions. DIO went back out onto the road on a strong double billing in Europe with DEEP PURPLE, these shows providing an opportunity to witness Dio with the headline acts bassist ROGER GLOVER performing a track from their 'Butterfly Ball' album. Joining the band for these dates was former L.A. GUNS and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES bassist Chuck Garrick. The new four stringer's stay was fleeting and he was soon back in Los Angeles with KILLOWATT.

In 2001 ex-DIO men Tracy G and Larry Dennison would re-emerge with his new project DRIVEN. This new unit, which released their debut in September, would see the involvement of vocalist Tim Saxton and pedigree drummer Mike Terrana of RAGE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and ARTENSION amongst others.

DIO, with Bain reinstated, joined forces with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and DORO for a November American tour prior to a guest slot in May opening for ALICE COOPER in the UK. European shows, billed as the 'Monsters Of The Millennium' festivals saw RATT included on the billing. Dates in South Africa would also be projected although with Goldy unable to make these shows former guitarist Rowan Robertson, currently a member of Pop Rock band AM RADIO, deputised for rehearsals. The gigs, planned for October, would be shelved after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

As 2002 broke it emerged that erstwhile LION, BAD MOON RISING and HOUSE OF LORDS guitarist DOUG ALDRICH had taken Goldy's place in time for recording of a fresh studio album 'Killing The Dragon'. The record debuted at number 199 on the Billboard album charts as DIO geared up for a high profile run of American arena dates packaged with SCORPIONS and DEEP PURPLE.

A lavish Bill Schacht directed video for the single 'Push' would include appearances from the unlikely TENACIOUS D duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. TENACIOUS D had already signalled their respect for the band with the inclusion of the track 'Dio' on their current album. The video concept, in which a multitude of special effects would be employed, involved pranksters TENACIOUS D jamming BLACK SABBATH's 'Heaven And Hell' as an intro. With interest in DIO at a renewed high Spitfire Records re-issued the 'Killing The Dragon' album in September containing two tracks 'Fever Dreams' and 'Rainbow In The Dark', both recorded live at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, Holland on the DIO/DEEP PURPLE Concerto tour and featuring guesting members of DEEP PURPLE.

DIO set out for a further round of successful North American headline dates throughout the winter supported by rising Swedish Metal revivalists HAMMERFALL and the esteemed KING'S X. As 2003 dawned DIO's debut DVD product, 'Dio's Evil Or Divine', recorded at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on December 13th 2002, was scheduled for April release. US dates commencing in July saw the band co-headlining a strong package tour allied with IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD.

In April Doug Aldrich relinquished his position in DIO to concentrate on WHITESNAKE, having joined that band for live work earlier in the year. A quick fire replacement would be announced as WARREN DEMARTINI of RATT and, ironically, a former WHITESNAKE player. However, this arrangement soon fell by the wayside and DIO re-instated Craig Goldy. Meantime, former DIO guitarist Tracy G was in the news with a multitude of musical projects, included amongst which were a new solo album, a third DRIVEN opus, the formation of his Heavy Blues group CURLY FESTER, a band union with ex-DIO drummer Vinnie Appice and the acoustic, all instrumental endeavour THE NOCTURNAL GARDEN.

Quite bizarrely, tales circulated in 2003 that Ronnie James Dio had severed his thumb in a gardening accident. Initially dismissed by many fans, it transpired the reports were true. The singer had cut off the end of his thumb when, quite surreally, a garden gnome he had been trying to place on a hill, fell over and crushed his hand against a rock. Some quick thinking and a dash to the hospital saved the thumb.

Rumours circulating in January of 2004 suggested that the DIO credited rhythm section of bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Vinnie Appice were assembling an all new band project with erstwhile QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo. By March, Bain was confirmed as having left the DIO ranks, substituted by a returning Jeff Pilson for recording. With the album complete, billed with the title 'Master Of The Moon', a sprawling set of global dates, commencing in the Russian capitol of Moscow on 16th July, was put in place with the QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE and OZZY OSBOURNE veteran Rudy Sarzo stepping in to handle bass. Unfortunately at a 26th August gig in Valencia, Spain, DIO's tour bus was broken into on and two of Sarzo's bass guitars were stolen.

DIO's August 2004 record 'Master Of The Moon' would be preceded by the Universal Records two disc compilation 'We Rock - Greatest Hits'. Also in the works would a line of Dio toy action figures. A US tour, allied with ANTHRAX and FIREBALL MINISTRY, commenced in September. 'Master Of The Moon' charted in Germany and Finland but, selling just over 3,300 units in the USA in its first week of sale, failed to crack the Billboard charts.

In early 2005 the DIO rhythm section of Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright were included on MICHAEL SCHENKER's covers album 'Heavy Hitters', featuring on a rendition of 'Blood Of The Sun'. The following April found the DIO credited rhythm section of Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice working up tracks for a new project dubbed 3 LEGGED DOGG, a union with ex-QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, singer Chas West of BONHAM and LYNCH MOB and Brian Young from the DAVID LEE ROTH band.

Japanese gigs for DIO in May saw SPIRITUAL BEGGARS as support act. Further tour work that year included a headline slot at the Dutch 'Waldrock' festival in June, appearances at the Italian 'Tradate Iron Fest', Finnish 'Sauna Open Air', Dutch 'Grasspop Metal Meeting', Greek 'Rockwave' event, a 15 date tour of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in September and a UK tour in October. A notable gig came on 29th October with a debut band appearance in Israel at the Hangar 11 venue in Tel Aviv.

Ronnie James Dio scored his first acting role in a movie, reprising his association with TENACIOUS D comedian Jack Black in a motion picture 'The Pick Of Destiny' based on the fictitious 'band'. Rare guest appearances saw Dio featuring on the 'Axes To Axes' debut solo album from TWISTED SISTER guitarist EDDIE OJEDA and on IAN GILLAN's anniversary album 'Gillan's Inn'. Another album with strong DIO connections emerged with San Diego Heavy Metal band BENEDICTUM's 'Uncreation' opus, not only produced by ex-DIO bassist Jeff Pilson bit also seeing both Craig Goldy and Jimmy Bain as studio guests as well as a cover version of BLACK SABBATH's 'The Mob Rules'.

On the DIO front, homage was paid to the landmark 1983 debut album by Rock Candy Records by way of a lavish re-issue on 30th September, which included additional audio commentary from Ronnie James Dio. To mark this event, the band proposed to perform 'Holy Diver' in its in full, recording and filming these shows in Russia for future release. However, Craig Goldy injured his arm during these eastern gigs and, although he soldiered on for further shows, he would be forced into recuperation. Enlisted as quick fire replacement to continue the tour would be the familiar face of Doug Aldrich. However, within days this position was made permanent.

Ronnie James Dio stunned BLACK SABBATH fans in mid October with a casual remark during a BBC Radio 2 "Masters of Rock" radio interview by stating "Tony Iommi and I are going to write a couple of tracks together for a project that I think is called 'Black Sabbath - The Dio Years'." Also revealed would be Dio's inclusion as the 'Dr. X' character on QUEENSRŸCHE's 'Operation Mindcrime II'.

A recuperated Craig Goldy returned to the fold in March and in April Eagle Rock Entertainment launched the DIO double concert recording 'Holy Diver Live', this capturing the band running through the entire first solo opus. That same month Ronnie James Dio travelled to the UK to engage in songwriting sessions with TONY IOMMI, but also dismissed any possibility of his involvement in any mooted RAINBOW reunion.

DIO's season of European festivals included shows at the 'Schwung' event in Belgium, 'Rock Hard' in Germany and the 'Arrow' festival in Holland. Celebrating 'Holy Diver' further. Leading US Metalcore band KILLSWITCH ENGAGE recorded an exclusive cover version of 'Holy Diver' for inclusion on UK magazine 'Kerrang!'s 25th anniversary issue cover mount CD, 'High Voltage', issued in May.

DIO hit South America during July, being notably joined onstage on July 15th at the Sao Paulo Credicard Hall by SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser for a run through of BLACK SABBATH's 'Mob Rules'. Ronnie James Dio appeared on stage with QUEENSRŸCHE on October 5th at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles to sing his part of Dr. X on 'Operation Mindcrime II'. Shortly afterward the DIO band set out to Scandinavia for a batch of live dates before the singer engaged in recording sessions for the new tracks incorporated in 'Black Sabbath - The Dio Years'.

The singer renewed his affiliation with comedian Jack Black with an acting appearance in the TENACIOUS D movie 'Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny'. Dio played himself, jumping out of a poster to offer the young Black advice. The singer also vocalised on the song 'Kickapoo' alongside MEAT LOAF.

DIO band members guitarist Craig Goldy, bassist Rudy Sarzo, drummer Simon Wright and keyboard player Scott Warren all featured on a metalized version of THE BEATLES 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' for the Restless Records tribute album 'Butchering The Beatles' released in October, this track also involving QUEENSRŸCHE band members GEOFF TATE and Michael Wilton.

As momentum picked up for the 'Black Sabbath - The Dio Years' compilation, it was announced that Dio, TONY IOMMI, Geezer Butler and DIO band members drummer Vinny Appice and keyboard player Scott Warren were to embark on a 2007 global touring cycle billed as HEAVEN AND HELL.

DIO the band embarked on a short run of European dates commencing on May 27th 2008, at the Academy in Birmingham, England. Interestingly this tour set list contained no BLACK SABBATH numbers. Ronnie James Dio then once again fronted HEAVEN AND HELL in what was undoubtedly the strongest Heavy Metal touring package in many years as HEAVEN AND HELL teamed up with JUDAS PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD, and TESTAMENT for a 16 date 'Metal Masters' US tour kicking off on August 6th.

The DIO band was resurrected once again for touring in late 2009 when HEAVEN AND HELL was forced out of action due to Tony Iommi requiring hand surgery.

Garry Sharpe-Young

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