Decades worth of the late Ronnie James Dio’s musical contributions unquestionably will live on forever. And soon, San Antonians will be able to join fans worldwide in adding previously unreleased Dio music to their collection, along with merchandise available for a good cause.
Dio, the iconic singer of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell and his solo band who lost his battle with stomach cancer on May 16 at age 67, last played San Antonio on Aug. 24, 2008, when Heaven & Hell joined Motorhead and Testament in opening for Judas Priest on the Metal Masters tour at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
On Nov. 9 and Nov. 23, more Dio recordings will be made available by Niji Entertainment Group, which was formed earlier this year by Dio and his wife/manager Wendy.
The Nov. 9 release is Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987. The 1983 disc was recorded on Dio’s first solo tour, in support of Holy Diver. The 1987 disc was in support of Dream Evil, featuring Craig Goldy’s debut on guitar. Both sets include songs spanning Dio’s entire career. The discs will be released as a deluxe digipak that includes a booklet of photographs and liner notes, plus original replicas of all-access laminates.
On Nov. 23, two more releases will be available: Bitten By The Beast, performed by David “Rock” Feinstein, is a nine-song offering that includes the anthemic and defiant track Metal Will Never Die with Dio on vocals. Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Feinstein not only was a member of Elf and still is the leader of New York band The Rods — he is also Dio’s cousin.
“I feel like it was meant for me to write Metal Will Never Die,” Feinstein said in a statement. “And it was meant to be that Ronnie James Dio should sing it! Whatever power it was that brought the two of us back together musically, I am so thankful for. Now, Metal Will Never Die means more to me than any other song that I have written in my whole career as a songwriter and musician. I can’t wait for the world to hear it!”
Having received an advance copy of Bitten By The Beast, thanks to the good folks at Chipster PR, initial impressions are that it’s a hard-hitting, guitar-driven CD that rocks throughout and will pleasantly surprise those not familiar with Feinstein’s work. Metal Will Never Die, one of the last recorded Dio songs, is the slowest of the nine tunes, with vocals majestically lending further proof to Dio’s reign as one of metal’s all-time talented and influential singers.
Also on Nov. 23, a deluxe limited edition picture disc of Holy Diver will be made available.
Dio’s forthcoming releases aren’t relegated to music, however. Fans can purchase a “Rock Iconz” statue of the vocalist that is currently available for pre-order for $115 at KnuckleBonz.com. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Only 3,000 of the figures have been made.
Dio releases slated for 2011 include:
- For The Record: The Complete Dio Vinyl Collection: The box set will feature 16 LPs in a deluxe carrying case.
- “Super Rock Japan 1985:” Concert footage previously only available on VHS will be released on DVD.
- A bootleg box set featuring previously unreleased soundboard and audience recordings.
- All four Rainbow Dio-era LPs
- All three Elf LPs
Dio is credited with “inventing” the heavy metal horns insignia, and his imprint in the industry influenced thousands of fans, bands and friends. Forty such musicians took part in the Dio-led 1985 project Hear N’ Aid that performed the song/video Stars, proceeds of which went to fight hunger in third-world countries.
Visit the links below to read memories of Dio some of those musicians shared with me recently.
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