Many of my friends discovered Black Sabbath with Ozzy as the lead vocalist. Not me, I actually got in to Sabbath through listening to the Mob Rules album. That is why I will always associate Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio. To me, “Neon Nights” is one of my favorite Sabbath songs ever.
I later ended up seeing the video “Last In Line” on MuchMusic around 1985, and that clinched my love for everything that was Dio. The man also had a talent for finding the most amazing guitarists from Vivian Campbell, Rowen Roberston, to Craig Goldy. The 80′s Dio catalogue is essential listening for any self respecting metal head.
What I also loved about Ronnie the most, was his passion for all that is heavy metal. In a world where people like Ozzy Osbourne, Nikki Sixx, and Burton C Bell run up and down claiming they were never “metal”, and try to disassociate themselves from that tag, Ronnie embraced it. If you read any of Dio’s past interviews, he always said he was a heavy metal vocalist above everything else.
Ronnie will never be forgotten, his memory will live on through his rich back catalogue (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell). The metal horns have been raised today.