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Thirty-five Years Ago Today: Dio avoids the “sophomore slump”

Dio Last in LineIn 1983, Ronnie James Dio released an epic debut album called Holy Diver. In 1984, he recorded with the same core lineup of Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, and Vinny Appice, adding keyboardist Claude Schnell to the mix, and unleashed The Last In Line. The album reached #23 on the Billboard 200 charts, and three singles—“Mystery,” “We Rock,” and the title track—received a lot of attention from rock radio stations in the United States. The album was certified platinum in 1987.

Campbell, Bain, Schnell, and Appice used the name of this album to form a new band in 2012, teaming up with vocalist Andrew Freeman to perform Dio classics and write new material. The group has released two albums so far, Heavy Crown in 2016 and II in 2019. Sadly, Bain passed away in 2016; Phil Soussan took over bass guitar duties.

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New Last in Line video released

Following the death of bassist Jimmy Bain, the band Last in Line paid tribute to their fallen comrade by releasing the video for “Starmaker” a week early. The band’s debut album Heavy Crown, is due to hit stores February 19, but can be pre-ordered now through Amazon.

Last in Line features guitarist Vivian Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice, and the late Jimmy Bain on bass, all of whom played in the original Dio band, and vocalist Andrew Freeman. Campbell also plays for Def Leppard; Appice is also in Resurrection Kings with another former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, Quiet Riot/Great White/Dokken bassist Sean McNabb, and vocalist Chas West; Bain has also played with Rainbow and Wild Horses.

Goodbye, Jimmy Bain

(December 19, 1947 – January 24, 2016)

Bass player for Rainbow, Dio, and most recently Last In Line, Jimmy Bain has passed away at the age of 68.

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Dio edition

Dio Ultimate

Ronnie James Dio’s voice was silenced five years ago, but his legacy lives on through the recordings made during his lifetime. His solo career followed stints in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Black Sabbath. It was very difficult to make this Ultimate Mixtape because there are so many great songs, but rules are rules.

  • Every studio album must be represented by one and only one song.
  • That song does not have to be an official “single” released by the band to promote said album.
  • Compilation albums can be included, but only songs that are new, previously unreleased, or remixed songs from prior albums are eligible for the list.
  • Live albums are a great way to sneak additional songs into the mix. Can you imagine a Dio Ultimate Mixtape without “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Holy Diver”? Me neither.

Click play on the YouTube video, review my list, make your own, and buy some Dio today.

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Dio edition

Of course, Ronnie James Dio did much more in his career than just Dio. He also sang with Elf, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and made several guest appearances on friends’ records. Below is just a small sampling of those projects. Explore more of Ronnie’s career at dio.net.


Bonus tracks:

What’s missing? What is on your Ultimate Mixtape: Dio edition that is not on mine?

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Various Hard Rockers (part 2)

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that were influenced Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Sharing their thoughts and memories of Ronnie James Dio in this clips:

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Various Hard Rockers (part 1)

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that were influenced by Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Sharing their thoughts and memories of Ronnie James Dio in this clips:

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Guitarist Robert Sarzo

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that played with Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Robert Sarzo played guitar for Hurricane. His brother, Rudy Sarzo, played bass on Dio’s 2006 Holy Diver: Live album.

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Guitarist Tracy G

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that played with Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Tracy G joined Dio in 1993. In his six years with the band, the guitarist was featured on two studio albums, (Strange Highways and Angry Machines), and one live album (Inferno: Last In Live).

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Bassist Chuck Garric

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that played with Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Chuck Garric is a bass player who toured with Dio in 1999 – 2000 in support of the Magica record. Chuck also co-wrote the song “Death By Love”, which appeared on the Dio record Master Of The Moon.

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Guitarist Rowan Robertson

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that played with Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Rowan Robertson was recruited to join the band Dio when he was only 17 years of age. The experience launched the young guitarist from obscurity to international fame nearly overnight. News that the band Dio had replaced departing guitarist Craig Goldy with an unusually young guitar player circulated in hard rock and heavy metal magazines such as Hit Parader, Rip, and Circus months before Robertson’s first and only album with the band, Lock Up the Wolves, was released.

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