Saturday, May 22, 2010

Farewell, Mr. Dio

Dio_EvilEye Last week, we lost Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010).  Perhaps best known for “Holy Diver” and for receiving a tribute on Tenacious D’s debut album (no, not that tribute), Dio was – while perhaps a little underrated – one of the last positively ridiculous metal vocalists of a bygone era.

After singing with Elf and Rainbow (two bands with the least metal names ever), Dio joined Black Sabbath following the departure of the Prince of Darkness.  He then went on to form the eponymous Dio and had a brief stint in the Black Sabbath reunion project Heavin & Hell. 

Dio’s most recent mainstream appearance was in Tenacious D’s movie The Pick of Destiny, which should tell you how far metal has fallen that the dude who helped popularize devil horns (Coven may have invented them) needed exposure from an ironic metal act.  But his influence should not be diminished.  In ten seconds of listening to Jack Black sing you can hear decades of Dio.

RIP, Mr. Dio.  You’ve earned it.  Now take us out.