|Ronnie James Dio||vocals|
Between Rainbow and Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio considered to put his own band together, but before he could get a record deal or even a band together, he got a call from Tony Iommi asking Dio to put a band together with him, as he was very unhappy with Black Sabbath's then-singer Ozzy Osbourne. Dio supposedly talked a few times with Iommi about the band and after they finally decided to put a band together, he didn't heard anything from Iommi any more. At that point Dio decided to move from New York to Los Angeles, as he disliked New York very much.
In Los Angeles Dio was contacted by Tony Iommi again when Iommi invited Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne. Dio got invited to Iommi's home in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. During the night he spent there, he wrote Children Of The Sea with Black Sabbath and got the singer spot in the band right away. The band went to Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Florida, as well as to Studio Ferber in Paris, France with producer Martin Birch, to record Heaven And Hell.
It is rumored that when the band started writing material for Heaven And Hell album, the bassist would've been Craig Gruber, previously from Elf and Rainbow, but this has not been confirmed. Gruber himself claims that he has played bass on all of the tracks on Heaven And Hell, and written most of those songs. The band would've been called Sabbath at this point, but when Geezer Butler rejoined the band, its name changed back to Black Sabbath. This has only been rumored, no official words about this has been said.
Recording of Heaven And Hell became rather difficult, as Black Sabbath's management wanted Black Sabbath to continue their final ten year tour to go ahead. Tony Iommi refused to do it and management therefore stopped to help Black Sabbath's recording process.
Heaven And Hell was received really well by both critics and the fans, as it sold really well. Black Sabbath was even invited to play at the Top Of The Pops show on British TV'. The band didn't play on it though, but they used video of two Black Sabbath songs (Neon Knights and Die Young) filmed at The Roxy, Harlesdon (probably in the UK). Some sources suggest that these videos would've been filmed in London, but it has not been confirmed.
Around June, 1980, when the band were looking for Heaven And Hell at some magazine's charts, they suddenly noticed a Black Sabbath album called "Live At Last" in the charts too. The band was not told about it previously - Black Sabbath had given the rights for the material several years before.
|Ronnie James Dio||vocals|
After Black Sabbath had lost their drummer, Bill Ward, they started to audition a number of drummers and found all of them unsuitable. Supposedly someone gave a demo tape with Vinny Appice to Tony Iommi who listened the tape and called to Ronnie James Dio immediately and recommended Vinny Appice to him. Appice was auditioned and invited to join the band.
Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult decided to do a tour together in the USA in the fall of 1980. Both of the bands played as the main band of the shows, Black Sabbath on every second night and Blue Oyster Cult on every other night. At least some of the shows included other bands too. The tour was called as 'Black & Blue' US tour.
On October 9th, 1980 at Mecca Arena in Milwaukee the Black & Blue show produced a riot. The riot started when Black Sabbath ended their show in the middle when someone threw a beer bottle in Geezer Butler's face. Eight policemen, several fans and Geezer Butler were injured and 160 people were arrested in the riot, which required police forces from all over the city before it was under control. The Mecca Arena was destroyed rather badly.
When the Heaven And Hell tour was finished, Black Sabbath went to record a new album called Mob Rules to Record Plant studios in Los Angeles, USA, with producer Martin Birch again.
In 1982 Dio left Black Sabbath with the drummer Vinny Appice. After the split there was a huge amount of press releases and interviews from Black Sabbath where both Geezer and Tony Iommi accused Ronnie and Vinny for sneaking into the studios during nights to mix bass and especially guitar volume lower and to mix up vocals and drums on the Live Evil album. Later, rather quietly, Tony Iommi said that he was wrong with his accusations. Live Evil was produced by Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.
Ronnie and Vinny didn't like those accusations and decided to leave together and form Dio (the band). This happened in October 1982. There were other reasons behind the split too, like the way how Tony and Geezer left the concert venues right after the show without meeting the fans backstage etc. Tony and Geezer mixed the rest of the Live Evil album themselves.
The reason for Iommi's beliefs was the fact that he and Geezer couldn't ever appear at the studios at the same time with Ronnie and Vinny. So either of those parties didn't know too well what the others were doing.
|Ronnie James Dio||vocals|
After Ronnie James Dio rejoined Black Sabbath, he set up a temporary residence just outside Birmingham, UK, as the band started to write the forthcoming album. It was titled as Heaven And Hell II in the beginning but the name was only a working title. At this point the band said in various interviews that this is meant to be only one- album-one-tour reunion and Ronnie James Dio would return to Dio after that.
After Powell met the accident with his horse, the band started to look for a new drummer. Dio wanted to bring Simon Wright to Black Sabbath, but the rest of the band considered Wright's style too Ac/Dcish. The band also considered getting a new keyboardist, as they asked Jens Johansson to play the keyboards - they even flew him to Los Angeles for audition - but Johansson said no, because he'd have had to play off-stage at concerts.
|Ronnie James Dio||vocals|
After Vinny Appice joined the band, Black Sabbath went to record Dehumanizer album to Wales, to Rockfield Studios with producer Rheingold "Mack" Mack. The album was released on June 23rd, 1992. Before this, Black Sabbath had recorded one track, Time Machine, for a movie called Wayne's World. Time Machine was recorded at Ridge Farm Studios, Surrey, UK with producer Max Norman. Dehumanizer has sold world-wide about 500 000 - 600 000 copies before summer of 1995.
Originally, before the Dehumanizer album was released, the reunited Black Sabbath was meant to be one-album-one-tour thing and nothing more. But around the release of Dehumanizer album, Black Sabbath members started to consider whether they would continue together - the word said that time that if Dehumanizer does well, Dio will continue in Sabbath. No official word was said about this, though.
However, quite soon after the Dehumanizer tour had started, it came apparent that there still were some problems. Ronnie and Vinny always were in the other end of the tour bus than Tony and Geezer. Those two parties didn't spend too much time together at all, and Tony and Geezer still disappeared right after the shows - sometimes only to the tour bus behind the venue, just to wait until Ronnie and Vinny would come. Ronnie and Vinny usually spent a couple of hours backstage with their fans.
When Ozzy invited Black Sabbath to open his "last" two shows, Ronnie decided that he will not do those shows. He didn't want to open to anyone, let alone Ozzy Osbourne, one of the original Black Sabbath members. He announced to Black Sabbath that they're free to do anything they want, but he will quit from Black Sabbath just before those two shows in Costa Mesa. Incidentally, the original contract Ronnie had made with Black Sabbath, was valid until November 13th, 1992 and those two Costa Mesa shows were scheduled to November 14th and 15th.
Those Costa Mesa shows were only the final nail for Ronnie's quitting from Black Sabbath. According to Ronnie himself, the fact that the band athmosphere hadn't changed in the 10 years was much more important reason for his quitting.
However, times do change, and in 2006 a new chapter in Ronnie James Dio fronted Black Sabbath saw the light. However, this time it was under name Heaven And Hell.
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
The page has been updated on 12.11.2009
Biography URL: http://www.dio.net/biography/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.