Dio Biography, Discography.

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Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Year of birth: 1983
Country: Great Britain
Views: 5853. Updated: 09 June, 2005 by Project Moderators

Biography of Band

October 1982-May 1983:
Right after Dio and Appice had quit Black Sabbath, they formed their own band, titled Dio already from the beginning. Despite the name, the band was not meant to be Ronnie James Dio's solo project, but a whole band.

They travelled together to England to search guitarist and bassist for the band. After three days of wandering around the clubs, Dio remembered Jimmy Bain from his Rainbow days, got in touch with him and asked him to join Dio. Bain agreed to join and the band kept on searching a guitar player. Dio wanted a British guitarist and Bain recommended two to Dio; namely John Sykes, ex Tygers Of Pan Tang and Vivian Campbell. Dio listened some tracks recorded by those guitarists and became interested in Campbell. They arranged a rehearsal room at a place called John Henry's and recorded Holy Diver and Don't Talk To Strangers with Campbell. Dio and Appice took the tape, listened it through, and invited Vivian Campbell the next day to the band.

The band started to work on their debut album. Before starting to work on the album, Ronnie James Dio supposedly spent a week in a small town called Plint in Cornwall, UK, and visited several times an old castle there inspirating himself to the athmosphere which Holy Diver eventually had.

The album was recorded at the Sound City studios in Los Angeles. Before touring for the album, the band wanted to get a keyboard player and started to search for one - on the album keyboards were played by both Ronnie James Dio and Jimmy Bain.

Of the songs on the Holy Diver, apparently the song Don't Talk To Strangers was originally made by Sweet Savage with a different name and different lyrics. The album was named as Holy Diver, and it sold platinum in the USA.

May 1983-March 1986:
Dio originally hired their keyboardist only for the Holy Diver tour, but in the end he stayed as a permanent member in the band. He played off-stage on both Holy Diver and The Last In Line tours, but was let to appear on stage on Sacred Heart tour.

After the Holy Diver tour was completed, Dio returned back to studios to record a new album. It was titled as The Last In Line and after its release in July 1984, it has sold platinum in the USA.

Dio's tours always featured big stage shows. On Holy Diver tour they had mountains from Holy Diver album cover on stage, as well as a tunnel in the middle. On The Last In Line tour they had Egyptian theme on the stage, as well as had pyrotechnics. Sacred Heart tour featured a huge castle and a 18-foot tall fire-breathing dragon called Denzil - he was first called Dean - as well as two 8-foot tall armored knights battling with laser swords. This stage set was one of the biggest tour stage sets ever, apparently only Pink Floyd had had a bigger stage set on their tour. The stage show costed supposedly US$250 000 to build and transfer around.

In March 1986, two months after completing the North American leg of the Sacred Heart tour and one month before the European leg started, Vivian Campbell left the band. He was fired because of the musical disagreements. In various interviews, various Dio members have also said Campbell assumed that Dio's popularity was only because of him, but this has not been confirmed.

Dio was invited to play again at the Top Of The Pops show in British TV - the previous time was with Black Sabbath in 1980 - because Rock 'N' Roll Children song did so well. However, Dio refused to play there because they didn't consider themselves as a Top Of The Pops type band.

March 1986-1988:
Shortly after Vivian Campbell left the band, new guitarist was chosen. The band started the Sacred Heart European tour soon after that.

Dio wanted to release a double live album from the Sacred Heart tour but it was rejected by the record company, which thought that the double album wouldn't sell well enough. Eventually Dio managed to get permission to do a live minialbum with one new studio track on it. Ronnie James Dio was so disappointed with it that he wanted it to be called Intermission.

Ronnie James Dio started to work on Dream Evil album with Craig Goldie in December 1986. The whole band started training in January 1987 and went to record the album in Village Recorder studios in Los Angeles around March 1987. The album was finished in May 1987.

The Dream Evil world tour began in Irvine, California with a Children Of The Night charity concert. The band then moved to Europe, where their tour began with an accident before the very first concert. When the roadies were unloading the band stuff from the aeroplane at Helsinki Airport before Dio show in Hameenlinna, Finland, they dropped a US$100 000 synthesizer to the ground and broke it. The band played a secret rehearsal concert at the House of Culture in Helsinki a day before the actual concert - apparently there was no audience in the show.

The Dream Evil tour's first European leg met other accidents too, for example when the band was on their way to Nurnberg Monsters Of Rock show, their truck broke on the highway in Germany. After the driver had left it to get help, 7 cars smashed into it and caused considerable damage to the instruments and backline - they had to borrow even drum sticks from Helloween to play the Nurnberg show.

Dio's Dream Evil tour's second European leg (first leg consisted only of outdoor shows) as well as the US tour featured even bigger stage show than Sacred Heart, which had won "Show Of The Year" rewards both in 1985 and 1986. This time there were big stainless steel spider, knights and big pyrotechnics on stage. Some shows might also have featured a firebreathing dragon. Between the two European tours Dio apparently played in China with Yngwie Malmsteen, George Duke and James Brown with a couple of Russian bands, on a project called Shanghai-Aid. The goal of the project was to raise funds for victims of nature phenomenons.

1988-June 18th, 1989:
Dio searched for a new guitarist for a long time and received approximately 5000 demo tapes. After listening through them they auditioned about 20 people - 10 from Los Angeles - and Rowan Robertson was considered clearly best one of those. However, Dio was uncertain about Robertson because of his age. In the end they decided to take him though.

As both Bain and Schnell quit the band, Dio started to search for a new bassist and keyboardist.

August 1989-December 1989:
Jens Johansson and Teddy Cook replaced old Dio members in August-September, 1989 and Dio continued working on the new material and prepared for the studios. On December 28th, Vinny Appice left the band and Dio started to look for a new drummer.

January 1990-Early 1991:
Around January 20th, 1990, the band went to record the forthcoming album to Granny's House studios in Reno, Nevada, USA with producer Tony Platt (previously worked for example with Ac/Dc). After recordings the album was mixed at Battery Studios in London, UK.

The album was originally scheduled to be released in mid May, 1990, but it's release date was changed to about week earlier, i.e. to May 7th. According to various interviews in metal magazines in the spring of 1990, the band recorded 12 songs for the album, but one of them was eventually not included on it. The remaining one was called Hell Wouldn't Take Her. They also had a song called There's A River Between Us, but it was dropped already in rehearsals.

They released also guitar transcriptions with notes and tablature for the Lock Up The Wolves album (Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, HL00660175, USA, 1990).

After releasing the Lock Up The Wolves album, Dio started their European tour as the warming up act for Metallica. There were two other bands, Bonham and Warrior Soul, playing at least at some of the dates, too. Dio warmed up Metallica in Central Europe and had their own tour in UK after that with Trouble as the warming-up ba

nd for them. This tour featured a small stage set, just something from the album sleeve (the bones) as well as some pyrotechnics.

On the US tour, called Throw 'em To The Wolves Tour 1990, they had much bigger pyrotechnics, as well as bit different kind of stage set too. Pyrotechnics caused some problems with safety, and on August 5th, 1990 in Providence pyros in Jens Johansson's keyboards blew on Johansson's face knocking him out for a while.

One show on Lock Up The Wolves tour became more important than the others, if the future of Dio is considered. In Minneapolis on August 28th, 1990, Geezer Butler joined Dio on stage and played Neon Knights with them.

Geezer Butler had heard that Dio will play in Minneapolis and called Wendy Dio to ask whether he could come to see the show. Ronnie James Dio told Butler that if he was going to come to the show, he must play a song on stage with Dio. So, he decided to come, but when he travelled by plane to Minneapolis, his bass got lost and he had to borrow a bass from Dio.

After the show he and Ronnie went to drink a few beers together and they both noticed that they consider Black Sabbath ended too soon in 1982. Geezer Butler had joined Black Sabbath just a little time before and they decided to call Tony Iommi and ask whether he would be interested in the reunion. Iommi was interested in the idea right away and Ronnie James Dio decided to try it with Black Sabbath once more.

In late 1990 some metal magazines stated that although there are some Black Sabbath reunion plans, Ronnie James Dio is nevertheless currently writing material with Rowan Robertson and Jens Johansson for the next Dio album, which would be due to go into production in January or February 1991, with a tentative release date in May 1991.

In early 1991, Dio the band was put "in ice" as the Black Sabbath reunion was announced. According to various metal magazines, the band was supposed to continue after Black Sabbath reunion had ended - at this time the Black Sabbath reunion was mentioned to last only for one album and world tour after that. Dio members went to separate directions to work on their own projects as Ronnie James Dio left to Sabbath.

November 1992-March 1993:
Right after Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice had left Black Sabbath, they reformed Dio and invited Jimmy Bain to the band. They placed an ad at least to Los Angeles Times where they announced that Dio is looking for a new guitarist.

However, in March 1993, Jimmy Bain was fired from the band by Ronnie James Dio and the band started to look for a new bassist.

March 1993-Summer 1993:
After firing Jimmy Bain, Dio started to look for a new bassist. He called to his friend, Jeff Pilson, to ask whether he knew any bass players who might be interested in joining Dio. Pilson said that he knew only one, namely Jeff Pilson. However, as Pilson was supposed to re-unite Dokken again, Dio was uncertain whether he should take him or not. When Pilson assured Ronnie James Dio that he will not leave Dio for Dokken after the album recordings, Pilson joined the band.
Dio continued the search for a new guitarist.

Summer 1993-November 1993:
After Tracy G joined the band, Dio went to the Rumbo Studios in Los Angeles with producer Mike Fraser, known from Coverdale/Page etc, to record Strange Highways. The album was released in different times in Europe, Japan and Northern America. The reason for this was Dio's tour plans - he originally planned to tour in Europe right after the album was released there, then in April 1994 to South America, after that to Japan and finally in North America.

The European tour went as planned, but as there was a big earthquake in Los Angeles on January 17th, 1994 at 4.30am, they had to cancel the Japan tour (no dates were scheduled yet) and postpone the North American tour. No-one from Dio was hurt in the earthquake, but Appice's and Tracy G's houses got destroyed rather badly - Ronnie James Dio's house got only little damage.

Dio originally planned Evilution to be released as a normal single and video, but in the end they released only a promo CD single of it to US radio. It is unknown why the plans of other formats didn't became reality - the video was even shot at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on December 12th, 1993. There are some rumors claiming that the Evilution video would've been shown once on US TV, but those rumors haven't yet been confirmed.

November 1993-Late 1994:
Before starting Strange Highways tour, Dio wanted to get a keyboardist to play keyboards on the tour. Wendy Dio, Dio's manager, called Jens Johansson and asked whether he would be interested, but Johansson had to say no, because he'd have had to play off-stage. In the end Dio chose Scott Warren of Warrant to play the keyboards. The band toured in Europe and North America until November 1994. During the US tour Vinny Appice did some drum clinic shows - or at least one, on September 17th, 1994 in New Britain, USA, before the Dio concert in the evening at The Sting in the same city.

From early Summer 1994 until early Autumn 1994 there were rumors about a project called Vienna, which would've featured Ronnie James Dio, Steve Vai and Cozy Powell. The project was supposed to have an album out called "The Master". Those rumors were not confirmed and nothing about the project has been mentioned ever since. Ozzy Osbourne was working with Cozy Powell at the time and press may've confused that project with Ronnie James Dio.

After the US tour ended on November 2nd, 1994, Jeff Pilson re-joined Dokken. He was supposed to return to Dio, but eventually he continued in Dokken and Dio started to look for a new bassist. Jeff offered to help Dio in studios for the next album, though.

In February 1995 there were some rumors about Dio looking for a new guitarist, too, but they proved to be unfounded as Tracy G is still in the band. In late May Dio left from Reprise record company and started to look for a new record deal. At least BMG has been interested in them, as well as some new record company owned by some Dio fan.

In the summer of 1995 Dio started to work on a new album, which is stated to be released in December 1995 or January 1996. Some tour plans have also been published, and according to them the band will start touring in October in South America, then return to finish the album and after that continue touring. Some plans have been mentioned about a possible show in Frankfurt, Germany on September 9th, 1995, but it hasn't yet been confirmed.

In early August there were rumors about Vinny Appice helping Black Sabbath to finish their US tour after Cozy Powell left them on August 3rd, 1995. The rumors started when Black Sabbath's singer Tony Martin had stated that Vinny Appice was listening Black Sabbath's concert at Pacific Amphitheatre, Los Angeles on August 3rd, 1995. He told about Powell's leaving at the same show, and some people interpret it that Vinny Appice will play drums until the end of the Black Sabbath's US tour. This was incorrect, however.

August 1995-May 1996:
Dio officially confirmed Jerry Best as their new bass player in mid August 1995. With the new member in the band they continue working with the forthcoming album. The band did also a five-day South American tour in late 1995.

May, 1996-November 1996:
Jeff Pilson returned back to the band for the album recordings. The band recorded the album at Total Access studios in Redondo Beach, CA, USA. After having other producers on the previous two Dio albums, Ronnie James Dio produced the 1996 album, titled as Angry Machines. Angry Machines was first estimated to be released in April, but eventually the release date was postponed to September 23rd in Europe and Japan. US release was scheduled to October 15th.

In early summer Dio fan club sent a newsletter announcing track listing for the Angry Machines album. The listing had a track "God Hates Heavy Metal" but the actual European and US releases didn't include it. However, there was one

previously not mentioned track on the album, namely "Hunter Of The Heart". "God Hates Heavy Metal" appeared on the Japanese release as a bonus track.

Dio announced their new European record company in August - CBH Records and Steamhammer, a divison of SPV GmbH. US record company was announced a little bit later on in August, it is Futurist. Futurist exists on the Internet, too, at address http://www.earthlink.net/~flg/

In early September rumors about co-headlining Dio and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow tours, with Great White or Pist-On as warming-up act emerged. Those rumors floated around and were finally confirmed by Dio's US record company and several other reputable sources. However, in late September, the co-headlining tour plans were dropped because of Ritchie Blackmore wanting to go studios to record an album with his partner Candice.

During the summer and fall of 1996, both Tracy G and Vinny Appice appeared on the Internet. Their web pages can be found from the following addresses: Vinny Appice: http://www.pacificnet.net/~viper1/ and Tracy G: http://members.aol.com/tracyg96/tracyg.html.

In mid September Ronnie James Dio did a promotion tour of his album in Europe. He appeared at least in Stockholm, Sweden on September 16th.

Dio was planned to appear at Foundations Forum/FMusicfest in Los Angeles, USA in early October. However, some magazines announced that Ronnie had some minor oral surgery and was unable to do the show. In October Dio planned to start their European tour on January 15th, possibly with Motörhead and some shows with Manowar. Eventually the European tour became two tours, one in December in Germany and Austria with Motorhead, and another in February-March, covering many different European countries.

November 1996-February 5th 1997, February 7th, 1997:
Because Jeff Pilson was unable to tour with Dio because of his Dokken project, Dio hired a new bassist, Larry "Bones" Dennison, for the Angry Machines tour.

February 2nd, February 10th-February 16th, 1997:
After the first European tour, Dio's drummer Vinny Appice got pneumonia and was hospitalized for a little while. Because of this, the early part of the second US leg of the Angry Machines tour had to be cancelled and then rescheduled. Vinny was still recovering from the pneumonia when the rescheduled tour was about to start, and he was replaced by James Kottak for seven concerts - for the second US leg except one show.

February 20th, 1997-November, 1997:
Vinny recovered from his pneumonia by the start of the European tour and returned behind his drum kit. The band toured in Europe for a month before returning to tour in the USA.

November 15th, 1997-November 22nd, 1997:
Jeff Pilson replaced Larry Dennison for the South American leg of Angry Machines tour.

January 2002-April 2003:
While recording the forthcoming Dio album, guitarist Craig Goldie and Dio parted ways and new guitarist, Doug Aldrich, stepped in.

April 2003:
Doug Aldrich decided to join Whitesnake for their tour and possibly for an album as well. Doug started the Whitesnake tour already in early 2003, but around the end of April or early May rumors of his departure from Dio started to appear.

Warren DeMartini from Ratt announced that he will do a tour together with Dio. This was later on confirmed on Dio's official web pages. However, on May 23rd, Dio's ex-guitarist Craig Goldie was confirmed to have rejoined the band for the tour.

Members of Dio

Current Members:
Ronnie James Dio (Founder). In Band at: 1982 - . Role: vocals
Side projects: Black Sabbath
Craig Goldy. In Band at: 1986 - . Role: Guitars
Rudy Sarzo. In Band at: 2004 - . Role: Bass
Simon Wright. In Band at: 1990 - . Role: Drums
Scott Warren. In Band at: 1993 - . Role: Keyboards
Past Members:
Vivian Campbell. Period: 1982 - 1986. Role: Guitars
Rowan Robertson. Period: 1988 - 1991. Role: Guitars
Tracy Grijalva. Period: 1993 - 1999. Role: Guitars
Doug Aldritch. Period: 2002 - 2003. Role: Guitars
Side projects: Whitesnake
Warren DeMartini. Period: 2003 - 2003. Role: Guitars
Jimmy Bain. Period: 1982 - 2004. Role: Bass, Keyboards
Teddy Cook. Period: 1989 - 1991. Role: Bass
Jeff Pilson. Period: 1993 - 2004. Role: Bass
Jerry Best. Period: 1995 - 1996. Role: Bass
Larry Dennison (Bones). Period: 1997 - 1999. Role: Bass
Vincent Appice (Vinny). Period: 1982 - 1998. Role: Drums
Jens Johansson. Period: 1989 - 1991. Role: Keyboards
Claude Schnell. Period: 1983 - 1989. Role: Keyboards

Discography

CD: Holy Diver (1983) Tracklist.
CD: The Last In Line (1984) Tracklist.
CD: Sacred Heart (1985) Tracklist.
CD: Intermission [Live] (1986) Tracklist.
CD: Dream Evil (1987) Tracklist.
CD: Lock Up The Wolves (1990) Tracklist.
CD: Strange Highways (1993) Tracklist.
CD: Angry Machines (1996) Tracklist.
CD: Inferno: Last In Live (1998) Tracklist.
CD: Magica (2000) Tracklist.
CD: Killing The Dragon (2002) Tracklist.
CD: Master Of The Moon (2004) Tracklist.


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