I’m getting tired of my day starting with the news that another rocker had gone to join that big band in the sky but alas its true once more as former Dio, Rainbow Rising, Phil Lynott bassist Jimmy Bain has passed away at age 68. Bain was currently on tour with the Dio Tribute band Last In Line
Depending on your vintage, Bain might have been known to you from either Rainbow Rising with Richie Blackmore where he would work with Dio and the late great Cozy Powell. This was in 1976. Even though I liked the music of Rainbow, I was not listening to them as much back at this point in time based on my age. It would be with 1983’s formation of Dio and their debut album “Holy Diver” that I would really be able to properly enjoy the thundering bass behind these melodies. Bain would be a part of Dio’s band for the first few albums and leave with “Dream Evil” before returning to be a part of “Magica” in 2000. From this time on there were a number of guest spots and appearances along with projects that would keep the musician busy.
Bain’s latest band “Last In Line” was a tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio and the music that they played together in the band that sported the singers surname. The group features Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice, Claude Schnell and Andrew Freeman and with Bain and this group were all the original song writers and musicians on the early Dio albums. Only Freeman is the new member and brings the spirit of Ronnie to the microphone once more. They were currently on the Def Leppard’s “Hysteria On The High Seas” cruise and performing when he would pass away after the previous evenings show. The official cause of death has not yet been released to the public at this time but the members of the band informed fans on the cruise that he had been fighting with a bout of pneumonia for a while. As more information becomes available I will amend this memorial.
Thirty years ago today Dio sang “Hey the old ones speak of winter the young ones praise the sun and time just slips away Oh running into nowhere turning like a wheel and a year becomes a day Whenever we dream that’s when we fly so here is a dream for just you and I We’ll find the sacred heart somewhere bleeding in the night yeah. Look for the light and find the sacred heart”.
The album was called “Sacred Heart” and not only is this album celebrating its thirtieth anniversary but it is also the Heavy Metal legends third album and the final one that would feature the blistering guitar work of Vivian Campbell. The rest of the lineup was the same with Jimmy Bain on bass and Vinny Appice on drums along with Claude Schnell on keyboards. Dio was as majestic as ever with this one but it was at this point I was moving in a slightly different Metal direction and since this release was not much of a favorite when I compared to “The Last In Line”, I would devote most of my listening time to the tracks that stood out for me. Those were the opening “King Of Rock and Roll” along with the title track, “Rock and Roll Children” and “Hungry For Heaven” but the rest I felt was just alright to me. Remember I was comparing to something I felt was a lot stronger and didn’t have as many commercially viable tunes as this one did. This was a time where you would actually hear some Dio on a conventional Rock radio station during their “Metal” hour or similar programming. Listening to it again today on this anniversary I cannot help but hear a slightly similar riff in “HFH” that reminds me of something in a song by The Who. Did you have any favorites from this one? Continue reading Celebrating Dio’s “Sacred Heart” @ Thirty Years (1985-2015)→
I can hardly believe that its been thirty years since we first saw the album “Holy Diver” being released by the late great Ronnie James Dio and his at the time brand new band Dio. Of course I seem to find myself always saying this when an album that I recall buying when it was originally released reaches a milestone like this and in some sense it makes me shake my head. Before continuing let’s all give a round of applause for this mighty Metal milestone and the overall impact that it had on the Metal genre ever since. Continue reading Dio’s “Holy Diver” Is Thirty Years Old Today!!!→
Artist: Dio Title: “The Legend Live” Label: IMV Blueline Release Date: 12/28/2010 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
Sometimes just looking at the cover of a DVD release makes you pause and potentially bypass it because something just “doesn’t seem right” about it, and while this might have been the case with this particular product, I was glad that I decided to check it out. The film is called “Dio – The Legend Live” and right off the bat it seemed kind of odd as the cover displays Ronnie in very later life fronting the group Heaven And Hell as opposed to his own solo band. Let’s face it, the death of Ronnie James Dio found a number of releases hitting the shelves and there is no end in sight so some crap is bound to squeeze itself into the mix as well. However, while the cover was odd, the film that was featured inside was a way back step in time to the classic Metal 80’s where Ronnie and his band were performing live for Japanese television. They cite the year as being 1985 and the band was clearly on tour for the album “Sacred Heart” as there are a couple of tunes being presented from it with “Hungry For Heaven” and the title track. Historically speaking this was the album where my own focus on Ronnie’s solo work slowed down as I was lending my time to other bands but of course I still would listen to what came out when I could. Continue reading “The Legend Live” by Dio→
Artist: 3 Legged Dogg Title: “Frozen Summer” Label: Perris Records Release Date: 10/17/2006 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
While a VH1 “Reality” show used the name before the CD by this band was released I think it is pretty safe to say that the words “Super Group” apply best when you are teaming up former members of Dio, Quiet Riot, Lynch Mob and the David Lee Roth Band. By right the definition of such a term should be “music of heroic or epic proportions” and with that being said, this is exactly what the result is on this Hard Rocking Blues influenced quintet called “3 Legged Dogg”. Here’s why its so easy to stand by this statement; the bands core membership reads like a who’s who in “Big 80’s” Hard Rock and Metal with Vinny Appice (drums), Chas West (vocals, harmonica), Jimmy Bain (bass), Carlos Cavazo (guitar) and Brian Young (guitar). Singer Chas West (Bonham, Lynch mob) reminds me a lot of David Coverdale with a touch of Chris Cornell thrown in and behind him is air-slicing guitar riffs and thunderous drums that possess a quasi Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple finesse. The band is surprisingly fresh and catchy all around and a perfect band in a day where the old sound is sorely required once again. I felt this was also a great new vehicle for the players involved and allows us to see just how creative they are outside of the bands that we know them so well from. I had trouble finding preferential tracks here and I was pretty much just caught up in the overall groove that was happening but I did feel that “Rain On My Parade” had some moments where it really reminded me of Badlands and the late and lost too young Ray Gillen. “One Good Reason” crunches like old Whitesnake and I mean the really old stuff where it was much more Blues based while “Wasted Life” sounds like a tribute to Led Zeppelin or something you would have hoped that Audioslave would have come up with. The pairing of Young and Cavazo really worked and while we all know Carlos pretty well from QR, the world needs to see Mr. Young shine a little more since he is one incredible player and does not let you down on any of the tracks on the album. There is not much more to be said about Bain and Appice beyond the fact that they are probably the tightest Hard Rock rhythm section in the business and have proved this for years while working in Dio. With 3 Legged Dogg they merely remind us of this standing. Continue reading “Frozen Summer” by 3 Legged Dogg→