"This is Your Life, Ronnie James Dio" (Rhino; 2014)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Ronnie James Dio was one of the true greats in heavy metal. His legendary voice and unmatched songwriting talent led to so many classic tunes and influenced so many rockers -- both his peers and future artists -- that it is perhaps no surprise that this tribute CD contains a Who's Who of amazing hard rock and heavy metal performers, all of whom deliver respectful and heartfelt versions of songs from throughout Dio's incredible career.

There isn't a bad track to be found on this CD. Each and every artist performing here do so with passion, gusto and love for the man who wrote or co-wrote the unforgettable songs re-created here. There are nine previously unreleased tracks, including powerhouse recordings by Rob Halford with Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren ("Man on the Silver Mountain") and Motorhead with Saxon's Byff Biford ("Starstruck"). Metallica's "Ronnie Rising Medley" (featuring Rainbow's "A Light In The Black," "Tarot Woman," "Stargazer" and "Kill The King") is a real highlight. Also included are tracks by Halestorm, Tenacious D, Anthrax, Doro, Scorpions and more.

There are also three previously released tracks included, the best of which has to be Killswitch Engage's blistering cover of "Holy Diver."

There are good tribute CDs and bad ones. This is one of the best. Fans of Dio, any of his career stops along the way, or any of the bands or artists featured here, won't go wrong with this compilation. Add to that the fact that sales of this CD raises funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund and this is one irresistible collection.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400 .