An all-star group of Ronnie James Dio's friends and fans recorded 13 of their favorite tracks for a new Dio tribute album, This Is Your Life, which will be released April 1 by Rhino.
Proceeds from album sales will raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
The album, which was produced by Dio's longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio, includes contributions from Metallica, Motorhead, Scorpions, Anthrax and Rob Halford, plus appearances by several musicians who performed with Dio over the years.
Although the songs featured on the album touch on the different eras of Dio's career, several spotlight his time with Rainbow, including Metallica's epic, nine-minute "Ronnie Rising" medley.
Earlier today, Metallica posted the following message on their Facebook page:
"Throughout the years, we’ve made no secret of our deep love and admiration for Ronnie James Dio. Whether it was with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell or Dio, his powerful voice was instantly recognizable and his music inspired and influenced the four of us tremendously.
"When we were asked to be a part of a tribute album for Ronnie, of course we immediately said, "fuck yeah!" Choosing a song to record, however, was a much harder decision. So we did four! Our contribution to "Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life" will include the medley we call 'Ronnie Rising,' comprised of Rainbow’s 'A Light In The Black,' 'Tarot Woman,' 'Stargazer'" and "Kill The King'."
Scorpions add a scorching take on "The Temple Of The King" while Motorhead are joined by Saxon's Biff Byford on "Starstruck." Rob Halford teams with frequent Dio collaborators Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson and Scott Warren for "The Man On The Silver Mountain." The final lineup of Dio's solo band — Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo and Scott Warren — are joined by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) for "Catch The Rainbow," a track from Rainbow's 1975 debut.
Anthrax and Adrenaline Mob honor Dio's memorable stint with Black Sabbath with their takes on "Neon Knights" and "The Mob Rules" respectively, as does a group, led by Oni Logan on vocals along with Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, and Brian Tichy, which performs "I" from Dehumanizer.
This Is Your Life also includes songs from Dio's back-to-back platinum albums Holy Diver (1983) and The Last In Line (1984), with Doro's take on "Egypt (The Chains Are On)", Halestorm tackling "Straight Through The Heart," Corey Taylor (Stone Sour, Slipknot) covering the classic "Rainbow In The Dark" and Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Glass) putting their spin on "The Last In Line." Killswitch Engage's cover of "Holy Diver," a hit in its own right when released in 2006, is also included here.
Fittingly, Ronnie James Dio provides the finale (and the album's title) with his moving performance of "This Is Your Life." Originally released on Angry Machines (1996), the song's lyrics explore mortality and are backed by a stark and beautiful arrangement that features Dio accompanied only by his longtime keyboardist Scott Warren on piano. The song serves as a poignant reminder that we will never hear a voice like Dio's again.
This Is Your Life Track List
01. "Neon Knights" - Anthrax*
02. "The Last In Line" - Tenacious D*
03. "The Mob Rules" - Adrenaline Mob
04. "Rainbow In The Dark" - Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher*
05. "Straight Through The Heart" - Halestorm*
06. "Starstruck" - Motorhead with Biff Byford*
07. "The Temple Of The King" - Scorpions*
08. "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" - Doro
09. "Holy Diver" - Killswitch Engage
10. "Catch The Rainbow" - Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren*
11. "I" - Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy*
12. "Man On The Silver Mountain" - Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren*
13. "Ronnie Rising Medley (Featuring A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill The King)" - Metallica*
14. "This Is Your Life" - Dio
* Previously unreleased