Today is the celebration of the birthday of the late Ronnie James Dio, the heavy metal and hard rock singer and songwriter who carved his own niche in those aforementioned genres to become a figure as beloved as Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) or Rob Halford (Judas Priest). But in many ways, Dio’s sound, fan base, versatility, flawless vocals, which metaphorically could move mountains with its rich high and low registers, makes him stand alone as arguably the greatest heavy metal front man of all time.
He was born Ronald James Padavona on July 10th, 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Italian parents. Music ran through his veins early on in his life, learning brass instruments first such as the trumpet and French horn.
There’s just a few days left of Amazon’s celebration of heavy metal with their 50 $5 Metal Albums sale. For only $5 each in MP3 format, there are some insanely good must-have metal albums up for sale through the end of March, like Metallica‘s …And Justice For All, Judas Priest‘s Screaming For Vengeance, Black Sabbath‘s Heaven And Hell, Quiet Riot‘s Metal Health, and many more, including some really great “Best Of” compilations.
I picked out a few here below, but be sure to check out the main sale page to see all the albums available now for only $5 each.
The official website for Gibson guitars has released what they perceive to be the top 50 metal songs of all time. Gibson.com’s writers and editors worked on compiling the list over several weeks, releasing 10 entries at a time, and recently released the top 10, which declared the number one metal song to be “Master of Puppets” by Metallica.
In some ways, the number one spot for Metallica is fitting, considering 2011 is the 25th anniversary of the release of their Master of Puppets album. Having said that though, metalheads are notorious for having fierce and strong opinions about what they consider to be their “top songs,” on top of their fierce and strong opinions about what bands are or are not even metal.
The New York Times released an online hodgepodge of musicians we lost during 2010, and have omitted three major losses during the year that should anger metalheads across the Earth. In their year review, the Times has snubbed Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio), Peter Steele (Type O Negative), and Paul Gray (Slipknot).
You can view the New York Times montage over at their site if you can be bothered. I’m not embedding it here, because for my part, I’m disgusted they’ve overlooked three significant musicians — presumably just because they’re from the metal genre. The grounds upon which I make this assumption are that there is no metal whatsoever in their “tribute.” Rock, Soul, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Post-Punk are all included in the company of Funk, Disco, and others. Metal (and related genres) are nowhere to be seen.