VARIOUS ARTISTS – Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life


Rhino Entertainment
Release date: April 28, 2014

User Review
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The term “legend” is one that gets bandied around far too frequently these days and in most cases to those who barely deserve such lofty acclaim.

Yet with an incredible career spanning from 1957 to his untimely passing in 2010 taking in diamond encrusted classic releases by Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band Dio, Ronnie James Dio is one of the few who truly deserves such an accolade.

It is only fitting that a tribute to the timeless music of Dio is delivered by some of the biggest names in Rock including members of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Metallica, Scorpions, Saxon, Slipknot, Anthrax and Motorhead amongst a stellar star studded cast and a symbol of the high esteem that he is held in by his peers.

Overall the standard of covers is uniformly high with Klaus Meine’s wonderfully moving take on “Temple of the King” arguably taking top spot while Metallica’s rampaging “Ronnie Rising Medley” which takes in “A Light in the Black”/Tarot Woman”/Stargazer”/Kill The King” sees Metallica delivering their finest performance in many a year. Anthrax hammer home a thunderous “Neon Nights” with Joey Belladonna giving the performance of his life and Biff Byford and Lemmy deliver a lively “Starstruck”.

The ladies of Rock come to pay their homage too and stand shoulder to shoulder with the men as Lzzy Hale roars through “Straight Through The Heart” and Doro Pesch performs a dramatic “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”. Impressive stuff.

Even Jack Black, a devoted long time Dio fans pays tribute with a fine “The Last in Line” and who would have expected him to put on such a convincing performance?

Glenn Hughes on “Catch The Rainbow” delivers a truly poignant and beautiful homage to his departed friend evoking memories of his tearful, moving tribute at his funeral. Rob Halford, another close friend of Dio, goes for an altogether more menacing angle on “Man on the Silver Mountain. Both stellar performances by two of the greats of Rock.

Closing the album with a Dio original, “This Is Your Life” from Angry Machines is a fitting and poignant way to close the album leaving us with a sadness mixed with an overwhelming happiness at the legacy of great music that he has left us with.

Most tribute albums tend to suffer from an uninspiring cast producing inferior cover versions and sure, no-one surpasses Dio’s originals and how could they but this is one highly enjoyable album with some exceptionally impressive songs. This is without a shadow of a doubt, the best tribute album released to date and comes highly recommended. What’s even better is that all proceeds go towards Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund so there’s a great cause to support while enjoying a worthy tribute to the greatest Rock singer of them all, Ronnie James Dio.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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