2010 will go down as the year that we lost one of hard rock/heavy metal’s all-time great vocalists, Ronnie James Dio (after a valiant battle with cancer).
Throughout a career that saw Ronnie pen or co-pen classics with such legendary acts as Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and with his solo group, Dio, there are simply not enough words to describe the singer’s contribution to rock music worldwide.
And to celebrate the life of the man that has become synonymous with metal, several new releases will soon be arriving, that are certain to please Dio’s large and loyal fanbase.
On November 9th, the double disc set, ‘Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987′ will be released. The first disc was recorded at the first-ever UK performance by Dio’s solo group, while on tour supporting their classic debut, ‘Holy Diver.’ And the set-list does a superb job reflecting Dio’s debut (featuring such classics as “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Stand Up And Shout,” etc.), as well as classics from both Rainbow and Black Sabbath (“Man on the Silver Mountain,” “Heaven and Hell,” etc.) – resulting in a thorough retrospective of Dio’s career, from Rainbow to Black Sabbath to solo hits.
The second disc of ‘Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987′ features guitarist Craig Goldy’s debut – recorded in 1987, in support of the ‘Dream Evil’ album, and contains highlights from Dio’s career.
‘Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987′ will be the very first release from the Niji Entertainment Group (which was formed by Ronnie James Dio and his wife/manager, Wendy Dio, in early 2010).
The set will be released as a deluxe digipak including a booklet filled with rare photographs and liner notes, and original replica all access laminates from both shows.
Ronnie was the executive producer on the Donington project, and was very much looking forward to the release. The Niji Entertainment Group is a full service record label, and will be releasing rare and unreleased recordings from Dio and other artists.
November 23rd will see two additional releases from the Niji Entertainment Group – a deluxe limited edition picture disc of Dio’s classic solo debut, ‘Holy Diver,’ and ‘Bitten By The Beast’ from David “Rock” Feinstein.
“Rock” is Ronnie’s cousin, and was a member of Elf, and the leader of the legendary NY band The Rods. ‘Bitten By The Beast,’ features the single “Metal Will Never Die,” with lead vocals by Ronnie James Dio. This single will be heavily worked to active rock and metal radio this fall.
In 2011, the Niji Entertainment Group has many other Dio-related projects planned, including an extensive vinyl box set (an idea that Ronnie himself came up with), ‘For The Record: The Complete Dio Vinyl Collection,’ which will feature 16 LP’s in a deluxe carrying case, with “all access tour laminates” from every tour. All of the LP’s will be on 180 gram colored vinyl. Also, being released for the first time on DVD will be ‘Super Rock Japan 1985′ (which was only ever released in Japan on VHS).
Another forthcoming DVD release will be a collection of every Dio MTV promotional video, plus live concert footage including bonus features, including interviews with Ronnie, his band, and crew.
A Dio bootleg box set is on the horizon as well, featuring never-before-released sound board recordings and audience recordings.
Other releases from the Niji Entertainment Group in 2011 will include all four Rainbow Dio-era LP’s in their original gatefold sleeves on 180 gram colored vinyl, and all three Elf LP’s will be issued on 180 gram colored vinyl.
2011 will also see deluxe reissues from Tim “Ripper” Owens, a fantastic new CD from Oni Logan (Lynch Mob vocalist), and Rowan Robertson (Dio guitarist), as well as live Elf.
Between Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, the Dio social media followers now numbers over one million.
The Niji Entertainment Group is in the process of starting the official Dio webstore, which will give fans worldwide opportunity to purchase t-shirts, limited edition items, and CD’s/DVD’s that fans have been requesting.
While Ronnie was alive, he always wanted to have his own action figure/statue.
And now, this has become a reality – KnuckleBonz has created the Ronnie James Dio rock iconz statue, which will be available in late fall 2010.
These statues are only produced in limited edition runs of 3000, which make them highly collectible and sought after from fans.
A portion from the sales of the Dio statue will go to the Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, in honor of Ronnie James Dio.
Preorders available by visiting www. knucklebonz.com.