Released: 2010, Frontiers
On May 16th of this year, (2014) it will be the 4th anniversary of the death of Ronnie James Dio. In April Rhino records released a tribute album called THIS IS YOUR LIFE. The amount if media hype about this album was unbelievable and frankly a bit puzzling. This was just sixth (or seventh depending how you count) Dio tribute on the market. Why was everyone so excited about this one? How does it compare to the five previous ones? Of course being a true Dio fan I own all of them so I decided to pull them from the vaults and review them. They are, in chronological order of release…
HOLY DIO-A TRIBUTE TO THE VOICE OF METAL:RONNIE JAMES DIO (Century Media, 1999)
AWAKEN THE DEMON-TRIBUTE TO DIO (Dwell, 1999)
DIO (Jorn) (Frontiers 2010)
MAGIC-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Magic Circle Music, 2010)
TO HEAVEN THROUGH HELL-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Backstage, 2011)
RONNIE JAMES DIO-THIS IS YOUR LIFE (Rhino, 2014)
The Jorn album DIO was already reviewed by our very own Waspman back in July of 2010 so feel free to check out this review as well as part of this feature/tribute. Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
It seemed like the timing was perfect but also a bit morbid as well. Ronnie James Dio passed on May 16th, 201 and a mere 47 days later the Jorn album DIO hits the streets. It is obvious that Jorn was working on the tribute before news of his Dio death, because that is not enough turn around time to complete a full album of this caliber. In fact Jorn Lande had announced he was working on this record back in the spring of 2010.
DIO is unique among Dio tributes because it is the only one done by one band instead of multiple artists so it serves a double purpose as tribute and covers album. The album, his 8th solo album was released on his long-time home, Frontiers Records and has a nice booklet with lots of photos of the band and a nice, heartfelt essay about Dio. The cover has Jorn’s raven mascot with an evil looking Murray (Dio’s mascot) in the background. Jorn had stated he wanted to focus on Dio solo career and more specifically choose a wide range of songs, not just the usual, predictable choices.
The album opens with an eight minute long original composition called ‘Song for Ronnie James’, a moody and effective piece to open the tribute. Jorn styas true to his word choosing rarer cuts like ‘Sunset Superman’ and ‘Night People’. He also delves in Dio’s later career that is something no other tribute has done. The other tributes usually stop at around 1985 but he includes songs from DREAM EVIL, MAGICA and KILLING THE DRAGON. He also has a live version of ‘Straight Through The Heart’ from his 2006 headlining performance at Atlanta ProgPower VII, although this song was previously released on his LIVE IN AMERICA album.
Many people, myself included recognize Jorn Lande as the new Dio. Everything, his style, tone, delivery and song-writing make him the widely accepted successor and this album only cemented the connection. Of course Dio is irreplaceable but Lande continues on in his footsteps. Please note with my apologies the similarity in my review to that of Waspman’s original review back in 2010 but I suppose we both have the same feelings and observations but I happen to like it just a little bit more.