Wendy Dio, the widow and longtime manager of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, HEAVEN & HELL), has revealed more information about the upcoming Dio tribute album, which is due next year. The collection, which will be released via Niji Entertainment Group, the label that was created by Ronnie and Wendy, will tentatively include contributions from METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister, DEEP PURPLE's Ian Gillan, Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW) and Dave Grohl (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS). The CD will reportedly see Grohl covering BLACK SABBATH's "The Mob Rules", Halford contributing a version of RAINBOW's "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" and Hughes offering up his rendition of RAINBOW's "Catch The Rainbow".
Speaking to Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" at this past Saturday's (December 1) Icons & Idols-Rock 'N' Roll Auction at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, Wendy said, "We have a lot of [artists] who are working on [their contributions to the tribute album]. METALLICA has already finished theirs for us and ANTHRAX and Glenn Hughes [have completed theirs as well]. Rob Halford's working on it. I think Alice Cooper's working on it. MOTÖRHEAD, [in] January we'll get theirs. So we'll have a whole classic CD ready next year, and so I'm hoping to then ask the younger bands to do a tribute to Ronnie as well, so we can do two CDs: a classic one and the younger bands."
Asked if she had any younger bands in mind for the tribute album, Wendy said, "I haven't approached anyone, but who I would pick would definitely be KORN, AVENGED SEVENFOLD… Anyone that's been influenced by Ronnie or Ronnie's music, and I think it would be a great tribute and it would be great fun to do, too."
According to Wendy, she left it up to each artist to choose which song to cover and didn't get involved in the creative process. "They could pick anything from ELF, DIO, RAINBOW, SABBATH… whichever songs they wanted to do," she said. "With Ronnie and I, we worked together as a team; he always was the creative one and I was at the business side. I never interfered with his music and he never interfered with my business, and I think if you give the person the creativity, that's what they are — they create. Let them create which song they'd like to create."
Wendy also spoke to some of the tracks that have already been completed for the Dio tribute album, calling Glenn's version of "Catch The Rainbow" "amazing," saying that "it absolutely brought so many tears to my eyes." She also described ANTHRAX's rendition of "Neon Knights" as "fantastic," but remained mum on METALLICA's contribution, saying, "I'm not gonna tell you what that is. It's gonna be surprise. It's a medley, and it's gonna be a surprise."