"This Is Your Life", the tribute to album to Ronnie James Dio, sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 1 via Rhino.
Ronnie James Dio is one of the most beloved figures in rock history. His gifts, both as a singer and songwriter, are instantly recognizable, whether he was with RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, or leading DIO. Sadly, Dio lost his battle with stomach cancer in 2010 but his towering voice and legacy live on.
To celebrate one of rock's most powerful voices, an all-star group of his friends and fans recorded 13 of their favorite tracks for a tribute album, 100% of proceeds from which will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Produced by his longtime manager and wife Wendy Dio, the album includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as METALLICA, MOTÖRHEAD, SCORPIONS, ANTHRAX, and Rob Halford, as well as appearances by many of the musicians who performed with Dio over the years.
Although the songs featured on the album touch on the different eras of Dio's career, several spotlight his time with RAINBOW, including METALLICA's epic, nine-minute "Ronnie Rising Medley", which combines the RAINBOW songs "A Light In The Black", "Tarot Woman", "Stargazer" and "Kill The King". SCORPIONS add a scorching take on "Temple Of The King" while MOTÖRHEAD is joined by Biff Byford from SAXON on "Starstruck". Rob Halford teams with frequent Dio collaborators Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, and Scott Warren for "Man On The Silver Mountain". The final lineup of Dio's solo band — Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo and Scott Warren — are joined by Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) for "Catch The Rainbow", a track from RAINBOW's 1975 debut.
ANTHRAX and ADRENALINE MOB honor Dio's memorable stint with BLACK SABBATH with their takes on "Neon Knights" and "The Mob Rules", respectively, as does a group, led by Oni Logan on vocals along with Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, and Brian Tichy, which performs "I" from "Dehumanizer".
"This Is Your Life" also includes songs from Dio's back-to-back platinum albums "Holy Diver" (1983) and "The Last In Line" (1984), with DORO's take on "Egypt (The Chains Are On)", HALESTORM tackling "Straight Through The Heart", Corey Taylor (STONE SOUR, SLIPKNOT) covering the classic "Rainbow In The Dark" and TENACIOUS D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) putting their signature spin on "The Last In Line". KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's cover of "Holy Diver", a hit in its own right when released in 2006, is also included here.
Fittingly, Ronnie James Dio provides the finale (and the album's title) with his moving performance of "This Is Your Life". Originally released on "Angry Machines" (1996), the song's lyrics explore mortality and are backed by a stark and beautiful arrangement that features Dio accompanied only by his longtime keyboardist Scott Warren on piano. The song serves as a poignant reminder that we will never hear a voice like Dio's again.
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, co-founded by Wendy Dio, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund dedicated to supporting cancer-prevention research, raising awareness and educating the public about the vital importance of early detection and prevention when dealing with this deadly disease.
"This Is Your Life" track listing:
01. "Neon Knights" - ANTHRAX *
02. "The Last In Line" - TENACIOUS D *
03. "The Mob Rules" - ADRENALINE MOB
04. "Rainbow In The Dark" - Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher *
05. "Straight Through The Heart" - HALESTORM *
06. "Starstruck" - MOTÖRHEAD with Biff Byford *
07. "Temple Of The King" - SCORPIONS *
08. "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" - DORO
09. "Holy Diver" - KILLSWITCH ENGAGE
10. "Catch The Rainbow" - Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren *
11. "I" - Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy *
12. "Man On The Silver Mountain" - Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren *
13. "Ronnie Rising Medley" (featuring "A Light In The Black", "Tarot Woman", "Stargazer", "Kill The King") - METALLICA *
14. "This Is Your Life" - DIO
15. "Heaven And Hell" - STRYPER (Japanese bonus track)
16. "Stand Up And Shout" - DIO DISCIPLES (Japanese bonus track)
* Previously unreleased
METALLICA's nine-minute medley of four tracks, titled "Ronnie Rising Medley", that the group culled from the iconic metal singer's mid-Seventies band RAINBOW, is available for streaming using the SoundCloud widget below (courtesy of RollingStone.com).
"[Dio's] music is so much a part of what's in METALLICA's DNA, the harder, edgier, blues-based hard rock from the Seventies," METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told RollingStone.com. "It was fairly effortless to put this together, because it's something that we were all reared on. I don't recall sitting there in a band meeting or anything deciding what to play. Somebody starts playing 'Stargazer' — which is sort of just like something that's in our arsenal to jam — and then that whole period there, 'Tarot Woman', 'Kill The King', 'A Light In The Black' — that's just really effortless to jump into."