BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has issued the following statement regarding the reports that vocalist Ronnie James Dio (DIO, ex-RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH) will be collaborating with Iommi on two tracks for an upcoming project tentatively dubbed "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years":
"We’d like to thank Wendy Dio [Ronnie's manager] for talking sense about the rumours concerning Ronnie Dio and BLACK SABBATH. To reiterate, Warner Bros. Records have been looking at putting out a SABBATH box set featuring Ronnie for some time and recently the search for previously unreleased material began. Amongst this, there are unfinished demos but they may not be considered worthwhile, in which case the guys might write something new. This is a long-term album project and no release date has been set."
As previously reported, Dio told BBC Radio 2's "Masters of Rock" program that "Tony Iommi and I are going to write a couple of tracks together for a project that I think is called 'Black Sabbath – The Dio Years'. So that'll be two unreleased tracks which I'm sure will be interesting to old SABBATH fans, and maybe [even] the new SABBATH fans."
To listen to a playback of the "Masters of Rock" program featuring Dio, click here (the above-mentioned quote can be heard approximately 36 minutes and 10 seconds into the show — at the 19:36:10 mark).
Dio recorded a total of three studio albums with BLACK SABBATH — 1980's "Heaven and Hell", 1981's "Mob Rules" and 1992's "Dehumanizer" — in addition to appearing on the classic live album "Live Evil" in 1983.