30 Day Song Challenge #25

Day 25: A song you like by an artist no longer living.

Rainbow — Stargazer

As if it could be any other than Ronnie James Dio. Despite that he sung so many incredibly awesome songs, it was quite easy to narrow it down.

You see, that singing-frog hippie love-fest, and his pre-Rainbow-fame outings are not really my cup of tea. But I love large portions of his work with Rainbow, Black Sabbath (#teamWhoIsThatOzzyGuyAnyway) and his own band, Dio.

To start with the latter: the first four albums are stone cold classics, if you’re into that kind of melodic, nearly-hair metal with silly lyrics about strange, foolish rock and roll dragons who dream of dark rainbows. In the the nineties they were kinda lost for a bit (grunge was a thing, sadly), but at the turn of the century there was a return to form, but it wasn’t as fun as before.

So on to Black Sabbath. Dio sung on one magically awesome, one very good and a pretty okay album (again, in the 90s). “Heaven and Hell”, the title track of the first one, is my favorite Sabbath track ever, and the rest of the album is not far behind, with tracks like “Children of the Sea” and “Lonely is the Word”. The Mob Rules contains classics like “Sign of the Southern Cross” and “Turn Up the Night”, and Dehumanizer has a couple of decent songs, but over-all they do little for me.

(Years later, the Mob Rules line-up reunited and toured as Heaven and Hell, and made a pretty good album as well. I saw their show at the 2007 Fields of Rock festival, and it was fist-pumping, horns-throwingly ace.)

But to be honest, my favorite Dio-related album is the second he did with Rainbow, Rising, which is 33 minutes of perfection. The other two Rainbow albums and the various live sets Dio is on all have their highlights (Catch the Rainbow, Gates of Babylon and The Temple of the King to name a few), but none have the sheer magic of Ronnie James Dio belting out “Stargazer”.