By Steve Newton
There’s no denying that Ronnie James Dio did an incredible job replacing Ozzy Osbourne as the singer in Black Sabbath. The moment I heard “Neon Nights”, the opening track on Dio’s first Sabbath album, Heaven and Hell, I knew the heavy-metal stars had aligned. The music had way more power and feel than any of the previous three albums Sabbath had recorded with Ozzy at the helm.
Five years after the release of Heaven and Hell, in December of 1985, I interviewed Ronnie in advance of Dio’s show in Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour. I made the mistake of referring to his taking over the frontman spot in Sabbath as “stepping into Ozzy Osbourne’s shoes”, and the phrase didn’t go over well with him.
Have a listen: