Saturday, May 7, 2011

Free MP3 picks - Rainbow, Dio, Heaven and Hell

This week, I came across three free live tracks available on that were closely related despite being performed by three different bands. All three feature the vocal talents of the late great Ronnie James Dio.

Dio was one of the most respected and talented vocalists in Heavy Metal history. Dio never had any formal vocal training, but credits his success as a vocalist to good breathing technique learned in his high school band class. The fact that he turned a strong work ethic, and almost no formal training, into a career spanning five decades is clear proof of his talent.

Dio actively worked as a prolific songwriter and singer right up until his untimely death from stomach cancer in 2010- actively recording and touring well into his mid to late sixties- an age when most people in any profession would be easing into their retirement.

The three tracks below represent a good cross section of his career. The first track is by Rainbow, recorded in Munich, Germany in 1977. The song "Kill the King" was written by Dio and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore for the album "Long Live Rock and Roll"

"Holy Diver" - the title track from Dio's first solo album, was originally released in 1983, and became an instant Heavy Metal classic. This live recording is taken from a 2005 concert that featured the entire "Holy Diver" album performed in it's entirety.

The third track, "Neon Knights" was written in 1980 by Black Sabbath, for the album "Heaven and Hell" - this live track was performed by the more recent reunion of Dio-era Sabbath that toured and recorded under the name "Heaven and Hell" and is from one of the last concert tours of Dio's career.

All three tracks are available for free on - how long they will remain free is anyone's guess. Get them by following the links below:

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