During a recent appearance on Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown, Ronnie James Dio’s widow Wendy Dio recalled the time when Dio left Black Sabbath.
Dio was a singer for Rainbow before joining Black Sabbath in 1979 to replace the band’s original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. During his time with Sabbath, Dio released two albums, ‘Heaven And Hell’ and ‘Mob Rules,’ both of which contributed to their success.
In 1982, Dio left Black Sabbath following their conflict about the ‘Live Evil’ album, after Dio was accused of mixing the record in such a way to show off his vocals. Then, the singer formed his solo band ‘Dio.’ Even though Ronnie returned to the band in 1991 to record ‘Dehumanizer,’ he left once again the following year.
In the conversation, Wendy talked about Dio’s accusations of fiddling with the sound levels in the ‘Live Evil’ album. She pointed out that they were using lots of drugs at the time and that there was lots of paranoia between the band members.
While saying that Dio would never do such a thing, Wendy also mentioned that it helped him realize it was time to leave. She went on to say that Dio never wanted to leave Black Sabbath, although he had a solo deal.
During the conversation, the interviewer asked:
“Then he goes through Black Sabbath and decides to leave the band, and there was some sort of… He was maybe accused of fiddling with the levels as far as live recording was concerned or something?”
Wendy Dio responded to the accusations in the conversation:
“Well, I think everybody was doing a lot of drugs, and there was a lot of paranoia going on at the time, I don’t think Ronnie ever did that or would do that, but he got accused of that. It was time for him to leave.”
“Then he goes off and does his solo thing, which he was kind of thinking of doing before Black Sabbath, so was that kind of always in the back of his mind anyway?”
Wendy Dio on Dio’s departure from Sabbath:
“No, he got a solo deal, but I think it was just something that he wanted to do somewhere between, I don’t think he ever wanted to leave Black Sabbath.
He had the solo deal, and it was something that, you know, down the line that he would think about, but not anything he was really pressured into doing when he decided to leave Sabbath.”
After not playing with Black Sabbath for years, Dio reunited with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler by forming a new band, ‘Heaven & Hell’ in 2006, and they released ‘The Devil You Know’ three years later.