Drummer Vinny Appice recently appeared as a guest on Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown to discuss the pressure Ronnie James Dio felt after a highly successful album of Black Sabbath.

After Ozzy Osbourne’s departure, the band hired Ronnie James Dio to replace him on the vocals. Although the shoes were hard to fill, Dio brought so much to the table to get Black Sabbath on the right track, including the landmark record ‘Heaven and Hell,‘ released on April 25, 1980.

Dio’s limelight lasted only three years before he wanted to form his own band with Vinny Appice. Since he was still known as the frontman of Sabbath, leaving that reputation behind put some pressure on his progress with his new band, Dio. In a recent conversation, Appice reflected on Ronnie James Dio’s debut record with his band.

The drummer stated that the singer was initially signed to do a solo album, but when he realized he was unhappy with Black Sabbath, he decided to form his own band. Appice added that after settling on leaving Sabbath, there was more pressure on Dio as the ‘Heaven and Hell’ album was such a big commercial success. Finally, he noted they had a lot of fun while making the album and did not think that ‘Holy Diver’ would receive double platinum. Appice is glad that the record sells to this day, even after 39 years.

Vinny Appice’s words on the pressure on Ronnie James Dio after a major album:

“Well, there was probably some pressure. Now, Ronnie had a solo album deal while in Sabbath. He was planning on doing a solo album with all his friends and different musicians. But, when Sabbath got a little bit crazy, and he wasn’t happy anymore, he decided, ‘I’m going to use that record deal to put a new band together.’

I think there was some pressure as ‘Heaven and Hell’ was such a major album, so we had to come up with something good. But we didn’t think that way. We just went to the studio together, and we jammed a lot. We just had a lot of fun doing it. And we started putting songs together, it just happened naturally, and that’s the best way to do it.

You could hear on the album what the vibe is; we’re all happy; everybody’s having a great time, musically and personally. We didn’t think it was going to last 40 years. We didn’t think it was going to go double platinum. We were just having a good time. I thought we’d make the best album we could, and then we’d go on tour. So, we loved what we did, and 39 years later, it’s still selling.”

Unfortunately, Ronnie James Dio passed away on May 16, 2010. To commemorate Ronnie’s memory and his 80th birthday, Rhino will release a 4-CD Collection featuring remixed and remastered versions of ‘Holy Diver’ by producer Joe Barresi.