Ronnie Dio, Tony Iommi, & the Future of Black Sabbath

There’s been much speculation recently online about Ronnie James Dio “rejoining” Black Sabbath. I haven’t said much about it because I wanted to get official word before I did.
A week ago or so, I saw some posts online (including one on my own forums) which included this text:

Ronnie James Dio is working with Iommi again! He told me last night. I asked him if he would consider working with Tony again, and Ronnie said “I’m working with Tony now. There’s no problem with me and Tony or with Sabbath. In fact we’re doing two songs right now to go on a new record called Sabbath – The Ronnie James Dio years!”

Later on, I saw a story online where Ronnie said an interview that he and Tony were going to have new songs on a forthcoming box set entitled “Black Sabbath – The Dio Years”.
After I saw both of these, I immediately set out to verify these things on my own, as this would be a MAJOR event in the band’s history. So I popped off an email to my contacts at Tony Iommi’s office. While I waited for their reply, I saw this text appear on Ronnie Dio’s official site:

With respect to the recent rumors of Ronnie’s rejoining Black Sabbath, Wendy Dio commented, “Ronnie is not re-joining Black Sabbath. He’s very happy with his own band and will be touring festivals next year with Dio, NOT OZZFEST.” She went on to clarify that, “the writing project is just something that may happen between Tony and Ronnie if they have time between their own projects to write one or two songs to be included on the Black Sabbath: The Dio Years box set.”

And then yesterday this text appeared on Tony Iommi’s site:

We’d like to thank Wendy Dio for talking sense about the rumours concerning Ronnie Dio and Black Sabbath. To reiterate, Warner Bros Records have been looking at putting out a Sabbath Box Set featuring Ronnie for some time and recently the search for previously unreleased material began. Amongst this, there are unfinished demos but they may not be considered worthwhile, in which case the guys might write something new.
This is a long-term album project and no release date has been set.

I did get a private reply from Tony’s people, but it basically mirrored the text on their site.
So there we are. The rumours of a Black Sabbath set with the Dio years has been floating around for awhile, but this is the first time we’ve seen anything semi official regarding it. If I get more news on this, I’ll update of course, but for now, I think you should file this under “likely to happen, but not immediately”. Bottom line is that Ronnie Dio isn’t rejoining Black Sabbath, but he might collaborate with Tony on a couple of songs. That’s still something cool. :)