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When was Dio singing at his best?

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  • #16
    I agree that it is subjective, however, here is a live performance of Sabbath doing Heaven & Hell in 1981 approx, which is totally kick ass (it has had nearly 2 and a half millions views!), most of you would have seen it, but it is a nice little snapshot in memory of Ronnie.

    For the killer version of Heaven & Hell with Ronnie, click link below

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUJH7y1yK_E
    Last edited by Benjo; 06-08-2010, 02:11 AM.

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    • #17
      his voice start to somewhat lose something in the 00s. It went down in tone, got rough in the edges, and in the last 2 or 3 years he 2 or 3 times hit a wrong note live that I'm aware of (and, as far as recordings that I heard go, never before that).

      In the 50s and 60s he didn't have yet the technique he developed later.

      So I'd say he was at his vocal peak in the 70s, 80s and 90s. And I'm not judging in any way the quality of the material he sung, just tjhe voice.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by hipster doofus View Post
        I have to agree here. Ronnie's vocals in later years, while still impressive, had diminished considerably. I think it's especially evident on Holy Diver Live. Even as an official mixed and mastered release, it's painful to hear the strain in his voice on certain songs.

        Nevertheless, I think there were very few vocalists with as much power and vocal command as him during his Rainbow and early Sabbath days.

        Although Dio sounds brilliant on Holy Diver Live and Radio City Hall DVD's , they are by no means a true witness to what the man sounded truly at the time, unfortunatly he was actually SICK on both shows ! on Holy Diver Live he had some cold while on the Radio City he was still recovering from a serious throat infection , he caught that earlier on in Canada before the H&H reunion tour kicked off and being the professional that he was , he didnt want to cancel any show !

        Now of course his voice for the last 10 years is not as powerful as it was back in the 70's, 80's and 90's but still , he was pulling off some very stunning amazing tricks in the last 5 years live that I havent heard him doing in his early years , Iam mainly talking about his amazing sense of timing ... anyway his voice was still the best and the most consistent in this business till his very last show with H&H last year.

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        • #19
          I've heard recordings from the Dehumanizer tour and, to be honest, I think Ronnie had "lost a step" live by that point. The opening vocal of The Mob Rules had already gone from a leather lunged bellow to a high pitched scream. I remember an article in some magazine during the Mob Rules tour where it was observed that Dio was a technically superior singer who nailed down notes that Osbourne could only leap for in vain (that's paraphrasing, but I think its pretty close to a direct quote). I saw him on the Last in Line tour, and he could hit all the notes without growling or screaming at that point. I saw him last year at his second to last show, and I loved it. That's more a testament to the material though. As the Lakers' Pau Gasol recently (and fairly) observed about the Celtics' Kevin Garnett, time catches up with all of us.
          "But I don't want to go among mad people."
          "Oh, you can't help that, we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
          "How do you know I'm mad?"
          "You must be or you wouldn't have come here."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by IRON-MaN View Post
            Although Dio sounds brilliant on Holy Diver Live and Radio City Hall DVD's , they are by no means a true witness to what the man sounded truly at the time, unfortunatly he was actually SICK on both shows ! on Holy Diver Live he had some cold while on the Radio City he was still recovering from a serious throat infection , he caught that earlier on in Canada before the H&H reunion tour kicked off and being the professional that he was , he didnt want to cancel any show !
            That was the excuse given for why Tony Martin doesn't sound so great on Cross Purposes Live, too. I wonder why bands don't find a way to redo those if they know they don't sound good.
            Joe Siegler, Webmaster - Black Sabbath Online
            View my CD collection | View my movie collection | What I've been listening to

            "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)

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            • #21
              Originally posted by IRON-MaN View Post
              Although Dio sounds brilliant on Holy Diver Live and Radio City Hall DVD's , they are by no means a true witness to what the man sounded truly at the time, unfortunatly he was actually SICK on both shows
              Hmm, I don't know. Obviously, as someone else has said, this is all subjective. He may have very well been sick but I saw him 5 times between Killing the Dragon and the Heaven & Hell shows. They were all great performances but to me, it certainly wasn't the same. Some songs felt very altered as they took an evil, growling tone that they never had before. But to each their own I suppose.
              ***Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of other internet people, the internet police or the internet in general. It is to be assumed that all sentences are automatically followed by "IMO, BUDDY" as to not offend other internet people and start an internet fight.

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              • #22
                I've always been impressed with the power that Ronnie displayed between 1992-98. It was very impressive that a man in his 50s could suddenly find such power in his voice. Ronnie always was very powerful live, but during the Dehumanizer tour he took it to a whole new level in my opinion, while still maintaining control over his voice as well.

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                • #23
                  I think his prime vocally was from Rainbow all the way through to Dream Evil. I'm just going by studio recordings though since i'm too young to have seen him live on these tours and have very few live recording from this period. It was obvious his voice was changing once the 90s came around. But I didn't think it was bad at all. I thought the argrier tone his voice took on Dehumanizer, Strange Highways and Angry Machines was still done very well by him. Most importantly he still had great vocal power. It really wasn't until KTD that I felt his voice was starting to really show the signs of age. But up until the end he still had power in that voice even though his range had diminished quite a bit.
                  Nobody will ever let you know
                  When you ask the reason why
                  They just tell you that you're on your own
                  Fill your head all full of lies

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Joe Siegler View Post
                    That was the excuse given for why Tony Martin doesn't sound so great on Cross Purposes Live, too. I wonder why bands don't find a way to redo those if they know they don't sound good.
                    Sometimes, they do. Ozzy redid his vocals on Speak of the Devil (read that from his own mouth in a Hit Parader interview around the time of release) - And if you give it a close listen, you can hear some of the old vocal bleed through other mics (likely the drum mics). But that was a small venue (The Ritz), so re-doing the vox in a studio setting didn't seem entirely off. Dio DID redo a little bit of vox that were flubbed on "After All" from the Radio City Music Hall CD/DVD which matched up pretty well, but getting studio takes to truly match the ambience of a bigger venue is considerably tougher, and would have been a red herring if he re-did all of them. Fact is, he didn't need to - Just a bit. Being an audio guy, it annoys me that I notice the "fixes" in various live recordings. I particularly hate Paul's fixed vocals on the Kissology DVDs, it's borderline insulting.

                    Having seen H&H a number of times in 2007, I can say that he was belting it at those dates, hands down. He was slightly not as strong vocally in '08 and a bit lesser '09, but still very much Dio.

                    All the best,
                    PAULIE
                    Last edited by Paulie 88; 06-08-2010, 11:50 AM. Reason: Adding info
                    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UoulA6r90n...ill%2Bward.JPG

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                    • #25
                      For me RJD's vocals were at their best from Rainbow all the way to Strange Highways. It doesn't matter if it's the soaring powerful vocals of the 70īs and the 80īs or the angrier and still powerful outing in the early 90's, it's all as good for me. And even till the end Dios vocals were astonishing. Granted his range had diminished, but he vicely altered his singing style for the new millenium by singing in a little lower register with occasional high picthed screams etc. I actually think that one of the reasons he still sounded so great was that natural grit he always had in his voice when he wanted (and which he even developed it furher in the 90's). Vocal performances on such songs as Push, As Long As It's Not About Love, Death By Love and Bible Black are still better than many of his peer could do in their prime IMO. Of course he couldn't belt out some of his older material like he used to, but a great many of them sounded incredibly good even in comparison with the original recordings. For me "the new millenium RJD" sounded best when singing either those soft lullaby like parts or the most viscious songs such as I.

                      And on the later tours, such as the Bible Black tour, some gigs were better than the others, of course. But I think that still he managed to maintain a standard that is truly admirable considering his age. And the best performances were still truly magical.

                      I think the following link proves that RJD still was the the voice of metal even in his sixties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05mm-sMeMX4
                      Last edited by -E5150 StarWanderer-; 06-10-2010, 01:44 PM.
                      "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
                      "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
                      "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

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                      • #26
                        Don't you think the growl and the other vocal changes mentioned were intentional? Some of those songs (On Radio City Music Hall) were almost 30yrs old, maybe RJD changed things to keep it interesting for him. And on Holy Diver Live, I very much doubt he sat down to listen to every vocal nuance with the intention of recreating it exactly. It was probably more like a quick listen, read through the lyrics and rehearse! After all Holy Diver was recorded in a studio and the Live version on stage!!

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                        • #27
                          I thought he sounded great at the greek theatre last year on august 11th. Way better than the Radio City Show DVD. His prime was probably Rainbow and Sabbath though, but his voice never got bad like Roger Daltry, or Mick Jaggers.

                          Live is where this guy reigned supreme though. If you never got the chance to see him live you'll never realize the full impact of his music and if you have you know what I mean.
                          "I don't care which god you follow, whose promises you swallow" - Ronnie James Dio
                          http://www.reverbnation.com/breakingintoheaven?#!
                          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Breaki...916616&ref=sgm

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Joe Siegler View Post
                            That was the excuse given for why Tony Martin doesn't sound so great on Cross Purposes Live, too. I wonder why bands don't find a way to redo those if they know they don't sound good.
                            Its obviously because its very expensive to do so , those shows get to be determined very early on the tour , its very hard and expensive to change such dates when you've already booked the camera's /recording equipment /Crew and director to shoot the show.

                            Remember that on the Radio City Hall the band were not allowed to do a proper sound check and even the camera's were rolled instantly on the show , they were not allowed to try them out before that ! with that all been said , Radio City Hall DVD blows out anything by any other rock band in the market , what Iam trying to point out here , that RJD's voice was obviouisly more strained out in certain parts on the DVD for a reason , ppl who were able to catch the band later on the tour in Europe noticed the remarkble difference ( I had to see them a couple of times and Ronnie was honestly better and more comfortable while singing).

                            What could be argued really , is why would he really make it hard on himself on the Holy Diver Live tour and DVD ( playing such a hectic tour dates + playing 2 and half hours continously without any intermissions in between ! lets give the guy some credit , he is phenominal and probably the most consistent singer ever ! if someone could pick an interview for any RJD show whatso ever in the last 40 years where the reviewer says that RJD's was shot , horrible or that he was totally having the night off , please let me know !
                            Last edited by IRON-MaN; 06-08-2010, 02:26 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Definitely the Elf and Rainbow years, He's in his early to mid 30's. He perfected his 'angry voice',
                              while his softer singing was just so beautiful. My favorite performance is probably Stargazer.
                              If there is any doubt check out this 70's performance of Gates of Babylon. Unbelievable.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mso2g8lBGAQ
                              "Something's calling me back. There's a Light in the Black. Yes, I'm ready to go. I'm coming home." RIP Ronnie James Dio

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ellbery View Post
                                Don't you think the growl and the other vocal changes mentioned were intentional?
                                I would say that's probably a little far fetched. His voice aged along with him and deepened over time. There's nothing wrong with that and certainly nothing he could have controlled.
                                ***Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of other internet people, the internet police or the internet in general. It is to be assumed that all sentences are automatically followed by "IMO, BUDDY" as to not offend other internet people and start an internet fight.

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