During a recent appearance on "Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley", Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL), Frank Bello (ANTHRAX), John Tempesta (THE CULT, EXODUS, WHITE ZOMBIE) and Paul Gargano (Metal Edge) debated and discussed BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven And Hell" album versus Ozzy Osbourne's "Blizzard Of Ozz". You can now watch the discussion below.
Asked if he "caught hell" from SABBATH fans for being "the new guy" after replacing original SABBATH drummer Bill Ward in 1980, Vinny said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Not really, because you're the drummer — you're sitting in the back… Ronnie [James Dio, then-SABBATH singer] had to put up with people in the front, like 'Where's Ozzy [Osbourne]?' signs and all this 'Where's Ozzy?' stuff, and he had to do that. And he hated singing those songs — he hated singing 'Iron Man' and 'Sweet Leaf' and the Ozzy songs. That's why eventually [SABBATH reformed as] HEAVEN & HELL years later, so we didn't play the old [Ozzy-era] stuff anymore."
Even though Ronnie disliked singing the Ozzy-era SABBATH material, Vinny says that he "sounded great" belting out the Osbourne clasics. "It was totally different," he said. "It was just a powerful voice singing the melody and the whole thing. So it was incredible."
In a 2009 interview with U.K.'s Absolute Radio, Ronnie said that BLACK SABBATH's decision to reunite as HEAVEN & HELL in 2006 with him on vocals was done in part "to differentiate us from the SABBATH that had come before. What it really did was this — it allayed this: 'Hey, play 'Iron Man'," he explained. "We didn't have to worry about that or feel bad about not playing those songs — about playing 'Iron Man' or 'Paranoid' or 'Black Sabbath' or 'Fairies Wear Boots' — we didn't have to do that, because we tried to differentiate ourselves by a timeline and by a name that, of course, that spoke so much of… You think of HEAVEN & HELL, you usually think of that song, so now you think of this band. And I think it was wonderful that it worked so well."
Asked if ever felt an obligation to play some of the Ozzy-era SABBATH songs, especially at various European festivals, as a way of letting the audience know, "This is what we're famous for," Ronnie said: "Well, it's not what I was famous for, and I'm part of this band. I mean, I don't hear Ozzy doing 'Heaven And Hell', so why should I do the other songs? And I think that's very sensible. We come from different generations of SABBATH — the two generations that were most important, I think. And no, I think we tried so hard to call this band a different name, that why go back and relate to that? It makes us really seem [like] hypocrites, I think, to do that."
Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH in 1980, recording the "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, plus "Live Evil", before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called "Dehumanizer", and again teamed with the group under the HEAVEN & HELL banner. HEAVEN & HELL released an album called "The Devil You Know" in 2009.
Ronnie passed away of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer was diagnosed with cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.
Ronnie's long-awaited autobiography, titled "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography", will be released on July 27 via Permuted Press.