Great to listen to but it's not like I had not been listening to Dio lately. Unlike some other bands that made a huge impression on me growing up, (The Who come to mind), I never really stopped listening to Dio.
I had the great, great fortune of seeing the man with Heaven & Hell just three years ago and as I posted in my review of that show, he blew me away. At age 65, he still sang better than most. I was frankly shocked at not only how excellent he was, but how many notches he raised Sabbath beyond when I had seen them with Ozzy a few months prior. It was like a different band.
And as stated by many others, Dio was also a great guy. I never heard a story of him treating people with anything but respect. No drugs or alcohol stories, yet he was not preachy about it. Even his reports on his battle with cancer were heartfelt and genuine.
At age 67, Dio went out at the TOP of his game. He will be missed but his influence will ripple forward for decades. Can anyone imagine the current state of heavy metal without him near the top? I can't. Below is his last interview, with Eddie Trunk, and a great live take on Heaven and Hell from the early 80s:
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