An unpublished song by Ronnie James Dio, collaborated on with guitarist Doug Aldrich prior to the iconic heavy metal vocalist’s passing in 2010, is set to feature in an upcoming compilation of unreleased and lesser-known recordings from Dio
This particular track was crafted during the recording sessions for “Magica II,” which was meant as a follow-up to the 2000 album “Magica.” Unfortunately, “Magica II” remained incomplete due to Ronnie‘s untimely demise. Notably, another composition from “Magica II” titled “Electra” was successfully included in the 2012 release “The Very Best of Dio Vol 2.”
Aldrich discussed the unreleased music he worked on with Dio in a new talk with The Metal Voice. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): ”Well, first of all, ‘Electra’ was part of what was gonna be a next album for Ronnie. He basically came up with ‘Electra’ to promote the tour that he wanted to do at the end of 2009.
“He was gonna re-release ‘Killing The Dragon’ and a live show that we did from that tour, and that song was gonna promote the album and the tour and it was gonna be this whole thing And then he got sick; he found out he had cancer. So it all went away. But the song ‘Electra’ did come out and it was pretty cool man.
“But prior to ‘Electra’, he had another song that — and I’m sure he had lots of bits of songs and maybe a few that were completed — but he did give me a completed song prior to ‘Electra’ that he wanted to be the promotional track. And then he basically moved away from that and we went with ‘Electra’ instead.
“But I had that [other] track, and I put a solo on it. It didn’t have a title, but I had it, and I talked to Wendy [Dio, Ronnie‘s widow and longtime manager] about it, and we never, she never… To be fair, I didn’t go over and play it for her, but I did talk to her about it on the phone. And then she kind of wasn’t ready to listen to anything like that at that point.
“Years went on. And then I ended up doing a renovation at my house and I took those hard drives and I put them in storage. So at the moment, there’s talk that Wendy wants to put out some stuff, some unreleased stuff next year, in ’24, with Ronnie, including a remake of the track that he sent me, which I’m still in the process of finding it. And Wendy texted me last week and said, ‘Any luck?’ And I said, ‘I’ll get it, Wendy.’ I just have dozens of hard drives I need to go through to find it.
“And once I do, I’ll give her the track and I’ll either record it with her and them or somebody else will. But it was haunting, because it was Ronnie playing bass and playing rhythm guitar with a drum machine and singing, and the vocal was just — it was haunting, man; really crazy.”
Elaborating on how his unreleased song with Ronnie ended up getting lost among his personal household items, Doug said: “I did a renovation during 2020 when everything was shut down. I wanted to expand my house a little bit and clean it up and get new stuff. And so I wanted to pack everything up nice and neat and get it out of here. ‘Cause when there’s construction, hard drives would get dusty and all that.
“So I [packed everything up], including that computer was all backed up on a hard drive. So I’ll find it. And I hope Wendy has some other kickass stuff. I really do. ‘Cause that would be pretty cool to hear an album of unreleased stuff that was original music and/or some really cool versions [of previously released songs]. I can only imagine there’s gotta some cool stuff that they did that maybe they didn’t use with Viv [Vivian Campbell].”
Renowned for his contributions to BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, and his own band DIO, Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer in May 2010, leaving a void in the music world at the age of 67.
Fast forward to July 2021, Wendy Dio, his widow, revealed the possibility of unveiling “approximately three tracks” from Ronnie‘s archive. During a LiveSigning event, she shared, “There are actually around three songs that Ronnie had been collaborating on. One of these was a collaboration between Ronnie and the late [former DIO and RAINBOW bassist] Jimmy Bain. Another involved Craig [Goldy, former DIO guitarist] and Ronnie, who were jointly crafting material that unfortunately got shelved. Lastly, Ronnie had been engaged in a creative endeavor with Doug Aldrich, working on a song.”
“All things are in a vault,” she explained. “I have to go into the vault… We are taking the necessary steps — we are having it all itemized and categorized. And Wyn Davis, who was Ronnie‘s engineer, who loved Ronnie to death and Ronnie loved working with him. He’s the only person I really trust to do that. So he’s going there, going through the stuff, and he will listen to those songs and tell me if those are what Ronnie would approve.
“Because Ronnie was a perfectionist, so it has to be something that Ronnie would put out. We’re not gonna shove something out because it’s got Ronnie‘s name on it; that’s not what Ronnie would want, and I would never do that to Ronnie. But if the lyrics are there and Ronnie sang the parts, we can always have the band go in and play the music. But we have to make sure that it’s sung properly.”
Ronnie achieved worldwide acclaim as an iconic figure, leaving an indelible mark on the heavy metal genre with his extraordinary vocal prowess. The artist confronted a cancer diagnosis in the latter part of 2009, embarking on a challenging journey of chemotherapy. His ultimate public appearance took place in April 2010, a poignant moment as he graced the Revolver Golden Gods Awards stage in Los Angeles.
In a significant literary release, Ronnie‘s memoir, titled “Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography,” emerged in July 2021 through Permuted Press. This introspective work was a collaborative effort with Mick Wall, a cherished friend of three decades and a respected music writer who continued Ronnie‘s narrative following his departure.
Presenting an unprecedented portrayal of Ronnie James Dio‘s life and legacy, “Dio: Dreamers Never Die” stands as a comprehensive documentary encompassing his entire career. The forthcoming release, set to arrive in September, will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats, providing an immersive exploration of the remarkable journey undertaken by this legendary figure.