In Tenacious D’s 2006 movie The Pick of Destiny, metal icon Ronnie James Dio gave his blessing to a “young” Jack Black, saying, “Go, my son, and rooock.” Now Black and bandmate Kyle Gass are paying tribute to the Black Sabbath and Rainbow singer, who died of cancer in 2010, with a cover of Dio’s 1984 howler “The Last in Line” for a metal-studded new tribute comp entitled Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life.
The album, set for release April 1st, also features new covers of songs from Dio’s entire career by a number of metal’s biggest names. Metallica recorded “Ronnie Rising Medley,” a nine-minute medley of songs from Dio’s years in Rainbow, his band with former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, including “Stargazer,” “Kill the King,” “Tarot Woman” and “A Light in the Black.” Elsewhere, Anthrax tackled the Dio-era Black Sabbath track “Neon Knights” and Motörhead recruited Saxon vocalist Biff Byford to sing the Rainbow song “Starstruck” with them. The Scorpions and Halestorm have also contributed new recordings, as have a number of one-off supergroups featuring members of Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell, Slipknot and more. The 13-track compilation also includes previously released tracks by Killswitch Engage, Doro and, of course, Dio, whose 1996 track “This Is Your Life” makes a fitting appearance.
Proceeds from the album will benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, co-founded by Dio’s widow Wendy (who also produced the compilation). The organization is a non-profit charity fund that supports cancer research and other cancer-related causes.