Ozzy Reveals What He Appreciates About Ronnie James Dio's Black Sabbath Era

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

December 14, 2022

Ozzy Osbourne was never interested in getting to know his Black Sabbath replacement, Ronnie James Dio, but he also says he doesn't really have a grudge against Dio.

Ozzy was asked about Dio by Billy Morrison on a recent edition of his 'Ozzy Speaks' radio show. The Prince of Darkness admitted that he never became friendly with Ronnie, but the reason had to do with Ronnie as a person.

"Ronnie did a good job," Ozzy said of the singer's original 1979 - 1982 tenure with Black Sabbath. "At the time I was f---ing sad because ... [Black Sabbath] were the only thing that ever really happened to me."

Dio made two beloved studio albums with Black Sabbath in the '80s, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, he returned to the band briefly in 1992 for Dehumanizer and later formed the Heaven & Hell band with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and one-time Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice, which released the acclaimed The Devil You Know album in 2009 (the last album Ronnie made before his death the following year).

And while Ozzy won't admit to listening to (or enjoying) any Dio Sabbath material, he is at least familiar with Dio as a vocalist (possibly from Dio's pre- and post-Sabbath career). He complimented his fellow Black Sabbath cofounders for hiring "somebody completely different" in his stead, rather than one of the "Ozzy sound-alikes" who were angling for the job. Still, though, the idea of putting on a Dio Sabbath record is not appealing.

"It's like my ex-wife..." Ozzy added of his icy relationship with Dio Sabbath. "[When] you leave a band like that, it's just like getting divorced. You don't go, 'How's your new bloke? Is he better than me?'"

Iommi and Butler both appeared in the recent documentary, Dio: Dreamers Never Die, remembering their longtime friend and former bandmate. Both musicians credited Dio with helping them unlock an exciting new sound for their band that played no small part in their post-Ozzy Renaissance.

But Ozzy's dismissal from Black Sabbath was painful for all parties involved. Butler once described it as the worst day of his, noting he was "in tears" when the band finally ousted Ozzy.

Black SabbathDioOzzy Osbourne
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