Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath in 1982, and in 1983 he released his legendary solo debut, Holy Diver. However, Dio’s wife Wendy Dio claims that the history of heavy metal could have been very different. Wendy stated in an interview with Full Metal Jackie that Dio wrote “Holy Diver” and “Don’t Talk To Strangers” during his time with Black Sabbath and took them with him when he left the band. “Ronnie always pursued his own desires. He never considered what the record label or anyone else desired. In creating the album, he never deviated from his principles. He had high hopes for its success. None of us anticipated how successful it would be. The songs ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’ were written while he was a member of Black Sabbath, so they were intended to be Sabbath songs.
“When he left Sabbath, we had a solo deal for him, and he simply put those songs on the album, got the band together, wrote more songs, and the album was released. Everyone was blown away by how well we were received, how great the album was, and how well it has stood the test of time. Next year will mark forty years.”
Between 1979 and 1982, and then again between 1991 and 1992, Dio fronted Black Sabbath. In a recent interview, Dio’s drummer during the Ozzy era, Vinny Appice, stated that Dio “hated” singing Ozzy’s songs and received more than enough criticism from fans regarding Ozzy’s absence. “Ronnie had to tolerate people in the front with ‘Where’s Ozzy?’ signs and other ‘Where’s Ozzy?’ paraphernalia, and he was forced to do so. And he detested singing those songs, specifically “Iron Man,” “Sweet Leaf,” and the Ozzy songs. This is why Heaven & Hell eventually stopped playing old material years later.”