Ozzy himself admits that he was fired from Sabbath for excessive drug and alcohol usage. He was replaced with Ronnie James Dio who assumed the vocals and songwriting for two albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules. Dio had formed a band named Rainbow comprised of the members of his former band, Elf, and Ritchie Blackmore, a major influence behind Deep Purple, another enormously influential metal band who struck big in 1972 with their monstrous hit Smoke on the Water. Dio left Sabbath after two albums and formed a solo project under the self-titled name Dio.
In 1972 Dio's original band, Elf, released the album Trying to Burn the Sun. The song Wonderworld conveys the concept of assimilation and obliteration. "Touch me. I feel. Sail away, into the sun. I'm everyone. Wake me. I dream. I'm what I seem. Drift away into the night. I'm the light... I am the sea, always to be. Drift away into the night. I'm the light. I'm a fire burning higher. Trying to burn the sun, but don't you know the rules just won't apply. Who am I? Wake me. I dream. Now I'm what I seem. So sail away into the sun 'cause I'm everyone."
Rainbow was a rock group formed in 1975 by Ritchie Blackmore after he left Deep Purple. Their first album released in 1976 was Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The hit song Man on the Silver Mountain is written in the persona of the sun: "I'm a wheel, I'm a wheel, I can roll. I can feel and you can't stop me turning 'cause I'm the sun, I'm the sun, I can move. I can run, but you'll never stop me burning! Coming down with fire to lift my spirit higher. Someone's screaming my name. Come and make me holy again! I'm the man on the silver mountain. I'm the day. I'm the day. I can show you the way. And look! I'm right beside you! I'm the night. I'm the night. I'm the dark and the light with eyes that see inside you." The silver mountain could be a metaphor for the moon.
Another song from the debut album was Catch the Rainbow. In it, Dio sings, "We believed we'd
catch the rainbow. Ride the wind to the sun. Sail away on ships of wonder."
Blackmore left the band to form Deep Purple which had hits with Smoke on the
Water, Highway Star, Burn, and Space Truckin'.
Rainbow's second album was Rainbow Rising which featured the songs Stargazer, Starstruck, and Light in the Black. Stargazer proclaims, "High noon. Oh, I'd sell my soul for water. Nine years worth of breakin' my back. There's no sun in the shadow of the wizard. See how he glides. Why, he's lighter than air. Oh, I see his face! Where is your star? Is it far? Is it far? Is it far? When do we leave? I believe, yes, I believe. In the heat and the rain with whips and chains, to see him fly so many die. We build a tower of stone with our flesh and bone...Look at my flesh and bone. Now, look, look, look, look, Look at his tower of stone. I see a rainbow rising. Look there, on the horizon, oh no, who's rising. And I'm coming home, I'm coming home, I'm coming home."
There are several songs which seem to contain the siren motif. The sirens in Greek mythology were mermaids who lured sailors to the rock with their sweet song, culminating in their deaths. Originally the sirens were half bird, half women and were associated with the afterlife. Run With the Wolf once again mentions the hole in the sky, associates it with an unholy light and the concepts of a soul, the color white, the siren and evil. "By the fall of the snow, a single soul will go. The footsteps on the white. There's an unholy light. There's a hole in the sky. Something evil's passing by. What's to come? When the siren calls you, go to run with the wolf...From things that snap and bite, an unholy light. There's a hole in the sky. Something evil is passing by. What's to come? When the siren calls you, go, to run with the wolf."
The song Light in the Black is self-explanatory. "Can't believe it all. Did he really fall? What to do now I don't know. Something's called me back. There's a light in the black. Am I ready to go? I'm coming home...Reaching for somebody's star. Like an open door that you've passed before, but you've never had the key. Something's calling me back. There's a light in the black. Am I ready to go? I'm coming home... I've got my way back home to the sky. There in the sky, I see your star."
The next album was a live recording Long Live Rock 'n' Roll and included the songs Rainbow Eyes and Sensitive to Light. "No signs or mysteries, she lay golden in the sun. No broken harmonies, but I've lost my way. She had rainbow eyes."
Sensitive to Light explains, "Pleasin' to the eye. How can I just disappear? Oh! It ain't clear, no! She's a bright and shining star, but I just must be sensitive to light... She's knockin' at the door, seems to wants some more, never gets the clue. What am I to do? She'll fall and she might call, oh no. She's a bright and shining star, but I just might be sensitive to light."
Dio left Rainbow in 1980 to join Black Sabbath as lead singer and songwriter, replacing Ozzy Osbourne. The first album included Neon Knights: "Circles and rings, dragons and kings weaving a charm and a spell. Blessed by the night, holy and bright, called by the toll of the bell. Bloodied angels fast descending, moving on a never-bending light. Phantom figures free forever out of shadows, shining ever-bright. Neon knights! Neon knights! All right!"
Another song was Children of the Sea, "In the misty morning, on the edge of time, weíve lost the rising sun, a final sign. As the misty morning rolls away to die. Reaching for the stars, we blind the sky. Oh they say that itís over, yeah and it just had to be. Oh, they say that itís over. Poor lost children of the sea, yeah. Look out! The sky is falling down! Look out! The world is spinning round and round and round! Look out! The sun is going black, black. Look out! Itís never never never coming back. Look out!"
The next album, Mob Rules, contained Sign of the Southern Cross. The Crux, Latin for Cross, is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere. "Thereís a rainbow that will shimmer when the summer falls. If an echo darts in dancer when it hears a certain song, then the beast is free to wander, but never is seen around. And itís the sign of the southern cross, All right. Sail away to the sign."
In 1983 Dio left Black Sabbath to form his own band, Dio, releasing the album, Holy Diver. The title track, Holy Diver, encourages us to hide in the sun. "Holy diver, you've been down too long in the midnight sea. Oh what's becoming of me? Ride the tiger. You can see his stripes, but you know he's clean. Oh, don't you see what I mean? Gotta get away. Holy diver, shiny diamonds like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue. Something is coming for you. Look out! Race for the morning. You can hide in the sun 'til you see the light... Holy diver, you're the star of the masquerade...Some light can never be seen... Holy Diver, soul survivor"
Rainbow in the Dark "Where there's lightning, it always brings me down cause it's free and I see that it's me who's lost and never found. I cry out for magic. I feel it dancing in the light. It was cold. I lost my hold to the shadows of the night. There's no sign of the morning coming. You've been left on your own like a rainbow in the dark, a rainbow in the dark. Do your demons, do they ever let you go? When you've tried, do they hide deep inside? Is it someone that you know? You're just a picture. You're an image caught in time. We're a lie, you and I. We're words without a rhyme. There's no sign of the morning coming. You've been left on your own like a rainbow in the dark."
In Caught in the Middle, "You can sail away to the sun and let it burn you while it can. Or walk a long bloody road like the hero who never ran. You'll feel it. You'll feel it. You'll feel the rush of it all. Flying away in the clouds you know you're losing your control. And finding your way in the dark like some poor forgotten soul."
In Don't Talk to Strangers, we are warned, "Don't hide in
doorways. You may find the key that opens up your soul. Don't go to heaven
'cause it's really only hell..."
Dio released their second In 1984. The title track The Last in Line became a hit and included the lines, "You can release yourself, but the only way is down. We don't come alone. We are fire. We are stone. We're the hand that writes, then quickly moves away. We'll know for the first time if we're evil or divine. We're the last in line. We're the last in line. Two eyes from the east. It's the angel or the beast..."
Another song containing the siren motif is All the Fools Sailed Away from the Dream Evil album, which incidently contains a gong called Sunset Superman. "There's perfect harmony in the rising and the falling of the sea. And as we sail along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises -- and a song. We are the innocent. We are the damned. We were caught in the middle of the madness, hunted by the lion and the lamb... And all the fools sailed away, they sailed away, sailed away. And as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we do for promises and a song..."
The song Born on the Sun from Lock up the Wolves implies some of us originated from the sun, programs us to hide in a circle, and perhaps even alludes to the sun as being a hole in the sky. "There's a crack in the rainbow. There's a hole in the sky. You believed in something. Now it's just a lie. No jokes from the jester. Not a laugh from the clown. And your world is upside down. You can hide in a circle. It's a way to survive. Be another number. At least you'd be alive. Or you can ride with the gypsy. He can take you to hell and the answer's screaming in a voice you know so well. You - you're made of fire, never higher, You were made to run. You - you're burning higher. You've got the fire. You were born on the sun."
Dio's song Hide in the Rainbow was included on the soundtrack of the movie Iron Eagle and encourages us to hide in the rainbow: "You see through the mystery and now you can fly, so take your magic carpet ride. Hide in the rainbow. Ride to the sun, yeah! Now the best steel goes through the fire and you seem to burn. The dead man's always a liar, Look out! There's another one learning! You got to hide in the rainbow."
The song Stars was performed live by various rock legends from such successful bands as Dio, Judas Priest, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult, Queensryche, and Y&T. The song proclaims that they are stars and was indeed performed by stars! Maybe that's why we call them rock stars! "Take a look at the sky above you. Those are faces in the light. If the story were told, they are calling you, calling you. We are magic in the night. We are shadow. We are light. We are forever, you and I. We're stars. We're stars. We can be strong. We are fire and stone and we all want to touch a rainbow. But singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you, calling you. We're the beating of a heart, the beginning we're the start. Forever we will shine. We're stars..."
The song Turn to Stone from the Magica album tells the listener that at sundown with the passing of the light, they will give up their spirit to the night to become a stone: "Welcome to sundown, welcome to the dark. Could it be that evil has heroes? Bring everybody down. Celebration, passing of the light, giving up your spirit to the night. You'll turn to stone -- turn to stone. Just forever, you'll turn to stone. Here comes a fire. We'll burn it to the ground. Inside the page lies the power. We've turned it all around. Celebration. Words have control to take away your heart and then your soul." The last line confirms that words have power and that they can take away your soul!!
In 2004, Dio released his latest album, Master of the Moon. The title track reveals, "Turn around
and when you face the sun,
we can make you be like everyone you know. I'll turn away and never face the sun. You'll never make me be like you. I'm master of the moon."
Today the founding member of Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore, is still releasing albums with a renaissance band, Blackmore's Night, which he formed in 1998. The band features a female vocalist for a lead singer and its first two albums, Shadow of the Moon and Under A Violet Moon, contain pagan and wiccan themes. For instance, the first album's title track, Shadow of the Moon: "In the shadow of the moon, she danced in the starlight whispering a haunting tune to the night... Shadow of the Moon... somewhere just beyond the mist, spirits were seen flying as the lightning led her way through the dark.... Shadow of the Moon"
Play Minstrel Play: "Underneath the harvest moon where
the ancient shadows will play and hide with a ghostly tune and the devil's
pride... Play for me, minstrel, play and we'll follow... Hear, listen, can you
hear the haunting melody surrounding you,
weaving a magic spell all around you... Danger hidden in his eyes, we should have seen it from far away, wearing such a thin disguise in the light of day..."
Ocean Gypsy: "Ocean Gypsy of the moon, the sun has made a
thousand nights for you to hold. Ocean Gypsy, where are you?
The shadows followed by the stars have turned to gold, turned to gold. Then she met a hollow soul, filled him with her light and was consoled. She was the moon and he, the sun, was gold. Eyes were blinded with his light. The sun he gave reflected back the night. The moon was waning, almost out of sight. Softly Ocean Gypsy calls..."
Morning Star from Under A Violet Moon: "So within the chase we soon will find the light of the moon. Those left behind try to free the gypsy in their hearts by trying to catch the morning star..."
Gone With the Wind: "Rage inferno swallowing the life that I know. Strength is the only way to fight. You must look up to see the light. Gone with the Wind. Take all I know, turn it into darkened shadows. They'll disappear in the sun..."
The band's third album, Fires At Midnight, opens with the song
Written in the Stars. "Once written in the stars, a
pathway set in stone, a candle in the night to guide your way back home. Then
somewhere in your memory, calling from afar, it's daring you to see what it is
that's written in the starsÖ"
Home Again: "Dancing in the moonlight, singing in the rain, oh, it's good to be back home again. Laughing in the sunlight, running down the lane, oh, it's good to be back home again. When you play with fire sometimes you get burned..."
The most recent album, Ghost of a Rose, contains Loreley, a tune named after a siren from Greek mythology. "Following a song, Legend's faded storyline tried to warn us all. Oh, they called her Loreley. Careful or you'll fall. Oh the stories we were told. Quite a vision to behold. Mysteries of the seas in her eyes of gold. Laying on the silver stone, such a lonely sight. Barnacles become a throne, my poor Loreley. And the winds would cry and many men would die and all the waves would bow down to the Loreley. You would not believe your eyes, how a voice could hypnotize. Promises are only lies from Loreley. In a shade of mossy green, seashell in her hand. She was born the river queen. Magic reigns the land. Oh, the song of Loreley charms the moon right from the sky. She will get inside your mind, loveley Loreley. When she cries, 'Be with me until the end of time!'" It's interesting that Loreley is "laying on a silver stone". This is most likely a reference to the moon and could explain why she "charms the moon right from the sky".
Blackmore has come a long way from his days with Deep Purple and Rainbow. Along with Smoke on the Water, the 1972 album Machine Head contained the song Space Truckin', "We got music in our solar system. We're space trucking round the stars. Come on, come on, come on. Let's go space trucking. The fireball that we ruled was moving and now we got the new machine."
Another popular song from the same album was Highway Star, a song which was ostensibly written about a passion for fast cars. Taken esoterically, it could conceivably be yet another allusion to the siren star. "Oooh, she's a killing machine... I seed her... I'm a highway star."
Deep Purple is also well known for their hit Woman From Tokyo. "Fly into the rising sun. Faces smiling, everyone. Yeah, she is a whole new tradition. I feel it in my heart... Rising from the neon gloom, shining like a crazy moon. Yeah, she turns me on like a fire. I get high. My woman from Tokyo. She makes me see."
Deep Purple, Our Lady, "Thinking out of line just to make the sun shine. Anyway I can be like you. fighting with the truth, trying to hide a fool in a fantasy. I'm dreaming. Lay me down and come take me now our Lady of the skies. Hiding in the sun like a loaded gun, reality..."
Stormbringer: "Ride the rainbow. Crack the sky. Stormbringer coming. Time to die..."
Evil Louie, "It's a lie, it's a fact. Has the cat got your tongue? Been too long in the sun, there's dust on your tracks. There's no going back. Come to think of it's a load of monkeys every time you listen to your sun kissed lover's words. Evil Louie is tomorrow's sadness. It's a game of madness in a perfect world."
The album Come Taste the Band ends with the instrumental, Owed to G. This title contains a couple hidden meanings. First off, the band is telling you that they owe G, the sun. This is because they made a deal with the sun god, Lucifer, or Evil Louie. They sold their souls and now owe. The other pun is that the song is an ode to G, a dedication of praise. The next to last song, You Keep on Moving, sets up Owed to G nicely. "...Dawn will soon be breaking. The day has just begun. You put your arms around me like a circle 'round the sun. Dance across the seasons to a place that no one knows, where angels fear to tread."
Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride which told the listener to "let the sound take you away" for the carpet "flies near, to the stars away from here" is alluded to in Gates of Babylon. "A magic carpet ride, a genie may be more. A city of heavenly sin. Sleep with the Devil and then you must pay. Sleep with the devil and the Devil will take you away. Oh, gates of Babylon. You're riding the endless caravan, bonded and sold as a slave... sleep with the Devil and the Devil will take you away. Black gates of Babylon. The Devil is me and I'm holding the key to the gates of sweet hell, Babylon."
Now let's examine the band, who according to VH1, influenced heavy metal music the most -- Black Sabbath.