Time flies, it's only to realize that we were soon sitting in the pimped electric wheelchair and talk music with other seniors. Today, four years ago, a real musical hero left the earth life, we will of course pay attention to this and play a song in his name.
Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona, July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American rock and heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He fronted numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band, Dio. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture in metal culture. Dio sold over 47 million albums throughout his career. Todays tune "Stargazer" is the fifth track from Rainbow's 1976 album Rising. An epic song narrating the story of a wizard whose attempt to fly led to the enslavement of vast numbers of people, it is notable for its musical qualities as well, with the guitar and drum solos cited as important examples of the qualities of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and drummer Cozy Powell.
The long, epic track with symphonic influences starts with a short drum solo by Cozy Powell, a "great drumming moment" frequently cited as an example of his skills. It features the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a mellotron, and what Ritchie Blackmore called "a string thing all playing this half-Turkish Scale". Blackmore's solo, after the second verse, is in B Phrygian dominant scale, and is cited as "one of his best".
The song has been called a "morality tale", and its lyrics are written from the standpoint of a "slave in Egyptian times", according to lyricist Ronnie James Dio. They relate the story of the Wizard, an astronomer become "obsessed with the idea of flying", who enslaves a vast army of people to build him a tower from which he can take off and fly. The people hope for the day when their misery comes to an end, building the tower in harsh conditions ("In the heat and rain, with whips and chains; / to see him fly, so many died"). In the end, the wizard climbs to the top of the tower but, instead of flying, falls down and dies: "no sound as he falls instead of rising. / Time standing still, then there's blood on the sand". The next song, "A Light in the Black", continues the story of the people who have lost all purpose after the Wizard's death "until they see the Light in the Dark", according to Dio.
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Listen to "Rainbow - Stargazer" on Spotify here!