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A Light in the Black: A Tribute to Jimmy Bain

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Jimmy Bain passed away on January 24th, 2016. He enjoyed a lengthy career working beside some of rock’s greatest talents. Bain leaves behind an impressive discography, but is best remembered as the bass player of choice for Ronnie James Dio.

The two first crossed paths in Rainbow. After quitting Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore was determined to make Rainbow a spectacle of sight and sound. Only the very best musicians would be capable of meeting the demands of this mad architect. Jimmy Bain was chosen to round out a rhythm section with the immortal Cozy Powell. Blackmore’s finest moment was complete.


Rainbow, Rising
Rainbow Rising was a true hard rock masterpiece. Bain’s talents were also featured on the double-live album, On Stage. Both offerings document a high point in metal history.

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The classic Rainbow line-up soon disintegrated. It was for the best. Dio stepped into Black Sabbath and gave us a pair of classic albums. When internal conflict made Sabbath difficult, Dio would follow the example of Blackmore before him. It was time to move on and form his own vision.

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Ronnie James Dio could have had anyone play bass in his namesake band. He wanted one person. Jimmy Bain. Along with Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice, the classic DIO lineup was complete.


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Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart and Dream Evil. Jimmy Bain played a part in them all. Not just bass either. His songwriting contributions helped mold the direction of the band. Over a decade later, the talents of Bain would be recruited again to record the highly regarded Magica and Killing The Dragon albums.



Let’s not forget the projects outside of Dio.  Perhaps the most interesting session was his guest appearance on the Thin Lizzy album, Black Rose: A Rock Legend. By willingly inviting another bassist to take the reigns for a song, Phil Lynott paid a high compliment to Jimmy Bain.


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Jimmy Bain’s relationship with Lynott far exceeded a single guest appearance. When the Thin Lizzy frontman was writing his solo albums, Bain was brought in, not as a bassist, but as a songwriter. The two share writing credits on Solo in Soho and The Philip Lynott Album.

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There was something unique in Bain that was valued by the biggest rock stars in the world. Absolute visionaries have chosen Jimmy Bain to be involved in high profile projects. Consequently, he leaves behind a trail of albums that document the life of a true rock and roller.
The future seemed bright for Jimmy Bain. Reunited with Vinny Appice and Vivian Campbell, the original Dio band was reborn as Last in Line. Playing the classic songs they helped write ignited a creative streak. With new material about to be released, the passing of Bain is all the more tragic.

It’s fitting that Bain’s final album was recorded with the band that helped make him famous. “Heavy Crown,” will be the final musical statement from a rock legend.

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One Thought to “A Light in the Black: A Tribute to Jimmy Bain”

  1. Scott B

    Seen Jimmy and Ronnie in Rainbow 79 Stanley Theater pgh. Been a fan ever since. RIP

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