Archive for Holy Diver

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Dio- Dream Evil

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2021 by 80smetalman

After what many people thought was the flop of Dio’s third album, “Sacred Heart,” (I never thought it was), all eyes were on the band for their fourth album, “Dream Evil.” The question on everyone’s minds was to whether they could return to the level of their first two fantastic albums. For most people, “Dream Evil” was an improvement on “Sacred Heart,” me included. That left the next question as to how it compared to “Holy Diver” and “The Last in Line.”

In short, I have to agree with what most people and critics thought, “Dream Evil” was a better than “Sacred Heart” but did not quite reach the bar set by those first two albums. While I don’t normally score albums, I leave that to some of you, on a scale of 1-10, I would have given “Holy Diver an 11, “The Last in Line” a 10 and “Sacred Heart” and 8. Therefore, I have to give “Dream Evil” a 9 and now I will explain why.

First, let me focus on the not positive. All three of the previous albums have really throat grabbing opening songs but while “Night People” is a decent opener, it is not as throat grabbing. However, it does the job of keeping my attention. Then we come to the title track and that is also a decent song which keeps me listening but still it doesn’t totally ‘WOW’ me either. Since, I am focusing on the not positive first, I have to skip to the closing songs. “Faces in the Window” is a good penultimate track so I shouldn’t call it not positive, silly me. I won’t say that “When a Woman Cries” isn’t a good closer, it is probably the best choice for the role on this album, it doesn’t reach the bar set by one of the best album closing songs of all times, “Egypt, The Chains Are On” from “The Last in Line” album. I realize that was a very hard standard to measure up to.

Let’s move onto the very positive. Coming after the title track are my two favourite songs on the album, “Sunset Superman” and “All the Fools Sailed Away.” While I don’t want to engage in a debate with Lana on her review of this album as she didn’t quite fancy either song, I really like them. However, I can understand her point on “Sunset Superman” as Ronnie seems to spend the last two minutes of the song repeating the title. For a lot of singers, that would become boring after a minute but Ronnie was one of those singers who could have spent three minutes singing: “I’m going to decapitate your hamster with a spoon” and his voice still would have had me hooked. As for “All the Fools Sailed Away,” I had the experience of hearing it performed live at Donnington 1987 and it was mind blowing. The recorded version almost lives up to the live version and it’s one of those songs which just moves me into belting out the chorus. Plus, the keyboard’/guitar solo tradeoff in the middle of the song is very nicely done.

Like with “All the Fools Sailed Away,” they played “Naked in the Rain” and though hearing live was brilliant, the studio version, while not as dynamic is still a good listen. “Overlove” is a good fast paced song which further demonstrates the band’s versatility. Furthermore, I love how Craig Goldy’s guitar work brings in the song. Then we come to the second single, “I Could Have Been a Dreamer.” This is another great song to sing along to and it sticks in you mind long after it finishes. That could be why the last two songs aren’t as memorable for me.

Track Listing:

  1. Night People
  2. Dream Evil
  3. Sunset Superman
  4. All the Fools Sailed Away
  5. Naked in the Rain
  6. Overlove
  7. I Could Have Been a Dreamer
  8. Faces in the Window
  9. When a Woman Cries
Dio

Ronnie James Dio- lead vocals

Craig Goldy- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

What I hated about the MTV video version of this song was they cut the solos out of it.

One comparison I didn’t make, which a lot of people were talking about in 1987 was comparing and contrasting the guitar work of Craig Goldy on “Dream Evil” vs that of Vivian Campbell on the previous albums. I never did because I thought both were very good guitarists on Dio albums. So, like I said earlier, “Dream Evil” was an improvement on “Sacred Heart” but not to the standard of the first two. Then again, that was a hard bar to clear. It is still a very good solid album from Ronnie and the boys.

Next post: Manowar- Fighting the World

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Dio- The Last in Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2018 by 80smetalman

No further evidence to support the fact that 1984 was the year of heavy metal is needed beyond the fact that Dio had two songs from their second album, “The Last in Line” played on commercial radio. When I first heard the title track played on my local commercial station, I wasted no time in cranking up the volume and breaking out the air guitar. I was working at a parking lot at the time but it didn’t matter one bit if I was the subject of people’s attention. To hear such a song on the radio was completely mind blowing at the time.

The video to the track, “The Last in Line” was cool in my view but it did come in for a lot of criticism at the time. In the eyes of the religious fanatics, scenes of people getting tortured by Satan’s minions was a major problem. Of course, if they bothered to watch the entire video, they would have seen that the protagonist in it does make his escape with the help of Ronnie himself. My conclusion was that it’s a cool video for a great song.

“Mystery” the second single, didn’t do quite as well but I love this song too and the video for it. The video is a more fantasy setting so no one gets tortured in it. After one showing of it on MTV, the vee-jay said “Mystery” was the closest thing to a ballad from Dio. Maybe so, it would be another twelve years before “Angry Machines” and the closer to it, which is a definite ballad. Still, I continue to love “Mystery.”

Now, let me go to the four tracks which some people consider to be filler. I don’t because I consider “Breathless,” “I Speed at Night,” “Evil Eyes” and “Eat Your Heart Out” to all be good tracks. Maybe the heavy breathing before “Breathless” is a little OTT but that intro and Ronnie’s “No No No No No” more than cancel it out. Coming home from visiting my children the other night, I realise that I do speed at night. In some cases, I discovered that I was doing 80 on the motorway, so that song is very true. “Eat Your Heart Out” has a cool intro as well and I love how “Evil Eyes” ends. So, in my mind, these songs aren’t filler.

As for the three songs I haven’t mentioned, well, they are better than the four I just mentioned. “We Rock” would have been used to open their shows on tour for “The Last in Line” had they not had a better show opener from the “Holy Diver ” album. “Stand Up and Shout” is one of the greatest show opening songs ever. But while it might not have opened the show, Dio still had the sense to play it on their next couple of tours. It is a cool song. “One Night in the City” is my hidden gem on the album. I have always loved Ronnie’s ability to tell stories behind the great music and on this one, it’s near perfect. The same can be said for the closer, “Egypt (The Chains are On.)” This too tells a great story behind what is some great music. I don’t quite rate it as good as “One Night in the City” but it does make an excellent closer for the album.

Most people can attest to the great vocals of Ronnie James Dio and he does a superb job on “The Last in Line.” However, the rest of the band needs their credit where due. Vivian Campbell lays down some brilliant guitar solos on here. Why some people call him overrated I’ll never under stand. Jimmy Bain and Vinnie Appice remain the tight rhythm section on this albums as much as they were on the last one. Then there’s the new addition on the album. It was here, keyboards player Claude Schnell joined the band and his contribution to the band is immense. All together, these five men work together and put out a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. We Rock
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Breathless
  4. I Speed At Night
  5. On Night in the City
  6. Evil Eyes
  7. Mystery
  8. Eat Your Heart Out
  9. Egypt (The Chains are On)

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

 

 

The best concert I ever went to in my life happened on this tour. Dio, supported by Twisted Sister was a night I will take to my grave with me as one of the great highs. One of the main contributors to this ecstasy was the fact that it was “The Last in Line” album. Thinking back to when I wrote about this concert in “Rock and Roll Children,” I didn’t highlight just how magnificent a show it was.

Next Post: Helix- Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Dio- Holy Diver

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

dio
Like with David Bowie’s and Motorhead’s 1983 albums, I was hoping to write about the debut album from Dio, in 1983, under much happier circumstances. With the passing of Dio bassist, Jimmy Bain, I feel that it should be a fitting tribute to him that I post about this iconic album now.

Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

What can I say about “Holy Diver” that hasn’t already said? Probably nothing, therefore, I am going to speak about it straight from the heart and yes the pun is intended. From my first listen, I admit it wasn’t til early 1984 when I got that opportunity, til now, I was and still am completely blown away by it. No wonder it’s my fourth favourite album of all time.

Why is this album so good? Let’s start with the opener, “Stand Up and Shout.” That is one of the best album and concert opening songs of all time. A great opener will grab you by the throat and make you listen to the entire album. It’s no wonder, Dio opened with this song three of the five times I’ve seen them live.

You are the driver
you own the road
you are the fire — go on, explode

Then comes my favourite Dio song of all time, the title track. If I were running a ‘Headbanging for Beginners’ course, “Holy Diver” would be the first song I would use. This unique but catchy riff is just plain phenomenal. I still remember at the local nightspot in London for heavy metal, scores of metalheads all in a huddle headbanging away to it. The song is so easy to do that with. Not only that, there are Ronnie James Dio’s lyrics, (he was top of his game here), and Vivian Campbell just nails the guitar solo. For me, it’s always been truly an amazing song.

Between the velvet lies

There’s a truth as hard as steel

A vision never dies

Life’s a never ending wheel.

Following the title cut are two more excellent songs in the form of “Gypsy” and “Caught in the Middle.” With both songs, we see some heavy chords being struck while in sync with more of Ronnie’s lyrics.

Take a look at yourself, you might see someone you don’t know

If you haven’t already figured it out, the above lyrics were from “Caught in the Middle.” After that is what many claim to be the best non single or song that should have been released as one on the album. Anyone who has any experience of Dio will know “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Its eerie intro followed by lyrics that can be of sound advice before exploding into pure heavy metal mania with Campbell’s solo probably being the best one on the album. There’s something for everyone to like here. It is most likely the reason why Dio has played this song all five times I’ve seen them live.

Having originally procured “Holy Diver” on cassette, I should go on about side two. However, the age of CD’s and MP3 downloads has made me stop dividing albums into sides. “Straight Through the Heart” is a very powerful rocker and maintains the standard the album sets but after that is my choice for best hidden gem on it, “Invisible.” Don’t ask me to explain why or how but I just love that song. I think it’s the way like “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” it starts melodically before hitting you over the head with more power chords. Those chords may not be quite as in your face as the other song but it does the job.

If your surface stays unbroken, then you’re a lucky man

Cause it never, never, never has for me

In the palace of the virgin lies the chalice of your soul

And it’s likely you will find the answer there.

Again, Ronnie’s lyrics are amazing, especially matched with his truly one of a kind voice. Following “Invisible” is the more known “Rainbow in the Dark,” which maybe was Dio’s most successful single. Hell, I remember in 1984, a Budweiser advert being played to this tune. This is the one song where keyboards play a major role but still, they don’t detract from the power of the song.

Now onto the closer, “Shame on the Night.” If I have to pick a least favourite track, it would have to be this one. Don’t get me wrong, it is no way a bad track, I just don’t rate it quite as high as the other eight but what it does do is close the album very nicely, I guess that’s what Ronnie had in mind with it. That is yet another reason why I think “Holy Diver” is so fantastic.

Track Listing:

  1. Stand Up and Shout
  2. Holy Diver
  3. Gypsy
  4. Caught in the Middle
  5. Don’t Talk To Strangers
  6. Straight Through the Heart
  7. Invisible
  8. Rainbow in the Dark
  9. Shame on the Night

Dio

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals, keyboards

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Vinnie Appice- drums

I don’t give a flying fart as to how cliched this statement sounds but I know in my heart that Jimmy has now joined Ronnie and they are jamming away together in a better place. Probably their former Rainbow band mate, Cozy Powell has joined them and if they had any sense, they would invite Jon Lord to do the honours on the keyboards. However, I can’t think of any guitarist who has played along side of these guys who has departed from our world. Therefore, I would suggest they take Criss Oliva from Savatage as his guitar work would fit Ronnie’s vocals perfectly. Who knows, maybe they would make an album as great as “Holy Diver.”

Next post: Billy Idol

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