Dio is a legend of heavy metal. He has recorded with some of the greatest bands in the world including, of course, Black Sabbath and Rainbow. His solo albums are just as incredible. I can honestly say that I have been a fan since the beginning. I saw Dio in Philadelphia at a little theatre in Downtown Philly with Twisted Sister. A year later he sold out the Spectrum with Twisted Sister again opening the show. Ronnie also sang for Elf in the early to mid 1970's as well as did some vocals on Kerry Livegrin's first solo album.

Holy Diver
Dio-Holy Diver
(Warner Bros.) 1983

1. "Stand Up and Shout" (3:15)
2. "Holy Diver" (5:54)
3. "Gypsy" (3:39)
4. "Caught in the Middle" (4:15)
5. "Don't Talk to Strangers" (4:53)
6. "Straight Through the Heart" (4:32)
7. "Invisible" (5:26)
8. "Rainbow in the Dark" (4:15)
9. "Shame on the Night" (5:20)

Ronnie James

One of the all-time greatest heavy metal discs. This and the next three Dio CDs would feature the "classic" lineup of Ronnie James Dio with ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain, ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinnie Appice and guitarist Vivian Campbell. Also on board was keyboardist Claude Schnell who had played behind the scenes with Black Sabbath. For some strange reason Claude was never listed as a member but would be with Ronnie for quite some time. There is not a song on this disc that I do not love. Of course "Rainbow in the Dark" was a huge hit for Ronnie.

LAst in Line Dio-The Last in Line (Warner Bros.) 1984

1."We Rock" (4:35)
2."The Last in Line" (5:48)
3."Breathless" (4:09)
4."I Speed at Night" (3:26)
5."One Night in the City" (5:14)
6."Evil Eyes" (3:38)
7."Mystery" (3:55)
8."Eat Your Heart Out" (4:02)
9."Egypt (The Chains Are On)" (7:02)

It must have been hard to follow up an album as strong as "Holy Diver" but "Last in Line" is just as impressive. There are a few less impressive songs on this disc but the majority are excellent; the title track being one of the best. "I Speed at Night" is one of the faster Dio songs. "Breathless" is another Dio classic.

Dio-Sacred Heart (Warner Bros.) 1985

1."King of Rock and Roll" -live (3:49)
2."Sacred Heart" (6:27)
3."Another Lie" (3:48)
4."Rock 'n' Roll Children" (4:32)
5."Hungry for Heaven" (4:10)
6."Like the Beat of a Heart" (4:24)
7."Just Another Day" (3:23)
8."Fallen Angels" (3:57)
9."Shoot Shoot" (4:20)

Hmm...I suppose this was Ronnie's attempt at commercialism. Ronnie's popularity had grown to epic proportions over the past two albums and I would imagine that the record company was putting a lot of pressure on Ronnie to write some radio friendly stuff like "Rainbow in the Dark." There are a few choice jems on this disc, like "King of Rock and Roll" and "Another Lie." "Hungry for Heaven," a song that was also used in the movie "Vision Quest," was an obvious attempt at recreating "Rainbow in the Dark". Dio's stage show had become outrageous by this point with Ronnie even slaying a giant dragon on stage. He created a video from a show that I was at, "Live at the Spectrum" or something like that. "Shoot, Shoot" is one of the worst Dio songs ever.

Intermission Dio-Intermission (Warner Bros.) 1986

1."King of Rock and Roll" (3:41)
2."Rainbow in the Dark" (4:42)
3."Sacred Heart" (6:23)
4."Time to Burn" (4:25)
5."Rock 'N' Roll Children (medley)" (9:40)
(Long Live Rock 'N' Roll/Man on the Silver Mountain)
6."We Rock" (4:55)

"Intermission" is a live EP that was harder than heck to find on cd. I use to own all Dio's 12" singles. All of them contained a live track on the b-side. I wish Warner Bros. would re-release this live EP with all those b-sides as bonus tracks. Now that would be a great disc. As it stands, this live disc is good, just too short. "Time to Burn" is a new studio track that was sandwiched between the live songs.

Dream Evil Dio-Dream Evil (Warner Bros.) 1987

1."Night People" (4:06)
2."Dream Evil" (4:26)
3."Sunset Superman" (5:45)
4."All the Fools Sailed Away" (7:10)
5."Naked in the Rain" (5:09)
6."Overlove" (3:26)
7."I Could Have Been a Dreamer" (4:42)
8."Faces in the Window" (3:53)
9."When a Woman Cries" (4:43)

A return to form for Dio, in my opinion. "Dream Evil" is much heavier than "Sacred Heart." The songs have better hooks as well. "Sunset Superman," "Night People" and "All the Fools Sailed Away" are some standout cuts. "Naked in the Rain" is a cool song as well. When I saw Dio in April 2000, he played a few of these songs and they sounded as good as all the older classics. This was about the time Ronnie started to play musical chairs with musicians. Vivian Campbell left, or was kicked out, and went on to play with Whitesnake then on to Def Leppard. The cover art on this album is very cheesy.

Lock Up the Wolves Dio-Lock Up the Wolves (Reprise) 1990

1."Wild One" (4:02)
2."Born on the Sun" (5:39)
3."Hey Angel" (4:59)
4."Between Two Hearts" (6:27)
5."Night Music" (5:05)
6."Lock Up the Wolves" (8:30)
7."Evil on Queen Street" (6:01)
8."Walk on Water" (3:42)
9."Twisted" (4:44)
10."Why Are They Watching Me" (5:00)
11."My Eyes" (6:34)

"Lock Up the Wolves" features an entirely new line-up: guitarist Craig Gouldy, Simon Wright of AC/DC fame and ex-Malmsteen keyboardist Jens Johanssen. Jens would eventually go on to be with Stratovarious. (I'll bet if someone made one of those family trees for Dio, it would be quite large but very interesting.) This disc, despite having one of the coolest covers ever, is just not up to par with all of Dio's past albums. I dunno, itís just sort of forgettable. Without having the cd on, I can only pick out one song that I can even remember, "Hey Angel."

Dio- Diamonds -The Best of Dio (Vertigo) 1992

1."Holy Diver" (5:51)
2."Rainbow in the Dark" (4:15)
3."Don't Talk to Strangers" (4:53)
4."We Rock" (4:32)
5."The Last in Line" (5:44)
6."Evil Eyes" (3:36)
7."Rock 'N' Roll Children" (4:31)
8."Sacred Heart" (6:24)
9."Hungry for Heaven" (4:09)
10."Hide in the Rainbow" (4:04)
11."Dream Evil" (4:24)
12."Wild One" (4:01)
13."Lock Up the Wolves" (8:30)

I own this cd for one reason; "Hide in the Rainbow" the song from the "Iron Eagle" soundtrack, which I have never seen. Some copies of this disc have a misprint on the back where "Sacred Heart" is listed as "Sacred Children." Well at least they didn't make the same mistake with "Hungry for Children." There is also a cd with similar track listing called "Dio-Anthology."

Strange Highways Dio-Strange Highways (Reprise) 1993

1.   "Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost" (4:13)
2.  " Firehead" (4:06)
3.   "Strange Highways" (6:54)
4.   "Hollywood Black" (5:10)
5.   "Evilution" (5:37)
6.   "Pain" (4:14)
7.   "One Foot in the Grave" (4:01)
8.   "Give Her the Gun" (5:58)
9.   "Blood from a Stone" (4:14)
10.  "Here's to You" (3:24)
11.  "Bring Down the Rain" (5:45)

Another new guitarist, Tracy G, who manages to stay with Dio for the next few albums. "Strange Highways" also maked the return of Vinnie Appice. I'm not sure what the deal is, but Dio's studio stuff just isn't what it use to be. The songs are just not as memorable. The one thing I give Dio credit of is that he at least stayed true to himself and didn't sell out to grunge or some other crappy trend when his popularity disintegrated. I am so glad that Dio never did a MTV unplugged album. Anyhow, another killer cover, but the songs are just not his best although this album is slightly better than "Lock Up the Wolves."

I use to own an cd by a band called 8 Ball Cholos called "Satan's Whore" which also featued Tracy G, but I never listened to it, so I traded it off.

Angry MAchines Dio-Angry Machines (Mayhem) 1996

1.   "Institutional Man" (5:08)
2.   "Don't Tell the Kids" (4:19)
3.   "Black" (3:11)
4.   "Hunter of the Heart" (4:13)
5.   "Stay out of My Mind" (7:11)
6.   "Big Sister" (5:36)
7.   "Double Monday" (2:56)
8.   "Golden Rules" (4:54)
9.   "Dying in America" (4:39)
10.   "This Is Your Life" (3:25)

Two steps up from the awful "Lock Up the Wolves," with a few standout cuts, like "Hunter of the Heart" "Black" and "Double Monday." Also, album closer "This Is Your Life" is a splendid piano ballad. Still, "Angry Machines" is just not up to the standards that Dio set for himself with "Holy Diver" and "Last in Line." Tracy G, who somehow managed to get some song writing credits, just doesn't seem to fit into the Dio sound. Another cool cd cover. Jeff Pilson of Dokken plays bass on this release.

Inferno: Last in Live Dio-Inferno: Last in Live (Mayhem) 1998

1."Intro" (1:36)
2."Jesus, Mary & Holy Ghost" (3:27)
3."Straight Through the Heart" (5:47)
4."Don't Talk to Strangers" (6:02)
5."Holy Diver" (4:59)
6."Drum Solo" (4:01)
7."Heaven and Hell" (7:29)
8."Double Monday" (3:18)
9."Stand Up and Shout" (4:08)
10."Hunter of the Heart" (5:15)
1."Mistreated/Catch the Rainbow" (10:11)
2."Tracy G-Guitar Solo" (3:38)
3."The Last in Line" (6:54)
4."Rainbow in the Dark" (4:56)
5."The Mob Rules" (3:37)
6."Man on the Silver Mountain" (2:11)
7."Long Live Rock and Roll" (4:14)
8."We Rock" (5:40)

Obviously Ronnie knows what his fans want to hear as his live set comprises almost completely of early material. Dio delivers five songs from "Holy Diver," two from "Last in Line," plus a few classics from Black Sabbath and Rainbow . I sort of wish he would have included some material from "Dream Evil" rather than Deep Purple's "Mistreated." Also, Vinnie Appice's drum solo is rather simple. For some reason, I remember him doing a better drum solo than this. In any case, this is a good live album. While Dio's recent studio efforts have not been his best work, there is no question that he is still a stellar live performer.

Magica Dio-Magica (Spitfire) 2000

1.   "Discovery" (:54)
2.   "Magica Theme" -instrumental (1:16)
3.   "Lord of the Last Day" (4:04)
4.   "Fever Dreams" (4:37)
5.   "Turn to Stone" (5:19)
6.   "Feed My Head" (5:39)
7.   "Ebeil" (7:22)
8.   "Challis" (4:01)
9.   "As Long as It's Not About Love" (6:28)
10.  "Losing My Insanity" (5:04)
11.  "Otherworld" (4:56)
12.  "Magica (reprise)" (1:53)
13.  "Lord of the Last Day (reprise)" (1:44)
14.  "Magica Story" (18:21)

I dunno, maybe it's nastalgia, maybe it's that I'm a Dio diehard, but I love this disc. Bought it new the day it came out. Listened to it over and over again as I had a ticket to see Dio at a local bar and I wanted to be familiar with the new disc. Good thing I did as he played the ENTIRE DISC from start to finish. Thankfully, it did not included track #14 which is Dio telling the story of Magica. Never have made it all the way through it. Magica is the first Dio concept disc and is a sci-fi tale of good (Blessing) vs. evil (Evilsyde). "Magica" marked the return of bassist Jimmy Bain as well as guitarist Craig Gouldy and ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright . Tracy G apparently was asked to play second guitarist to Craig, but refused and stepped down. Hmm, probably was a wise decision. Check out the Tribute section for the Dio tribute.

Dio has also appeared on the Aersomith tribute cd, "Not the Same Old Song & Dance" singing "Dream On" with Yngwie Malmsteen on guitar

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