Ronnie James Dio was a legend in the world of metal. He was in influential and successful bands such as Blackmore's Rainbow and Black Sabbath. After spending time in both of those heavy-weight lineups, he went after a solo career and knew exactly what he wanted to do. Success followed him again down that path.
"Holy Diver" (1983) is Dio's first and best solo recording. The following release "The Last In Line" (1984) was strong as well, however, it has not held up as well and "Holy Diver" remains the classic Dio recording from his solo catalog.
Audio Fidelity acknowledges that with a limited numbered 24-karat gold disc edition of the release.
Dio's backing musicians insured his success. Drummer Vinny Appice, who played with him in Black Sabbath, veteran bassist Jimmy Bain, and a guitarist by the name of Vivian Campbell, who would go on to play with bands like Def Leppard, gave the lead singer the sound he was looking for.
1. Stand Up and Shout
2. Holy Diver
4. Caught in the Middle
5. Don't Talk to Strangers
6. Straight Through the Heart
8. Rainbow in the Dark
9. Shame on the Night
The quality of the tracks on "Holy Diver" is exceptional and it goes without saying that they were archetypal metal. Many have become classics of the genre and are still respected today as staples of any metal head's diet. The Audio Fidelity remastering process lends itself very well to the Dio sound and it shines brightly on all these tracks. I was immediately brought back to the year this album was released when "Stand Up and Shout" reared its head and shook out the cobwebs. Dio had a very unique and identifiable sound and vocal range.
Metal is high-energy music that has a lot of power and bringing out all of those highlights were essential in helping the listener to relive this classic recording while allowing you to enjoy some of the other nuances that went unnoticed on previous versions. These collectable gold discs always manage to please in many ways.
Fans of metal and Dio's legacy will be thrilled to hear all of those great tracks again including "Stand Up and Shout," "Straight Through the Heart," and the most memorable of all "Rainbow in the Dark."
The legend of Ronnie James Dio will live on through his music. He left us with a lot of memories to enjoy. It is always a pleasure to receive one of these fine 24kt gold disc; I am guaranteed to have a great time listening.
Long live rock 'n' roll and thanks for all the great music Ronnie, we will never forget you.
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