Dio / Live At Donington UK: 1983 & 1987

At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987

Dio At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987 is a live album from American heavy metal band Dio. It is due for release on November 9, 2010[1], and will be the first release from Dio’s Niji Entertainment Group label.[2] It features two appearances by Dio at the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington: the 1983 show and the 1987 show (from the Holy Diver and Dream Evil tours, respectively).[3] The 1987 concert also features the debut appearance of guitarist Craig Goldy with Dio.[4] In addition to his work with his own band, material from Ronnie James Dio’s time in Black Sabbath and Rainbow is also showcased.

The Analysis: 1983

Stand Up & Shout—-The very first thing you will notice about this recording is the remarkable sound…the second is the level of energy that is transported to recorded material. Dio sounds timeless…full of energy and a remarkable clarity. this is the heyday of 80’s Metal and the vocal is full of the histrionics that made 80’s Hair Metal so huge…this guy is a legend and this proves why!

Straight Through The Heart—-With barely time to catch your breath, Dio & Co. return with this classic track. Here in this live version, the sound is much sludgier and delivered with a nice deep tone that befits the vocal remarkably well. The sound of the crowd is incredible…you can hear the near hysteria..especially when Dio shows exactly how he manages to hit these notes in a live setting…this is fantastic…never one of my favorite songs, here in this arena..it really makes an impression with me.

Children Of The Sea—-Returning to a more ‘classic’ time. Ronnie delivers a vocal that will bring goosebumps from your tailbone right to the tip of your head. This is delivered with a crisp and clear vocal…when the deep sound of the bass really kicks in, you are transported even further back into time. Dio has rarely sounded better…this is incredible…I listen to this over and over and over!!!

Rainbow In The Dark—-Delivering one of his most powerful tracks, this was fairly new at the time and is preformed with an energy that I have not heard in quite sometime. The guitar deliver is fantastic and the keyboard line on this version is perhaps the clearest I have ever heard it before. Dio was really one of the first to deliver such a blatant un-Metal sound…but without it…this would not have been the same song…here it is even more magnificent than ever. I love how much faster this version is…this is superb!!!!

Holy Diver—-Ronnie is relentless…..cranking out one song after the other with barely enough time to breath. The energy never ceases and the sound quality is superb. This has a nice atmospheric intro and the vocal is like nothing you have ever heard…lest than actually hearing the man live…this is fantastic!!! The crisp and clean delivery just serves as a reminder why this man was the giant that he was!

Drum Solo

Stargazer—-This abbreviated version is just enough to remind you how much you love this song and forces you to pull out the original to enjoy once more in its entirety. This is classic stuff…Dio never ceases to amaze me with his incredible and untiring voice…and the band is tight as ever.

Guitar Solo

Heaven And Hell [Long Version]—-Little did Ronnie know back in 1983 how important the Heaven And Hell moniker would actually become to his career years later. This is a classic Sabbath era track that is given the full monty treatment on this disc…lasting an almost incredible 12 minutes, this is full of vocal histrionics…incredible musical showmanship and huge reminders of how important Dio era Sabbath really was to the further evolution of Rock N’ Roll….just incredible!!!

Man On The Silver Mountain—-One of the great…in my opinion…underated tracks from this man’s career, this plays so well live. The sound is much more aggressive and fast…the playing is almost furious..the energy is magnificent. At times, it seems like even Ronnie has problems keeping up with the pace of the music…this is blistering…delivered with huge energy and leaves you with a huge euphoric feeling. Just fantastic!!!

Starstruck—-This slight 47 second Elf track  only serves to lead into the reprise of Man On The Silver Mountain as the show is concluded.

Man On The Silver Mountain [Reprise]—-Ending the show with a huge amount of energy and with a delicious taste in your mouth, Dio only reminds you of the complexities and well planned deliveries of his show. This is one for the books…leaving us to dive into…..

The Analysis: 1987

Dream Evil—-If you thought that the sound quality on the last disc was phenomenal, this one will even surpass anything that you could imagine! The intro is spectacular and you are only left with a huge whet appetite once the song begins for even more spectacular classic Metal from one of the true Gods of the era. This was another of those songs that I think was largely ignored..listen and appreciate…this is classic stuff!!!!

Neon Knights—-Delivering some classic Sabbath material on this release, the Dio band proves that theu=y can stand up very well next to the Metal Heavyweights of the later 70’s and early 80’s. This is delivered with incredible energy and accuracy…bringing a huge smile to my face. Ronnie sounds like he is still a kid…delivering line after line full of histrionics that amaze and leave you missing the man even more. This is just brilliant!

Naked In The Rain—-A great and underheard track from Dream Evil, the band is impressive on this one. The guitar sound is much heavier and metallic to me…Dio seems almost lazy in his vocal..allowing the music to really lead the direction of the track. The lyrics are as you would expect…full of classic Dio euphemisms and quasi-viking tales. This is nice, but by no means a favorite of mine.

Rock And Roll Children—-The crowd goes pretty nuts for this track…the keyboard lines are even more pronounced than you would ever expect. This is so full of energy and passion….you get the feeling that this is a track that Ronnie really loves…this is so nice to hear again…I had almost forgotten about this song. Delivered in this setting, it has become a favorite all over again…gosh…this is just great!!!

Long Live Rock And Roll—-Delivered with that great Blues/Rock feel, this is a boogie-woogie song that allows you to remember where the roots of Heavy Metal came from. Dio delivers this classic song like it was always here…like it was brand new and like it was a mainstream huge hit for him…this is just fantastic!!!

The Last In Line—-Even after hearing this song 1000 times, I am always surprised how much I love it the next time that I hear it. Delivered in this live setting, the energy is freakin’ incredible….and when Dio really hits his stride you are left like a man who is punched in the nuts and left lying flat on the ground…this is an incredible version of this song…you must hear this…enjoy it, savor it and live in it…a classic piece of music!!!

Children Of The Sea—-With a seemless shift, the previous song magically becomes the nest and never allows you to lose your vibe…this is remarkable. The energy never once lets up and you are in so deep to the show that you barely notice the sudden evil and moody change. How freakin’ magnificent!!! This plays back and forth with little effort and just leaves me with a huge smile on my face.

Holy Diver—-And the song magically morphs into this classic…this is all just sdeemless….leaving me aghast at how easily the band manages to shift from mood to mood. This is exquisite!!!!

Heaven and Hell—-Just as quickly the previous becomes this classic…leaving me even more aghast at the seemless and effortless shift between classic and current….previous and new….lost and remembered. This is just as powerful as the 83 band and just as magnificent as the Sabbath incarnation. Dio sounds even more driven on this version…delivering his vocal in a clear and crisp vocal that leaves you believing every single word that is uttered. This is incredible!!!

Man On The Silver Mountain—-Even though this song never really got the attention that I think it deserved, I feel like this must have been a favorite Dio track because he always seemed to manage to sneak it into his live sets. This rendition is even more Metallic than most…delivered with a bit of a slower pace, but a much larger and full feel to the track from the band. This is pure, classic stuff!!!

All the Fools Sailed Away—-Still, to this day, this remains one of my favorite Dio tracks…this has all of the elements that cemented this guys legendary status. The music is damn powerful….the energy is palatable….and the vocal is one of the best ever delivered. This is everything I could ask for..one of the songs I dream about…and one of the tracks that accompany my nightmares!!!

The Last In Line [Reprise]—-Revisiting and setting you up for the huge finale that is….

Rainbow In The Dark—-Ending the show with perhaps one of most the classic Dio songs ever recorded, by this time the synth line that is so important to the song was even more pronounced and accessible than ever. The remarkable thing…Ronnie sounds as fantastic on the last  note as he did on the very first note…this guy could sing his ass off and we are the true recipients of greatness every time we revisit these recordings…thanks Ronnie….and thanks Wendy for the reminder!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]


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