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A Decade Of Dio: 1983-1993 (Boxed Set)

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Thursday, June 30, 2016 @ 3:02 PM

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A Decade Of Dio: 1983-1993 (Boxed Set)


Ronnie James Dio's trademark vocals and lyrical storytelling spellbound hard rock fans since the Seventies and Eighties while being a member of ELF, RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH. In 1982/3, the singer decided to form his own band when he left BLACK SABBATH and brought along drummer Vinny Appice, launching a magical and successful solo career that led to ten studio albums and sales of more than 10 million records worldwide.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Rhino would release a new boxed set, A Decade Of Dio: 1983-1993, that brings together Dio's first six studio albums - each one featuring newly remastered sound. It includes: Holy Diver (1983), The Last In Line (1984), Sacred Heart (1985), Dream Evil (1987), Lock Up The Wolves (1990) and Strange Highways (1993).

Holy Diver (1983)
Originally released on May 25, 1983, the album has been hailed as Dio's best work and a heavy metal classic staple. The album peaked at #56 on Billboard 200 and was certified Gold in the US on September 12, 1984, with Platinum following on March 21, 1989. The band included drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH), bassist Jimmy Bain (RAINBOW), and a young Vivian Campbell (SWEET SAVAGE) on guitar.

Singles from this disc included "Holy Diver" and "Rainbow in the Dark". However, other fan favorites included "Caught in the Middle" and "Don't Talk to Strangers". "Caught in the Middle" shares the main guitar riff with Campbell's previous band SWEET SAVAGE's 1983 song "Straight Through the Heart" - oddly enough, another title on this disc.

The cover of this album features the famous "Murrallsee" or "Murray" overlooking a priest in chains fighting for his life in a stormy sea, and was done by Randy Berrett. He was used as an sketch artist in both "Toy Story II" and "Monsters Inc.", and is one of four art directors credited in "Finding Nemo".

The Last In Line (1984)
Originally released in July 1984, it is the first DIO album to feature former ROUGH CUTT keyboardist Claude Schnell. The disc was certified Gold in the US on September 12, 1984, and was the first DIO album to be certified Platinum on February 3, 1987. This disc peaked on Billboard 200 at #24.

Singles from this disc included "We Rock", "The Last in Line", and "Mystery", this single itself charting at #20 in the US.

Barry Jackson did the cover for the this album, again featuring "Murray" on the front cover. The piece was done entirely in acrylic paint. He went on to do numerous other projects, including Afterburner and Recycler for ZZ TOP.

Sacred Heart (1985)
DIO's third studio album was released in August 1985 on Warner Bros. Records. The record peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart. It is one of Dio's most well-known albums, and includes singles such as "Sacred Heart", "Rock 'n' Roll Children" and "Hungry for Heaven" (the latter also appearing in the movie Vision Quest). The disc reached Gold status in the US on Oct. 15 1985, and was the last DIO album of these six to achieve any sales certifications. The single "Rock 'N' Roll Children" charted at 26 in the UK, the band's best performing single.

The accompanying tour was a production extravaganza involving a industrialized dragon and laser effects, as captured on the VHS (and later DVD reissue) Sacred Heart The Video.

This was the last DIO disc to include guitarist Vivian Campbell, who was fired midway through the album's tour. Campbell went on to join several other bands, most notably DEF LEPPARD and WHITESNAKE.

The cover art is by Robert Florczak. Ronnie James Dio actually did buy the original painting, which was done with oil on paper.

Dream Evil (1987)
Dream Evil is the fourth studio album released DIO, which was released on July 21, 1987. It features former ROUGH CUTT members Craig Goldy and Claude Schnell, and includes the singles "All the Fools Sailed Away" and "I Could Have Been a Dreamer". This song was the last to chart for DIO, reaching #33 is the US.

Dream Evil was DIO's last album to feature "Murray" on the cover and also the last to feature drummer Vinny Appice until the 1993 album Strange Highways. Additionally, it was also the last album to feature bassist Jimmy Bain until the release of 2000's Magica.

Steve Huston designed the Dream Evil cover. He worked as an illustrator in Los Angeles for about eight years from 1981 until 1989.

Lock Up The Wolves (1990)
Lock Up the Wolves is the fifth studio album by DIO, and was released on May 15, 1990. The entire musical arsenal was changed up since the band's last release, and now included eighteen-year-old guitarist Rowan Robertson, and Simon Wright on drums (AC/DC). Rounding out the lineup was Jens Johansson on keyboards, Teddy Cook on bass.

The disc hit #61 on the Billboard 200, and the last single "Hey Angel" failed to chart in the US, but it reached #94 in the UK.

Wil Rees is the only artist so far which has been used twice by Ronnie James Dio. Rees made the cover for both Lock Up the Wolves and Strange Highways. Rees was also the man behind the cover of the DIO reunion with BLACK SABBATH, Dehumanizer.

Strange Highways (1993)
Strange Highways is the sixth studio album released by DIO, and the last in this boxed set. It marks the return of Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice since their reunion tour with BLACK SABBATH. Once again, lineup changes appeared in the form of Tracy Grijalva (WWIII) as the new guitarist, and bassist Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN).

The disc peaked at #142 on the Billboard 200, and was a huge departure from previous releases. Many have called this album Dehumanizer II, both due to the time frame and angry, often pessimistic lyrical content. Gone were the dungeons and wizardry that fans had come to expect. A lot of riff references have often compared the two releases.

As this is a remastered boxed set, and not reissued, there are no little extras included, both visually or musically. What you do get is the first six masterpieces from DIO in one location with enhanced sonic fury. This makes it the perfect time to replace those worn out cassettes and missing CDs. Pre-orders have begun for CD and vinyl versions of A Decade Of Dio: 1983-1993. Both versions come housed in boxes featuring new artwork by Marc Sasso, and the CD set will hit stores on July 22, 2016 for a list price of $34.98.

The vinyl incarnation of the set will be available on October 4, 2016 for $99.98, and comes with a bonus 7" single. On the first side is the 1983 version of Evil Eyes, which was originally released as the b-side on the Holy Diver single. In addition, this version is different from the one featured on the 1984 album The Last In Line. The flip side features "Time To Burn", which was the only studio track featured on the otherwise live release, Intermission (1986).

4.0 Out Of 5.0

Pre-order your CD A Decade Of Dio: 1983-1993 boxed set from the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE or the vinyl version right HERE

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