Dio - Evil Or Divine: Live In New York City

SPV
Produced by Paula McCarthy

Put simply, this album is nothing more than the audio from 2003's Evil Or Divine DVD. But, as anyone who owns the DVD will know, the sound is the best bit. The sound quality throughout the DVD is superb, even if the video quality wasn't, so it would always have made a great live CD. Oddly, many record companies make strange deals regarding live DVD. Often, the band isn't allowed to release a recording on CD until at least a year after the DVD. Or they're not allowed to release the CD and DVD separately, resulting in the situation Eagle Rock had with the Alice Cooper Brutally Live DVD where they had to release a new version with a bonus CD. Very irritating for all the fans that already had the DVD. But then, I don't think this is anybody's fault except Eagle Rock, who did exactly the same thing with bonus discs with two Alice Cooper albums and the last Dio album before he moved to SPV. And there were no rules there; they were just trying to make more money.

Not much has been cut from the original recording. Simon Wright's drum solo is gone (thank the Lord), as are most of Ronnie's between-song comments. The only song to have been cut is Lord of The Last Day. Which is a shame on two counts. Firstly, it's a great song. Secondly, it's never been on a Dio live album before. Songs such as Rainbow In The Dark, We Rock, Long Live Rock And Roll and Man On The Silver Mountain have been on all of them. The last one has in fact been on every Rainbow live recording since the dawn of time as well (being a Rainbow song). Surely one of these was a more worthy sacrifice? I guess it's because this is the first (and now destined to be the only) live recording on Spitfire Records, so they wanted all the classics. And given that Lord of The Last Day is from the album Magica, which is on Spitfire, I guess they figured they already had that one. But it's a shame for Dio fans, as we already have too many versions of some of these songs.

Actually, listening to it again, they'd have been best off cutting Doug Aldrich's solo. Without seeing it, it sounds terrible. It would definitely have been better to have another complete song on here. Apart from this, the song selection is good, including many songs not released live by Dio before. From 2002's Killing The Dragon album (this being recorded on the Killing The Dragon tour) we have the title track, Push and Rock And Roll, plus Fever Dreams from the previous album Magica. The rest of the set is all the classic Dio songs he never misses out of any concert, plus a great medley of Egypt (The Chains Are On) and Children of The Sea.

As expected, the quality is superb, the performance likewise. The man is actually incapable of singing badly. He can even put on a flawless performance with flu (London 2002). The package is nice too. I was expecting some cheap hash just to make a bit of money, but the truth is, this was probably always on the cards after the DVD was recorded, regardless of whether the band stayed with the label. The cover is the same as the DVD, but they've made the effort to do a full colour gatefold insert with all the credits and photos of the band members. Full colour picture disc too. Not a bad effort for a release from a band no longer on your label. A worthy addition to any metal collection, as no collection is complete without at least a handful of albums featuring the greatest metal singer of all time, and an absolute must for Dio fans, especially as this blows several Ozzy-sized holes in the other full concert Dio album The Last In Live.

And Holy Diver is on here, in case your were worried.

“ incapable of singing badly ”

Tracklist: Killing The Dragon / Egypt/Children of The Sea / Push / Stand Up And Shout / Rock And Roll / Don't Talk To Strangers / Man On The Silver Mountain / Guitar solo / Long Live Rock And Roll / Fever Dreams / Holy Diver / Heaven And Hell / The Last In Line / Rainbow In The Dark / We Rock

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2005, Heavy Metal, Live Albums,

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