Dio - At Donington: Live 1983 & 1987

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For the first posthumous release from Niji Entertainment Group, the record label created by the late Ronnie James Dio and his wife Wendy, comes these two vintage Dio live recordings from both the band's appearances at the legendary Monster of Rock Festival in Donington, England. The first set, recorded in 1983, is the least interesting of the two. It was recorded on the first ever Dio tour, so only contains tracks from their first album, Holy Diver, along with a selection of the greatest hits from Ronnie's time with Black Sabbath and Rainbow. As their most successful album the tracks from Holy Diver became mainstays in the Dio set, and the Sabbath/Rainbow tracks always remained as well, meaning most of the songs here were played on almost every subsequent tour and appeared on their later live albums. Nevertheless the recording is of excellent quality and the songs are unarguable. The second disc is most interesting as it was recorded on the Dream Evil tour, most of the songs from which failed to have the staying power in the live set that those from Holy Diver achieved, but are still regarded by fans as amongst Dio's best. Songs like Naking In The Rain and All The Fools Sailed Away were rarely, if ever, played again after this tour and they serve well to break up the hits repeated from the first show. The recording quality is slightly better, given the four year gap between them, but generally speaking the sound is even across both discs. The set comes in a double digipak with plastic replicas of the all access backstage passes from the two festivals. As the first of many archive Dio-related releases to come, this is an excellent starting point, and two recordings long-wished-for in an official release by fans.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2010, Heavy Metal, Live Albums, Quick.Play Reviews,

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