Dio - Dream Evil (Deluxe Edition)

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The deluxe edition re-issue series rolls on. This time the fourth album from Ronnie James Dio's eponymous solo band is the subject, following re-releases of his first three albums in 2012, but it would seem that as quickly as these are being produced, the unreleased bonus material available for them is drying up at a similar rate. The first three re-issues were a mixed bag. Holy Diver was the pick of the series, containing a full disc of b-side and live material not currently available on CD. Last In Line similarly provided a disc of unavailable live material, but things started to falter with Sacred Heart, whose bonus disc contained just three out-of-print live b-sides, plus the entire Intermission EP, which is still being produced, and Hide In The Rainbow, which is on the Diamonds collection CD. Now Dream Evil, which many incorrectly think was Dio's last great album, has been given a bonus disc, but aside from the single edit of I Could Have Been A Dreamer, all of the material is already available. For some reason Hide In The Rainbow appears again, plus the entire 1987 Donington Monsters of Rock set, which has already been released on the aptly titled, excellent double-disc set At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 along with the 1983 set. The blame could be partly laid at the feet of the band and their label at the time for releasing two singles with album tracks as b-sides, but when that's the case then the answer is to simply not re-release because it isn't worthwhile. The music of Ronnie James Dio will always deserve to be at the forefront of peoples' minds, and Universal have certainly been relentless with trying to make it so, having already re-released all of his albums with Black Sabbath and Rainbow (a similarly mixed affair in terms of bonus material), but the most important heavy metal singer of all time deserves better treatment than this, especially when there are several known mid-'80s live recordings which haven't been released on CD yet. It remains to be seen whether fifth album Lock Up The Wolves gets the deluxe treatment as it also only had two singles, and all of the b-sides were album tracks, so there's a similar lack of material to be used.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quick.Play Reviews, Re-release,

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