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Dio was an American heavy metal band led by vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who formed it in 1982 after leaving Black Sabbath. In an interview, available on the special edition re-release of Holy Diver, Dio states that he never intended to begin a solo career. His intention was to form a new band with fellow former Black Sabbath member, drummer Vinny Appice. Naming the band Dio made sense from a commercial standpoint, as the name was already well-known at that time. Dio in Italian means “God”.

The band has released ten studio albums and has had numerous line-up changes over the years with Ronnie James Dio being the only constant member. Guitarists have included Jake E. Lee, Doug Aldrich, Vivian Campbell, Tracy G, Craig Goldy, and Rowan Robertson.

In 1982, disagreements originating over the mixing of Black Sabbath’s Live Evil resulted in the departure of Ronnie James Dio and Vinny
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DIO Discography

DIO albums / top albums

DIO Holy Diver album cover 4.38 | 127 ratings
Holy Diver
Heavy Metal 1983
DIO The Last in Line album cover 4.05 | 70 ratings
The Last in Line
Heavy Metal 1984
DIO Sacred Heart album cover 3.33 | 46 ratings
Sacred Heart
Heavy Metal 1985
DIO Dream Evil album cover 3.64 | 56 ratings
Dream Evil
Heavy Metal 1987
DIO Lock Up The Wolves album cover 2.88 | 32 ratings
Lock Up The Wolves
Heavy Metal 1990
DIO Strange Highways album cover 2.74 | 23 ratings
Strange Highways
Heavy Metal 1993
DIO Angry Machines album cover 3.25 | 20 ratings
Angry Machines
Heavy Metal 1996
DIO Magica album cover 3.39 | 28 ratings
Heavy Metal 2000
DIO Killing the Dragon album cover 3.77 | 27 ratings
Killing the Dragon
Heavy Metal 2002
DIO Master of the Moon album cover 3.65 | 22 ratings
Master of the Moon
Heavy Metal 2004

DIO EPs & splits

DIO The Dio E.P. album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Dio E.P.
Heavy Metal 1986
DIO Intermission album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
Heavy Metal 1986
DIO Holy Diver album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Holy Diver
Heavy Metal 2013

DIO live albums

DIO DIO's Inferno: The Last in Live album cover 3.75 | 6 ratings
DIO's Inferno: The Last in Live
Heavy Metal 1998
DIO Evil or Divine: Live in New York City album cover 3.73 | 7 ratings
Evil or Divine: Live in New York City
Heavy Metal 2005
DIO Holy Diver Live album cover 4.00 | 7 ratings
Holy Diver Live
Heavy Metal 2006
DIO Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987 album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
Heavy Metal 2010

DIO demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DIO re-issues & compilations

DIO Diamonds: The Best of Dio album cover 4.36 | 7 ratings
Diamonds: The Best of Dio
Heavy Metal 1992
DIO Anthology album cover 4.83 | 3 ratings
Heavy Metal 1997
DIO The Very Beast of Dio album cover 4.75 | 4 ratings
The Very Beast of Dio
Heavy Metal 2000
DIO Anthology, Volume Two album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Anthology, Volume Two
Heavy Metal 2001
DIO Stand Up and Shout: The Dio Anthology album cover 5.00 | 3 ratings
Stand Up and Shout: The Dio Anthology
Heavy Metal 2003
DIO The Collection album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
The Collection
Heavy Metal 2003
DIO We Rock: Greatest Hits album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
We Rock: Greatest Hits
Heavy Metal 2004
DIO Metal Hits album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Metal Hits
Heavy Metal 2005
DIO Magica & Killing the Dragon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Magica & Killing the Dragon
Heavy Metal 2007
DIO Rock Legends album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock Legends
Heavy Metal 2007
DIO Tournado album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Metal 2010
DIO Mightier than the Sword: The Ronnie James Dio Story album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mightier than the Sword: The Ronnie James Dio Story
Heavy Metal 2011
DIO The Singles Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles Collection
Heavy Metal 2012
DIO The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2
Heavy Metal 2012

DIO singles (5)

.. Album Cover
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rainbow in the Dark
Heavy Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Holy Diver
Heavy Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
3.17 | 3 ratings
We Rock
Heavy Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Children
Heavy Metal 1985

DIO movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
We Rock
Heavy Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.39 | 5 ratings
Holy Diver Live
Heavy Metal 2006

DIO Reviews

DIO Holy Diver

Album · 1983 · Heavy Metal
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Dio seems to excel everywhere he appears. He lead Rainbow to the top in the 70’s, reinvigorated Black Sabbath for their (in my opinion) best albums ever, and then quit at the top of his game to do his own thing. And yeah, it was another success; Holy Diver is a monster of an album.

Dio took the energy and flash of Rainbow and married it to the dark moodiness of Sabbath, and dropped something that triumphed almost anything either band had produced. His vocals are top notch as always, and now he’s free to do what he wants with them rather than bend to the wishes of another band. However, saying they steal the show is far from the truth. Guitarist Vivian Campbell is a master riff writer, and his guitar melodies play off of Dio’s hooks flawlessly.

As far as classic Heavy Metal goes, this is near the top.

DIO The Last in Line

Album · 1984 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After the successful and phenomenal debut DIO wasted no time following up with their sophomore release THE LAST IN LINE which came out in 1984. The lineup is the same except that they added Rough Cutt keyboardist Claude Schnell to the band. On this album it is clear that a formula had been established and there seems to be a strange change in music in the 1983-84 timeline where highly original music was suddenly becoming more commercial and “dumbed” down. That is evident on this second release. The first release had a magical feel as it incorporated the best of what Ronnie James DIIO had been doing in his different incarnations as a band member in his career. On this album I get the feeling that other forces were intervening.

This is still a very good album because there are several excellent tracks like the title track, “Eat Your Heart Out,” “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” and to be fair the other tracks are not bad, however the flow of the album just feels stilted in a way that the band doesn't know exactly which way they want to go. It seems they are trying to keep the old audience while they make some more commercial sounding tracks like “Mystery” to appeal to a wider audience. This is a phenomena that would permeate the 80s but more surprising when a respected artist like Ronnie James DIO goes that direction. For me this album is pumped way up by the strong tracks but the weaker ones are so weak that I wish this was an EP of the best tracks. Of course, Ronnie's vocals are stellar and the musicianship is brilliant but it really boils down to the songwriting on this one that makes this a big step down in quality from the debut.

DIO Holy Diver

Album · 1983 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Ronnie James Dio declares independence with gusto on his first solo outing HOLY DIVER. To be accurate this was the band effort that he created and directed that utilized his last name. The leading track “Stand Up And Shout” is a ferocious and enthusiastic tribute to this independence after being a subordinate talent to Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow and Tony Iommi in Black Sabbath. Well, I should say regaining his independence since he had been a founder of many bands since the 50s including The Vegas Kings aka Ronnie & The Redcaps and then Ronnie & The Rumblers as well as his 70s band Elf. This band effort includes some formidable talent in the metal world in 1983. Vivian Campbell was an up and coming guitarist who matched the intensity (but not technical prowess) of the talent of Randy Rhoads. The drum abusing beast known as Vinny Appice was snagged away from Sabbath after RJ DIO left and seems more on fire than anything he ever played with Sabbath or Rick Derringer. Also on board was Jimmy Bain on bass who RJ DIO played with in Rainbow.

This is one of those magical albums for me. This combination of musicians at this time in musical history all managed to channel some strange transitional energies that made a fantastic album that incorporated the fantastical oriented energy of early Rainbow combined with the dark doomy magic of Sabbath and then included the youthful up-and-coming fury of the evolving genre of metal in the early 80s via the melodic power playing of Vivian Campbell. The recipe is a complete success in my book. I find this album to be the pinnacle in Ronnie James Dio's lengthy career where all the different eras that he represented collaborated perfectly to create this highly melodic, mystical and energetic traditional metal masterpiece. After this album DIO as a band would start the slow descent into losing what this album started but for a brief moment in musical history all the stars aligned for Ronnie James DIO in his nascent leadership of his new band and the result is an album that I have loved from first listen to the present.

Listening to this so again so many years later I can understand if it may sound outdated to newcomers simply because this album was so influential. It has a black metal “feel” to it without musically sounding like that subgenre. The title track is one of the first examples of a substantial ambient intro for any metal band that I can think of. That intro still gives me chills and creates a “evil” feel to it before the actually metal begins. Yes, this could be considered “proto” in some ways but for me this album still holds up quite well even if the ideas have been improved upon and surpassed. DIO is Latin for God and at this moment in metal history he was just that. CLASSIC!!!!

DIO Holy Diver

Album · 1983 · Heavy Metal
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"Dio has rocked for a long, long tiiiiime..." And for more or less his whole solo career, he's rocked to the blueprint set on Holy Diver. That's no great failing, mind, because as far as blueprints go it's a damn good one. With a mixture of heavier numbers (such as the title track or Shame On the Night, which could for all the world have been an off-cut from one of Dio's albums with Sabbath), lighter, more accessible pieces (like opener Stand Up and Shout), and tracks that chart an interesting course between those extremes (the synthesiser-enhanced Rainbow In the Dark), it's a brilliant evocation of Dio's sonic universe, establishing his solo band as a force to be reckoned with.

DIO Holy Diver

Album · 1983 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Ronnie James Dio is one of my favourite vocalists and this is his debut album under his last name DIO. This was the first project he got involved with after leaving BLACK SABBATH having released two classic albums with them in "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules". He brought with him from SABBATH fellow New Yorker and Italian Vinnie Appice on drums while scooping up his former band-mate from RAINBOW bassist Jimmy Bain. Add guitarist Vivian Campbell and this gem was released in 1983. Ronnie wrote all the lyrics and music and also produced this record. I have to mention the album cover that at first made me smile back in the day when i saw it in the record stores but later it almost haunted me. I used to run on the beach very faithfully and once we got into November it mean't running in complete darkness down there(no artificial lighting at all) other than the moonlight. It was actually really cool and surreal at the same time. And yes i did wipe out many times but usually in the Winter months when i was running on ice and snow. This picture though reminds me of November, especially the sky and often my thoughts would drift to this album cover for some strange reason. I never did see the giant demonic figure shown here and i'm not a priest so yeah it was all in my mind(haha). The music here is great but i'll take the two earlier albums with SABBATH over this one. Love that track "Rainbow In The Dark" which almost seems out of place but it works. Also the title track and "Don't Talk To STrangers" would round out my top three. This would go platinum for the band making it an obvious success for Dio and the boys.

DIO Movies Reviews

DIO Holy Diver Live

Movie · 2006 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Dio’s Holy Diver Live is a very enjoyable release from one of Rock and Metal’s most famous artists.

During the two hour run time the band play a selection of songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio in addition to performing the entire of the Holy Diver album.

If the band’s line up or the concert’s tracklisting bothers you then feel free to give this a miss, but for everyone else you’ll find a very strong Live Blu Ray indeed.

The sound, both in terms of recording quality and mix is simply excellent and the picture quality is very high, with suitable camera work and a good pace of editing.

Ronnie James Dio’s performance live is fantastic as always and the band which includes Doug Aldrich on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Scott Warren on keyboards are on top form, performing professionally and delivering the material with flair and enthusiasm.

Drummer Simon Wright even performs a surprisingly enjoyable and musical drum solo, which is lengthy enough to sink your teeth into but still short enough that it never becomes boring.

The band also enliven the material with little twists on the material here and there, such as different drum fills or guitar licks than on record as well as adding dynamic endings to some of the songs which faded out on their original albums.

The only complaint to be had about the film is that there are one or two shots in which the drums on screen are blatantly not coming out of the speakers (simple editing mistakes, where you can see snare rolls in the background during sections without snare rolls) but there are only about three such mistakes in the whole film and therfor not really worth too much concern.

Otherwise, this is a superb release, a strong performance of a selection of classic material, shot and sounding excellent.

Even though there are already a lot of Dio DVDs available, Holy Diver Live is definitely worth getting unless you lost all interest in the prospect of Dio live DVDs anyway, in which case you already know this isn’t for you. For everyone else, this is highly recommended.

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