Dio - Dream Evil (Deluxe Edition)

Dio. Always a very amusing joke - a party piece kind of a musician for me - Holy Diver always came on when everyone had drunk a few at parties - and he appears on Spotify regularly for a bit of upbeat comedy. But the older I've got, the more I've thought 'Fuck, yes, DIO. Yes. Stick the lad on.' Like a wine culturing over time, I've come to appreciate the music as a beautiful time capsule. OK, the lyrics are pure comedy gold, but sometimes you need that bit of 1980s rock. And you can't always get to listen to Maiden 24/7.

So, the deluxe edition of 1987's Dream Evil, containing none of the famous tracks the casual observer would recognize, but the original album is actually 8 tracks of vintage Dio, plus one duff track (I Could Have Been A Dreamer has not aged well - and apparently it was the single). The production still sounds great - it stands up against a lot of the music from that era by not being over-saturated with reverb and being heavy enough guitar wise. It's a great record - easily as good as his first record in terms of longevity. Notable tracks are Night People, the title track and Faces In The Window. Yes, they are all terrible titles.

The album is available for pittance anyway, so it's worth giving some space to discuss the second CD - the reason for the 'Deluxe' title. The first two tracks add nothing - Hide In The Rainbow, a track readily available on most compilations anyway, and a single edit of the aforementioned duff track. But after those is a gem - 12 tracks of Dio recorded live at Donnington in 1987. The production is excellent and the set really does demonstrate how he was at the top of his game by this point. All the hits are on there too - all the nameable Spotify Dio tracks. It's actually an absolute pleasure to listen to. Just go buy it - who cares that this is a cash cow by Mercury Records years after he died. His music is his legacy. An absolute pleasure to listen to.