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I guess an album such as this is usually all about cashing in and making a bit of money out of one of Metal's (if not music's) greatest heroes. The legend that was Ronnie James Dio. He of the 'Metal Horns' hand gesture. But even so, when I saw this collection I knew I had to get it. Cashing in it might well be, but it is also a great chronicle of his life's work, from Elf, to Rainbow, to Black Sabbath and Dio. Some of you might not know who Ronnie James Dio is, so to give you a brief biography, Ronald James Padavona was born in in 1942 and died in 2010. He was one of Metal's greatest voices and I still cannot believe he is no longer with us and that there will be no more new material from him. Born in USA, he was part from some of Rock's greatest bands and guested on many others, such as Jack Black's Tenacious D and also Queensryche.
Over Two Discs, this is good stuff, and we begin with the Elf number 'Carolina County Ball,' where we have fresh voiced Ronnie playing more rock and roll that hard rock. It is not a bad number, but it is a bit light. Having said that Ronnie's voice is powerful and just a taster of what is to come from such an artist. Next up is another light song 'Love is All,' where he sings with Roger Glover & Friends. Interestingly, Roger Glover was the bassist with Deep Purple, whose Ritchie Blackmore would work with Dio in Rainbow not long after. Which leads us nicely to the next few tracks, eight Rainbow songs. Things start light with 'Temple of the King' and the 'Catch the Rainbow,' but then gradually grow more dark and heavier with the likes of 'Stargazer' and the live version of 'Kill the King.' But let us not forget the epic and wonderful 'Gates of Babylon.' Whose emotion-filled guitar solo and passionate vocal still get me. Dio and Blackmore really complimented each other well, excellent vocal and excellent guitar-work combined - some truly great Hard Rock music here. Disc One ends with a trio of Black Sabbath songs taken from the album Heaven and Hell. The classic 'Die Young,' the epic 'Heaven and Hell' and the emotional 'Children of the Sea.' Dio's work with Sabbath was much darker, with dark lyric and louder guitars.
Disc Two ends with a trio of Black Sabbath songs from the Mob Rules album, most notably the hard rocking, toe-tapping' Mob Rules' - one of Black Sabbath's finest moments. Next up are seven songs from the Dio era with a Black Sabbath squeezed in the middle. First of these is 'Holy Diver.' I can remember quite well buying this on album many years ago. It is Dio's breakaway and was much heavier and crisper than anything he ever did before. The guy or gal who chose the songs for this collection obviously has taste as we have 'All the Fools Sail Away' too, one of my favourite all time Metal songs, with probably Metal's finest ever guitar solo. But let us not forget the classic 'Rainbow in the Dark' as well. We round off with more Black Sabbath and a few Heaven and Hell songs including the powerful 'Bible Black,' and a live version of the classic Neon Knights.
Overall this is a great album for any Metal fan's collection. I am sure if you are a fan of such a genre you will find something of interest here. There are 27 songs to listen to and that to me is a bargain. Inside with have a small booklet which includes a small biography by one of rock finest reviewers Malcolm Dome.
Full Track Listing:
1. Caroline County Ball ELF - (Dio, Lee Soule) 1974
2. Love Is All BUTTERFLY BALL- (Glover, Hardin) 1974
3. Temple Of The King RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1975
4. Catch The Rainbow RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1975
5. Stargazer RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1976
6. Run With The Wolf RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1976
7. Kill The King (Live) RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio, Powell) 1977
8. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1978
9. Lady Of The Lake RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1978
10. Gates Of Babylon RAINBOW - (Blackmore, Dio) 1978
11. Die Young BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward) 1980
12. Heaven And Hell BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward) 1980
13. Children Of The Sea BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward) 1980
1. Mob Rules BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi) 1981
2. Voodoo BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi) 1981
3. Country Girl BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi) 1981
4. Holy Diver DIO - (Dio) 1983
5. Rainbow In The Dark DIO - (Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell) 1983
6. We Rock DIO - (Dio) 1984
7. Rock 'N' Roll Children DIO - (Dio) 1985
8. All The Fools Sailed Away DIO - (Dio, Goldy) 1987
9. I BLACK SABBATH - (Butler, Dio, Iommi) 1992
10. Push DIO - (Dio, Bain, Goldy) 2002
11. One More For The Road DIO - (Dio, Goldy) 2004
12. Shadow Of The Wind BLACK SABBATH - (Dio, Iommi) 2007
13. Neon Knights (Live) HEAVEN AND HELL - (Butler, Dio, Iommi, Ward) 2007
14. Bible Black HEAVEN AND HELL (Butler, Dio, Iommi) 2008
What are you waiting for, buy, order or download your copy today!
'Sing me a song, you're a singer,
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil...
The devil is never a maker,
The less that you give... you're taker...
So it's all in all, Heaven and Hell...'
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Carolina County Ball - Elf
2 Love Is All - Ronnie James Dio
3 The Temple Of The King - Rainbow
4 Catch The Rainbow - Rainbow
5 Stargazer - Rainbow
6 Run With The Wolf - Rainbow
7 Over The Rainbow / Kill The King