I’ve planned a 3 blog post about the beloved dark art of what is known as Metal music and thought to myself…”What would be the criteria for a band making it in this 3 part series of POWER, MYSTERY, REBELLION, THE COLOR BLACK, and of course, THE DEVIL?” Well, the first band that came to mind was DIO. Not Ronnie James Dio in particular, although his incredible Metal journey through Elf, Rainbow, and Black Sabbath are not with out outstanding Metal music merit of the highest honor. No, what I’m talking about is the ’83-’84 DIO, the band with the original line up of:
ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain
ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice (Carmine Appice’s brother)
ex-Sweet Savage guitar shredder Vivian Campbell (BOW DOWN ALL YE’ METAL FANS)
and of course the man himself, Ronnie James Dio fronting this cast of Metal all stars (while also playing keyboards).
THIS LINE UP IS WHAT I CONSIDER 80’s METAL AT IT’S FINEST HOUR. Dio was one of the top U.S. concert attractions with the most over-the-top stage acts of its time loaded with lasers, explosions, a giant dragon, and a 5 foot 4 inch Ronnie James Dio belting out huge vocals that make Danzig sound like Tweety Bird on Helium.
And how can I forget to mention one of the most under rated Metal guitar heroes of all time, Vivian Campbell? If you have never heard this man rip on guitar then you really need to pull yourself out of your hole and get either Holy Diver or Last in Line as these albums showcase not only Metal at it’s finest, but big ripping guitar riffs with buzz saw shredding as well.
Even though DIO has continued on to record many more albums and continued to feverishly tour, there hasn’t been a line up as powerful and momentous as the mid-eighties DIO.