Dio – At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010)

Dio – At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010, Niji Entertainment Group)

CD 1 – (1983)

  1. Stand Up & Shout
  2. Straight Through The Heart
  3. Children Of The Sea
  4. Rainbow In The Dark
  5. Holy Diver
  6. Drum solo
  7. Stargazer
  8. Guitar solo
  9. Heaven And Hell
  10. Man On The Silver Mountain
  11. Starstruck
  12. Man On The Silver Mountain (Reprise)

CD 2 – (1987)

  1. Dream Evil
  2. Neon Knights
  3. Naked In The Rain
  4. Rock And Roll Children
  5. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
  6. The Last In Line
  7. Children Of The Sea
  8. Holy Diver
  9. Heaven And Hell
  10. Man On The Silver Mountain
  11. All The Fools Sailed Away
  12. The Last In Line (Reprise)
  13. Rainbow In The Dark

Band Lineup (1983):
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitars
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Vinny Appice – drums
Claude Schnell – Keyboards

Band Lineup (1987):
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Craig Goldy – Guitars
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums
Claude Schnell – Keyboards

Executive Producer: Ronnie James Dio

Country: USA

Total Time CD 1 = 46:42
Total Time CD 2 = 50:12

Ronnie James Dio
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DIO AT DONINGTON, UK: LIVE 1983 & 1987 is the first posthumous release by Heavy Metal legend Ronnie James Dio. Sadly, Ronnie lost his battle with stomach cancer on May 16, 2010…..but his music lives on and this live album is a perfect way to document the rise and peak of the Dio band in the early to mid-’80s. At the time of his death, Ronnie was still working and this live album was one of the projects he was working on. Unfortunately he passed before work was complete but his wife, Wendy Dio, had the album finished and released. Niji Entertainment (Ronnie & Wendy’s company) will continue to release archival material in the future.

This live set combines both appearances by the Dio band at the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Donington in 1983 and 1987. The 1983 CD is a concert in support of Dio’s first album HOLY DIVER and the setlist is highlighted by four songs (‘Stand Up And Shout’, ‘Straight Through The Heart’, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’, ‘Holy Diver’) within the first five sandwiching the Black Sabbath standard ‘Children Of The Sea’. The band has the second opening slot after Diamond Head kicked off the festival so time was a factor I’m sure but the band still had time to rip through Rainbow’s ‘Stargazer’ and Sabbath’s ‘Heaven And Hell’ before the final Rainbow song, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ with a touch of ‘Startstruck’ in the middle. I could do without the guitar and drum solos respectively but, back in the ’80s, these were mandatory parts of the set. The band is tight…..Ronnie sounds incredible and Vivian Campbell shows that, back in the day, he was a premier Heavy Metal guitarist.

The 1987 live set promotes the DREAM EVIL album and is represented by three songs (‘Dream Evil’, ‘Naked In The Rain’, ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’). Dio’s return to Donington in ’87 was at a time when the band was at their commercial peak and the earned them the co-headline slot just before Bon Jovi (imagine that?). By this time, the Dio band was on album #4 and each one is represented with the bulk coming off the HOLY DIVER record but THE LAST IN LINE (1984) is represented by the title cut and SACRED HEART (1985) by ‘Rock And Roll Children’. No solos this time around, it would have been nice to hear Craig Goldy due a solo just so I could compare it to Vivian’s  on the 1983 disc, but I’ll take the extra songs anyday! Nice to hear one of my Black Sabbath favorites, ‘Neon Knights’, open the show to go along with the ‘Heaven And Hell’ & ‘Children Of The Sea’ staples but the cool Rainbow track is ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to go along with ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’. The band is tight as they should be because the only different piece is guitarist Craig Goldy (replacing Campbell) but it’s not really different as Craig had been friends with Ronnie for a while.

The packaging is a three panel digipak with full color photos and a full color booklet that includes an essay by writer Dante Bonutto but it’s really a basic style package. The extras that were included are two replica all access passes for each Monsters Of Rock show.

Bottom Line:
It’s sad that Ronnie James Dio has passed away but his music lives on and this live document of both performances at Donington are a great way to celebrate his legacy. The music is crystal clear and the band is firing on all cylinders at each performance, especially Ronnie, who’s vocals are truly superb. If you are a Dio fan, I would highly recommend this live album, one of the better live albums I’ve heard in a while.

Favorite Songs:
All the songs are classics on both discs but it’s very cool to hear ‘Stargazer’ on the 1983 set and the DREAM EVIL songs and ‘rock And Roll Children’ live on the 1987 set.