Steve O - February 12, 2014
So we’re gonna try something a little different for Random Records this time. Five records that sound nothing alike, but there’s something connecting all of them. See if you can figure out what it is.
After leaving Black Sabbath after two albums, Ronnie James Dio started his own band, giving a new outlet for his distinct voice and mythical storylines. Holy Diver, in 1983, was the debut, and probably receives little debate for being the best Dio record (though “Last in Line” deserves a mention). I think it's hands down the best, and might be Ronnie James Dio’s best (though Heaven and Hell, his debut with Black Sabbath, and Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow are both amazing records).
Holy Diver starts with the blazing “Stand Up and Shout.” From here we go to the iconic “Holy Diver,” one of those songs that is so well known even those who don’t listen to much metal know it. Vivian Campbell played guitar on this, and the next two Dio releases, and his guitar work really stands out, matching Dio’s operatic voice.
I don’t remember much about the day Dio died. I remember being shocked, cause everything made it sound like he was handling his treatment for stomach cancer pretty well. Then all of the sudden, boom, Dio’s dead. It was during the year of death, and he followed Type O Negative’s Peter Steele by a month. I remember listening to this record and “Last in Line” on repeat for much of the day. I remember being at a friend’s house and not saying much all night. It was one of those nice summer nights, and while driving home I remember listening to “I Speed at Night,” while doing just that. I highly recommend it.