Dream Evil, the 4th solo album by Ronnie James Dio has been given the deluxe edition treatment by Universal Music as they did last year with Ronnie’s 1st 3 solo albums Holy Diver, Last In Line and Sacred Heart. To some it may seem like a cash in as Ronnie sadly passed away almost 3 years ago but each of these re-releases have been endorsed by his widow Wendy.
Released on March 4th 2013, the deluxe version of Dream Evil will be in 2xCD format. CD1 is the remastered album and CD2 is a treat for Dio fans as it contains Hide In The Rainbow, a track from the Dio ep which was written for and used in the movie Iron Eagle, it also features the single edit of I Could Have Been A Dreamer but most important of all, the rest of CD2 consists of Dio’s set at Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock held on August 22nd 1987. I was there and it brought back some fantastic memories! The deluxe edition also comes with an expanded booklet including notes written by journalist Malcolm Dome. The running time is just short of 2 and a half hours.
Dream Evil was originally released on July 21st 1987 via Warner Bros and reached a healthy #8 in the UK album charts and #43 in the American Billboard album charts. It was a worthy successor to Sacred Heart, an album recorded under the pressure of friction between guitarist Vivian Campbell and Ronnie and there were a few average songs on there. Following the departure of Vivian, Ronnie brought in Craig Goldy who played in Rough Cutt, the same band as Dio’s keyboardist Claude Schnell. Craig immediately makes his talent shown on album opener Night People as its catchy opening riff brings to mind a slower Fast As A Shark by Accept. Ronnie’s trade mark roar dominates the song but a fiery solo from Craig shows he is no slouch. The title track follows which strangely sounds like Man On The Silver Mountain with some chunky bass lines from Jimmy Bain.
Sunset Superman is a real stomper following an atmospheric synth intro from Claude. Ronnie delivers an aggressive vocal with a simple but effective chorus midway. At just over the 7 minute mark, All The Fools Sailed Away is an epic slice of pomp rock with Ronnie’s mournful vocal punctuated by some melodic keyboard/guitar interplay. Naked In The Rain has a hard rocking swagger with colourful washes of keyboard.
Overlove is easily the fastest track on the album with an intro reminiscent of La Grange by ZZ Top. I Could Have Been A Dreamer is by far my personal favourite Dio solo song. At just under 5 minutes long it is sheer perfection with Ronnie’s plaeading vocal over a simple verse that leads to a majestic chorus. Faces In A Window is a good rock number but fairly average compared to what has gone before it and is saved by a Blackmore like solo from Craig. Dream Evil ends on a high note with When A Woman Cries. The title hints at a ballad but it rocks hard with Craig delivering a shimmering solo with the song awash with Rick Wakeman like keyboard fills.
CD2 kicks off with the aforementioned Hide In The Rainbow, a slow burner with Vivian Campbell on guitar.Next is the single edit version of I Could Have Been A Dreamer which has to be fully appreciated by listening to the album version. But the best is yet to come as Dio’s Monsters Of Rock set from Donington Park, August 22nd 1987 follows. The band bravely started the set with Dream Evil, the title track of an album that had only been out for just over a month but the cheers from the crowd at the end of the song proved it was a good choice.
A Dio era Black Sabbath song was to follow, a thundering version of Neon Knights with Vinnie Appice hammering his kit as he did when he to was in the line up that wrote it. Not to be outdone, Craig Goldy adds a shredding solo for good measure. Another song from Dream Evil was played next, the chopping riff of Naked In The Rain cut through the air, an apt choice of song as it poured down most of that day. Rock N Roll Children, one of the stronger tracks on Sacred Heart followed as a medley with the Rainbow classic, Long Live Rock And Roll. The riff to Rock And Roll Children was cranked up to the max and the band was given a bit of a breather during Long Live Rock And Roll as Ronnie conducted a mass crowd sing a long, talking to the crowd as a friend and not having to curse to get a reaction from them! An epic Last In Line kept the crowd on their feet with a snippet of Holy Diver at the end of it.
A stripped down Heaven And Hell with Ronnie singing over Jimmy Bain’s bass lines was a taster for a showstopping Man On The Silver Mountain. All The Fools Sailed Away was the 3rd and final number played from Dream Evil albeit a shorter version than on the album. A reprise of the Last In Line lead to Rainbow In The Dark, another tune from Holy Diver with the keyboards of Claude Schnell prominent with Ronnie apologising to the crowd for the weather conditions not being right to play it. Dio’s set followed performances by Metallica and Anthrax but Ronnie showed them how to work a festival crowd!
I award the Dream Evil deluxe edition 10/1o! m/
CD1 – Dream Evil:-
All The Fools Sailed Away.
Naked In The Rain.
I Could Have Been A Dreamer.
Faces In A Window.
When A Woman Cries.
CD2 – Studio tracks + Donington Festival,22/8/1987.
Hide In The Rainbow from the Dio ep.
I Could Have Been A Dreamer single edit.
Donington Festival 22/8/1987 :-
Naked In The Rain.
Rock And Roll Children.
Long Live Rock And Roll.
Last In Line.
Holy Diver reprise.
Heaven And Hell.
Man On The Silver Mountain.
All The Fools Sailed Away.
Last In Line reprise.
Rainbow In The Dark.
Dio band line up :-
Ronnie James Dio – Lead vocals.
Craig Goldy – Guitar.
Jimmy Bain – Bass.
Claude Schnell – Keyboards.
Vinny Appice – Drums.