After being the front man for Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio set out on his solo career. “Holy Diver”, released in 1983 was his first solo record. I had this on record on vinyl, cassette and CD. This album to me was Dio’s greatest.
The debut record consisted of Ronnie James Dio on vocals and synthesizers, guitarist Vivian Campbell, bassist and keyboardist Jimmy Bain, and drummer Vinny Appice.
This record is super clean. No background noise what-so-ever. It’s a great turn it up and crank it loud album. The mix is perfect. What makes this album so good? It’s the classic line up of musicians on this record. You can’t beat Campbell’s guitar. The drumming of Appice is amazing and Bain’s bass work, is just WOW! Among the musicians, is the music and songs themselves. There isn’t a bad song on here whatsoever. Some great lyrical themes that are poetry to the listener. Song tempos and structures are well done. It’s melodic and epic. Many of the songs are catchy.
This album features that brilliant vocal work of Ronnie James Dio. How that voice comes from such a small man is beyond me. His vocal style is one that electrifies and captures his audiences. Secondly, he is easily considered as one of the all time greatest vocalists of rock n’ roll. When you hear a song with his vocals on it, you’ll know right away it’s Dio.
Campbell’s guitar work on this album is so great. The riffs, the leads and the sound of his guitar is a perfect match for the record. His guitar is super clean and yet, it’s heavy. If he was this way in Def Leppard, I might have actually like them. This record is truly a classic that any metalhead out there should own.
1. “Stand Up and Shout” 3:18
2. “Holy Diver” 5:51
3. “Gypsy” 3:39
4. “Caught in the Middle” 4:14
5. “Don’t Talk to Strangers” 4:53
6. “Straight Through the Heart” 4:31
7. “Invisible” 5:24
8. “Rainbow in the Dark” 4:15
9. “Shame on the Night”