- Killing the Dragon
- The Eyes
- Along Comes a Spider
- Better in the Dark
- Fever Dreams
- Feed My Head
- Hunter of the Heart (Live)
- One More for the Road
- Lord of the Last Day
- As Long as it’s Not About Love
- This is Your Life
- Metal will Never Die
- The Prisoner of Paradise
- The writing and band credits vary wildly depending on which track it is. Due to that, please see albums the songs originally came from.
- Executive Producer: Wendy Dio
- Project Coordinator: Melanie Alcorn
- A&R: Dean Schachtel
- All tracks remastered by Wyn Davis @ Total Access, Redondo Beach, CA
- Artwork & Design: Marc Sasso
- Digital Manager: Diana DeVille
- CD Niji NEG-015 US
- The song “Prisoner of Paradise” was originally the Japanese exclusive track from “Master of the Moon”.
- The song “Electra” was recorded during the sessions for the unreleased/incomplete album “Magica II”. It previously appeared on a limited edition box set called “Tournado”.
- The song “Metal Will Never Die” is the last song that Ronnie recorded anywhere before he died. It originally appeared on the album “Bitten by the Beast” by David Feinstein, an old bandmate of Ronnie’s back in the pre-Elf days.
- The artwork on the back cover of the CD insert is called “Fall of the Rebel Angels” from 1562 by Peter Brueghel.
- Below is the formal press release from Niji about this compilation:
In addition to fronting such legendary hard rock/heavy metal bands as Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell, and Elf, singer Ronnie James Dio also was the leader of his own solo band, Dio, who were responsible for such all-time great rock anthems as “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” and “The Last in Line,” among many others. And on Tuesday, October 9th, a second volume of Dio’s best tracks will be unleashed via Niji Entertainment – ‘The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2′ – a follow-up to the gold-certified ‘The Very Beast of Dio.’
The 17-track CD picks up exactly where the first volume left off – from 1996 onward. And in addition to featuring such latter-day Dio classics as “Killing the Dragon,” “Push,” and “Fever Dreams,” the compilation will also include several rarities that fans have long requested on a single disc – “Electra” (which previously was only a part of the ultra-rare ‘Tournado’ box set), “Prisoner of Paradise,” and “Metal Will Never Die.”
As the Dio Facebook Page Administrator, raves, “I absolutely know that every single Dio Fan is going to want ‘The Very Beast Of Dio Vol. 2′! I’m a HUGE Dio fan, just like all of you, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about this CD. I had the pleasure of listening to the CD that was produced, mixed, and remastered by Ronnie’s longtime engineer, Wyn Davis, and it sounds BLOODY INSANE!!!”
Also included as part of the release will be liner notes penned by long-time supporter and friend of Ronnie’s, Eddie Trunk from ‘That Metal Show,’ as well as an awesome front cover painting by artist Marc Sasso (who previously created the covers for Dio’s ‘Killing the Dragon’ and ‘Master of the Moon’ albums).
‘The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2′ will also be receiving a significant promotional push, as it will be promoted on Trunk’s radio program, and will be given away via the infamous “Box of Junk” on an episode of ‘That Metal Show.’ And of course, the very popular official Ronnie James Dio Facebook page will get behind the release – which has over 735,000 fans (and receives between 800,000 to 1,000,000 hits per month).
As the Dio Facebook Page Administrator notes, “Just to let you know, the first ‘Beast Of Dio’ was only released in the USA and Canada, and has sold over 800,000 CD’s to date! This CD will be in EVERY COUNTRY and our Dio Store too!”
The stellar music of Ronnie James Dio continues to live on. And the forthcoming ‘The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2′ will be the perfect addition to every headbanger’s collection.
TRACK LISTING FOR ‘THE VERY BEAST OF DIO VOL. 2′:
Killing the Dragon
Along Comes A Spider
Better in the Dark
Feed My Head
Hunter of the Heart (Live)
One More for the Road
Lord of the Last Day
Electra (Bonus Track)
As Long As It’s Not About Love
This is Your Life
Metal Will Never Die (Bonus Track)
Prisoner of Paradise (Bonus Track)
Ronnie James Dio has been gone just about two and a half years now. His last proper full album of material was the Heaven & Hell Black Sabbath album, “The Devil You Know” in 2009. The last proper studio album of Dio Band material was 2004′s “Master of the Moon”. In that time, we’ve had several releases with Ronnie on them. Most of them when he was alive, some were not. Here’s a rundown of Dio output since 2004…
* Master of the Moon (STUDIO ALBUM) – 2004, Dio
* Evil or Divine (Live Album) – 2005, Dio
* Holy Diver Live (Live Album) – 2006, Dio
* The Dio Years (Compilation w/ new Studio Tracks) – 2007, Black Sabbath
* Live At Hammersmith Odeon (Live Album) – 2007, Black Sabbath
* Live From Radio City Music Hall (Live Album) – 2007, Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath
* The Rules of Hell (Compilation Box Set) – 2008, Black Sabbath
* The Devil You Know (STUDIO ALBUM) – 2009, Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath
* Live at Donington UK 1983 & 1987 (Live Album) – 2010, Dio
* Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live at Wacken (Live Album) – 2010, Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath
* Ronnie James Dio Story: Mightier Than the Sword (Compilation) – 2011, Dio
* And Before Elf…There Were Elves (Compilation) – 2011, Elf/The Elves
So in the last 8 years, we’ve had two studio albums, six live albums, and four compilations (although one of these had three new studio tracks). So when I heard in the summer of 2012 we were getting yet another compilation, I groaned. I mean honestly, did we really need another one of these? I would promote it on the site like I promoted everything else, but I wasn’t envisioning getting too terribly excited about it.
I requested a copy of it from Wendy’s office, and one arrived. Spent some time with it over the last week, and I have to say I ended up enjoying this collection a lot. Mostly because I realized it’s from his later studio Dio albums. There’s a lot of material on these albums that have gotten overlooked because it’s not “Rainbow in the Dark”. Here’s the full track listing…
1) Killing the Dragon (Killing the Dragon, 2002)
2) Push (Killing the Dragon, 2002)
3) The Eyes (Master of the Moon, 2004)
4) Along Comes a Spider (Killing the Dragon, 2002)
5) Better in the Dark (Killing the Dragon, 2002)
6) Fever Dreams (Magica, 2000)
7) Black (Angry Machines, 1996)
8) Feed My Head (Magica, 2000)
9) Shivers (Master of the Moon, 2004)
10) Hunter of the Heart (Live) (Inferno: The Last in Live, 1998)
11) One More for the Road (Master of the Moon, 2004)
12) Lord of the Last Day (Magica, 2000)
13) Electra (Magica II, Unreleased/2012)
14) As Long as It’s Not About Love (Magica, 2000)
15) This Is Your Life (Angry Machines, 1996)
16) Metal Will Never Die (Bitten by The Beast (David Feinstein), 2010)
17) The Prisoner of Paradise (Master of the Moon JAPANESE, 2004)
Most of these tracks were released when Ronnie parted ways with long time label Warner Brothers, and as such, he bounced around to a few record labels for these albums. As such, promotion wasn’t quite what it was before this. I know when I saw Ronnie on the Master of the Moon tour, he played a place that local bands played. Granted, when I saw him on the Strange Highways tour, he played a parking lot. Still, the latter Dio albums weren’t always as easy to find in shops from what I noticed.
So it’s quite good that these later albums have some light shined on them. There’s some really great tracks on here. But it’s not all about the compilation. There’s a few gems and oddballs on here. Here’s the “new” stuff.. (most isn’t really “new” new, but new to most)…
1) The Prisoner of Paradise – This track comes from the final Dio studio album, Master of the Moon. However, this particular track was the track designated as being the “Japanese CD Exclusive” track. As with most tracks like this, the majority of fans never hear them outside of Japan. Oh sure, hardcores know about them, but the vast majority of fans tend to not track down rogue tracks like that, so this was good it was brought back.
2) Electra – This was a track recorded for the Magica II sessions. This was something that Ronnie was going to do – Magica II & III at the same time, and then he was allegedly going to retire when they were out. Then he got back together with Sabbath, and the activities released under the “Heaven & Hell” banner kept pushing off the Magica releases. Then Ronnie died, and nothing more would be done here. How much was actually recorded for the Magica II/III albums beyond this I’m not sure. But this completed studio track is a very cool inclusion. It was previously released on a box set that the Dio website sold exclusively there called “Tournado”, but that was hyper limited edition, so this wider release is a better chance to get at this track.
3) Metal Will Never Die – Now this one is probably the most interesting track on the album. Why? Because it’s supposedly the final song that Ronnie EVER recorded before he died. One of Ronnie’s old friends and bandmates from WAY back was David “Rock” Feinstein. Ronnie recorded this song as a favor for him, and it turned out to be legendary because if it’s status as “last”. The track was originally released on the album “Bitten By The Beast” in 2010. While that was put out by Niji, I’d wager the majority of fans never heard the track. This will probably be a bit more widespread than that, so hopefully it will get some attention for David’s album.
The remainder of the tracks all appeared on some other Dio album between 1996 and 2004. There’s a ton of good stuff on there. The liner notes on the CD have a page with a story by Eddie Trunk about these latter tracks, and he shares the same opinion as me. Lots of good, mostly overlooked material here.
Normally I don’t advocate compilations a whole lot. Your hardcore Dio fan will likely have most of these tracks anyway. But if you’re someone who never checked out the Dio material after the first few albums in the 80′s, or are interested in the three tracks I highlighted above, I urge you to check this out.