The Dio Years

The Dio Years

by Black Sabbath


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The original lineup of Black Sabbath possesses such a mythic quality that it's easy to overlook how far they slid by the time Ozzy Osbourne up and left the band...or how far they rebounded after they hired Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio as his replacement. Countless compilations over the years have preserved the initial part of the story line -- celebrating the innovations of the first four albums with a near fetishistic quality -- but there has never been a good retrospective concerning the Dio years until Rhino released the aptly titled The Dio Years in early 2007. True, the Dio years didn't last all that long -- the singer joined in 1980 for Heaven & Hell, then lasted through one more studio album, the following year's Mob Rules, before departing under a shroud of controversy after 1982's botched live album Live Evil -- but Dio had a powerful impact upon the band and its legacy; these were the last years that Sabbath exerted pull as an active band, and after his departure they stumbled through various singers over the next decade before intermittently reuniting with Ozzy in the '90s. The Dio Years proves that during his brief time with the band, Dio did help Sabbath make music that could hold its own with some of the classic lineup's finest moments. With Dio as a frontman, the band was harder, nastier, and a little faster than the slow sludge of the early Sabbath records, but it fit in nicely with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal at the beginning of the '80s and it's aged very well. Some of it can sound silly -- Dio's lyrical obsessions always do -- but this is harder, heavier, better music than either Technical Ecstasy or Never Say Die! Anybody who's refused to give this latter-day incarnation of the band the time of day might find this compilation revelatory.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/03/2007
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227999247
catalogNumber: 116668
Rank: 16070

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Black Sabbath   Primary Artist
Vinny Appice   Drums
Geezer Butler   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ronnie James Dio   Vocals
Tony Iommi   Guitar
Geoff Nicholls   Keyboards
Bill Ward   Drums
Geoff Nicholls   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Martin Birch   Producer,Engineer
Geezer Butler   Producer
Lee DeCarlo   Engineer
Ronnie James Dio   Producer
Bill Freesh   Engineer
Tony Iommi   Producer
Mack   Producer,Engineer
Wes Benscoter   Illustrations
Mike Exeter   Engineer
Dave Ling   Liner Notes
Masaki Koike   Art Direction

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The Dio Years 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jedi_nitemare More than 1 year ago
I like Dio, and I like Black Sabbath with Dio. Inside this CD's jewel case is a note saying that Black Sabbath will go by two names: they will be known as Black Sabbath when they are touring with Ozzie, and they will be known as Heaven and Hell when Ozzie isn't with them. I like Sabbath either way. I grew up listening to Black Sabbath while Ozzie was at the helm, and Iron Man and War Pigs remain two of my favorite songs. But when Mob Rules came out, I quickly fell in love with their new sound. I like Dio's stuff too, so Black Sabbath with Dio's vocals is an incredible combination. I am especially into good guitar work, and Tony Iommi really kicks butt on this compilation. It's even more amazing when you consider that Tony can play so well with a prosthetic finger. There is no way I can express how much I admire his ability to overcome his physical disability and become one of the greatest metal gods of all time. With all of that said, you will find a combination of songs that don't always seem to fit together. Some songs are fast and heavy, some are a bit slower but heavy, and there are a couple songs that just didn't do it for me. That is to be expected from a compilation, and I like it for what it is. This CD is much less expensive than buying an entire collection of Sabbath with Dio, and I can't justify buying other CDs just to get a song or two that I would have preferred to see on this one. If you can afford to buy only one Black Sabbath CD with Dio, this is the one to get. My second choice would probably be Mob Rules.