Ronnie James Dio would have turned 80 years old on July 10. Among the greatest heavy metal singers of all time, Dio’s career spanned five decades, touched millions of fans and pioneered his signature “devil’s horns,” one of the most popular hand gestures in the world. Dio also provided vocals and lyrics for some of the most iconic rock albums of all time with Black Sabbath and Rainbow, before establishing his own band Dio as a metal force with their 1983 debut Holy Diver.
Holy Diver was a platinum-certified smash and one of the late singer-songwriter’s most groundbreaking achievements. Rhino revisits this epic metal moment on HOLY DIVER: SUPER DELUXE EDITION, available on July 8 as a 4-CD boxed set ($59.98) and digitally.
The collection comes with two versions of Holy Diver. The first is a new mix of the album made by Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot). He used the original analog tapes to remix all nine tracks on the album. The second is a newly remastered version of the original 1983 mix. The Super Deluxe Edition also features unreleased live performances and outtakes, along with a selection of rarities from the era.
Barresi’s new mix of “Holy Diver” is available today digitally as a preview to the new album mix. Click here to listen now.
In addition, Barresi’s new mix of Holy Diver will be released the same day as a 2-LP set on 180-gram vinyl ($34.98). It includes the original nine tracks, plus the 1983 B-side version of “Evil Eyes” as a bonus track. Side four is decorated with an etching of the legendary demon Murry that graces the album’s iconic cover. The vinyl is kept in a gatefold sleeve that shows off newly commissioned artwork by longtime Dio artist, Marc Sasso. The same artwork is also used for the 4-CD Super Deluxe Edition.
Critically acclaimed and a commercial success, Holy Diver contributed two timeless classics to the heavy metal canon – “Rainbow In The Dark” and its title track. The album also ranks #16 on Rolling Stone’s current list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.”
After departing Black Sabbath in early 1982, Dio began composing songs that would eventually appear on the album. After writing both “Holy Diver” and “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” Dio then assembled an amazing group of musicians, two familiar faces and one fresh recruit, with drummer Vinny Appice (Dio’s Black Sabbath bandmate), bassist/keyboardist Jimmy Bain (Dio’s Rainbow bandmate) and guitarist Vivian Campbell joining him to record the Holy Diver album.
In the illustrated liner notes that accompany the Super Deluxe Edition, music journalist Mick Wall shares the album’s creation story, including the making of its crown jewel, “Rainbow In The Dark.”
He writes: “Lyrically, it was Ronnie James Dio at his poetic best…Musically, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ was also the band’s first truly collaborative endeavor. The inspiration for the monster guitar riff came from something Viv had written when he was 16. Vinny added his distinctive battle-cry beat, and Jimmy added the final touch with the infectiously simple keyboard motif.” The song was finished in 10 minutes, he adds.
HOLY DIVER: SUPER DELUXE EDITION goes beyond the original album with a previously unreleased recording of the quartet performing live in 1983 at Selland Arena in Fresno, California during the Holy Diver Tour. Wyn Davis mixed the concert recording, which spotlights live versions of songs from Holy Diver (“Stand Up And Shout” and “Rainbow In The Dark”), Rainbow classics (“Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Starstruck”), and Sabbath staples, (“Children Of The Sea” and “Heaven And Hell.”)
The Super Deluxe Edition also revisits the Holy Diver recording sessions to uncover unreleased outtakes for several album cuts, including unheard takes for “Invisible,” “Straight Through The Heart,” and a version of “Rainbow In The Dark” that boasts an alternative guitar solo. There’s also an early version of “Evil Eyes,” a song that would resurface on Dio’s 1984 follow-up album, The Last in Line. A selection of rarities rounds out the new collection with mono and stereo 7” single edits for “Rainbow In The Dark” and a version of “Evil Eyes” that was released in 1983 as the B-side to “Holy Diver.”
HOLY DIVER: SUPER DELUXE EDITION
CD Track Listing
CD1: Holy Diver (2022 Joe Barresi Mix) *
9. “Shame On The Night”
CD3: Live at Selland Arena, Fresno, CA, 1983
12. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” *
CD4: Outtakes, Singles & B-Sides
* previously unreleased
HOLY DIVER: 2022 Joe Barresi Mix
2-LP Clear Vinyl Track Listing
LP1: Side One
4. “Caught In The Middle”
LP1: Side Two
LP2: Side One
3. “Evil Eyes” – 1983 Version. B-Side of “Holy Diver”
LP2: Side Two
Pre-order here: https://store.rhino.com/artist/dio.html