What else did Ronnie James Dio have to say?
That was the predicament affecting Dio. And no one was talking about the elephant in the room, his shrinking fan base.
The audience he had in 1984 was diminishing. “Sacred Heart” in 1985 was seen as a commercial disappointment and the live EP “Intermission” in 1986, didn’t help matters, seen as a pure cash grab.
But the biggest problem for Dio’s brand of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was MTV. The TV service went all in and embraced the “hard rock” sounds of bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Poison. Whitesnake and Guns N Roses would be added to that list, along with Skid Row and Warrant a few years later.
So on July 21st 1987, Dio released “Dream Evil”.
His last album to feature some “Rainbow” elements in it as from this point forward he started to move more towards his Black Sabbath days.
And the band had a member change. Vivian Campbell was gone. It was a bad split. Craig Goldy was in, joining Ronnie, Bain, Appice and Schnell.
The album is produced by Ronnie and engineered by Angelo Arcuri. The same team from the previous albums.
“Neon Knights” part two and I like it.
“Man On The Silver Mountain” part two and I also like it.
How good is the riff to kick it off?
The verses remind me of “We Rock” and Appice thunders all over this track, especially during the solo.
“All The Fools Sailed Away”
An Intro like “The Last In Line”. But when the music comes in, it’s more moody, almost doom like.
But with a melodic rock anthemic Chorus and an instant classic is created.
“Naked In The Rain”
The riff in the verse is like “Eye Of The Tiger” just a bit slower but it’s the vocal melodies from Dio which rock. If anything it’s overall vibe is doom rock.
A ZZ Top like blues Intro gives way to the same riff being played in high octane distortion sort of like the verses and main riff in”Hot For Teacher”.
“I Could Have Been A Dreamer”
I came across the lyrics in Hit Parader and I quickly copied em into my lyric book. I hadn’t even heard the song but in my head I already had.
And when I did hear it, an instant classic it became.
In the vein of songs like “King Of Rock N Roll” and “Hungry For Heaven”.
“Faces In The Window”
It’s a melodic rock cut. Just listen to the melodies that came from Dio.
“We are evil and we are all divine”
A familiar lyric is back, just a bit different.
“When A Woman Cries”
Goldy came up with a riff rooted in the late 80s sounds. It’s good to play but as a song it’s one of the weaker moments.
Overall, it did good business in Europe and it was well received in Australia.
Fun fact, Dio along with Scorpions and Black Sabbath were just some artists from metal and rock allowed to be played in Eastern Europe (behind the Iron Curtain) legally.
But in the U.S, it didn’t receive a certification.
The album exited the charts pretty fast as it didn’t really stand a chance once the “Whitesnake” album blew up. That album was released in March, the same year, but the “Here I Go Again” single came out in June. And from then on the album went through the roof. By July it was Platinum, by August 2x Platinum and by December that same year it was 4x Platinum.
Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” came out in August that same year. By November 1987, it was 2x Platinum. But it’s big movement would happen from April 1988 when “Love Bites” hit the airwaves. By the end of 88, “Hysteria” had gone 8x Platinum.
The album was also competing against his previous albums. “The Last In Line” went platinum in Feb 1987 (the same year “Dream Evil” came out) and “Holy Diver” went platinum in March 1989. People were still buying Dio, but with limited funds, we had to be selective.
Because of my limited funds and my friends jumping off Dio’s ship, (I guess we are all fools who sailed away), I didn’t hear “Dream Evil” until many years later. In a confusing time called the mid 90’s.
P.S. I don’t own this album anymore (lost in those many house moves) hence why the post isn’t called “The Record Vault”.