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”.
17 thoughts on “Dio – Dream Evil”
I must be one of the few who bought this album when it came out in 1987. I guess I was lucky to have a brother with similar tastes in music, where we each bought different albums. This is a highly underrated album. It was the last Dio album that I thoroughly enjoyed. In hindsight, I think Dio would’ve stuck to his guns and hung onto Craig Goldy. I like to think they could’ve done another similar styled album straight after this one…
Goldy didn’t get a proper chance. It’s that same old saying. Once you experience public acceptance of your art on a large scale, you yearn for it over and over again.
Bain and Appice were also becoming unhappy within the band.
And I agree that this album is an underrated gem.
I didn’t get this one. Like MTV, I had moved on as well. I know a few songs, but don’t think I’ve heard the whole album.
MTV was definitely not Dio friendly.
It’s strange how I skipped this at the time but got LUTWolves a few years later and then after in the mid 90s, went back to get this only to lose it in a house move.
I’ve lost things in house moves before. It sucks.
A few boxes are missing with a lot of vinyl and CDs. It pissed me off.
That would piss me off as well. I have only misplaced a few.
I really enjoy this one too. There’s a couple of songs in the second side that I can never remember much about but a good album with some awesome tracks. And I like the Rainbow flavour it’s got.
Dio being melodic and metal is Dio at his best.
I was listening to Dream Evil earlier this morning prior reading this post and started to pay attention to Vinny’s snare sound as per your post concerning Sacred Heart. It is almost perfect on The Last in Line and Sacred Heart but on Dream Evil it sounds artificial, dated and somewhat clumsy.
Anyway, great album which I purchased on CD format right after its release date. One of the very first CDs added to my collection. Coincidentally I’m just reading “Rainbow in the Dark: The Autobiography” that was released yesterday. Have to resist jumping to pages dealing with his solo career after Rainbow.
Speaking of Rainbow, they were one of the very few metal bands allowed behind the Iron Curtain. Amongst Uriah Heep, Yngwie Malmsteen (don’t ask), Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and a couple of other bands whose albums were publicly available.
Pop & rock records in Soviet Union were usually collections from various albums and not official releases, i.e. not to be found in Western world. I’m still wondering did the government license the music from record companies or just printed the stuff without asking permission and avoided spending valuable currency on preposterous and alienating pop music.
I saw a doco on Metal music in Eastern Europe years ago and from memory it was all illegal. Then when I watched the Moscow Peace Festival VHS, Richie Sambora was like, how are we getting this much crowd when we haven’t sold one album in Russia.
I saw that Dio book. For me it’s a must read.
When Viv quit DIO I left too lol yet I returned when the 16 yr old joined for the Lock Up The Wolves record! lol and then I left again.
Lot’s of people dig this album so maybe I’m missing out but between the first two studio San-Dio records and the first three solo DIO albums I’m good on that output which is stellar to say the least oh plus Rainbow Rising! Like that one too!
meant to say Sab-Dio albums
No argument here Deke. His Rainbow, Dio Sabbath and Dio first three albums are sufficient
Superman definitely didn’t produce this album. Sounds like a demo! Great songs though.