Dio album ‘Holy Diver’ is now 38 years old

If Ronnie James Dio stayed in Black Sabbath this album wouldn’t have happened. Ronnie James Dio was kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1982. Dio and the rest of Black Sabbath took out a battle of the egos during the mixing sessions for their 1982 album Live Evil. I think this shows the heavy metal gods were looking over Dio.

Warner Bros. approached Dio at the time he was in Sabbath downtime period asking if he was keen on a solo project. The legend took the opportunity to start his own band. He took onboard Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain on bass and the young 20-year-old guitarist Vivian Campbell who took on back up vocals and played the dark synth riffs.

The album was more mainstream than the two albums Dio had done with Black Sabbath. Still a brutal metal album chocked full of gnarly riffs and Dio’s dramatic operatic vocals.

In a 1990 interview Dio said “It was exciting to work on that album,” He continued “I think it captured a bit of everything and set a wonderful foundation for us to build on.”

In a recent interview with metalexpressradio.com Vinny Appice was asked if he and his band mates were under a lot of pressure when making the album.

This has gotta be as good as Sabbath

Vinny said “No. As a matter of fact, it was all fun. We were nuts. We did all this work at Sound City [studios], and they let us destroy the building. They had games — like pinball games — and we used to open ’em up and put things in there so you never lose the ball, and wrecked the soda machines and the candy machines. They let us do everything we wanted to do in there. It was kind of like every night at seven o’clock — that’s when we started — it was boys’ night at the boys’ club. We’d go over there and smoke pot, and they’d make drinks and we would write and create.”

He added “There were never any songs written; we did everything in the studio. And it was just a great, great happy time. And we didn’t think twice about, ‘This has gotta be as good as Sabbath.’ We weren’t thinking like that. We were just going in, doing what we do. The band sounded great together. We got Vivian on guitar and Jimmy on bass, and we just let it flow. It was all natural, organic kind of thing. And there was never any pressure, ‘It’s gotta sound as good as Sabbath or better,’. Whatever we could do. And it just came together. And when people heard it, they flipped out — like ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Stand Up And Shout’. The band was on fire — totally on fire.”

The music clip to the song ‘Holy Diver’ is like something out of a B-grade medieval film where the majority of the budget was spent on Dio’s sword.

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