CD Review: DIO’s Studio Album Collection: 1996-2004

The Studio Albums 1996-2004

“Angry Machines”, “Magica”, “Killing The Dragon”, “Master Of The Moon”

Dio

BMG

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you’re on the hunt for long out of print Ronnie James Dio solo albums, you’re in luck. Ten years after his passing, BMG has reissued the classic final four Dio albums. Each stunning release is fully re-mastered and features previously unreleased recordings and rarities.

Kicking things off is “Angry Machines”, originally released in 1996. The original album’s here in its entirety and damn it sounds great. Included is a bonus CD featuring 12 live recordings from the Angry Machines Tour 1997 featuring classics such as “The Last In Line” and “Rainbow In The Dark”. Next we have “Magica”, originally released in 2000. Not only do you get the long sought after album, but the bonus CD is packed with goodies. Included you’ll get 8 tracks (all from the “Magica” studio album) recorded live on the Magica Tour 2001. As well as the rare studio track “Electra” and the rare 18 minute “Magica Story” spoken-word piece, which is real treat for hardcore fans. “Electra”, originally intended for Dio’s never released “Magica II & III”, plays like a classic Dio track and is a great addition to your collection.

A personal favorite of mine is the “Killing The Dragon” reissue. The album was originally released in 2002 as somewhat of a concept album, Dio’s middle-finger to the digital age. Mascot Murray stands tall, bloody sword in hand, over a slain dragon in the badass Marc Sasso artwork. The bonus CD accompanying the original album includes 6 tracks recorded live on the Killing The Dragon Tour between 2002 and 2003. Not a whole lot new here, considering tracks like “Heaven and Hell” are on every live bonus disc besides the aforementioned “Magica”.

Last but not least is Dio’s epic “Master of the Moon”, originally released in 2004. The album that gave us headbanger’s like “One More For the Road” and “Shivers”. As with each release, the album sounds better than ever. The bonus CD included with “Master of the Moon” features four live tracks recorded on the Master Of The Moon Tour between 2004 and 2005. Also included is the rare studio track “Prisoner of Paradise”, originally included on the Japanese album pressing.

Each release is a must have for hardcore Dio fans, the re-masters are bar none. If you’ve already procured these albums in the past, the bonus live tracks and rarities are a special treat. The CD releases are gorgeous, featuring a solid media-book packaging and vibrant artwork. The colors of each cover pop brighter than ever before. Throughout the lyric pages more great artwork can be found and within the books themselves.

If you are a vinyl fan you are in for a treat as each of these four albums come pressed on heavy weight 180 gram vinyl packed in colorful gate-fold sleeves complete with lenticular covers and full color inserts. Overall a rather stunning release of reissues across all available formats.

“Angry Machines”

Disc One:

  1. Institutional Man
  2. Don’t Tell the Kids
  3. Black
  4. Hunter of the Heart
  5. Stay Out of My Mind
  6. Big Sister
  7. Double Monday
  8. Golden Rules
  9. Dying in America
  10. This Is Your Life

Disc Two:

  1. Jesus, Mary & the Holy Ghost – Straight Through the Heart
  2. Don’t Talk to Strangers
  3. Double Monday
  4. Hunter of the Heart
  5. Holy Diver
  6. Heaven and Hell
  7. Long Live Rock and Roll
  8. Man on the Silver Mountain
  9. Rainbow in the Dark
  10. The Last In Line
  11. The Mob Rules
  12. We Rock

“Magica”

Disc One:

  1. Discovery
  2. Magica Theme
  3. Lord of the Last Day
  4. Fever Dreams
  5. Turn to Stone
  6. Feed My Head
  7. Eriel
  8. Challis
  9. As Long As It’s Not About Love
  10. Losing My Insanity
  11. Otherworld
  12. Magica – Reprise
  13. Lord of the Last Day – Reprise

Disc Two:

  1. Discovery
  2. Magica
  3. Lord of the Last Day
  4. Fever Dreams
  5. Feed My Head
  6. Eriel
  7. Challis
  8. Losing My Insanity
  9. Otherworld
  10. Electra (Studio)
  11. Magica Story (Studio)

“Killing The Dragon”

Disc One:

  1. Killing the Dragon
  2. Along Comes a Spider
  3. Scream
  4. Better in the Dark
  5. Rock & Roll
  6. Push
  7. Guilty
  8. Throw Away Children
  9. Before the Fall
  10. Cold Feet

Disc Two:

  1. Holy Diver
  2. Heaven and Hell
  3. Rock and Roll
  4. Speed at Night
  5. Killing the Dragon
  6. Stand Up and Shout

“Master Of The Moon”

Disc One:

  1. One More for the Road
  2. Master of the Moon
  3. The End of the World
  4. Shivers
  5. The Man Who Would Be King
  6. The Eyes
  7. Living the Lie
  8. I Am
  9. Death By Love
  10. In Dreams

Disc Two:

  1. Heaven and Hell
  2. Rainbow in the Dark
  3. Rock and Roll Children
  4. The Eyes
  5. Prisoner of Paradise

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