16th May 2010. This date will live with me, and certainly many, many others, as the day we lost a musical genius, inspiration, hero and possibly the possessor of one of the finest voices ever. Ronnie James Dio was all of those things to me and I still find it difficult to accept that we will never hear him sing again. I was very lucky to witness him live many times and he was always nothing less than outstanding. While we might not ever see any new material, what we do have is a vast back catalogue of music that will live forever and I would be very surprised if anyone into any genre of rock or metal did not have at least one album in their collection where RJD is the singer. Bearing that in mind, many of the later albums from Dio (the band) were probably not distributed and promoted as much as the early ones due to record label changes etc. This is actually a terrible shame because those albums include some wonderful material that could easily match much of what had gone before.
Following on from ‘The Very Beast of Dio’ which collected much of his better known work, Vol.2 brings together 17 songs from those later studio and live albums plus some semi-rarities and is a stunning listen, even if you already own, as I do, all of the material. It covers the albums ‘Angry Machines’ through to ‘Master of the Moon’ and you just cannot fault it. Picking out individual songs is pointless because they all stand up fantastically well. What I will do, however, is concentrate on what are considered to be the ‘rare’ tracks. They have all been available before, but this is the first time they have been collected on one CD. First up is ‘The Prisoner of Paradise’ which was only released on the Japanese version of ‘Master of the Moon’; ‘Electra’, from the very rare ‘Tournado’ Box Set (a song that would have been included on ‘Magica II’ had Ronnie been able to complete it) and ‘Metal Will Never Die’, the final song he recorded that was originally included on David ‘Rock’ Feinstein’s album ‘Bitten By The Beast’. All are VERY worthy of inclusion on this compilation.
A couple of other things to mention regarding this release are that Eddie Trunk (host of ‘That Metal Show’ and a long time friend of Ronnie) supplies liner notes and the artwork has been completed by Marco Sasso who painted the covers for the ‘Killing the Dragon’ and ‘Master of the Moon’ albums. In this day and age of downloads, compilation albums are not something I would regularly consider, but there are always a few notable exceptions and Ronnie James Dio is one of those. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone, especially if you are not as familiar with his later material. Real talent is not as common as many people think but Ronnie James Dio had it running through his veins and long may we remember him.
THE VERY BEAST OF - VOL.2
Review by Rick Tilley
8th Oct 2012
1) Killing The Dragon; 2) Push
3) The Eyes; 4) Along Comes A Spider
5) Better In The Dark; 6) Fever Dreams
7) Black; 8) Feed My Head
9) Shivers; 10) Hunter Of The Heart (Live)
11) One More For The Road; 12) Lord Of The Last Day
13) Electra (Bonus Track)
14) As Long As It's Not About Love
15) This Is Your Life
16) Metal Will Never Die (Bonus Track)
17) Prisoner Of Paradise (Bonus Track)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Following on from ‘The Very Beast of Dio’ which collected much of his better known work, Vol.2 brings together 17 songs from those later studio and live albums plus some semi-rarities and is a stunning listen..."