BMG, Niji Entertainment Group Partner To Re-Issue Dio Albums

Courtesy: BMG/Niji Entertainment Group

Dio fans looking to complete their collections can finally do just that.

BMG and Niji Entertainment Group have partnered to release Dio’s final four albums.  The albums — Angry MachinesMagicaKilling The Dragon and Master of the Moon — were released in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004 respectively. The links for purchase via iTunes and Apple Music are noted below.

Apple Music links:
Angry Machines
               Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/album/angry-machines/1435073926?ls=1
Magica
               Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/album/magica/1435392004?ls=1
Killing The Dragon
Master Of The Moon

The records, which collectively sold a quarter of a million copies in their original releases, have been out of print and unavailable for the past five years.  Today’s sales launch for the records coincides with Julien’s Auctions’ live auction of RJD memorabilia at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.  The auction continues Sept. 15.

Dio’s widow, Wendy Dio, said she was happy to see her late husband’s work re-issued.

“I am very excited to be working with BMG, a label that still has a passion for rock music,” Dio said.  “They will be making the complete Dio catalog available again with some interesting surprises.”

The information for the albums’ re-issues, including those surprises, is noted below.  Information on the albums’ physical releases will be announced at a later date.

Angry Machines
  • Originally released in 1996, DIO‘s first independent release
  • Personnel: Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Tracy G (Guitars), Jeff Pilson (Bass), Vinny Appice (Drums) & Scott Warren (Keyboards)
  • Features: “Don’t Tell The Kids” and “Hunter Of The Heart”
Tracklist:
  1. Institutional Man
  2. Don’t Tell The Kids
  3. Black
  4. Hunter Of The Heart
  5. Stay Out Of The Mind
  6. Big Sister
  7. Double Monday
  8. Golden Rules
  9. Dying In America
  10. This Is Your Life

 

Magica
  • Originally released in 2000
  • Personnel: Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Craig Goldy (Guitars), Jimmy Bain (Bass), & Simon Wright (Drums)
  • Magica hit the charts in the US, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Japan
  • Features: “Fever Dreams” and “Magica Theme”
Tracklist:
  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)
  14. The Magica

 

Killing The Dragon
  • Originally released in 2002
  • Killing The Dragon charted in the US, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, & Japan
  • Personnel: Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Doug Aldrich (Guitars), Jimmy Bain (Bass), & Simon Wright (Drums)
  • Video for the single “Push” features appearance by Tenacious D
Tracklist:
  1. Killing The Dragon
  2. Along Comes A Spider
  3. Scream
  4. Better In The Dark
  5. Rock & Roll
  6. Push
  7. Guilty
  8. Thrown Away Children
  9. Before The Fall
  10. Cold Feet

 

Master Of The Moon
  • Originally released in 2004, final studio album under the DIO band name
  • Personnel: Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Craig Goldy (Guitar), Jeff Pilson (Bass), & Simon Wright (Drums)
  • Master Of The Moon charted in the US, Finland, Sweden, & Germany
  • Features: “One More For The Road” and “The Eyes”
 Tracklist:
  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

More information on these re-issues and all things Ronnie James Dio is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.ronniejamesdio.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialrjdio

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com//philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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Metallica’s New Album Is Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Eight years have passed since Metallica released its most recent album Death Magnetic.  That is a long time for any act to spend between albums.  It’s also a huge risk because the longer an act waits, the greater the odds it might not be relevant anymore.  What’s more, it also raises expectations greatly for said act’s new release.  In many cases, said albums don’t live up to expectations.  Guns ‘N Roses’ 2010 album Chinese Democracy is a prime example of that letdown.  So waiting for such a long time between albums is a gamble to say the very least.  For veteran hard rock outfit Metallica, the gamble to wait so long between albums paid off when it released its new album HardwiredTo Self-Destruct on Friday, November 18.  This record is the band’s best work to date.  It is a culmination of everything that the band has done over the course of its more than thirty year life.  That is evident first and foremost through it musical arrangements.  That will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining what makes this record stand out.  It will be discussed later.  The bonus live disc that was included in the record’s extended edition is just as important to note in the album’s presentation.  Each element serves the record in its own positive way.  All things considered, they make this record, again, Metallica’s best album to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Metallica’s new full-length album HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is the best work that this veteran hard rock outfit has released to date.  It is also one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums without question.  That is saying a lot considering how many albums the band has released over its life (10 counting this record) and the number of outstanding hard rock and metal albums that have been released so far this year.  One of the elements that makes the album stand so proud is its collective musical arrangements.  From one song to the next, the arrangements present elements of the band’s past, present and even its future.  One of the songs that best exemplifies the arrangements’ reach is ‘Now That We’re Dead.’  Right from the song’s outset, its driving guitar line and drumming harkens back to ‘Enter Sandman’ from the band’s groundbreaking 1991 self-titled album (or more affectionately known by fans as The Black Album.  That similarity stands throughout the remainder of its nearly 7-minute run time.  Front man James Hetfield’s vocal delivery is just as powerful throughout the song as it was way back in 1991, too.  When his vocal delivery is coupled with that solid musical arrangement, it makes the connection to The Black Album even stronger.  It’s just one of the songs that serves to exemplify the reach of the album’s musical arrangements.  ‘Spit Out The Bone,’ the record’s closer exhibits the arrangements’ reach just as much as ‘Now That We’re Dead.’

‘Now That We’re Dead’ exhibits a clear connection to material featured in Metallica’s 1991 self-titled record.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits the reach of the album’s arrangements.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ exhibits that reach just as much as ‘Now That We’re Dead.’  It is a direct throwback to the band’s very first album Kill ‘Em All (1983) with its speed/thrash metal riffs and drumming.  One could even argue to a point that there are hints of the band’s 1986 album Master of Puppets considering this arrangement and Robert Trujillo’s bass line.  His bass line instantly conjures thoughts of Cliff Burton’s work with its style and sound.  Obviously Burton died during the tour for that album, but would likely be as proud as the band’s fans to hear that similarity.  Even Hetfield’s own vocal delivery throws so far back, too. Sure he’s much older now.  But when he hits certain notes, audiences will instantly hear those hints of his days gone by.  That is a big compliment to him.  When each of the arrangements are brought together, they make this arrangement yet another standout composition.  Even more important to note is that just as with ‘Now That We’re Dead,’ the song’s arrangements harkens back to the noted albums but does so with a certain sense of evolution, too.  In other words, it doesn’t just repeat any of the songs from said albums.  Rather, it merely exhibits the stylistic approach used in the noted albums.  The same applies in the case of ‘Dream No More.’

‘Now That We’re Dead’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’ are both clear examples of the reach of this record’s arrangements.  One throws back to the band’s Black Album while the other throws back even farther.  Both songs exhibit the influence of those albums through their arrangements, and do so without just repeating any of the songs included in those records.  That is extremely impressive.  They are just a couple of the songs that serve to exhibit the reach of this album’s arrangements.  ‘Dream No More’ is another example of the arrangements’ reach.  This song exhibits hints of the band’s much maligned albums Load and Re-Load.  More precisely, with its combination of guitar and drum lines, it conjures thoughts of ‘King Nothing,’ which was one of the few truly good songs included in Load.  But again, it doesn’t try to just rehash that song through its arrangement.  Love the album or hate it (and Re-Load) the fact of the matter is that through this song, Metallica has taken the best of the album and evolved it into this song.  It again shows the reach of the album’s arrangements.  As if that isn’t enough, there are a couple of songs included in this record that even hint at what is probably the band’s worst albums (if not its worst), St. Anger.  Even in those cases, the band somehow managed to take the best of the worst and make it something enjoyable here.  There are also hints of each of the band’s other albums in the likes of ‘Hardwired,’ ‘Atlas, Rise’ and ‘Confusion’ just to name a few other standout arrangements.  All things considered here, it is clear in listening to the album from start to finish that this albums’ arrangement present quite a reach.  They present the band’s past, present and possibly even future.  That reach will impress any long time fan just as much as any new fan.  The reach presented in this record’s arrangements is clearly an important part of the record’s presentation.  It is just one of the record’s key elements, too.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining the record’s presentation as its musical reach.

The musical reach that is exhibited throughout Metallica’s latest full-length LP is a hugely important part of the record’s presentation.  That is because the record’s arrangements present influences from each of its previous albums and even hint at the band’s future.  To an extent, one could say that makes this record career-spanning.  While the record’s musical arrangements are so clearly important to its overall presentation, they are not its only important element.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangements.  ‘Atlas, Rise’ is just one example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  Hetfield sings in this song, “Bitterness and burden/Curses rest on thee/Solitaire and sorrow/All eternity/Save the earth and claim perfection/Deem the mass and blame rejection/Hold the pose, feign perception/Grudges break your back/All you bear/All you carry/All you bear/Place it right on, Right on me.”  He’s not signing about the literary Atlas.  This comes across as using Atlas as a metaphor for someone who loves to put the problems of the world on himself or herself, but not for noble reasons.  That is evident as he sings, “Grudges break your back/All you bear/All you carry/All you bear/Place it right on, right on me.”  This becomes even clearer as Hetfield sings, “How does it feel on your own/Bound by the world all alone/Crushed under heavy skies/Atlas, rise!”  The song goes on very much in similar fashion in terms of its lyrical content.  It leaves just as little doubt as the song’s early lines.  It definitely is a powerful song considering all of that.  When the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement is set against those lines, the song becomes even harder hitting.  It is just one of the songs that exemplifies the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Moth Into Flame’ is another of the album’s songs that exhibits the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

‘Atlas, Rise’ is a prime example of the importance of the lyrical content presented in HardwiredTo Self-Destruct.  It comes across as a damning indictment of those people who prefer (for whatever reason) to put the world’s problems on themselves and make themselves virtual martyrs, all the while holding grudges against the world.  Everyone knows or has known someone just like that.  It is just one of the examples of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Moth Into Flame’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  Hetfield sings in this song, “Blacked out/Pop queen, amphetamine/The screams crashed into silence/Tapped out/Doused in the gasoline/The high times going timeless/Infamy all for publicity/Destruction going viral/Light it up/Ah, light it up/Another hit erases all the pain.”  He goes on to sing, “Bulletproof/Ah, kill the truth/You’re falling, but you think you’re flying high/High again/Sold your soul/Built a higher wall/Yesterday/Now you’re thrown away/Same rise and fall/Who cares at all/Seduced by fame/A moth into flame.”  As with ‘Atlas, Rise,’ the lines presented here are their own damning indictment.  This time, it comes across as an indictment of celebrities and their lifestyles.  The lines presented here are just a portion of the support for that argument.  The song continues in similar fashion lyrically speaking, which strengthens this critic’s argument even more.  Keeping that in mind, this song’s lyrical content becomes yet another important example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It’s hardly the first time that anyone has ever crafted a song that goes after celebrities and their lifestyles (if that is in fact the focus on the song’s lyrics).  But it is still a biting approach that audiences will appreciate greatly.  It isn’t the last song that exhibits the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ is one more example of the importance of this record’s lyrical content.

‘Atlas, Rise’ and ‘Moth Into Flame’ are both key examples of the importance of this record’s lyrical content.  Both songs come across as very biting commentary about their given topics.  While both pieces are key in exhibiting the importance of the lyrical content in Metallica’s new album, they are not the only songs that show that importance.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ also serves to show the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  This song presents some very heavy content.  Hetfield sings in the song’s lead verse, “Come unto me and you will feel perfection/Come unto me and dedicate/Come unto me and you’ll never feel rejection/Come unto me and terminate/Remove your heart, it’s only good for bleeding/Bleeding through your fragile skin/Remove your thought cause it’s only for deceiving/Deceiving thoughts destroy within/Disappear like man was never here/Long live machine/The future supreme/Man overthrown/Spit out the bone.”  The technology theme continues throughout the song, but shouldn’t be misinterpreted.  This isn’t one of those songs that audiences have come to expect from Fear Factory or other similar acts.  It comes across more as a piece about people’s reliance on technology, not about robots overthrowing mankind.  That’s even despite the fact that Hetfield sings “Long live machine/the future supreme.”  It comes across more as a commentary about how mankind has allowed technology to become its new God.  That is evidenced in the song’s second verse in which he sings, “Plug into me, I guarantee devotion/Plug into me and dedicate/Plug into me and I’ll save you from emotion/Plug into me and terminate/Accelerate, utopian solution/Finally cure the Earth of man/Exterminate, speeding up the evolution/Set on a course, a master plan/Reinvent the earth inhabitant/Long live machine/the future supreme/Man overthrown/Spit out the bone.”  It comes across as saying man’s reliance on technology and devotion to technology will eventually turn man into machine.  It comes across as a sarcastic, yet still very biting commentary in its own right.  Again, when this content is coupled with the song’s musical content, the whole of the song stands out even more.  It is hardly the last song that could be cited in exhibiting the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Dream No More,’ ‘Confusion’ and ‘Am I Savage?’ could each be cited in exhibiting the importance of the album’s lyrical content along with the rest of the album’s songs.  All things considered, the album’s lyrical content proves in whole to be just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  Even as important as its musical and lyrical content proves to be, these two elements are not the album’s only important elements.  The bonus third disc included in the album’s extended edition is just as important to note as its musical arrangements and lyrical content.

Both the musical arrangements and lyrical content presented throughout HardwiredTo Self-Destruct are key to its overall presentation.  The musical arrangements take listeners to the band’s earliest days as well as its present and even future.  The album’s lyrical content addresses a variety of topics including celebrity, people who make themselves martyrs, and much more.  While both elements are clearly important to the album’s overall presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The bonus third disc included in the album’s extended edition is just as important to note in examining its presentation as the previously noted elements.  The disc features four more songs including a medley of Ronnie James Dio covers in the form of ‘Ronnie Rising Medley’ and ten live songs.  The studio songs bring the album’s total song count to 16.  That is counting the medley as one big song.  The live songs, recorded during the band’s 2016 – ’16 tour are important in their own right both because of the songs that are featured and the band’s performance thereof. The live songs featured in the record’s bonus disc are some of the band’s most beloved classics.  They include’ ‘Hit The Lights,’ ‘Ride The Lightning,’ ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ and plenty of others.  They are so important to note because they are a perfect fit with the album’s new studio tracks, which themselves lift from every era of the band’s life.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as impressive because of its energy throughout each song.  The band hasn’t lost even all these years later.  It is still just as enjoyable to experience here as it was when the featured songs were still new.  If that isn’t enough for audiences, the fact that the performances sound so good adds even more enjoyment to their overall presentation.  The proverbial cherry on top for the live recordings is that save for just one performance—‘Hardwired’ recorded live at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN—each of the songs featured here were all recorded at the same place, Rasputin Music in Berkeley, CA on April 16, 2016.  So rather than just having a group of random recordings, audiences get nearly a full live recording on this disc along with four bonus studio recordings.  It is a great finishing touch to an album that already stood out on its own musical and lyrical laurels.  When it is set against those elements, the whole of the elements leaves no question that HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is Metallica’s best effort to date and that it is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is Metallica’s best new album to date.  It is also one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  That is evidenced through musical arrangements that will take listeners throughout the band’s body of work.  Its lyrical content is just as certain to leave listeners thinking and talking.  The bonus disc included in the album’s extended edition adds even more enjoyment to the record’s overall presentation with its four extra studio recordings and ten expertly produced and engineered live recordings.  The live recordings will entertain audiences not just because of how well they were handled but also because they run the gamut just as much as the songs presented in the album’s main body.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as important to note in their enjoyment, too.  Each element noted in this review is important in its own right to HardwiredTo Self-Destruct.  All things considered, they make this record the band’s best work to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metallica.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Metallica

Twitter: http://twitter.com/metallica

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘On A Mission: Live In Madrid’ Does Indeed Rock

Courtesy: Inakustik

Courtesy: Inakustik

The annual summer concert season is officially winding down an all the kids are headed back to school.  But just because the seasons (both literal and figurative) are changing and the year is slowly winding down, the concerts don’t necessarily have to end.  Early this past May, Michael Schenker released his latest live Temple of Rock recording to the masses to enjoy any time in the form of On A Mission: Live in Madrid.  This recording, which came a little less than a year after the release of Schenker’s latest Temple of Rock album Spirit on A Mission, is worth at least one watch for fans of the former Scorpions guitarist.  That is due in part to the concert’s twenty-two song set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as notable as the show’s set list.  This will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least of note in the recording’s presentation is the concert’s production values (I.E. its video and audio mix).  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  Altogether they make On A Mission: Live in Madrid worth at least one watch by any of Schenker’s fans and by fans of Temple of Rock.

On A Mission: Live in Madrid is not Michael Schenker’s first ever live Temple of Rock recording.  It is, though another recording that Schenker’s fans and Temple of Rock fans alike will find to be worth at least one watch.  That is due at least in part to the concert’s extensive twenty-two song set list.  The set list pulls from every era of Schenker’s career, from his days with UFO to his days as a member of Scorpions all the way up to his work with Temple of Rock.  No fewer than seven of the set’s songs come from both of Schenker’s Temple of Rock albums—Bridge The Gap (2013) and Spirit on a Mission (2015).  The other songs lift from his rich body of work including the fan favorite ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane.’  Whether for his Scorpions classics, those he recorded with UFO, or even his work with Temple of Rock, the set list in whole offers a wide variety of songs for Schenker’s fans to enjoy.  That variety of musical offerings is just one element to note in examining the overall presentation of On A Mission: Live in Madrid.  The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as important to note as the show’s set list.

The set list that is featured in Temple of Rock’s new live recording is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because it presents a good variety of songs from Schenker’s still successful career.  It is just one of the recording’s most notable elements.  The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as important to note here as the concert’s set list.  Front man Doogie White (ex-Rainbow) is just as powerful in his presence as ever as he belts out hit after hit.  He impresses just as much as he chats with the audience between songs, too.  It is in those moments that he shows his prowess as a front man.  Meanwhile Schenker is just as impressive even without using any words.  His riffs and energy as he performs said riffs couples with White’s performance to give the band’s stage presence even more impact.  Drummer Herman Rarebell is just as enjoyable to watch whether keeping the time or singing the beloved Scorpions hit ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane.’  Even Francis Bucholz impresses in his own right, too.  When each man’s performance is set against that of his band mates, the end result is a performance that in whole is just as fun to watch as the set list is to take in.  It still is not the last of the recording’s key elements.  The recording’s production values are just as important to note here as the band’s stage presence (its performance) and the show’s set list.

The set list that was chosen for On A Mission: Live in Madrid and the band’s performance of said set list are both pivotal in their own right to the concert’s presentation.  While each element is important in its own right there is still one more element to note in examining the concert’s presentation.  That element is the concert’s collective production values.  Joy Eslava, the venue where the concert was recorded was a rather intimate venue.  It isn’t a club by any means.  But it is still a very intimate setting.  The ceiling is high and the orchestra area is just as close to the stage as are the venue’s multiple balconies.  What this means is that there are not many spots from which to capture the concert on camera.  It also means that the sound is just as much of a challenge to manage.  It doesn’t have much space in which to go out and dissipate.  This is all so important to note because there are those who have spoken out about the work of the concert’s camera crew in capturing the concert.  Given it would have been nice to have had more angles and for longer.  But again, the venue’s relatively intimate setting made capturing the experience slightly difficult.  And the camera crew did its best doing that given the setting.  Those who handled the concert’s audio mix (again considering the venue’s setup) should be applauded for their efforts, too.  The sound simply didn’t have time or space to spread out.  Considering the challenge that this posted the concert’s audio mix still turned out relatively impressive.  When it and the concert’s video mix were finalized and set against the concert’s set list and the band’s performance the end result of these elements’ combination is a concert that Schenker’s fans will enjoy just as much as fans of Scorpions and even UFO fans.

On A Mission: Live in Madrid, the latest live recording from Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock, is a recording that Schenker’s fans will enjoy just as much as fans of Temple of Rock, Scorpions, and UFO.  That is due in part to the concert’s extensive set list.  The set list pulls from every era of Schenker’s storied career.  The band’s collective performance of those songs makes for even more enjoyment as each man shows his years of experience through his own performance.  Altogether the band’s members make for one whole performance that takes audiences right back to that former era of bombast and more in rock and roll.  The concert’s collective audio and video mix put the finishing touch on the recording.  That is even considering the concert’s venue.  It posed its own challenges because of its setup.  But the camera crew and sound engineers met the challenge, turning out a concert that looks and sounds as best as it can in the end.  When this is set against the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the end result is yet another Temple of Rock live recording that is worth at least one watch.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on On A Mission: Live in Madrid is available online now along with all of the latest Temple of Rock news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rino Records To Release New Dio Box Set

Courtesy;  Rhino Records

Courtesy; Rhino Records

Rhino Records is releasing a very special new box set this year for fans of legendary rocker Dio.

A Decade of Dio: 1983 – 1993 will be released this year.  The multi-disc set culls Dio’s first six solo albums: Holy Diver (1983), The Last in Line (1984), Sacred Heart (1985), Dream Evil (1987), Lock Up The Wolves (1990), and Strange Highways (1993).  The CD set will be released in stores and online via Rhino Records on Friday, July 22nd and will retail for MSRP of $34.98.  It will also be available as a multi-disc vinyl box set on Friday, October 4th.  The vinyl box set will retail for MSRP of $99.98.  It will come with a bonus 7” vinyl single containing the original 1983 take of ‘Evil Eyes’ on one side and ‘Time To Burn’ on the other.  The take of ‘Evil Eyes’ that is presented in the vinyl set’s bonus 7” disc was originally released as the b-side to the title track from Holy Diver.  As an added note, it is completely different from the take presented in Dio’s 1984 album The Last in Line. ‘Time To Burn’ was the only studio track to be included in Dio’s 1986 live recording Intermission.

Pre-orders for both the CD and vinyl box set are available now.  Both versions are presented in boxes featuring new artwork by Marc Sasso.  Sasso was the man behind the artwork on a number of Dio’s original albums.  The CD Pre-orders are open here and the vinyl pre-orders here.

More information on these upcoming box sets and other titles from Rhino Records is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.rhino.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RHINO

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Rhino_Records

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock’s New Archived Live Dio Recording Gets Four Horns High

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Niji Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Niji Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment may as well be its own radio station. That’s because it just keeps pumping out hit after hit, essentially putting on an ongoing clinic as to how to put out proper live recordings. And yes that bad pun was fully intended. Next week, Eagle Rock will put out yet another of its hugely impressive live recordings in the form of Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993. This latest live Dio recording follows up Eagle Rock’s 2013 release of Dio: Finding The Sacred Heart—Live in Philly 1986. Being that this is not the first live Dio recording from Eagle Rock, it would be easy to compare the two shows. But that would be quite unfair as some seven years passed between the pair. Keeping that in mind, Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993 is an impressive recording all its own. It is one more that any classic rock buff and any true hardcore Dio fan will appreciate. The first and most obvious reason for this is the show’s set list. This show, the last from the band’s 1993 “Strange Highways Tour,” boasts songs not just from Strange Highways but also from Dio’s time with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and from his own solo career. The second reason that audiences will appreciate this recording is the band’s overall minimalist approach in its performance. And last but not least, audiences will appreciate the recording’s audio and video mix. All three factors come together to make this latest live recording from Eagle Rock just one more in a very long line of certified hits and another candidate to be one of the year’s best new live recordings.

The set list chosen by RJD and his band mates for this recording is key to the recording’s success. The set list chosen for this last show of the band’s 1993 European “Strange Highways Tour” balances songs from Strange Highways with numbers from Dio’s days in Black Sabbath, Rainbow and even his own solo career. Some of the best of the best from the concert include hits such as : ‘Stand Up and Shout”, “Holy Diver” and one of RJD’s biggest hits, “The Mob Rules” among so many others. Making the show even better, RJD and company—Vinny Appice (drums), Jeff Pilson (bass), Tracy G. (guitar), and Scott Warren (keyboards)—give the audience in attendance not one, not two, but three full encores—“Rainbow in the Dark”, “We Rock” and the fittingly titled final closer “Here’s to You.” Between the encores, the show’s primary fifteen song set and the bonus “Hangin’ WithThe Band” featurette, audiences of all ages get a show that is complete in every sense of the word in this recording. Not only is it complete, but it is a recording that any hard rock buff, classic rock buff and hardcore Dio fan will enjoy no less with every watch.

The set list and bonus companion featurette included in Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993 more than show why any Dio loyalist and rocker in general will appreciate and enjoy this recording. Just as important to consider in this recording is the band’s minimalist approach. There was no pyro, no big gimmicks or anything else. Given, being an indoor concert, pyro was probably not permitted at the venue. But RJD and company showed throughout the show that it is possible to put on an amazing show without any of that regardless of whether the show is indoors or out. From the first note of “Stand Up and Shout” to the final strains of “Here’s To You,” the band’s music and its very on-stage presence far more than made up for any gimmicks that other lesser bands might have needed to entertain audiences. All these musicians needed was their music, the audience, and a wall of amps. Tracy G.’s searing guitar work, Jeff Pilson’s heavy bass lines and Vinny Appice’s solid timekeeping and chops together created so much energy among one another and the crowd. Add in RJD’s larger than life personality, and audiences will see for themselves just why these men are still so revered to this day and emulated by so many of today’s top rock acts. It’s yet one more reason that this concert has earned the titled of one of the best new live recordings of 2014. But wait! There’s more! Yes, that terrible pun was intended, too.

The set list and overall stage show put on by RJD and his band mates are two very important reasons that audiences will enjoy this latest live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment. Last but not least to note of this recording is its collective audio and video mix. Audiences should note that while Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993 has been presented on Blu-ray, it is in SD-Blu-ray format. That simply means that the show was obviously recorded originally in standard definition instead of high definition. Of course high definition wasn’t available in the early 1990s. Audiences will be able to clearly see the difference the quality of standard definition from high definition. At the same time, it goes to show just how far recording technology has come over the course of twenty-one years. Even more important to consider is that since this show was originally recorded on magnetic tape, it’s nice to see that the footage has held up and been transferred to DVD and Blu-ray so well.

The show’s final audio mix is just as impressive as the video mix. When one takes into consideration the size of the Hammersmith Apollo and its acoustics, one develops much more respect for those that manned the boards in the initial concert and those charged with making sure that the audio transferred over just as solidly as the video. Far too often, audiences take for granted that the video and audio mix of life recordings will be equal. But there are some cases in which that doesn’t happen. Luckily, that isn’t the case with this recording. It maintains the high standard established so many years ago by Eagle Rock Entertainment. That high quality audio and video alongside the band’s performance and set list complete this recording. They all come together to make Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993 a definite candidate for a spot on this year’s list of the best new live recordings. It will be available next week and can be pre-ordered now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-London-Hammersmith-Apollo-Blu-ray/dp/B00J0LGZYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1399495060&sr=1-1&keywords=Dio.

More information on Dio: Live in London—Hammersmith Apollo 1993 and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at http://www.eagle-rock.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Announces Release Date, Track Listing For New Dio Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced the details for its latest release.

Dio: Live in London Hammersmith Apollo 1993 will be available for the first time ever on Tuesday, May 13th. The archived concert will be made available to audiences on DVD, SD Blu-ray, 2CD and digital formats. Audiences can get a sneak peek at what can be expected from this long-awaited release online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEFcFGJBQzA&list=UUp0uxdUViQ2LTAqRePby68g.

The upcoming release captures the final performance of Dio’s European tour in support of the band’s album Strange Highways. Dio was joined by band mates Vinny Appice (drums), Jeff Pilson (bass), Tracy G (guitar), and Scott Warren (keyboards) for the tour. The show covers Dio’s body of work from his days with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and even in his own band. Those hits include: ‘Holy Diver’, ‘Rainbow in the Dark’, ‘Strange Highways’, ‘Stand Up An Shout’, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’, ‘Heaven And Hell’, and ‘We Rock’ among others. The performance is presented in DTS Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital. The full track listing for the recording is listed below.

TRACK LISTING:

1) Stand Up And Shout

2) Strange Highways

3) Don’t Talk To Strangers

4) Evilution

5) Pain

6) The Mob Rules

7) Children Of The Sea

8) Holy Diver

9) Heaven And Hell

10) Man On The Silver Mountain

11) Drum Solo

12) Heaven And Hell (reprise)

13) Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost

14) Hollywood Black

15) The Last In Line

16) Rainbow In The Dark

17) We Rock

18) Here’s To You

 

As an added bonus for audiences, the DVD and SD Blu-ray presentations offer a special Behind-The-Scenes feature titled ‘Hangin’ With The Band.’

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ronnie-James-Dio-This-Your/dp/B00IACUO8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396440364&sr=1-1&keywords=dio+this+is+your+life and can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ronnie-james-dio-this-is-your/id829325064.

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio and http://www.ronniejamesdio.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.