Three years after the VSOP label issued their first Dio collection, Anthology, a follow-up was issued, the appropriately titled Anthology, Vol. 2. While the first set featured all the expected Dio favorites ("Holy Diver," "Rainbow in the Dark," "Last in Line," etc.), the second edition fills in the remaining blanks. While it's understandable to assume that Anthology included the crème de la crème of Dio's solo output, Vol. 2 shows that there were quite a few pleasant surprises still lurking around. Such standouts as "Don't Talk to Strangers" and "Gypsy" show the group in an Iron Maiden mood (and showcase guitarist Vivian Campbell, who would later turn up in Whitesnake and Def Leppard), while future guitarists to pass through the Dio ranks -- Craig Goldy ("Dream Evil") and Rowan Robertson ("Lock Up the Wolves") -- proved to be worthy collaborators as well. Too bad an accompanying DVD wasn't included, as the videos for such tracks as "Rock and Roll Children" and "Mystery" were inadvertently hilarious (while another track, "Hungry for Heaven," was used in a "vital" part of the '80s cheese movie Vision Quest). With the collection rounded out by a trio of live classics (the aforementioned "Rainbow in the Dark," Rainbow's "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll," and "We Rock"), Vol. 2 is a worthy successor.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato