Holy Diver Live

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Ronnie James Dio has issued quite a few live albums and videos since departing from Black Sabbath in the early '80s, but as evidenced by its title, 2006's Holy Diver Live is a bit different. Keeping in step with a phenomenon started in the '90s with veteran rock acts performing a classic album in its entirety, Dio revisited his 1983 solo debut, Holy Diver. Recorded at the Astoria in London on October 22, 2005 (not 1995, as the CD booklet erroneously lists), the double-disc set also includes a second disc comprised of highlights from Dio's Rainbow and Black Sabbath days, as well as a pair of tracks from another strong early solo release, 1984's The Last in Line. Dio is in fine voice all these years later (something that can certainly not be said of the majority of rock singers his age who have to rely on backing vocalists or prerecorded tapes), as evidenced by such standouts as "Rainbow in the Dark," "Holy Diver," "Heaven and Hell," and "Tarot Woman." And headbangers worldwide have to be happy whenever the woefully underrated Dio/Sabbath-era gem "Sign of the Southern Cross" gets an airing on-stage. Despite guitarist Craig Goldy not performing on this night (due to an arm injury, Doug Aldrich took his place), Holy Diver Live is quite possibly Dio's finest live album yet -- from both a performance and set-list standpoint.

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