CD Review: Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986

This legendary concert is remastered and complete for the first time.
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When the late Ronnie James Dio was on tour for his Sacred Heart album, he had a show on the second leg of the tour filmed for VHS release. The concert was significant as it was the first tour with new guitarist, Craig Goldy, who replaced original Dio guitarist, Vivian Campbell, after the first leg was completed. The original concert was incomplete, however. Now the full show is available for the first time, digitally remastered, as Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986.

For the tour, Goldy joined a crack band that included Dio's ex-Black Sabbath band mate, Vinny Appice, on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass and Claude Schnell on keyboards. This was high-powered music delivered by high-powered players. "Draco Ignis" provides an eerie opening to the proceedings before the band launch into an intense "King Of Rock & Roll." Goldy had big shoes to fill, replacing Campbell, and performs admirably throughout the show.

Synths became more prominent in Dio's music during this period, as evidenced by the pop-flavored "Hungry For Heaven," and even during the Black Sabbath classic "Heaven And Hell." Regardless, both are strong versions with inspired vocals by Dio. It's easy to take for granted how good a vocalist Dio was, but this concert shows how effortlessly he moved through the many musical styles presented that night.

Dio mixes his solo "Rock 'n' Roll Children" in a medley with two Rainbow gems, "Long Live Rock 'n Roll" and "Man On The Silver Mountain." Both rainbow tracks are played much faster than their studio versions. The show ended with a faithful rendition of "Rainbow In The Dark" followed by a version of "We Rock" that most definitely lived up to its name.

The metal world lost one of its biggest voices when Ronnie James Dio passed. Having this show in its entirety is a fitting tribute to this remarkable performer who was still in his arena rock prime at the time of this recording. A must-own CD for Dio fans.