Published on September 3rd, 2016 | by Justin G.
Dio: A Decade of Dio – 1983-1993
Just a few short years after dutiful Dio fans ponied up for the pricey (but totally worth it) 2-disc Deluxe Edition reissues of the first four Dio albums, Rhino hits us with a brand new box set that includes newly remastered versions of the first six – count ‘em, six! – Dio releases. Ah, the dreaded double-dip. Let’s break down the new A Decade of Dio 1983-1993 box set and see whether it’s worth buying.
What we get:
Dio’s first six albums – 1983’s Holy Diver, 1984’s The Last in Line, 1985’s Sacred Heart, 1987’s Dream Evil, 1990’s Lock Up the Wolves and 1993’s Strange Highways. That’s four bona-fide classic heavy metal albums, and two Dio albums that have been remastered for the very first time.
What we don’t get:
Bonus tracks and liner notes. Basically, all of the things other than the remastering that made the Deluxe Editions so great are missing here. No live tracks, no “Hide in the Rainbow” (which would have been oh so easy to tack onto Dream Evil), no booklets of any kind.
I’m sure someone will take these discs and run an analysis against the Deluxe Editions to compare and contrast the remastering jobs. They’ll probably use those cool graphics with the jumpy green lines. I am not that guy. I listened to tracks from each version and honestly can’t tell the difference. Which is good, actually, since I thought they did a great job remastering those first four albums. I can however, happily report that the remastering on Lock Up the Wolves and Strange Highways is quite good, breathing some new life into these still-underrated Dio albums.
This is A Decade of Dio’s only real flaw. Inside a fairly sturdy and nicely illustrated outer box, each disc comes in a “mini LP replica sleeve,” which is code for cheap cardboard sleeve. They try to recreate the original LP design, complete with a little one-page insert that you’d need a microscope to read. If you plan on listening to these a lot (and they’re classic Dio albums, so why wouldn’t you?), you’ll probably want to rack the actual discs in slimline jewel cases so you don’t scratch them on the cardboard sleeves. Proper jewel cases with decent booklets would have been so much better, but then the set wouldn’t be as affordable as it is. Which brings me to…
Price: A Decade of Dio runs about $25-30, making it a real bargain. That’s about $5 per disc if you don’t have them already, and a reasonable price for just the remastered Lock Up the Wolves and Strange Highways if you already own the Deluxe Editions. This is a real bargain, whether you’re upgrading your older versions or getting these albums for the very first time.
It’s not perfect, A Decade of Dio is a must-buy based on the strength of the music and the quality of the remastering alone. If you’re any kind of Dio fan at all, you really need this compact, inexpensive set.
PS – I haven’t seen it yet, but there’s also an LP box set available, though that runs closer to $90.00. That’s pretty intriguing, especially if you like the idea of remastered Dio on vinyl. If anyone splurged on this version, I’d love to hear how it is.
Where to buy: http://amzn.to/2c2lxVR
Summary: Minor gripes aside, you get an awful lot of essential heavy metal in this very affordable little box.