Music Reviews

Dio – The Studio Album Collection: 1996-2004 (Review)

DIO: The Studio Album Collection - 1996-2004 To Include Rare Live Discs

Artist: Dio
Album: The Studio Collection 1996-2004
Genre: Metal
Label: BMG/Niji
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron


The late great Ronnie James Dio is now a legendary figure in the Heavy Metal genre.  His untimely death in 2010 from stomach cancer was a loss that was felt worldwide in the metal community.  Listening to these newly remastered albums, it’s easy to see why he’s considered one of the most important figures in heavy rock history.  The sound quality of these albums is really top-notch. Being a huge fan of Dio’s work, I already had the original versions of these albums, but the remastered sound is really great.  But for me, the bonus material was the main point of interest.  Being a collector, I love it when bands release previously unreleased tracks.  Many of the tracks on the bonus albums are “live” recordings from the tour for each album and that adds a really nice element.  Ronnie James Dio always had a knack of surrounding himself with incredible musicians and they are all on display in these new versions.  Before hearing these albums was a bit concerned that there were a lot of repeated songs, but each live performance with different players is quite interesting to hear.  Plus, I honestly never get tired of hearing great classic songs like “Holy Diver”, “Heaven And Hell” and “Rock N’ Roll Children.  It’s amazing to think about Ronnie James Dio’s impact on metal music, from being in a little known band called “Elf”, to fronting “Rainbow”, “Black Sabbath” and ultimately his incredible discography of solo work. While we may have lost the chance to have any newly recorded albums with Dio’s death, I am grateful that Wendy Dio and BMG are able to unearth these incredible gems that he left behind. 10 years after his death we are still getting unheard music and that’s such a great thing to keep his musical legacy alive for generations to come.


Track Listing:

Angry Machines

Originally released in 1996 and featuring the line-up of Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Tracy G (Guitars), Jeff Pilson (Bass), Vinny Appice (Drums) and Scott Warren (Keyboards), the CD/digital version features 12 bonus tracks recorded live on the Angry Machines tour in 1997.

Disc 1 & LP Tracklist

1. Institutional Man

2. Don’t Tell The Kids

3. Black

4. Hunter Of The Heart

5. Stay Out Of My Mind

6. Big Sister

7. Double Monday

8. Golden Rules

9. Dying In America

10. This Is Your Life

Disc 2 – BONUS / LIVE on Angry Machines Tour 1997

1. Jesus Mary and The Holy Ghost – Straight Through The Heart

2. Don’t Talk To Strangers

3. Double Monday

4. Hunter Of The Heart

5. Holy Diver

6. Heaven and Hell

7. Long Live Rock and Roll

8. Man On The Silver Mountain

9. Rainbow In The Dark

10. The Last In Line

11. The Mob Rules

12. We Rock



Originally released in 2000 and featuring the line-up of Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Craig Goldy (Guitars), Jimmy Bain (Bass), and Simon Wright (Drums), the 2-LP set includes a bonus 7” of studio track “Electra” and the CD/digital version features 10 never released before Magica tracks performed on tour in 2001

Disc 1 & LP 1 Tracklist (LP 2 includes Magica Story + bonus 7”)

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. Chalis

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)

Disc 2 – BONUS / Live on Magica Tour 2001

1. Discovery

2. Magica

3. Lord Of The Last Day

4. Fever Dreams

5. Eriel

6. Chalis

7. Losing My Insanity

8. Otherworld

9. Electra – Studio Track

10. Magica Story – Studio/Spoken Word


Master Of The Moon

Originally released in 2004, Master of the Moon was the final studio album under the DIO band name and featured the line-up of Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Craig Goldy (Guitar), Jeff Pilson (Bass), & Simon Wright (Drums). The CD/digital version includes five bonus tracks recorded live on the Master of the Moon tour in 2004/2005.

Disc 1 & LP 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

Disc 2 – Bonus / Live on Master Of The Moon Tour 2004/2005

1.         Heaven and Hell

2.         Rainbow In The Dark

3.         Rock and Roll Children

4.         The Eyes

5.         Prisoner Of Paradise – Studio Track


Killing The Dragon

Originally released in 2002 and featuring the line-up of Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Doug Aldrich (Guitars), Jimmy Bain (Bass), and Simon Wright (Drums), the CD/digital version includes six tracks recorded live on the Killing The Dragon tour in 2002/2003.

Disc 1 & LP Tracklist

Killing The Dragon
Along Comes A Spider
Better In The Dark
Rock and Roll
Throw Away Children
Before The Fall
Cold Feet

Disc 2 – BONUS / LIVE on Killing The Dragon Tour 2002/2003

Holy Diver
Heaven and Hell
Rock and Roll
I Speed At Night
Killing The Dragon
Stand Up And Shout


Band Members:

Angry Machines:

Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Tracy Grijalva (a.k.a. Tracy G) – guitars
Jeff Pilson – bass
Vinny Appice – drums
Scott Warren – keyboards



Ronnie James Dio – vocals, keyboards
Craig Goldy – guitars, keyboards
Jimmy Bain – bass
Simon Wright – drums


Killing The Dragon:

Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Simon Wright – drums


Master Of The Moon:

Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Craig Goldy – guitar, keyboards
Jeff Pilson – bass
Simon Wright – drums
Scott Warren – keyboards


About the author

Bobby Caughron

Bobby Caughron is a music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK. He began a life-long fan of hard rock and metal music after hearing KISS as a kid. He is still an avid fan of the 80s metal scene and continues to discover and write about new music in all rock genres today.

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