From 1984, here is Dio with "Mystery" from the band's album "The Last In Line."
I'm a fan of Ronnie James Dio. There's no question that he possesses one of the greatest singing voices of all time, beginning with his early rockabilly and doo wop sides with Ronnie & The Red Caps, to the underappreciated recordings with Elf, a band whose record covers belie the music found inside, through his hard rocking metal days with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and finally his own eponymously titled band.
I own most of his releases, and I consider a few, like "Rainbow Rising," Sabbath's "Heaven & Hell" and Dio's "Holy Diver" some of the greatest records of all time.
What I love about this track "Mystery" is that at its core, it is a terrific pop song. The guitars are louder, the vocals are stronger and the lyrics are typical Dio fare covering storms, darkness and more darkness, but I can't help but think that if this was Cheap Trick or even Dwight Twilley, more people would be all over it.
"The Last In Line" was a disappointment to fans after the stellar Dio debut "Holy Diver," and All Music refers to this song as a power ballad, which is very misleading. A good record, with a solid melody, a few hooks, some harmonies and a great guitar solo is nothing to shake a stick at, and just because it isn't as aggressive as "Kill The King," or as epic as "Stargazer," doesn't mean it isn't pure Dio. And it is not a power ballad.
The music Dio created with Elf owes more to the good time, swampy rock of the Faces, and in some areas, even early Elton. And I know I am not the only Black Sabbath fan whose thinks "Heaven & Hell" is better than at least half of that band's original output with Ozzy.
I can see through the wires of the internet some of you already scrolling by, rolling your eyes, heading for something else to listen to. But I woke up with the opening drums and bass from "Lady Evil" on my mind, and that gave me the push I needed to write about "Mystery," which has been in the on deck circle for weeks. One thing leads to another and so, today I'll be on a Dio binge. And maybe now, a few of you will be, as well.