It's amazing how many live releases come out of the woodwork after a music legend passes away. Such is already starting to happen with the late Ronnie James Dio, who left the metal world in early 2010. The Legend Live is a new DVD featuring live footage from Japan in 1985 on the Sacred Heart tour, and features the original Dio band in all their glory. Being as there is very little live material in video form of this incarnation of the band (featuring guitarist Vivian Campbell), longtime Dio fans will be sure to flock to this DVD in droves.
Unfortunately, there are a ton of problems with The Legend Live. For starters, all the photographs on the box are recent shots of Ronnie performing with Heaven and Hell; you can even see Tony Iommi on the back cover. Not sure who the genius was who committed this error, but mistake number one. Second, the DVD lists the running time as 60 minutes, but in actuality it's only about 31. No indication is made anywhere of exactly what venue the show took place at, or date. We can only assume it was the 1985 Sacred Heart tour, as this was the last one with Campbell. There are also only 7 songs in the set list, which doesn't make for much of a 'content rich' DVD. The sound and video quality is also pretty average, with Vivian's guitar way low in the mix for the first few songs and Jimmy Bain's bass too high.
Technical problems and obvious mistakes aside, the actual performances of the band is superb. This was a group that was firing on all cylinders at that point, despite the fact that Campbell would soon leave the band. Dio's vocals are off the charts great here, especially on "Stand Up and Shout", "Sacred Heart", the Black Sabbath classic "Heaven and Hell", and Rainbow staple "Long Live Rock & Roll". Watching Campbell tear it up on guitar only solidifies what most Dio fans already know-he was THE guitar player for this band.
So, if you can get a copy of this for cheap, by all means do so. Just understand that there's not a lot here to sink your teeth into, but it does feature a great performance from this line-up. The folks who put this together however should have really taken more time and effort in assembling this.
- Hungry For Heaven
- Holy Diver
- Heaven and Hell
- Sacred Heart
- Long Live Rock & Roll
- Rainbow in the Dark
- Stand Up and Shout