Dio's classic Holy Diver album to get 'super deluxe edition' reissue

(Image credit: Mark Weiss/Getty Images)

Dio's classic debut album, 1983's Holy Diver, is to get a lavish reissue this summer to mark what would have been frontman Ronnie James Dio's 80th birthday.

The four-CD re-release Holy Diver: Super Deluxe Edition, will feature a a new remix of the album by Joe Barresi (Slipknot, The Bronx), the original 1983 album remastered, a live album recorded in California in 1983, and various outtakes, single edits, and B-sides. It will come out on July 8, two days ahead of what would have been Ronnie James Dio’s 80th birthday.

The songs for Holy Diver were largely written in the autumn of 1982, in a rehearsal room at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers recorded Damn The Torpedoes and Cheap Trick tracked Heaven Tonight.

Guitarist Vivian Cambell recalls that the quartet entered the facility with just one and a half songs – Holy Diver and a partially-constructed Don’t Talk To Strangers – but quickly penned seven more. 

“A lot of the songs were rewritten versions of Sweet Savage songs,” the Northern Ireland-born guitarist told this writer in 2019. “We basically plagiarised my history. Ronnie would say, ‘What did you play with Sweet Savage?’ I’d show him something and he’d say, ‘Is that your riff?’ I’d say, Yeah, and he’d go, ‘Okay, let's invert it, let’s do this, and change this.’ Ronnie always had notebooks full of lyrics and he’d be flicking through them while we were playing, and he’d find something, step up to the mic, and start singing. And – bang! – song done. It was that quick. He was that good that things moved along at that pace.”

"Holy Diver really is a fantastic album," says Campbell, "and I’m proud to have been a part of it."

The reissues live set comes from the band’s December 28, 1983, appearance at Selland Arena, in Fresno, California and includes the quartet's takes on classic tracks from Black Sabbath (Children of the Sea, Heaven and Hell) and Rainbow (Man on the Silver Mountain).

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.