The album "Dream Evil", the fourth by "Dio" was released on July 21, 1987.
This is probably Dio's latest "classic" album, as those who came after it has no longer been able to recreate the highlights of the first four albums. To be sure, this is Dio's most underrated album at the time of its release, which was appreciated only later.
The core that accompanied Ronnie James Dio on the first three albums is also preserved on this album, with the exception of guitarist Vivian Campbell, who parted ways with the band already during the tour of the "Sacred Heart" album.
Campbell's influence on the band's sound was so substantial that there was a grave concern that he could not be replaced by someone of his magnitude.
In the end, the guitarist who was chosen to replace him was Craig Goldy of "Rough Cutt", a heavy metal band from Los Angeles led by Dio's wife - Wendy Dio. Craig Goldie proved to be a great choice to replace Campbell, and his playing on the album clings brilliantly to the formula of his predecessor, to the point that the average listener would not notice Vivian Campbell has been replaced.
Before leaving the band, Campbell co-starred in the 1986 album "Intermission", which included recordings made during the tour that accompanied the album "Sacred Heart". The album also included a new song "Time to Burn" recorded in the studio in collaboration with new guitarist Craig Goldy, who replaced Campbell in the middle of a tour. The band wanted a song that would introduce the new band so the song was recorded and put on the live album.
In March 1987, at the end of the tour, the band went on to record the album "Dream Evil". What made this probably Dio's last classic album, is the fact that it's the last album featuring all 3 members of the "Founders' Generation" (Dio, Appice, Bain), as on the album that followed Ronnie James Dio replaced all band musicians without exception, from drummer Vinny Appice, through bassist Jimmy Bain who accompanied the band from its foundation, to keyboardist Claude Schnell and guitarist Craig Goldy, who managed to get into Vivian Campbell's shoes so beautifully, but only survived one album.
In terms of musical style, the album marks a rapprochement with the style that characterized the band's first two albums. In light of the harsh criticism following the musical direction in which the previous album "Sacred Heart" went, Dio decided to take two steps back and try to return to the roots. Anyone who has read the review we wrote on the album "The Last In Line", certainly did not miss the term "pop-metal" that we coined specifically to explain the musical softening of Dio and his move towards the mainstream, which became more sophisticated on the album "Sacred Heart".
So true, "pop metal' still exists in "Dream Evil" and the commercial buds of "Sacred Heart" are still in it. Evidence of this can be found in the increased use of keyboards in several tracks, such as "All The Fools Sailed Away" and the catchy melodies such as "I Could Have Been a Dreamer", but despite this, it is still a darker and heavier album than its predecessor.
Another significant change in this album from previous albums is the increased involvement of keyboardist Claude Schnell in the writing process as well as its impact on the sound of the album. Remember, Chanel also came from the band "Rough Cutt" from which Goldie came. He accompanied the band as a paid musician during the tour of the album "Holy Diver", and became a full member of the band during the recording of the album "The Last In Line".
Going back to the review we wrote on the album "The Last In Line", we mentioned there that although Claude Schnell was not a co-writer of any of the songs on that album, his influence still hovered over many of the songs there. So this influence has been greatly intensified on this album, when not only is Schnell participating, for the first time, in writing four of the nine songs on the album, but the presence of the keyboards on the album is much more noticeable.
Although "Dream Evil" does not reach the level of the first two classics that this band released in the beginning, there are still quite a few unforgettable moments here, such as "Dream Evil" - the theme song, "Night People", "Naked in the Rain", "Sunset Superman" and the Power-Ballad "All the Fools Sailed Away".
And before finishing a little word on the cover. This is the latest album to feature Murray's character on the cover. Some of you may raise an eyebrow at the sound of the name Murray. So similar to Iron Maiden's Eddie, Murray appeared on all four of Dio's first album covers. It is a beast with horns and bright, slanted eyes with fingers and claw-like hands that mark the famous horn symbol of Dio. By the way, for those of you who are really interested, you can find Murray's full story on Dio's website here: