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Jorn - 'Dio' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d6/5b/3e/641_jorndio_1285529702.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 26, 2010    
 
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As good as Jorn is, this record highlights that Dio was that much better.

I found it rather creepy that Jorn, a favourite vocalist of mine, could announce he had a Dio tribute album ready for release so soon after the legendary Rainbow and Black Sabbath vocalist had passed away. It was later clarified that Jorn had been working on this for a while and it was just a sad twist of fate that Ronnie wasn't around to hear the finished results. Jorn has never shied away from how big an influence the likes of David Coverdale and Ronnie were on his own style - and having covered so much Whitesnake material in the past it was inevitable that he'd want to try to wrap his vocal cords around some more Dio stuff at some point. With such a vast and influential back catalogue to choose from, Jorn decided to leave the Rainbow and Sabbath stuff alone and pick songs exclusively from the back catalogue of Ronnie's own band, Dio.

It's easy when talking about Dio to concentrate mostly on his work with Rainbow and Sabbath. More often than not 'Holy Diver' will be thrown in almost as an after thought. The truth though, is when you see the selection Jorn settled on, you realised what a great body of work Dio the band produced in their own right. Jorn has even managed to leave the main Dio songs out - there's no 'Holy Diver', no 'Rock And Roll Children'... only 'Stand Up And Shout' and 'Sacred Heart' from the really well known songs appear. The rest is just classic album tracks. And let's be honest, nobody wants to hear anybody else try and sing 'Holy Diver' - unless it's Pat Boone, but that's just for pure amusement.

Jorn's vocals are, as usual, excellent. He gives a fine effort on all the material and sings it without much trouble. The arrangements are faithful to the originals but with more abrasive guitars more in keeping with Jorn's own solo material, making it slightly heavier. It's nice to see Jorn has covered a fair amount of Ronnie's output... cuts from the 'Holy Diver' masterpiece are here in the form of 'Invisible', 'Don't Talk To Strangers' and 'Shame On The Night', along with 'Night People' and 'Sunset Superman' from 'Dream Evil'. Then at the other end of the timeline we have more recent stuff like 'Lord Of The Last Day' from 'Magica' and 'Push' from 'Killing The Dragon'. Stitched on at the end are the covers of 'Lonely Is the Word/Letters From Earth' and 'Kill The King' from Jorn's 'Unlocking The Past' and the live version of 'Straight For The Heart' from 'Live In America'.

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Jorn contributes his own song to open proceedings, the heartfelt 'Song For Ronnie James'. It's one of Jorn's better compositions and lyrically pays homage just fine, but for me was a tad too long at eight minutes. That is one minor gripe. The other is, no matter how fantastic Jorn is - and let's be honest, there's precious few in his peer group who can touch him for vocal quality and consistency, a tribute is all this can be described as. It's a very good one, but there's not one cut on here that Jorn managers to do better than Dio himself. Inevitably, what that means is there's no chance of me deciding that I'd play this over Dio himself. It's well produced, it's well performed, it's done with the right intentions - but what it really highlighted was how much we all took Ronnie's voice for granted. The mighty Jorn here sounds weak in comparison. The album lacks Ronnie's vocal boom - Jorn sounds part of the mix, whereas Ronnie just used to cut right through it. I credit Jorn for paying tribute as Ronnie certainly deserves it. I tip my hat to Jorn for highlighting the quality of Dio's solo output when he could so easily just have knocked out Sabbath and Rainbow covers. I agree that the heavier arrangements make it sound like a Jorn record and fits with his own solo work. But it also shows that as good as Jorn is - and I'm sure he'd agree with me here, that this record highlights that Dio was that much better.

James Gaden

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Recorded before the great mans death earlier this year, Jorn has paid his respects in a thoroughly sympathetic manner. Opening track is the 8 minute "Song for Ronnie" which rather cleverly incorporates many song titles and lyrics used by Dio over the years. Jorn has stated many times in his career of his gratitude and admiration for Dio's body of work and judging by the song selection chosen for this album you can see that Jorn knows
and prefers the lesser known standards, such as “Lord of the Last Day” and the forgotten gem which is "Night People" which to these ears makes this collection even more valuable than having all the so called hits covered.

Even one of Ronnie's toughest vocals "Shame on the Night" is given a fair crack by Jorn which to be fair shows confidence in his abilities and lets face it not too many singers would try that song. 3 of the 13 tracks on this release have been available before as various bonus songs on studio albums as well as a live version of "Straight Through the Heart" which I believe was released on Jorn's “Live in America” CD / DVD.

As far as the actual musicianship and songs go this is a very creditable release with some great vocals from one of the best modern day rock singers, which makes it all the more remarkable that right up to Ronnie's death aged 67 no one could sing these songs or had the vocal power to match Dio's - and I am sure Jorn would be the first to agree.

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Production Quality 
 
4.0
Music Quality 
 
4.0
Artwork  
 
5.0
Value for Money 
 
4.0
Reviewed by speedy September 26, 2010
Last updated: September 26, 2010
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (4)

Jorn - Dio (review by Speedy Hicks)

Recorded before the great mans death earlier this year, Jorn has paid his respects in a thoroughly sympathetic manner. Opening track is the 8 minute "Song for Ronnie" which rather cleverly incorporates many song titles and lyrics used by Dio over the years. Jorn has stated many times in his career of his gratitude and admiration for Dio's body of work and judging by the song selection chosen for this album you can see that Jorn knows
and prefers the lesser known standards, such as “Lord of the Last Day” and the forgotten gem which is "Night People" which to these ears makes this collection even more valuable than having all the so called hits covered.

Even one of Ronnie's toughest vocals "Shame on the Night" is given a fair crack by Jorn which to be fair shows confidence in his abilities and lets face it not too many singers would try that song. 3 of the 13 tracks on this release have been available before as various bonus songs on studio albums as well as a live version of "Straight Through the Heart" which I believe was released on Jorn's “Live in America” CD / DVD.

As far as the actual musicianship and songs go this is a very creditable release with some great vocals from one of the best modern day rock singers, which makes it all the more remarkable that right up to Ronnie's death aged 67 no one could sing these songs or had the vocal power to match Dio's - and I am sure Jorn would be the first to agree.

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