|Marshall Blonstein, president of Audio Fidelity, has set January 31st as the release date for the audiophile label’s Gold CD reissues of Dio’s HOLY DIVER and Bryan Adams’ CUTS LIKE A KNIFE. Both albums will be issued as numbered, limited editions that will be available through both online and brick-and-mortar retailers and will be retired after they have reached 5000 units in sales.
The two albums hail from 1983, a year when rock was reasserting its place on a music landscape then dominated by dance and pop records. Long acknowledged as classic entries in each artist’s catalog, HOLY DIVER and CUTS LIKE A KNIFErepresented key turns in the careers of Ronnie James Dio and Bryan Adams. The albums enjoyed the longest tenure of any Dio or Adams set on Billboard‘s chart, with HOLY DIVER logging 38 weeks and CUTS LIKE A KNIFE notching 89.
Ronnie James Dio had already achieved star status as the lead singer of Elf, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Black Sabbath by the time he released HOLY DIVER, the first record of what would be a long and fruitful solo career. Joined by alumni of his former bands-drummer Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath) and bassist Jimmy Bain (Rainbow)-and teenaged discovery, guitarist Vivian Campbell, Dio crafted a searing debut that won widespread pop acceptance without compromising an ounce of its power or heavy-metal principles. The group-composed “Rainbow in the Dark,” as well as the Dio-penned title track, became mainstream-rock radio hits, and the Bain-Dio cuts “Straight Through the Heart” and “Stand Up and Shout” grew into fan favorites-the latter featuring impressive, breakneck-speed soloing from Campbell.
HOLY DIVER peaked at No. 56 on Billboard‘s album chart (and reached 13 in the U.K.) and was certified Gold a year after its release and Platinum in 1989. The song “Holy Diver” retains considerable popularity almost three decades after it was first recorded, having been featured on TV’s South Park and in the video gameGrand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. “Rainbow in the Dark” was featured in Rock Band 3. Dio himself appears in the opening musical performance of the 2006 comedy Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny starring Jack Black.
Audio Fidelity’s reissue of HOLY DIVER includes a two-page spread reproducing the original vinyl LP’s photo montage of images from Dio’s time with Black Sabbath and Rainbow.
Following two solid solo albums, Canada’s Bryan Adams broke through with CUTS LIKE A KNIFE, which was a Top 10 entry on both the American and Canadian charts. The set initiated Adams’ run of five such acclaimed credits, sold some four million copies internationally and launched the raspy-voiced singer-writer as a major pop music figure, one who’s garnered 15 Grammy® nominations. Adams wrote or co-wrote (mostly with longtime writing partner Jim Vallance) the album’s ten songs-among them three solid Top 30 hits: the stirring piano ballad and signature piece “Straight From the Heart,” the brisk rocker “This Time” and the troubled-relationship title track. “Straight From the Heart” was covered by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, and the album-closer, “The Best Was Yet to Come,” was recorded by Laura Branigan.
Recorded in 1982 and originally issued on January of 1983, CUTS LIKE A KNIFE was produced by Adams with frequent associate Bob Clearmountain, whose engineering and mixing credits include Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. and recordings by the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi. Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm contributes backing vocals on CUTS LIKE A KNIFE.
Founded in 2002 by music industry veteran Marshall Blonstein, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-Karat Gold CDs and its 180-gram virgin-vinyl album editions, as well as a line of popular DVD titles. Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that Blonstein started in 1986, following stints as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King’s Tapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchises The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke).
* * * * *