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First off let it be known that this compilation only takes you as far as 1994 of Ronnie James Dio's storied career. It was released in 2003 so nothing from Dio's last LP ("Master Of The Moon") or the Black Sabbath reunion aka "Heaven & hell" could even be considered. This is Elf until the end of Ronnie's Warner Bros. contract in 1994 (the LP "Strange Highways).
It's no surprise Rhino wanted another Dio compilation since 2000's mighty fine 16-track "The Very Beast Of Dio" collection sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S. (Gold certification in the U.S.). It was culled strictly from the band "Dio" and was the first North American "best of" (the import "Diamonds: The Best Of" had been available since 1994). Instead of doing "The Very Beast Of, Vol. 2", which they certainly could considering many many Dio tracks didn't fit on the first collection, they opted to compile Ronnie James Dio's career from his band Elf, through Rainbow, through Black Sabbath, through the Dio band. They decided to attempt this within the space of two compact discs (160 minutes max and Rhino admirably filled approximately 153 minutes worth).
So how did they do? Rhino usually nails it on their choices and they did pretty darn good on "Stand Up And Shout: The Anthology". It's obvious some knowledgeable people were involved with the selection. Of the 29 cuts here 3 come from the band Elf, three from Rainbow, eight from Black Sabbath and fifteen from the Dio band(s).
Even though the music of Elf, a bluesy, rock'n boogie band, isn't what Dio became famous for the Rhino team, for the sake of being thorough, picked three songs from two of the three Elf albums ("Hoochie Koochie Lady" & "I'm Coming Back To You" from "ELF" and "Carolina Country Ball" from the album of the same name, re-titled "L.A. 59" in the USA. Nothing from the final Elf LP, "Trying To Burn The Sun" is included). Personally, I would have rather Elf been excluded altogether and the collection begin with Rainbow, but that's just my take on it. The three Elf songs are cute but nothing special.
Next up are the Rainbow years. Here is where Rhino makes it's first mistake. Not including live albums, Rainbow made three albums- one of which, "Rainbow Rising", is considered a Metal masterpiece. Rhino did pick one from each LP- three essential cuts, 'The Man On The Silver Mountain", "Starstruck" & "Long Live Rock & Roll", but "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" & "Stargazer" should have been included, perhaps in place of the Elf tracks. Or they could have cut one of the Black Sabbath tracks. Again, though, there's only so much space and Metal tracks are usually long so....it is what it is.
The Black Sabbath pics are nearly perfect. Three from "Heaven & Hell" (title cut, "Neon Knights", "Children Of The Sea"), three from "The Mob Rules" (title cut, "Sign Of The Southern Cross", "Turn Up The Night") and one from "Dehumanizer" ("Computer God"). In addition there's a rare live version (not from the the infamous "Live Evil" but from the 1982 "Mob Rules" tour) of "H&H's" "Voodoo" included. Nice as that may be they could have included another "Dehumanizer" track (such as "I") or one of the missing Rainbow songs instead. Afterall, this collection is not a "rarities" collection so baiting the hook with one or two is a bit obnoxious.
Disc 1 closes with another rarity, a ripping version of "Sacred Heart" from the VHS-only (so-far) "Sacred Heart-The Video" release (rather than the mediocre 'Intermission" EP- a stopgap 6-cut release foisted on the public between Dio's proper albums in 1986). A better rarity and better bait would have been the studio cut "Hide In The Rainbow", which was only released on "The Dio EP" during the "Sacred Heart" tour. The track has since been released on the bonus disc from the Deluxe Edition re-issue of "Sacred Heart"
Rather than just copy the tracklist from "The Very Beast Of Dio" Rhino swaps a few tracks for a few not included on "Beast".
Firstly, from the stone classic LP "Holy Diver" we are served up a healthy five tracks (title cut, "Rainbow In The Dark", "Stand Up And Shout", "Straight Through The Heart" & "Don't Talk To Strangers"), all but one ("Don't Talk To Strangers") of which were included on "Beast". From "The Last In Line" comes three cuts (title song, "We Rock" & "Egypt (The Chains Are On)"). The UK hit "Mystery" is dropped in place of "Egypt". Though a better song I think "Mystery" should've remained being it was so popular. Being that a live version of "Sacred Heart" was included on disc 1 two more obvious songs from the LP "Sacred Heart" are here ("King Of Rock & Roll", "Hungry For Heaven"). This is the second gaffe. The missing "Rock And Roll Children" (included on "Beast") was Dio's biggest hit single (#26 in the UK).
Another mistake comes with the "Dream Evil" LP selection. While the great title cut and "All The Fools Sail Away" are included the hit "I Could Have Been A Dreamer" is not. At this point it seems clear that Rhino wanted this new compilation to be somewhat supplementary to "The Very Beast Of". My theory is a bit stymied though by the fact the final two songs from Dio's final two Reprise LPs, "Lock Up The Wolves" & "Strange Highways") are the same as on "Beast", ie, the title track of each album. There were plenty of worthy tracks they could have swapped these for and been forgiven ("Wild One", "Hey Angel", "Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost", etc..).
Now that they've released "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" Rhino should do a 2 disc set on JUST the Dio band years. "Stand Up And Shout" was doomed from the start. Too much material for two discs. A good effort but ultimately flawed.
Every once in a while a greatest hits collection comes around that will be an absolute must have for any fan of a band, one that contains all the right amount of perks and rarities to entice the most hardcore fan, yet still contain all the necessary hits to rope in the casual listener. “Stand Up and Shout” lives up to its name by shouting one thing to the potential buyer, “If you buy me you will get it all!!” You get every era spanning Dio’s career since the early 70s with Elf up until his last great effort in the 1990s Strange Highways.
As someone who was an already established enthusiast for Dio’s Sabbath and solo work at the time, my main reason for getting this release was the Elf and Rainbow material, the former of which I was 100% unexposed to while the latter had only been touched upon due to live performances and one greatest hits compilation.
The Elf material, for its time, is quite an innovative fusion of blues and rock that requires a bit of historical perspective in order to grasp. When you consider that the heaviest thing going on at the time was Black Sabbath and that they were considered an aberration, this is quite hard edged stuff and a path can been seen to where Dio would grow into what he is now.
The Rainbow stuff includes the obvious tour favorites “Long Live Rock and Roll” and “Man on the Silver Mountain”, as well as the only slightly less well known “Starstruck”. Although these songs are all a great listen and rock hard, I had hoped that more epic tracks such as Gates of Babylon would have made it onto here, but of course those tracks are to be found on Rainbow compilations.
The Black Sabbath stuff is presented chronologically, which is a breath of fresh air as most Sabbath compilations are dreadfully unorganized. You have all the essentials from both the early 80s era as well as the strongest song from the 1992 reunion in “Computer God”. We also get a great live version of “Voodoo” from the Mob Rules tour back in 1982 that qualifies as a genuine rarity.
Dio’s solo material has also been well organized and includes pretty much all the no-brainer tracks from the first two albums. We get a live version of “Sacred Heart” from the famous tour that spawned the Video concert carrying the same name, definitely a great perk for the Dio fan that already has most of the discography. To my relief, the Dream Evil material was not given the shaft and the two best songs from it are found on here. Likewise, both Lock up the Wolves and Strange Highways managed to get their title tracks onto this compilation, rounding out the tail end of a career that spanned more than 20 years at that point.
To the prospective buyer who is looking for some stuff with Ronnie Dio attached to it that is not found on the LPs, as well as the fan of metal who wishes an introduction to the artist, this is the album to go for. It listens extremely well owing to it being well organized and all of the songs being digitally remastered, which is more than what I can say for the majority of the large amount of Dio greatest hits CDs out there. Get yourself a copy today and be prepared to Stand up and Shout.