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Not a very mysterious song, but classic. - 85%

hells_unicorn, December 21st, 2007

Although more known as the epic composer who co-wrote Sabbath sagas such as “Children of the Sea” and “Sign of the Southern Cross”, Dio was known for occasionally writing something straightforward and, heaven forbid, radio friendly. At least for the year 1984, this was something that you would likely catch on a rock station along with other memorable mainstays like “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Stand up and Shout”, although the keyboard parts make it a bit fluffier.

“Mystery” carries all the usual poetic trappings that most of Dio’s song writing contains. He has been known to occasionally write something that is a bit too cliché to match his usual metaphorical stints. But behind the rhyme schemed philosophizing is a very standard set of riffs, almost as simplistic as repetitive early Zepplin songs like “Whole Lotta Love” or “Dazed and Confused”.

“Eat your heart out” is the mirror opposite of the song before it, having a fairly intricate set of riffs and variations upon them, but lyrically being quasi-comical. The guitar solo is mostly played note for note from the original version, including the descending trill line that invokes Iommi’s image, particularly the solo of “Lady Evil”. Unfortunately every time I hear this version, I picture Vivian Campbell on stage, playing well, but with his shoulders so stiff that he looks like his upper spine has been fused together. To this day when I see footage of him live with Def Leppard he still looks like the Tin Man on stage, it’s actually quite amusing and can’t really be excused as nervousness after more than 20 years of playing sold out shows.

This is a good rarity to seek out if you want to hear a pretty decent live version of a classic Dio song from the “Last in Line” album, but tracking it down may be difficult after 23 years. Barring the possibility that Dio decides to do a box set of all his singles from the 80s the way Helloween did, I doubt you’d be able to find it. Unfortunately Dio had the tendency to simply put several songs from the same album on his singles rather than including leftovers that didn’t make the cut so this may not happen either.