Rainbow's final album with Ronnie James Dio to be reissued as picture disc for Record Store Day

Rainbow’s 1978 project Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, the last to feature frontman Ronnie James Dio, will be reissued on April 21 by Niji Entertainment Group in celebration of Record Store Day.

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, composed almost entirely by Dio and Ritchie Blackmore, includes a number of fan favorites, including the anthematic title track, Dio favorite “Gates of Babylon,” “Kill the King” (which has already become a concert staple) and the album-closing ballad “Rainbow Eyes.” It rose to No. 89 on the Billboard pop album charts.

The album will be issued as a numbered/limited edition picture disc. Its original classic cover art will be featured on the front of the disc, and the crowd shot found in the gatefold of the original album on the back. Remastering was conducted under the supervision of long time Dio engineer, Wyn Davis.

“I feel very confident that this will be one of the more popular Record Store Day items,” says Dean Schachtel, Niji’s sales and marketing manager, “as only 2,500 deluxe picture discs were made, and each LP is individually numbered. And to top it all off, this is the very first picture disc from Rainbow.”

The most recent Dio-related picture disc to be released on Record Store Day, 2002’s Killing the Dragon, sold out its 2,500-copy run in less than a week. For more, visit Ronnie James Dio’s Facebook page.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Ronnie James Dio. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

DIO – HOLY DIVER REISSUE (2012): The first of three seminal Dio solo albums — with Last in Line, and Sacred Heart to follow — that are getting the deluxe reissue treatment, with the endorsement of widow Wendy Dio. 1983’s Holy Diver, a platinum-selling metal staple, featured the underrated young Irish man Vivian Campbell on guitar and a pair of legacy-making standout songs, the title track (No. 40 on the mainstream rock charts) and “Rainbow in the Dark,” which Dio said reflected his feelings on leaving Black Sabbath. The original CD has been re-mastered, and the album includes a bonus CD of outtakes and extras along with an expanded booklet with notes from Malcolm Dome, the well-known English metal writer. Dio’s all-star rhythm section here included fellow Sabbath alum Vinny Appice and veteran bassist Jimmy Bain. – Nick DeRiso

DIO – THE RONNIE JAMES DIO STORY: MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD; SACRED HEART; THE LAST IN LINE REISSUES (2011): For some reason, I’ve never been a huge fan of Sacred Heart. It’s one of only a few records throughout the course of Dio’s career away from Black Sabbath that’s just never clicked with me. The Last in Line, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It’s one of Dio’s finest moments, and is every bit a match for his classic Holy Diver. The other record is a two-disc collection that spans Dio’s entire career, though I think the song choices really shortchange his solo work. – Fred Phillips

BLACK SABBATH – THE DIO YEARS (2007): While I was aware of the Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of the band, I just never got around to checking them out. I moved on from being a metal die-hard for a while to other things, but in recent years have been slowly re-integrating a lot of older metal material. What we’ve got here is five tracks from Heaven and Hell, four from Mob Rules, three from Dehumanizer, one from Live Evil, and three brand-new songs that Dio wrote. So, finally, after all this time, the Dio-era Sabbath is finding a home in my collection. — Tom Johnson

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