This record is terribly underrated!
There are a lot of Dio fans out there who don't want to listen to Strange Highways because it is the so called different Dio and it's as if there's some unspoken rule that listening to it is a betrayal and that it would only wreck your image of Dio or something. And it's also remarkable how difficult it is to find this record! It's as if everybody wants to hide it's existence!
Well, I personally think it's the best record he has made after Holy Diver. Again, the line-up has changed, yes. But somehow that seems to be a good thing. I had the feeling that in the records after Holy Diver he had lost some of the power in his voice, but here he's got it back.
In some way it has the feel of Lock Up The Wolves because there are a lot of slower songs, but on the other hand they are more powerful, clearly influenced by Ronnie's short reunion with Black Sabbath. And some songs are really weird, but that was his intention anyway. The only thing I feel a bit sad about is the lyrics, because at that stage Ronnie decided to leave the fantasy-oriented stuff behind and write more about "the world that we see around us when we look out the window today". So I miss that, but the lyrics are still masterly metaphorical. It's also the first record featuring Tracy G and GOD I LOVE HIS PLAYING! Just heavy, with spasmodic guitar solos and a lot of nice melodies!
So: don't be afraid to give it a try! Seriously! I think it would be a great waste if you didn't add this record to your Dio-collection!