Ronnie James Dio’s discography is so extensive – considering his high-profile stints in Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Elf and Heaven and Hell, among others – that you almost forget he recorded 10 albums with his own self-named band.

Dio endured for more than 20 years with only sporadic interruptions, so there's a wealth of stories, both tragic and triumphant, to be gleaned from their musical oeuvre.

First came a string of template-setting records that, in many ways, bridged the best ingredients of ‘70s and ‘80s metal. Then came a batch of more experimental albums in which Dio struggled to find his place in a music scene turned upside down by grunge. This was all capped by a victory lap of sorts, during which the singer and his cohorts were seemingly interested in pleasing no one but themselves and their most loyal fans.

Through all these career stages, that unmistakable voice remained unchanged and mostly unchallenged, attracting listeners like magnetic north on a compass and guiding them back to metal’s safe harbors, no matter how choppy and unpredictable popular music’s seas became. For proof, look no further than the following list of Dio Albums Ranked Worst to Best.