The ‘Sacred Heart’ album came at a time when Dio’s resurgence was well and truly complete following the classic albums ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘The Last In Line’.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: Sacred Heart
LABEL: Warner Bros (North America), Vertigo (UK, Europe)
SERIAL: 9 25292-1, 824 848-1
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Ronnie James Dio – vocals * Vivian Campbell – guitar * Jimmy Bain – bass * Vinnie Appice – drums * Claude Schnell – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 King Of Rock And Roll * 02 Sacred Heart * 03 Another Lie * 04 Rock ‘N’ Roll Children * 05 Hungry For Heaven * 06 Like The Beat Of A Heart * 07 Just Another Day * 08 Fallen Angels * 09 Shoot Shoot
WEBLINKS: Site Link
A few nights ago, I watched the documentary ‘Dio: Dreamers Never Die’ and reacquainted myself with Ronnie Dio’s legendary career, while also noticing that his solo career is sparsely represented here at Glory Daze. For most metal fans Dio’s history is known back to front, the ‘Sacred Heart’ album coming at a time when Dio’s resurgence was well and truly complete following the classic ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘The Last in Line’.
It seemed the man could do no wrong, mustering timeless tracks as if it were a formality. His backing band of course was of the highest caliber, but it was inevitable cracks would start showing and this album was the first signs of issues within the band. Apparently, Vivian Campbell was becoming disillusioned with the band, giving a diminished contribution during recording according to Dio. Regardless the album maintained the spirit of the albums before it and was another massive success, solidifying Dio’s status as the ultimate metal icon.
‘King Of Rock And Roll’ provides a typically strong opener, Campbell’s riffing giving this the expected bite. The title track is a metal epic that recalls Dio’s work with Black Sabbath and ‘The Last in Line’. Nothing sums up heavy metal more than this track, classic material from one of metals golden ages.
‘Another Lie’ is a burst of melodic metal along the same lines as ‘Caught In The Middle’ or ‘Straight Through The Heart’. Dio had mastered the art of providing near AOR melody lines to a metal backdrop like few others could. This notion is enhanced by ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Children’ and its monumental interplay, the keyboard and guitar work on a level that’s rarely been matched. The work of Campbell especially stands out, showing true genius.
‘Hungry For Heaven’ is another well-known track from the album, again very melodic and keyboard heavy. ‘Like The Beat Of A Heart’ returns to the crunch of the ‘Holy Diver’ period, as does the up-tempo ‘Just Another Day’ that features the heaviest work on the album overall. ‘Fallen Angels’ is perhaps a little by the numbers, a routine track that offers little. ‘Shoot, Shoot’ isn’t a UFO cover, but almost as classic, the chorus easily the highpoint.
The album was another success, going gold and the band offering their biggest stage show yet on the resulting tour. Things came to a head with Campbell however, the guitarist fired during the tour and replaced by Craig Goldy, formerly of Giuffria. This was for most observers the end of Dio’s classic era and indeed things never seemed the same again.
By the time of 1987’s ‘Dream Evil’ the momentum was lost, although the band continued well into the 90’s in different forms. For years I never rated this album and never listened to it as closely as I should have. This is a shame as it’s on par with the first two Dio albums, and with each passing year a distant relic from an era we will never see the likes of again.
Rock N Roll Children