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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 January 2001
cliched, yes. dated, yes but so have "Dark Side..", "Stairway " and "Sgt. pepper" and noone cares about that, lyrics about dragons, yes. Brilliant, erm, yes as well.
Ronnie James Dio had learnt from his tenure in Rainbow how to write great songs then allow the musicians to stamp their own identity on it. This album, like its predecessor "Holy Diver" overflows with great riffs, guitar solos, and drum fills, with Dio's powerful vocals always standing tall, even if he didn't.
"From the machine gun drumming and great riff that introduces "We Rock", this is a classic. Guitarist Vivian Campbell, having paid his dues in unknown Irish rockers "Sweet Savage", grabs his chance like a caged tiger finally on the loose, riffing as though his life depended on it and producing blistering solo after blistering solo, particularly fluent on tracks such as "One Night in The City" and "I Speed at Night", whilst blending ferocious riffing with fluent playing on the likes of the awesome title track.
As a footnote, if his playing whets your appetite don't bother investigating further as Campbell seemingly burnt himself out here, now content to tread water with the similarly burnt out Def Leppard. Sell out ? As if.
If you like hard rock, BUY THIS ALBUM.
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Dio's second studio album The Last In Line is a really strong album, full of heavy and hard rocking songs that draw upon the fantasy lyrics for which the band is remembered, lots of guitar solos and of course, Ronnie James Dio's distinctive and unique voice.

If you've heard Holy Diver and are wondering where to explore next, The Last In Line should definitely be considered for your next step.

The line up on the album is the same as that on Holy Diver (Dio, Campbell, Bain, Appice) only with the addition of Keyboarder Claude Schnell, who brings a different feel to the keyboards which would gradually become more prominent with subsequent releases.

The album begins, as with all the first four Dio albums, with a fast and energetic opener that is followed by a considered and mid paced title track. The rest of the album is a mixture of hard and heavy material (Breathless, Evil Eyes) speedy numbers (I Speed At Night) and some more commercial melodic moments (Mystery)

As usual with Dio, you get great performances and top notch musicianship (Vivian Campbell in particualr deserves special mention on this album), plenty of memorable riffs and choruses, a fair production job and a bunch of lyrical references to Rainbows. Put simply, if you enjoyed anything else Dio has done, you will enjoy this too.

Put simply The Last In Line is a fantastic album, up there with the very best Dio material and well worth buying if you haven't already.
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on 15 April 2006
Dio`s Holy Diver was hailed as a master piece but for my money this album had the better songs on it. From the blistering opener "We Rock" this Album never lets up. Vivian Cambells playing on this album is simply flawless. A stunning demonstration of how good British metal guitar players could be. { Yes i no his Irish but he grew up listening to UK Metal/Rock ] He still has for my money one of the best guitar sounds. Dio`s Vocals are there usual brilliant self, actually there isn`t to much of the Dungeons & Dragons type lyrics on this album. [ unlike his later albums ]"The Last In Line" is still regarded as a classic track. "One Night In The City" has one of those great catchy hook filled chorus`s that you`ll find your self walking down the road singing weeks later !!! "Evil Eyes" has for me one of the finest guitar solos in a H/M song anywhere. "I Speed At Night" has a wonderful power filled turn of speed to it. "Mystery" is one of those songs that people tend to overlook but when they hear it fined themselves singing along to it ! "Egypt" [ The Chains Are On] is Dio`s big ending number, reminicent of Rainbows "Stargazer" This is a must have album for my money. It`s one of those rare albums you put on & then leave to play right through to the end again & again !!
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on 19 June 2009
A lot of people cite Holy Diver as Dio's post Sabbath masterstroke, and I can kind of understand why. With something to prove, following the acrimonious departure from the Sabbath ranks, it was stunning because it was bright, fresh and brash - devoid of corporate rock baggage, it was not Sabbath, it was not Rainbow - it was simply Dio. However to these ears, at least, it was more of a product of the late 70s than the pop laden early 80's and so enter the Last In Line.

Frenetic opener `We Rock' sets Dio's new agenda for the new decade. Driving drums, a stabbing choppy riff and a simple radio friendly hook - Dio had his first radio single for the 80s - this is a straight forward bona fide and enduring classic, picking up exactly where Stand Up And Shout left off on the previous album.

But this is not an album of radio friendly singles - the grandiose and soaring title track `The Last In line' is next up with its rather pompous religious theme (reflected in the cover art) and this possibly stands as Dio's best solo title track - streets ahead of the rather plodding and traded pale imitations of Sacred Heart and Dream Evil that follow it.

Breathless is possibly the throwaway track on the album (which is probably nit picking) but the stunningly fast and emphatic `I Speed At Night' puts the ship firmly back on course. I cannot emphasise the influence that Vinnie Appice seems to have on this album (and notably on this track). He is simply on fire - he hits everything that's around him - he is an indefatigable pounding rhythm section that is breathtaking in finessed power and innovation (Full marks also go to Vivian Cambell's technically astonishing guitar work).

`One Night in the City' that follows is another example of how Dio can bring a song to life with a dramatic and flesh tingling melody and impassioned vocal delivery. And so it goes on - 'Evil Eyes' has Appice hitting drums I didn't know existed, in an order that defies the laws of nature, 'Mystery' arguably is a rework of Rainbow In the Dark' (not a bad thing) and 'Eat Your Heart Out' sees Dio in bitter, vitriolic mood. And to the finale, which is The Chains (Are On). With its Egyptian melodies, it is a nod towards Stargazer from the Rainbow era and it represents a perfect, atmospheric, finale to one of the 80's best metal albums.

I cannot rate this album highly enough. This is not rose tinted nostalgia at play. This is, in my view, Dio's best post Sabbath moment (only surpassed in consistency prior to this by the Behemoth that is Heaven and Hell and the stunning aforementioned Stargazer) - Turn the lights out, crank it up to the maximum that the HiFi and the Neighbours can stomach, have a glass of wine and indulge in 80's metal at its absolute best.
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on 31 March 2012
This edition of The Last In Line is remastered by Andy Pearce as are the other Dio 2012 deluxe releases, which means, unlike other Deluxe Editions out there, this one isn't simply a volume bloated re-release. Very fine, clean and detailed sound, but just a tad bright. Disc 2 has some wonderful rare goodies that alone make this worthy of the purchase. The packaging is your standard for these editions, a wonderful foldout digipak and an informative booklet stuffed into one of the open flaps. Highly recommended edition if you have the cash. Tracklist below.

Disc 1 (Original newly remastered album)

01. We Rock
02. The Last In Line
03. Breathless
04. I Speed at Night
05. One Night In The City
06. Evil Eyes
07. Mystery
08. Eat Your Heart Out
09. Egypt (The Chains Are On)

Disc 2

01. Eat Your Heart Out (Live B-Side of Mystery)
02. Don't Talk To Strangers (Live B-Side of Mystery)
03. Holy Diver (Live B-Side We Rock)
04. Rainbow In The Dark (Live B-Side We Rock)

Live At The Pinkpop Festival 1984:
05. One Night In The City
06. We Rock
07. Holy Diver
08. Stargazer
09. Heaven And Hell
10. Rainbow In The Dark
11. Man On The Silver Mountain
12. Don't Talk To Strangers
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2012
DIO Reissues Holy Diver The Last In Line Sacred Heart

It's nearly two years now since the greatest hard rock singer of all time died. Ronnie James Dio, whether with Rainbow, Black Sabbath of his own band Dio, contributed some of the greatest moments in hard rock history. There aren't many musicians who become adjectives but Dio was one of them.

Now, the first three albums he recorded with his own band, after parting from Black Sabbath, are being reissued as double CD editions, chock full of fantastic music. Each one comes with a booklet notes from Malcolm Dome and the releases are endorsed by Ronnie's widow Wendy Dio.

"Holy Diver" was the debut from Dio, released in 1983. It's widely regarded as his finest ever album under his own name, but you won't be surprised to learn that I disagree. Even at the time, as an over exciteable teenager I remember thinking through a cloud of cider that it sounded really flat. I'd heard most of his Rainbow and Sabbath albums by then, and I knew a rotten production when I heard it. There's no faulting some of the songs on offer, from the title track to 'Don't Talk To Strangers', but even today, a lot of it leaves me wanting more.

However, over on the second CD there are some real goodies. A couple of single B-sides including the awesome 'Evil Eyes', a song that should have easily dislodged a number from the main album, as well as a set recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour with cracking versions of 'Man On The Silver Mountain' and 'Stand Up And Shout' the highlights. There's nothing the dedicated collector won't have, but it's a nice package.

"The Last in Line" was the second Dio studio album and, for me, remains one of the best moments in Dio history. It sounded so much bigger and louder, and had two epics in the shape of the title track and `Egypt ( The Chains are On)'. It's a fantastic album, one that should be more lauded than it is, and is the best of the reissues by far. Over on the second disc, you get the B-sides to the three singles taken from the albums, all live numbers with 'Don't Talk To Strangers' the best of the bunch. There's also a rough and ready set recorded at the Pinkpop festival, which has a raw excitement to it, that takes me right back to punching the air and singing along in row A of the Apollo.

1985 saw the arrival of album number three, "Sacred Heart", which was the peak of Dio success in the UK, The album went Top 5, and there were even a couple of hits in the shape of `Rock N' Roll Children' (complete with spectacularly bad video) and `Hungry for Heaven'. The tour even saw the arrival of Denzil The Dragon! It wasn't a bad album, but there was a bit too much filler alongside the likes of the title track and the singles. However, the package as a whole is a winner, as it also includes the whole of "Intermission", the stopgap live album that came out a wee while after, as well as the single B-sides and the fabulous 'Hide In The Rainbow' from the Dio EP. It's a bonus disc that really outshines its parent.

So, what's that, 62 tracks across 6 discs, with more than enough Dio to keep his disciples very happy. You can finally get rid of a couple of dodgy bootlegs, and sit back with happy memories of the man and his music. "I learned of your goals through dreams: a sacred heart, a wizard, a golden door."
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on 16 September 2013
A great lot of fans would choose Holy Diver as their favourite but I would to be different and choose Last in Line as mine. The great man could give his voice such superb variations on both the title track and Egypt.
The second CD of Live tracks Is a mass of Ronnie James at his marvellous best, Eat Your Heart out, Don't talk to Strangers, Holy Diver and Rainbow in the Dark are Bonus Tracks then comes the Pinkpop Festival tracks. An absolutely superb CD.
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on 2 September 2008
After Ronnie James Dio's first album Holy Diver in his band "Dio", straight away comes back and makes another Classic Metal Masterpiece from the 80s. Dio and co. give one hell of a performance on "The Last In Line", some of my favourite songs are on here like "Evil Eyes", the superb title track "The Last In Line" which I think has a breathtaking intro & "Mystery". Dio always picks amazing guitarists for the band, the guitarist is the same one from Holy Diver so it's similar style(i'm not saying it sounds the same). The lyrics are fantastic, Ronnie James Dio's vocals are amazing as usual and everything else is great.

If you're a fan of heavy metal I suggest you buy yourself a copy of "Holy Diver" and then this album as they are a must in everyboys metal collection. If you have any material by Dio, but don't have this then this is a fantastic album and should be in your Dio collection.

I dont think any Ozzy's solo albums were as good as Dio's but that's another story. This is a bona fide metal classic. DIO ROCKS!!!!!
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on 21 January 2013
Ronnie James Dio was in my opinion the greatest voice in rock / metal music of his generation. This album is the follow-up to the superb Holy Diver and stands in its own right as a collection of excellent rock tracks including the title track, the anthemic "We Rock", "One Night In The City" and more radio friendly / mainstream songs like "Mystery". The album ends with the epic "Egypt (The Chains Are On)". A great addition to any rock collection.
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on 10 April 2013
This is probably his greatest work for me. The keyboards are there but not over the mix and the riff work is legendary.

One night in the city is amazing , Evil Eyes is fantastic, The Last in Line sublime, and Egypt the chains are on is a masterpiece.

Not one bad song on the album. Buy it or your life will never be fulfilled.
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