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on 1 April 2012
This edition of Sacred 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 goodies that alone make this worthy of the purchase. Live B-Sides from singles and the Intermission live album which was never commercially available in the US. 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. A more detailed tracklist below.

Disc 1 (Original remastered album)

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

Disc 2

01. Hide in the Rainbow (Studio track, originally on the soundtrack to the movie Iron Eagle)
02. We Rock (Live B-Side from Rock N Roll Children Single)
03. The Last in Line (Live B-Side from Rock N Roll Children Single)
04. Like the Beat of a Heart (Live B-Side from Hungry For Heaven Single)

Intermission (Live At The Sports Arena San Diego, CA, USA 6th December 1985)
05. King of Rock & Roll
06. Rainbow in the Dark
07. Sacred Heart
08. Time to Burn
09. Rock N Roll Children / Long Live Rock N Roll / Man on the Silver Mountain (Medley)
10. We Rock
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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 14 December 2016
Ok im a heavy metal nutter ; thats the disclaimer here ; Dio even exceeds himself here on Sacred Heart BECAUSE and it is a big because ; because every member of the band - finger , foot or drum stick play their pretty ass's off - the result yeah , the result !! a brilliantly harmonized ( didnt think id ever use that word for Heavy Metal !!) a brilliantly harmonized piece of Metal work that embraces the sheer poetry ( or that word !?) the sheer poetry of an album , matured by the first two and given the big heave ho by the mighty Dio . Best album along with Master of the Moon which IS completely brilliant in a different way . Maximus Metalicus .
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Dio's Third Studio album Sacred Heart is an absolute must-have for Dio fans.

The album may not feature trademark-Daemon Murray on the art work (like on the band's first, second and fourth albums) but don't let that lead you to expect anything from the band that you didn't want or expect. Sacred Heart takes the formula of the first two albums pretty strictly, giving you exactly what you want from Dio... hard and heavy rock/metal music with fantasy themes, big guitar solos and the voice which separates Ronnie James Dio himself from the crowd.

This was the last Dio album to feature Northern Irish guitarist Vivian Campbell and some people say that his playing isn't as good here as on the first two albums, but to my ears his performance is great and the guitar solos on the album are strong and, crucially, memorable.

In a move similar to Heart's 'Cook With Fire,' the album opener 'King Of Rock And Roll,' is inexplicably either live or live in the studio with crowd noise on top (not explained in the notation) but luckily the performance is absolutely incendiary... especially on drums, Vinnie Appice absolutely destroys his drum kit in one of the most energetic performances I've ever heard... it isn't even overly flashy but he plays the absolute hell out of the kit and proves himself years ahead of his time, with a modern approach to drumming that wasn't necessarily present on a lot of early 80s music. Incidentally, aforementioned track is one of the best songs Dio ever released.

The rest of the album, back in studio recording territory, is equally good. The music is a little more keyboard driven than the band's first two albums (perhaps keyboardist Claude Schnell had integrated into the band more at this point), but still has a hard, rock centric attitude and plenty of interesting and memorable riffs.

All the early Dio albums had at least one foray into 80s commercial territory, and Sacred Heart is no different, with 'Hungry For Heaven,' and 'Shoot Shoot,' adding some diversity to the trademark Dio sound. Some listeners may care to skip these tracks for not being heavy enough or their slightly cheesy keyboard sounds, but I find them to fit quite well with the heavier and faster material, providing contrast.

To summarise, Sacred Heart is a great album and if you enjoyed any other Dio album then you really ought to check out Sacred Heart too; more lyrical references to rainbows, more guitar solos and generally great songs... what more could a Dio fan possibly want ?
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on 5 November 2012
I love Dio in any group he was, the first two dio albums is classic and adorable.
This album is also good, the songs are good in generally but there is different between them and those in the first two.
If you are a metal collector and love Dio you should have it, if you are a Dio fan you must have it.
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I must admit when i first bought this back in '85,i was slightly disappointed,as it didnt match up to the 2 previous albums,still doesnt to be fair,it has grown on me though.

Highlights the classic title track,2 perfect heavy rock anthems 'Rock n Roll Children/King of Rock n Roll' and the superb 'Fallen Angels',the rest decent but a bit of a rehash of what went before.

Previously i would have given 3 stars but the deluxe edition scores an extra star for disc 2,as we get some live b sides,non album track but special kudos for the inclusion of the complete 'intermission' mini live album from 1986,a superb touch

Packaging excellent agian decent photos/liner notes and once again a definite upgrade in the sound from earlier cd releases,clearer without being too 'bright'

So thats three excellent released to make an old rocker happy,thanx to the kids for the birthday presents,ha ha,they do listen after all!!!
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on 5 December 2009
When this album came out Dio had the brilliant "Holy Diver" and "The Last in line" to follow up. His briliant work with Sabbath and Rainbow as well. Following this couldn`t have been easy, but Dio made it. I always thought of this album to be a bit more mainstream than his previous work but in later years I`ve changed my mind, just like Dio was changing in the 80`s. "Sacred Heart" is the album I`ve really enjoyed lately. Catchy hard rock songs with great musicianship, good production and overall: Songs that stick to your mind for a while. Dio has the best voice in rock, we all know that, but this is proof that not many can write music like him either. Following two strong albums with a third one like this is fantastic. Dio, influenced by the 80`s hard rock scene, but it`s still Dio. The King of rock`n roll..
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on 10 April 2013
All I can say about this man is that he could do no wrong during this time. I have a couple of his later albums to collect but I loved him in the eighties and this is why.

Vocals to die for, and riffs that are both heavy and melodic. His shows were awesome too. I saw him in the late eighties and he was magnificent.

If you have not got this album or have not heard of Dio. Don't waste any more time. The man was a genious .

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on 30 August 2012
A lot of Dio fans don't like this album, yet it remains one of the groups best. I think the reason for this is because it has a very clean, almost commercial sound. Tracks like Another lie, Rock n' Roll Children and Hungry for Heaven are clearly made for radio play, but don't suffer as a result. The title track is one of my all-time favourite rock songs and King of Rock and Roll and Fallen Angels are fantastic songs aswell. This album is well worthy of its deluxe edition status.
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on 30 January 2008
The Last In Line was a high water mark for Dio in his solo career and nothing subsequently has come close to touching it's level of sheer craftsmanship and energy. Following it up was always going to be tricky and Sacred Heart really isn't up to the job. Whereas LIL crackled and sparkled with ideas, this is a fairly straightforward delivery of some pretty basic arrangements (in Dio terms).

Opener `King of Rock n Roll', like 'We Rock' and 'Stand Up and Shout' on previous Dio CDs, is a frenetic kick off, harping pack to Dio's Rainbow harder moments (e.g. think 'King of Rock N Roll'). However it is dogged throughout by an annoying fake crowd noise which is designed to give a live energy feeling to the song but simply sounds electronic and contrived. The title track Sacred Heart is up second as 'Holy Diver', 'Last In Line' and 'Dream Evil' all sat in their respective albums running order. This plodder is distinctly the weakest of the aforementioned armoury of title tracks. It's not bad but it just isn't up to Dio's normal standard, lumbering as it does to a conclusion through a jarring and annoying keyboard effect. `Another Lie is a straight forward, bass driven, rocker and distinctly a high point in terms of catchiness and power. `Rock N Roll Children' is a keyboard layered melodic radio friendly single which closes out what was side 1 on a high note, however `Hungry for Heaven' is twaddle and quickly despatched before the pairing of `Beat of a Heart' ( a song that transferred well to a live setting during the Sacred Hear Tour) and `Just Another Day' redeem the album back to 3 stars (the latter's opening riff copied straight from Black Sabbath's Neon Nights). Finally the album fizzles out with `Fallen Angels' and the wholly lamentable and limp `Shoot Shoot'.

The main problems with SH are that firstly Dio has a massive canon of quality work to compare it to and secondly the production is pedestrian so really doesn't lift the songs. Dio himself said that the internal strife within the band led to a substandard product and subsequently the departure of the guitarist Vivian Campbell to be replaced mid tour by Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy. I am happy I own it for nostalgia reasons but it is really not as involving or as fresh as his earlier work.
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