Dio: Last In Line(1984)


Some Real Heavy Hitters of Rock released albums back in 1984! Van Halen/Judas Priest/Scorpions/RATT/Twisted Sister/Whitesnake/Deep Purple/Rush/Triumph/Dokken/KISS/Iron Maiden!

Hows that for a 12 Pack of Rock Releases? Pretty friggin stellar lineup right there and you can easily add Dio’s Last In Line  to that mix as well!

Ronnie Dio was flying high in 1984 and why not. 1983’s Holy Diver album took charge and made us all take notice of Ronnie James  as a solo artist with a stellar cast of characters that crafted out one fine hard rock release that resulted in Last In Line!

Ronnie was smart when he was putting the Dio band together in 1983. When Ronnie split from Black Sabbath(early 80’s) he took Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice with him and hooked up with Bassist Jimmy Bain who Ronnie had played with in Rainbow back in the 70’s!

At the start of the 80’s guys like Eddie Van Halen/Randy Rhoads basically took over the Guitar Hero mantle and blazed a new path and Ronnie was wise to search for a hot Shot himself as it worked out pretty good for his arch nemesis Ozzy Osbourne!

Welcome to Camp Dio Vivian Campbell as Vivian played some serious Guitar Action on Holy Diver as Campbell went into Guitar Hero status  as this Dude could play! Holy Diver features one of Vivian’s best solo that being in the form of   Rainbow In The Dark.

Actually as far as I’m concerned the guitar action  on those first few Dio albums holds a much weight as Ronnie’s vocals do. Meaning, it was the early to mid 80’s and if you were to survive you needed some Young Fire Power on 6 String. Campbell delivers not only on playing but co writing  these tracks…

Young Hot Shot….

So here we have the followup to Holy Diver in the form of Last In Line!

We Rock is the opener and its blast off time as Ronnie and Viv lift off along with Vinnie Appice who is another big clog in the Dio musical machine. Vinnie slams those drums hard. Keeps the Dio ship steady  along with Jimmy Bain(Bass) to be able to let Ronnie and Viv get there rocks off but just …Rocking!

Last in Line in its 40 plus minutes is stuffed with a batch of brilliant written tunes that to this day still hold up 35 years later!

Dio soars vocally(no surprise there) on the title track and how about that solo in Last In Line! Ok, a few paragraphs back I wrote that Campbell laid down some serious axe work on Rainbow in the Dark. I think I might have to go with the solo on Last In Line. I love how the band slows the gears down on the beat while Vivian goes from chill to mega greatness in seconds!

Last In Line features the real cool tune Mystery. Always been a sucker for quirky synth and such.  This was indeed a single and it sounds like a single but who cares as Appice drives his drums on this tune and it features a slick air tight chorus!

Don’t be fooled as the albums is chock full of rockers like Breathless and the sonic fury of I Speed At Night. Eat Your Heart Out features another stellar Campbell solo that takes a normal sounding metal tune into another stratosphere!

How about that rock n stomp of One Night In The City? Great track again as Campbell lifts so many of these tunes with his soloing which is brilliant!

Album closer Egypt(The Chains Are On) is your end of the album Sabbath like Dio-Deal. Love how the song changes tempo and just ramps back up. Pretty decent closer…

Last In Line falls a little short in comparison to Holy Diver which over time Holy Diver  is one of those albums that is hard to be topped. But give Ronnie credit he still crafted a decent rock album and thanks to the brilliant guitar work of Vivian Campbell Last In Line is still a fine solid piece of rock!

25 thoughts on “Dio: Last In Line(1984)”

  1. A fine review of a sensational album. This is the only Dio I have on vinyl (as of right now). I do love it, but agree Holy Diver is better. And Vivian was a beast. I don’t think he gets to let loose like this with Leppard and that is a shame. That is more the Phil show. But these albums were some of his best work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vivian is a way different player in Lepp…more of a show up guy and why not the pay I would assume is brilliant.
      His solo’s on those first couple of DIO albums are nothing short of amazing..
      He just blasts off…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant write up, Deke. I like this one, though I don’t think I knew that the guitar guy was in Def Leppard. Also, Holy Diver is my pick too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J…Vivian went from Dio to Coversnake than to the Riverdogs than Shadow King than to Leppard…
      Campbell is a great player but plays it safe in zone with Leppard which is understandable..

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! What a list and a solid year of rock 1984 was and I’m missing a few..check back Monday for another one!
      No wonder I was broke all the time in Grade 11 that year. Between buying albums and buying Rock Mags I was busy and I had to squeeze school in there as well! haha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting Kev as I remember Dio saying something to that effect as well as people were divided which struck as odd. I viewed as good tunes and these old farts are sucking my part time job paycheque dry (back in 83 of course)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, it was stupid. I guess when you only have money for a few albums, you choose either Ozzy or Dio before getting into your corner ready to fight. Now, I can afford to enjoy the best of both worlds. Both are phenomenal in their own way.


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