DIO — Sacred Heart

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DIO - Sacred Heart cover
3.33 | 44 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1985

Filed under Heavy Metal
By DIO

Tracklist

1. King of Rock and Roll (3:43)
2. Sacred Heart (6:27)
3. Another Lie (3:49)
4. Rock 'n' Roll Children (4:32)
5. Hungry for Heaven (4:11)
6. Like the Beat of a Heart (4:20)
7. Just Another Day (3:20)
8. Fallen Angels (3:58)
9. Shoot Shoot (4:16)

Total Time: 38:41

Line-up/Musicians

- Ronnie James Dio / vocals
- Vivian Campbell / guitars
- Jimmy Bain / bass
- Claude Schnell / keyboards
- Vinny Appice / drums

About this release

Release date: August 15th, 1985
Label: Warner Bros. Records

Thanks to TIme Signature, Pekka, diamondblack for the updates

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DIO SACRED HEART reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kingcrimsonprog
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 ?
Time Signature
The king of rock 'n' roll...

Genre: traditional heavy metal

This album has received a couple of bad reviews and low ratings on MMA, the main point of criticism being that it lacks originality. I agree that the songs on this album are not always original or groundbreaking, but, for my money, that does not make it a bad album. In other genres, lack of originality would be a big problem (and one of my pet peeves in relation to original pop music is indeed that it lacks originality), but - for some reason - when it comes to 80s traditional heavy metal, lack of originality is forgivable.

While perhaps not original, I think that most of the tracks on this album are solid, with only a couple of the heavier tracks clumsily limping along. There is plenty of good classic riffage, and, of course, Dio's vocals are as impressive as ever. There are a lot of keyboard on this album, but they never become central, serving only to supplement the guitars.

I think that fans of traditional heavy metal and perhaps more commercial hard rock would like this album.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
The king of Rock ’N’ Roll? You might be thinking too much of yourself here Mr. Dio!

The previous The Last In Line album contained two of the best Dio songs ever, but the album as a whole was a definite disappointment after the very good debut. Sacred Heart continues the downward spiral for Dio. One problem that became increasingly evident with each subsequent album was the formulaic nature of the music. The opening number, The King Of Rock ‘N’ Roll, sounds like a leftover from Ronnie James’ days in Rainbow and reminds of songs by that band that also had ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ in the title (If You Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll and Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll, for example). I am usually very suspicious about songs with ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ in the title and as if one was not enough, there is yet another such song on this album in Rock ‘N’ Roll Children! For some unknown reason the opening track was recorded live or at least has audience-noise added!

Also other songs on this album contains phrases that have already featured in several earlier Dio songs, I guess the inspiration was running rather low at this point. As I said, the whole album feels formulaic and builds heavily on earlier albums. Hungry For Heaven is Sacred Heart’s counterpart to Mystery from the previous album which was itself similar to Rainbow In The Dark from the debut! These are not genuinely bad songs, but they had clearly done better ones before. The title track is, however, a very good song and easily the highlight of the album. It fills the same role as the title track and Egypt (The Chains Are On) from The Last In Line.

On the tour in support of this album, Dio would bring a large mechanical dragon which Ronnie would kill with a sword each night! This is just one of those ultra-cheesy things that have given Metal music its bad reputation. A live video from the show was later released on which you can witness this abomination! What the hell were they thinking? (Possibly that they had to compensate for the unimaginative music with theatrics?)

Sacred Heart is still a half decent album but the I-have-heard-this-before-feeling is almost omnipresent. Thankfully, things would improve considerably with the next album making Sacred Heart one of the absolute low-points of Dio’s career.

Ratings only

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