Dio’s ‘The Last in Line’ Gave Me Mixed Feelings | Album Review

If you haven’t read my review for Holy Diver, go check it out! The next album on the agenda is The Last in Line (1984). I only listened to it once when I was reading other blog posts and I liked it for the most part, but will my feelings change when I take the time to listen to each track without any distractions? We shall see; without further or do, let’s get on with the music! 

When I think of “We Rock,” I think of Camp Rock’s song with the same title because they both share the same purpose, proving that they indeed know how to rock (not that I need to hear them sing it a million times). I hate to say it, but I like Camp Rock’s song better because they didn’t repeat the lyrics as much and I found Dio’s song hard to get into. I like the thriving bass riff in the background, though. “The Last in Line” starts off on the peaceful side for almost a minute before Ronnie James Dio pours out his heart vocally and the song turns into a slow headbanger; it’s a feel-good rock song! “Breathless” is nothing special, and honestly, the more I listen to this album, the more I miss Tony Iommi’s dark and heavy chords from Black Sabbath. Not that Vivian Campbell isn’t a good guitar player, but like Holy Diver, The Last in Line is a much lighter record compared to Dio’s work with Sabbath.

“I Speed at Night” picks up the tempo, compared to the previous song, and for the most part, I liked it. I loved the sledgehammer drummers and Campbell’s guitar solo, but during the verses, it sounded like Dio was out of breath trying to squeeze out all those lyrics. “One Night in the City” has a fine riff, and I love the guitar solo and Vinny Appice’s drumwork in this track, but it has a tad too many “one night in the city / one night feeling pretty” repeating over and over again. “Evil Eyes” sounds good as background music, but the lyrics are awful. “Oh do you ever think about the way I caught the rainbow / I’ll be there where fire makes you dance / I’m going to give you the look that opens up the skies / I’ve got evil eyes.”

“Mystery” is catchy and Dio sounds great vocally; I wouldn’t really consider it a song that makes me want to smash my head on a beer bottle, but I’d dance to it at a club. Dio is as angry as ever on “Eat Your Heart Out” and he’s so mad that he tells his significant other that she’s been “a bad, bad girl,” (whatever the heck that means). But it’s loud and aggressive, and I love it! The album ended with “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” and I like the haunting and mythical feel to it, even with the synthesizers. But when the heck was the world made out of milk and honey? Yeah, I didn’t get that part. On the plus side, I loved Appice’s drum fills because they added the right amount of flavor to the track. 

Here’s the thing, I like listening to this album as background music because most of the songs are upbeat and loud, but I wouldn’t play The Last in Line as relaxation music when I have nothing to do. The problem is I’ve heard Mob Rules and Dehumanizer, so I’m used to Dio singing much darker and heavier tunes; this album feels very light, musically and lyrically. He was singing about rainbows, love being a mystery, a night out in the city, and the world being filled with milk and honey (again, what the heck is that about?). If I take Black Sabbath out of the equation, I think it’s a fine heavy metal record (or at least a fine hard rock record). Unfortunately, I like Holy Diver a little more, so I’d give The Last in Line 4 out of 5 stars.

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite song is from The Last in Line!

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

33 thoughts on “Dio’s ‘The Last in Line’ Gave Me Mixed Feelings | Album Review

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  1. I love this album although like you, I don’t think it’s quite as good as “Holy Diver.” On the question of “Egypt,” I think Dio was making reference to the Bible where God promises the Israelites ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ Once again, a great review.

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  2. It will not surprise you that I treat Dio the same way I treat AC/DC – it’s all a big happy pile and I’m happy to hear it. I like this record (your 4/5 is spot on, it may well be lesser than Holy Diver but only by a very very little bit), and it sounds great on my old LP copy especially. In fact, I rescued another beat-up copy and it hangs on the wall behind me – it’s probably sometimes visible over my shoulder when I’m on at Lebrain’s. Excellent work, Lana, I’m glad you got this boxed set. It’s full of goodness!

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    1. Thanks so much Aaron! Again, I praise you for loving the music and not complaining about it; you’re a music lover, not a hater. I’m glad you rescued that old LP as I know it landed in good hands. Yep, I got a taste of Dio for a good price!

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      1. There is some music I strongly dislike (or, at least, wouldn’t choose to play) but the tunes are what I’m here for, always have been!

        The LPs on my wee wall row might play but I wouldn’t trust my needle to them. So, they became wall art. Voila!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well I remember you gave Power Up a not-so-favorable (at least, not all positive) review on your first listen, so I guess there are some things you don’t like. I know you like a lot of genres, but what’s your least favorite genre of music (if any)?

        Oh yeah, vinyl make great wall art and good backgrounds for when you go on Mike’s show!

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      3. Power Up was a great record, it was just trying too hard. There are great songs in there, too much busy.

        All deference to it, but opera has never done much for me. I love classical, but when they start howling, I’m out. Gangsta rap is another, all that posturing and violence and idiocy… I like rap if it has something to say that’s smarter than guns, drugs, Hennesey, “I came up from the ‘hood and look at me now,” and misogyny.

        The way the foundation of this basement room works, there’s a wee shelf of concrete around the outside walls so the LPs line up perfectly along that. I’ve changed out one of them recently, you’ll see it next time I’m on.

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      4. Fair enough! Again, it’s cool we have different thoughts on different albums.

        I don’t know why, but I’m shocked to hear you don’t like opera. I don’t like opera either though. I guess it’s just odd to hear you not like a music genre. But rap music that promotes violence and drugs, I get it.

        I’ll be on the lookout for that LP when eyeing out your background next time.

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      5. Yup, if we all thought the same this would be a boring world.

        I gave opera a real chance. I even went to the opera at Roy Thompson Hall in Taranna. Nothing. The ‘singing’ distracts from the beautiful music. I guess, for me, classical needs to not have vocals LOL.

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      6. Exactly!

        How did you get to go to an opera house? Well classical music is good relaxation music and lyrics can be distracting at times. So not too weird.

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      7. I was a member of the band in high school, and we made a trip to Taranna to play a few places and the teacher/conductor arranged tickets, to broaden our smalltown hick horizons.

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      8. Ah, band trips were the best! It’s interesting you remember the exact opera house you went to in high school when I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night.

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      9. Well, Roy Thompson Hall in Taranna was the place to go for that, so my memory isn’t that great. I also remember because my great aunt told everyone I was going to play my trumpet at Roy Thompson Hall. I didn’t find out until after, but that was amusing so I remembered that too.

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    1. Better add it to your wish list then. Or find a cheap box set like I did. On Amazon, it says The Last in Line is $12.22, but I’m not sure how much that is in Canadian money. Yeah there’s a song called “We Rock” in the movie (I partially like it more because of Demi Lovato).

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      1. I have a feeling Dio’s albums are going to reissued on vinyl at some point. That is when I’ll pick them up. I know the name Demi Lovato but I don’t know who she is.

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      2. Huh they’re being reissued on vinyl, I wasn’t aware of that.

        Just know that only her first two albums are good, when she did pop-rock. Don’t know if you were joking or not, but that’s how I feel about her music.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry, I think they will reissue them at some point. I don’t know if they are.

        I dead serious. I know the name but I couldn’t even tell you what she looks like.

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      4. I’m sure they will reissue them since they are classic Dio albums. This article said so https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/classic-dio-titles-vinyl/ I’m not sure how accurate it is though.

        Oh Demi Lovato was on Disney Channel, my favorite Disney Channel show was ‘Sonny with a Chance,’ which she starred on. Her four-part ‘Dancing with the Devil’ documentary came out recently too. Not sure if you’d be interested, but I thought I’d point it out there.

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      1. I’m just giving you a hard time about it. I sadly know that soundtrack inside and out along with Camp Rock 2 as both kids loved that movie. Best song is Nick’s “Introducing Me”…shh…don’t tell anyone.

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      2. Camp Rock 2 had better songs in my opinion. I liked “This is Me” from the first film, but it got overplayed big time, so I got sick of it. “Introducing Me” is one of the best songs from the second film.

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