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!