25100-1 The Last In Line
Produced by Ronnie James Dio
Released on July 1984
UK CHART POSITION #4 . . . US CHART POSITION #23
Find it at GEMM
25100-1 cover  

The cream of mid ‘80s metal. In my opinion, this gets the nod over Holy Diver as the better Dio album. The band was making more than music this time, they were creating epics for the ages. No surprise then that The Last In Line has aged better than most of its contemporaries. Ronnie James Dio has always brought sincerity and energy to his songs, two qualities lacking lately in the work of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. In his fantasy world, the forces of darkness and light are in constant battle, and the heart is the only true guide. That’s a consistent message on The Last In Line, and tied together with recurring themes (chains, etc.) enables this record to function on a broader, conceptual level. Opening with the anthemic “We Rock,” Dio is quick to hurl the gauntlet down against the forces of oppression. But the landscape is darker than we imagined, and we glimpse the impending apocalypse in the towering title track. It’s the album’s dramatic opening that elevates the subsequent material (as good openings usually do); if “Breathless” and “Evil Eyes” sound larger than life, chalk it down to the album’s grandiosity and bang your head in contentment. “Mystery,” which features one of the few visible keyboard lines, might sound a tiny bit dated by comparison, but it’s also a great example of Dio’s melodic metal. The album closes with a thematic bookend, the colossal “Egypt (The Chains Are On).” It ends things on a dark note, but that’s always been Dio’s vision: inciting listeners to become that candle in the darkness. The Last In Line is itself the beacon in a bright discography, part of that narrow bridge connecting the old masters to the young speed freaks (Anthrax, Megadeth) of the future.

25100-1 back cover 25100-1 picture sleeve
25100-1 back cover 25100-1 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. WE ROCK    (Ronnie James Dio)    4:35
  2. THE LAST IN LINE    (Ronnie James Dio/Jimmy Bain/Vivian Campbell)    5:48
  3. BREATHLESS    (Ronnie James Dio/Vivian Campbell)    4:09
  4. I SPEED AT NIGHT    (Ronnie James Dio/Vinny Appice/Jimmy Bain/Vivian Campbell)    3:26
  5. ONE NIGHT IN THE CITY    (Ronnie James Dio/Vinny Appice/Jimmy Bain/Vivian Campbell)    5:14
  6. EVIL EYES    (Ronnie James Dio)    3:38
  7. MYSTERY    (Ronnie James Dio/Jimmy Bain)    3:55
  8. EAT YOUR HEART OUT    (Ronnie James Dio/Vinny Appice/Jimmy Bain/Vivian Campbell)    4:02
  9. EGYPT (THE CHAINS ARE ON)    (Ronnie James Dio/Vinny Appice/Jimmy Bain/Vivian Campbell)    7:02

CREDITS

RONNIE JAMES DIO -- vocals, keyboards
VINNY APPICE -- drums
JIMMY BAIN -- bass
VIVIAN CAMPBELL -- guitar
CLAUDE SCHNELL -- keyboards
Angelo Arcuri -- engineer
Barry Jackson -- illustration
Neil Zlozower, Gene Kirkland -- photographs

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 1984 Warner Bros. LP/CS 25100 picture sleeve
UK July 1984 Vertigo LP/CS VERL/VERLC 16  
CAN 1984 Warner Bros. LP 92 51001  
WW 1984 Vertigo LP 822 366  
BUL 1984? Balkanton LP BTA 12408  
US March 1988 Warner Bros. CD/CS 25100  

 

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