|Lock Up The Wolves|
|Produced by Tony Platt and Ronnie James Dio|
|Released on May 15, 1990|
|US CHART POSITION #61 . . . UK CHART POSITION #28|
|Find it at GEMM|
D io set out on another wild hunt, with an old cur (Simon Wright) and a few hungry whelps at his beck and call. The pack lumbers along in their pursuit of invisible quarry, raising a great cry in the night but striking fear in the hearts of few this time. It appears that Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice were jettisoned just prior to the great ride, as they get cowriting credits on several of the tracks. The top dog in the new group is guitarist Rowan Robertson, remarkably talented for his age (eighteen) and yet unremarkable in the crowded field of heavy metal axemen. Robertson doesn’t write melodies so much as fill in the space with riffs and crunching chords, Dio doesn’t unleash any great ideas either, and the dark idol shows the effects of being the dark idle. I haven’t heard Dream Evil yet, but the difference between Lock Up The Wolves and Strange Highways is night and day. In fact, save your money for Strange Highways and Sabbath’s Dehumanizer before unlocking this effort. Even the title track, which would seem to tap into the epic sound of old, is a shadow of earlier triumphs. Dio burns at a high octane when he’s inspired, but this disc steadies at a cool flame. While Lock Up is a let down, it does rock (it just doesn’t do anything else). “Hey Angel,” “Lock Up The Wolves,” “Walk On Water” and “Why Are They Watching Me” are solid citizens in the beastiary, the muscle on Wolves’ lean frame. The rest of the disc is ultimately a ride to nowhere. Tony Platt doesn’t have a terrific track record as a producer, but blaming him for a poor record is like blaming the baseball manager for a bad season; at the end of the day, it’s up to the guys with the instruments in their hands to make things happen. Some of my disappointment no doubt stems from the fact that I’d had Wolves in my sights for a while (a little wild hunt of my own). Apparently, I might just as well have stayed indoors, since I never did find what I was looking for, and the only edible animals I crossed were the ones that led me (sheep in wolves’ clothing, it turned out).
|26212-2 back cover|
TEDDY COOK -- bass
RONNIE JAMES DIO -- vocals, executive producer
JENS JOHANSSON -- keyboards
ROWAN ROBERTSON -- guitars
SIMON WRIGHT -- drums
Tony Platt -- engineer, mixing
Nige Green -- mixing
Wil Rees -- cover illustration
Janet Levinson -- art direction
Mark "Weiss Guy" Weiss -- photography
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|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||May 15, 1990||Reprise||LP/CD/CS||26212||lyric sleeve|
|UK/GER||May 15, 1990||Vertigo||LP/CD/CS||846 033||lyric sleeve|
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