Dio – Lock Up The Wolves (2008, Reprise Records)
Original Release: 1990, Reprise Records
1.”Wild One” … 4:02
2.”Born on the Sun” … 5:39
3.”Hey Angel” … 4:59
4.”Between Two Hearts” … 6:27
5.”Night Music” … 5:05
6.”Lock Up The Wolves” … 8:30
7.”Evil on Queen Street” … 6:01
8.”Walk on Water” … 3:42
9.”Twisted” … 4:44
10.”Why Are They Watching Me” … 5:00
11.”My Eyes” … 6:34
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Rowan Robertson – Guitar
Teddy Cook – Bass
Simon Wright – Drums
Jens Johansson – Keyboards
Producer: Tony Platt and Ronnie James Dio
This album is from a reissue series called ‘Flashback’, a line of budget priced titles from artists and labels that fall under the giant umbrella of Warner Bros. Barnes & Noble’s website lists the label releasing this edition as Rhino Entertainment but all I see on the CD and in the liner notes is Reprise Records, so I’m still going with that. Doesn’t really matter though, since both Rhino Entertainment and Reprise are owned by Warner Bros.
To be honest, I never intended to buy this album. I’ve always read mixed reviews on it. For an album with mixed reviews, I never saw a price low enough to warrant the investment. Luckily, these Flashback titles are priced to sell at $5.99 so I couldn’t resist when I saw it at Barnes & Noble and figured it nothing else I’d be getting a cool piece of cover art. The insert folds out to reveal Dio posing with some hair band.
For my tastes, Dio albums (while good) can sometimes be a bit too slow. That’s not really the case here. This album was recorded and released when heavy metal was flashy and more often than not it was accessible to the mainstream as well. Therefore, this release find itself straddling the line between Dio’s typical brand of metal and a more “eighties” metal sound. The results are really enjoyable if not really amazing.
“Wild One” is a fast number and the best choice to open the album. “Born on the Sun”, “Lock Up the Wolves” (Does anyone else think of Back to the Future with those clocks ticking?) and “Hey Angel” are typically epic Dio songs. “My Eyes” is a fun nod to Dio’s past bands and songs. I’m usually a sucker for a song like this from veteran bands.
Definitely worth the $5.99 I paid for it and I think this is an underrated Dio album. I think it probably isn’t favored as much from Dio fans just because it’s a bit more flashy and polished than his albums are usually known to be. There’s some great guitar playing here from Rowan Robertson.
I would have like to have heard more from this line-up that consisted of former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, wunderkind Rowan Robertson (who went on to do a series of instructional guitar videos and plays in various bands to this day) and Jens Johnasson (who has played in power metal band Stratovarius since 1995). Don’t ask me about Teddy Cook. I don’t know.
Highlights: “Wild One”, “Born on the Sun”, “Hey Angel”, “Night Music”, “Lock Up The Wolves”, “My Eyes”