DIO – Lock Up The Wolves

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

Band:
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”

www.ronniejamesdio.com
www.myspace.com/dioofficial

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Posted on February 20, 2010, in Dio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This album takes it’s fair share of jabs… I love it though. Not just because it’s DIO… it Rocks heavy! My favorite song is “Born On The Sun” – it just rivets me. Jens Johansson also played keys for Yngwie J. Malmsteen… he is very good at his craft.

    My take is this album came out when Heavy Metal was starting to take the “big snub” in the press… with Grunge on the rise. 1990 was/is a year to finger point for the beginning of the decline in Heavy Metal fever among the commercial masses… it wasn’t that way with me though!

    I actually like “Lock Up The Wolves” much better than “Sacred Heart”, if I was to make a DIO album comparison. Of course it’s not the “best” DIO album ever… yet as you come across in your review, it’s pretty darned good.

  2. I bought this the day it came out. It’s decent, better than the next few that came out from Dio. To me it is kind of slow. Also I really liked Dream Evil and though Craig Goldie brought a lot to that album so I was sad to see him not be around for another album.
    I probably like Robertson better in DC4.

  3. I think SACRED HEART is much better then LOCK UP THE WOLVES.

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