Dio: intermission (Review)

As a younger fan I really have it good these days. There’s a whole wealth of back-catalogues for me to explore in any order I like. But this week I decided to remind myself that, for a little while before the release of the indomitable Sacred Heart: The Video, this was the only live document of the Sacred Heart tour. So what did fans have to mull over until they could sink their teeth into the expanded video?

Six songs, starting with “King of Rock and Roll”. One of my favorite Dio songs, it’s rendered as spectacularly as you’d hope. It’s a really good opener and I wish it was played live more after the Sacred Heart tour. But hey, this is one of two great live versions we have access to. This gives way to the virtually ever-present “Rainbow in the Dark”. There isn’t much unique about this take on the song, but it rocks as usual (despite what certain individuals may profess tot he alternative).

Then it’s the centerpiece of the record, “Sacred Heart” itself. And this is a really cool rendition because it forgoes (through either editing or performance choice) the extended dragon fight to give you a straight-up live rendition of the album take. I like both performances and I’m glad each one exists, and you still get plenty of that epic riff in this shorter version.

The things get shaken up a bit. Craig Goldy replaced Vivian Campbell on guitar midway through the tour, and the band recorded the song “Time to Burn” at the time to show off their new guitarist. It was also added to the setlist going forward, appearing on Sacred Heart: The Video. To be honest, it’s not the best Dio song, it just generally fails to leave third gear for its runtime.

Then it’s a medley (of course it is, this is Dio we’re talking about) of new track “Rock ’N’ Roll Children” with Rainbow classics “Long Live Rock ’N’ Roll” and “Man on the Silver Mountain”. The first song is a killer tune and really should have been played more in later years. The Rainbow songs, meanwhile, are very welcome, even if not every verse is present. This track in particular helps the EP feel longer than it is without feeling overly long. If you just look at the number of songs on here, you’ve got enough for an entire Deep Purple live album. Anyway, this mini-setlist is closed out by the classic Dio finisher “We Rock”. An energetic rendition, I always like hearing this song. It was one of the first solo Dio songs I heard.

Now while the existence of the 2012 re-release and expansion of Sacred Heart: The Video renders this release to the second fiddle of mid-80s Dio live documents, this is still a really enjoyable bite-size chunk of an ’85 Dio show. There’s a nice mix of Sacred Heart songs and Dio and Sabbath classics, and Vivian Campbell purists will get an extra kick out of this one (mostly). But even without considering the personnel, this is still one of the best EPs released.

The verdict- 4.5/5 stars

18 thoughts on “Dio: intermission (Review)

      1. That’s right, you weren’t a fan of “Kick” at first (and I loved it)! At least some people like the second single. I can’t judge the album based on one single, so hopefully Def Leppard pulls through in the end!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yeah, that’s why I’m not expecting much from the album. Not that I think the boys are capable of great things. I just don’t want to give it such high expectations, like you.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Craig overdubbed all the rhythm guitars on the live tracks for this EP. Only the guitar solos are Vivian’s, excepting the studio track, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

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