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  1. #1

    Default The underrated greatness of "Lock Up The Wolves"

    The first Dio album that wasn't certified by RIAA. The one before RJD put the band on hiatus to reunite with Sabs to release Dehumanizer. Maybe the most overlooked album in the Dio catalogue. But why? Due to circumstances?

    LUTW has always held a special place in my heart. I remember being a child and listening to the vinyl with my dad, although back then I was mostly intrigued by the scary cover art. Fast forward ten years, and I buy "Diamonds - The Very Best of Dio". LUTW is represented on the album by the title track and the furious opener, Wild One. Neither one pales in compariso the the classics that fill the rest of the album. They are different to the 80's output, but in a refreshing way.

    One of the complaints some have about Dio's solo output is that it's too homogenized, similar song structures, album constructions, lyrics etc. Yet the 90's albums are all very different from each other, the 80's stuff or the retroactively vintage sounds of the last three outings. Lock Up The Wolves in particular has no stylistical comparable work in Dio's back catalogue. The album is filled with heavy blues tonality, lots of chromatic riffing reminiscent of Iommi and influences from the newer generations of metal bands that were starting to flood the scene. Sure, the likes of Born On The Sun, Walk On Water or the closer My Eyes are more in line with the traditional Dio formula, but are still far from being rehashes of earlier material.

    Evil On Queen Street is the bluesiest songs Dio ever did. Chalk-full of amazing riffage, tight rhythm section and fantastic, vocal fry wailing by the man himself. The title track is a unique beast itself: bluesy, yet dark and doomy with one RJD's best vocal performances throughout his career, even falsetto screams! Rhythmically a rather different tune in the Dio canon. Wild One is one of the best album openers by the band ever, the main riff and solo by Robertson are mind blowing. Night Music is another tune very different from the traditional Dio sound. Sure, there is more filler than on the first four classics, but the high points are so strong that it doesn't detract too much from the experience.

    In a way it is a shame we only got one one album out of this incarnation, although the Sabbath reunion produced the fantastic Dehumanizer. I would've massively preferred if Ronnie had brought back the immensely talented Rowan Robertson & Jens Johansson after the Sabbath reunion. Nothing tops the original Dio lineup, but this was maybe the most musically gifted bad Ronnie ever surrounded himself with and sounded awesome live.

    What are your thoughts on the album?
    Last edited by -E5150 StarWanderer-; 12-11-2017 at 01:04 PM.
    "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
    "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
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  2. #2

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    I don't listen to it much, but its certainly not my least favorite Dio album. I remember the title track and I could've Been a Dreamer being particularly great.
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  3. #3
    turch118's Avatar
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    Never was a big Dio solo fan but my son had actually bought LUTW on cassette and turned ME on to it. Great album from beginning to end. No song skipping here.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by turch118 View Post
    Never was a big Dio solo fan but my son had actually bought LUTW on cassette and turned ME on to it. Great album from beginning to end. No song skipping here.
    Nice to see there are other fans of the album! Although Twisted and Why Are They Watching Me are very much throw-away tracks in my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icy Sun View Post
    I don't listen to it much, but its certainly not my least favorite Dio album. I remember the title track and I could've Been a Dreamer being particularly great.
    I Could've Been A Dreamer is from Dream Evil, but agreed on both accounts
    "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
    "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
    "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

  5. #5
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    I think it's a great album even though at the time when it came out, I totally dismissed it. I think it's up there just below the first 2 and certainly better then 3 and 4 IMO. I just love Rowan's guitar tone. So much of what he does on there reminds me of Angus Young (I don't know why?). To me, TV Crimes and Wild One are brothers of a different mother.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by -E5150 StarWanderer- View Post
    I Could've Been A Dreamer is from Dream Evil, but agreed on both accounts
    Oops, you are correct. Looking at the tracklist again, I remember really digging Between Two Hearts. That might've been the one I was thinking of. Though I also remember I Could've Been a Dreamer as one of my favorites from its respective album (Dream Evil), but I guess that's kinda of off-topic here, lol.
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail pic extravaganza! http://www.black-sabbath.com/vb/showthread.php?t=31523

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by -E5150 StarWanderer- View Post
    Nice to see there are other fans of the album! Although Twisted and Why Are They Watching Me are very much throw-away tracks in my mind.
    Funny enough, as awful as I think this album is, I think Why Are They Watching Me? is probably the most palatable song on there. Thankfully, Dehumanizer was right around the corner. Still, I'm glad you like the album StarWanderer--- interesting perspective. Respect.

  8. #8
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    Lock Up The Wolves is by far my least favourite DIO album...

    It had good potential and songs like Wild One, the title track and Evil On Queen Street are very good, but the rest aren't all that good to be honest.

    Robertson was a great guitar player for sure but he was just way too inexperienced song writer for a band like DIO...most songs lack depth. And the drastic change in sound wasn't to my liking either. Ronnie clearly tried to reinvent the DIO band which just didn't work.
    The band all in all (part from the brilliant Simon Wright obviously) wasn't really up to the task either...

    Vocally this is bit of a mixed bag too. Ronnie pushed his voice a lot on this and some of the time it worked and some of the time it didn't.


    I can only imagine how this album would have turned out with the brilliance of Craig Goldy...

    One thing is for sure though Lock Up The Wolves remains an undeniable oddity in DIO's catalogue and it is the one album that splits opions...

  9. #9
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    LOTW's per Wikipedia sold 46k copies in the US, Dio after his 1st 3 albums platinum. platinum .. gold, was a marginal act very much during the same time frame as Sabbath was in the late 80's. Sabbath had 2 tours I believe in the US during the Martin era and both were cancelled very early on. due to lack of ticket sales. Dio's worst album sales wise was Angry Machines which sold only 36,000 copies.

    For the record, Sabbath's Tyr and Forbidden never even cracked Billboard's Top 200! And the rest of the Martin era Sabbath never broke the Top 100.
    Last edited by Wicked Cricket; 12-15-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    LSabbath had 2 tours I believe in the US during the Martin era and both were cancelled very early on. due to lack of ticket sales.
    Not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand BUT you are very wrong here. Sabbath toured the US heavily with Cross Purposes...Some dates for the Headless Cross tour were however canceled.

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    Yes the Headless Cross tour in the US was cancelled after just eight shows. I don't recall them touring with Tyr in the US at all nor did I find any record of such, Forbidden they played 19 dates Cross P's 23...(in the US). My point was only that Dio after '85 and Sabbath around the same time period were not widely accepted by the fans.
    "Music is so sacred to me that I can’t hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    LOTW's per Wikipedia sold 46k copies in the US, Dio after his 1st 3 albums platinum. platinum .. gold, was a marginal act very much during the same time frame as Sabbath was in the late 80's. Sabbath had 2 tours I believe in the US during the Martin era and both were cancelled very early on. due to lack of ticket sales. Dio's worst album sales wise was Angry Machines which sold only 36,000 copies.

    For the record, Sabbath's Tyr and Forbidden never even cracked Billboard's Top 200! And the rest of the Martin era Sabbath never broke the Top 100.
    Yeah WC, I agree that both Dio and "Sabbath" by 1990 had become unfunny shadows of their former selves during that time. Ronnie rejoining Black Sabbath in 1992 was a welcome, and inevitable, return--- in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    Yes the Headless Cross tour in the US was cancelled after just eight shows. I don't recall them touring with Tyr in the US at all nor did I find any record of such, Forbidden they played 19 dates Cross P's 23...(in the US). My point was only that Dio after '85 and Sabbath around the same time period were not widely accepted by the fans.
    Yes very true...well partly anyways...DIO's Dream Evil tour was still hugely successful with Megadeth and Savatage opening.

    The late 80s saw the beginning of the decline of traditional 70s heavy metal acts....they gave way to the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica...and ofcourse later the scourge of music that was grunge ruined everything metal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charger View Post
    Yes very true...well partly anyways...DIO's Dream Evil tour was still hugely successful with Megadeth and Savatage opening.

    The late 80s saw the beginning of the decline of traditional 70s heavy metal acts....they gave way to the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica...and ofcourse later the scourge of music that was grunge ruined everything metal.
    I have all of Dio's material except for Angry Machines and Master Of The Moon, and I can say honestly his first four up to Dream Evil are the only albums I can listen to fully and enjoy every song on them, Killing The Dragon isn't bad either, but nothing like the first four.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    I have all of Dio's material except for Angry Machines and Master Of The Moon, and I can say honestly his first four up to Dream Evil are the only albums I can listen to fully and enjoy every song on them, Killing The Dragon isn't bad either, but nothing like the first four.
    Well if we're being honest here Magica is the only DIO album where I enjoy every single song. It is the most consistent album...all others have atleast one weak song on them...The Last In Line and Sacred Heart have several.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charger View Post
    Well if we're being honest here Magica is the only DIO album where I enjoy every single song. It is the most consistent album...all others have atleast one weak song on them...The Last In Line and Sacred Heart have several.
    I don't like Magica at all none of it, I disagree with you on Last In Line and Sacred Heart.

    Funny how people's tastes are.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charger View Post
    Yes very true...well partly anyways...DIO's Dream Evil tour was still hugely successful with Megadeth and Savatage opening.

    The late 80s saw the beginning of the decline of traditional 70s heavy metal acts....they gave way to the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica...and ofcourse later the scourge of music that was grunge ruined everything metal.
    Judas Priest, Scorpions, Motörhead, AC/DC & Kiss were all relevant & still going strong in the late 80's. Who else besides Deep Purple & Sabbath are you referring to as the traditional metal acts from the 70's?

    Also, by 82/83/84 Maiden were one of (if not the biggest) metal bands on the planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack the Stripper View Post

    Also, by 82/83/84 Maiden were one of (if not the biggest) metal bands on the planet.
    Maiden is still one of the biggest Metal bands today.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    Maiden is still one of the biggest Metal bands today.
    Yep sure are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack the Stripper View Post
    Judas Priest, Scorpions, Motörhead, AC/DC & Kiss were all relevant & still going strong in the late 80's. Who else besides Deep Purple & Sabbath are you referring to as the traditional metal acts from the 70's?

    Also, by 82/83/84 Maiden were one of (if not the biggest) metal bands on the planet.
    Well Priest was already on a decline by the late 80s...Turbo tour was probably one of their biggest but it also was the beginning of the decline...

    Motörhead never really was that big to begin with (sadly) so they never lost as much anyways. Haven't really followed AC/DC or Kiss that much to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charger View Post
    Well Priest was already on a decline by the late 80s...Turbo tour was probably one of their biggest but it also was the beginning of the decline...

    Motörhead never really was that big to begin with (sadly) so they never lost as much anyways. Haven't really followed AC/DC or Kiss that much to say.
    Priest's decline coincided with the decline of metal in general in the early/mid 90's and of coarse Halford leaving didn't help.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack the Stripper View Post
    Priest's decline coincided with the decline of metal in general in the early/mid 90's and of coarse Halford leaving didn't help.
    HALFORD is best with Priest.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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    I absolutely love Lock Up The Wolves and I find it to be Ronnie's most underrated album. I admire the risk that Ronnie took writing and performing a stripped-down blues metal album, especially one by a band that was completely recast. If there's one criticism of the album I can think of it would be that Jens Johannson's performance was wasted as he is an exceptional keyboard player and he barely has any presence on this album. It's too bad that he broke up this band and never bothered to reunite with them.

    Check out the great FM recording of a 1990 show called Live in Dallas 1990.


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    There is also a short making-of clip featuring the band in the studio.


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    ^^^^^ Those were cool Petoria, thank you.

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