“Ronnie gave me great advice about building a guitar solo... left to my own devices, it would have been a case of how many notes I could fit in!”: Vivian Campbell looks back on the 1984 Dio classic The Last In Line

Vivian Campbell and Ronnie James Dio onstage with Dio in 1983
(Image credit: Pete Cronin/Redferns)

Recorded in the spring of 1984 at Caribou Ranch studios, way up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, expectations around Dio’s second album – aka the follow-up to 1983’s Holy Diver, a worldwide smash hit – ran about as high as the Rocky Mountains themselves. 

In the end, The Last in Line, released in early July of 1984, turned out to be the band’s highest charting album, with the single of the same name even breaking into Billboard’s Top 10.

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Mark McStea

Mark is a freelance writer with particular expertise in the fields of ‘70s glam, punk, rockabilly and classic ‘50s rock and roll. He sings and plays guitar in his own musical project, Star Studded Sham, which has been described as sounding like the hits of T. Rex and Slade as played by Johnny Thunders. He had several indie hits with his band, Private Sector and has worked with a host of UK punk luminaries. Mark also presents themed radio shows for Generating Steam Heat. He has just completed his first novel, The Bulletproof Truth, and is currently working on the sequel.