Sacred Heart (Dio album)

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Sacred Heart
Cover art by Robert Florczak
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 12, 1985 (1985-08-12)[1]
StudioRumbo Recorders (Los Angeles)
GenreHeavy metal
LabelWarner Bros. (North America)
Vertigo (rest of the world)
ProducerRonnie James Dio
Dio chronology
The Last in Line
Sacred Heart
Singles from Sacred Heart
  1. "Rock 'n' Roll Children"
    Released: July 1985
  2. "Hungry for Heaven"
    Released: October 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]

Sacred Heart is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Dio. It was released on August 12, 1985,[1] on Warner Bros. Records in North America, and Vertigo elsewhere. The record peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart.[5] It includes the singles "Rock 'n' Roll Children" and "Hungry for Heaven".


Sacred Heart was the final Dio album to include original guitarist Vivian Campbell, who was fired midway through the album's tour. Campbell went on to join Whitesnake and later Def Leppard. A serious rift developed between the guitarist and vocalist Ronnie James Dio during the recording of Sacred Heart, with Dio stating in an interview "...for me, (Campbell) wasn't even there for this record."[6] When the band was formed, Dio had made an arrangement with his new band which saw them paid very little, but they were promised a larger piece of the pie beginning with their third album, which ended up being Sacred Heart. Campbell has maintained over the years that Dio failed to follow through on that promise, and his unhappiness with the situation drove a wedge between the two.[7]

Dio had recently separated from his wife and manager Wendy Dio, and Campbell has stated that this personal turmoil resulted in the vocalist's demeanor in the studio becoming "really, really dark" during the recording of Sacred Heart. As a result, the musicians were uncomfortable in the studio and would typically leave after recording their parts, and the band began to fall apart.[7]

The album, along with Holy Diver and The Last in Line, was released in a new 2-CD Deluxe Edition on March 19, 2012 through Universal for worldwide distribution outside the U.S.[8] Clocking in at 38 minutes, Sacred Heart is the band's shortest album.


The accompanying stageshow was a spectacle involving a mechanised dragon and laser effects, as captured on the VHS (and later DVD reissue) Sacred Heart "The Video". Ronnie James Dio and his band referred to the dragon as Dean (although the press renamed it “Denzil”).[9]


The cover art is by Robert Florczak. The inscription around the border of the cover is in Latin and reads FINIS PER SOMNIVM REPERIO TIBI SACRA COR VENEFICVS OSTIVM AVRVM. A possible rendering is Along the borders of dreams I found for you the sacred poisonous heart and golden door. More data useful for the interpretation could be contained within the lyrics to the song "Sacred Heart". Since Latin relies on context for a translation the inscription could translate as follows, "comes the end by sleep I will prepare the sacred heart which is the magic that opens upon the altar".


The RIAA certified Sacred Heart Gold (500,000 units sold) on October 15, 1985.[10] It was for a long time the last Dio album to receive this certification, until The Very Beast of Dio was certified gold on November 3, 2009.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Ronnie James Dio, music as stated

Side one
1."King of Rock and Roll"Dio, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Vivian Campbell3:49
2."Sacred Heart"Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell6:27
3."Another Lie"Dio3:48
4."Rock 'n' Roll Children"Dio4:32
Side two
5."Hungry for Heaven"Dio, Bain4:10
6."Like the Beat of a Heart"Dio, Bain4:24
7."Just Another Day"Dio, Campbell3:23
8."Fallen Angels"Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell3:57
9."Shoot Shoot"Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell4:20
2012 deluxe edition CD 2
No.TitleMusicOriginal releaseLength
1."Hide in the Rainbow"DioIron Eagle soundtrack3:56
2."We Rock"Diolive B-Side of "Rock 'n' Roll Children" 12'4:49
3."The Last in Line"Dio, Bain, Campbelllive B-Side of "Rock 'n' Roll Children" 12'5:17
4."Like the Beat of a Heart"Dio, Bainlive B-Side of "Hungry for Heaven" 12'5:14
5."King of Rock and Roll"Dio, Appice, Bain, CampbellIntermission (1986)3:41
6."Rainbow in the Dark"Dio, Appice, Bain, CampbellIntermission4:42
7."Sacred Heart"Dio, Appice, Bain, CampbellIntermission6:27
8."Time to Burn"Dio, Appice, Bain, Craig Goldy, Claude SchnellIntermission4:24
9."Medley: "Rock 'n' Roll Children"
"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"
"Man on the Silver Mountain"
Ritchie Blackmore, Dio
Blackmore, Dio
10."We Rock"DioIntermission4:58


Additional musician
  • Recorded at Rumbo Recorders, Los Angeles, California
  • Produced by Ronnie James Dio
  • Engineered by Angelo Arcuri
  • Assistant engineered by Gary McGachan
  • Laser effects: LaserMedia Inc., Los Angeles, California
  • Laser operator: Michael Moorhead
  • Originally mastered by Greg Fulginiti at Artisan Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California
  • Remastered by Andy Pearce (2012 Universal Deluxe Edition)
  • Mixed on Westlake Audio BBSM6 monitors
  • Illustration by Robert Florczak



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b "New Releases" (PDF). FMQB. August 2, 1985. p. 32. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Dio Sacred Heart review". AllMusic. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 978-1894959315.
  4. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. p. 198.
  5. ^ "Sacred Heart Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  6. ^ RECORD REVIEW magazine, December 1986, Ashley Communications, Inc.
  7. ^ a b "Vivian Campbell on DIO's Sacred Heart Album, "Nobody wanted to be around Ronnie" + Hear N Aid, Stars". Full In Bloom. YouTube. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  8. ^ Siegler, Joe (February 1, 2012). "Dio Deluxe Editions". Black Sabbath Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Tapio's Dio Biography". Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  10. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum Database, search for "Sacred Heart"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  11. ^ Saulnier, Jason (March 24, 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 9304". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  15. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  16. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  17. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  18. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  19. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  20. ^ " – Dio – Sacred Heart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Dio | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  22. ^ "Dio Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  23. ^ ロニー・ジェームス・ディオのアルバム (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  25. ^ a b "Dio Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Dio – Sacred Heart". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links[edit]