Sacred Heart (Dio album)

Sacred Heart

Cover art by Robert Florczak
Studio album by Dio
Released August 15, 1985
Recorded Rumbo Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA
Genre Heavy metal
Length 38:50
Label Warner Bros. (North America)
Vertigo (rest of the world)
Producer Ronnie James Dio
Dio chronology
The Last in Line
Sacred Heart
The Dio E.P.
Singles from Sacred Heart
  1. "Rock 'n' Roll Children" / "Sacred Heart"
    Released: August 1985
  2. "Hungry for Heaven" / "King of Rock and Roll"
    Released: October 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Martin Popoff[2]

Sacred Heart is Dio's third studio album. It was released in August 15, 1985 on Warner Bros. Records. The record peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart.[3] It is one of Dio's most well-known albums, and includes singles such as "Sacred Heart", "Rock 'n' Roll Children" and "Hungry for Heaven".

This was the last Dio album to include guitarist Vivian Campbell, who was fired midway through the album's tour. Campbell went on to join several other bands, most notably Def Leppard, Riverdogs, Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy. A rift occurred during the recording of this album between Dio and the guitarist - "...for me, he (Viv) wasn't even there for this record."[4] 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.[5]


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 Denzil (although originally it was called Dean).[6]


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"

Track listing

All lyrics written by Ronnie James Dio, music as stated

Side one
1."King of Rock and Roll"  Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Vivian Campbell, Dio3:49
2."Sacred Heart"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, Dio6:27
3."Another Lie"  Dio3:48
4."Rock 'n' Roll Children"  Dio4:32
Side two
5."Hungry for Heaven"  Bain, Dio4:10
6."Like the Beat of a Heart"  Bain, Dio4:24
7."Just Another Day"  Dio, Campbell3:23
8."Fallen Angels"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, Dio3:57
9."Shoot, Shoot"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, Dio4:20
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"  Bain, Campbell, Diolive B-Side of "Rock 'n' Roll Children" 12'5:17
4."Like the Beat of a Heart"  Bain, Diolive B-Side of "Hungry for Heaven" 12'5:14
5."King of Rock and Roll"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, DioIntermission (1986)3:41
6."Rainbow in the Dark"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, DioIntermission4:42
7."Sacred Heart"  Appice, Bain, Campbell, DioIntermission6:27
8."Time to Burn"  Appice, Bain, Dio, 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 musicians


Year Chart Position
1985 UK Albums Chart[8] 4
Swedish Albums Chart[9] 6
Norwegian Albums Chart[10] 8
GfK Dutch Charts[11] 11
German Albums Chart[12] 12
Austrian Albums Charts[13] 13
Swiss Albums Charts[14] 14
Billboard 200 (USA)[3] 29
RPM100 Albums (Canada)[15] 35
2012 Oricon Japanese Albums Charts[16] 164

Year Title Chart Position
1985 "Rock 'n' Roll Children" Mainstream Rock (USA)[17] 26
UK Singles Chart[8] 26
"Hungry for Heaven" Mainstream Rock (USA) [17] 30
UK Singles Chart[8] 72
1986 UK Singles Chart[8] 56


The RIAA certified Sacred Heart Gold (500,000 units sold) on October 15, 1985.[18] 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.


  1. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Dio Sacred Heart review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  2. Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  3. 1 2 "Sacred Heart Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  4. RECORD REVIEW magazine, December 1986, Ashley Communications, Inc.
  5. Siegler, Joe (1 February 2012). "Dio Deluxe Editions". Black Sabbath Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  6. "Tapio's Dio Biography". Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  7. Saulnier, Jason (24 March 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Dio Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  9. "Dio – Sacred Heart (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  10. "Dio – Sacred Heart (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  11. "Dio – Sacred Heart (album)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  12. "Album – DIO, Sacred Heart". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  13. "Dio – Sacred Heart (album)". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  14. "Dio – Sacred Heart". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  15. "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 43, No. 8, November 02 1985". Library and Archives Canada. 2 November 1985. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  16. ロニー・ジェームス・ディオのアルバム (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  17. 1 2 "Sacred Heart Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  18. "RIAA Gold & Platinum Database, search for "Sacred Heart"". Retrieved February 22, 2009.
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