Dianno - Dianno

edited September 21 in year-1984

ARTIST: Dianno
ALBUM: Dianno
LABEL: FM Revolver
YEAR: 1984

LINEUP: Paul Dianno - vocals Lee Slater - guitars * P.J. Ward - guitars * Kevin Browne - bass * Mark Venables - keyboards * Dave Irving - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Flaming Heart * 02 Heartuser * 03 Here To Stay * 04 The Runner * 05 Tales Of The Unexpected * 06 Razor's Edge * 07 Bright Lights * 08 Lady Heartbreak * 09 Antigua * 10 Road Rat


After his sacking from Iron Maiden in 1981, Paul Dianno finally regrouped in 1984 with his new band, the impressively titled 'Dianno'. The band was initially called Lonewolf, but Paul changed his mind at the last moment, making it seem like more of a solo project than a band effort. For Dianno the emphasis shifted from classic metal to American style AOR, something he would practice for many years to come.

The Songs

Paul's hardcore Maiden fans must have been dismayed by the opening keyboard riffs of 'Flaming Heart', but Dianno was chasing the American dream. There's an excellent passage midway through with the flowing keys-guitar combo, strong evidence Paul had been paying close attention to the genre's musicianship.

'Heart User' is the only non-written band composition, and it shows. It strays from the sound found on the other nine songs, but what a chorus. If Journey had written this it would have been no 1. 'Here To Stay' is keyboard heavy and the ebbs and flows are extremely progressive. Very exciting and Paul, in fine form, tells us 'no 1 is what you are!'

'The Runner' is a three minute blast of synth heroics, but pales next to the six minute epic 'Tales Of The Unexpected'. It takes every turn you could imagine, and is melodically satisfying. The synthesizer solo is a master class and brings back memories of cold winter mornings walking to work listening to this!

The second half of 'Dianno' rarely lets up either. 'Razor Edge' is a semi pomp masterpiece, but the hard rock riffing is always present. 'Bright Lights' and 'Lady Heartbreak' have 70's shadings. especially with the guitar work, but once again the synth solos steal the show. If this is your preferred AOR element, then this is prime stuff.

'Antigua' is an ode to Paul's favourite vacation spot and 'Road 'Rat' up's the hard rock quotient. Killer guitar solo here, backed up by everyone's guilty pleasure, the hammond organ.

In Summary

Typically 'Dianno' was a failure with fans and critics. Die hard fans weren't buying and AOR fans were probably not aware of it's existence. Dianno was not fazed and has gone on to record many albums of such music since, most memorably with the 'Original Iron Men' projects of the mid 90's.

Even in his metal orientated bands, Battlezone and Killers, AOR shadings are constantly present. It's in the mans blood. For Dianno himself this was his creative highpoint with this style. A hard album to locate. Good also to see the band decked out in Wrangler's spring 1984 catalogue.

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    'Antigua' is a timeless AOR masterpiece. The depth of this track is a revelation, as Paul perfectly captures the atmosphere of the Caribbean paradise through an endless stream of melodic twists, a masterclass for the ages.

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    Never released on cd to my knowledge. This simply screams for a proper Rock Candy reissue! Over to you, Derek...

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