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Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow CD (album) cover




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3.73 | 310 ratings

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East of Lyra
4 stars Following the departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover from Deep Purple in 1973, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore soon jumped ship too. Blackmore decided to form his own band with former Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Their debut album was released in 1975 and retains the hard rock roots of Deep Purple, but adds medieval themed lyrics and influences which Blackmore would revisit once more later in his career with Blackmore's Night.

The album kicks off with 'Man on the Silver Mountain'. A trademark Blackmore riff and a full on hard rock assault, with some great vocals by the young Dio. This is definately one of the highlights of the album and should appeal to Deep Purple fans. Next up is 'Self Portrait' which adds some interesting time signatures, and even more great Dio vocals. Following this is 'Black Sheep of the Family' - a fairly standard rocker and a decent track.

The fourth track is 'Catch the Rainbow' - A great ballad, and possibly the best song on the album. Keyboardist Micky Lee Soule is impressive, and Blackmore adds a great emotional guitar solo. An excellent song. This is followed by 'Snake Charmer', a good rocker but nothing too special. After this comes 'Temple of the King'. Blackmore's acoustic playing on this track is fantastic, and it's always been one of my favourites, although I've never been a fan of the lyrics.

Then comes the final three tracks. 'If You Don't Like Rock n Roll' has never been a favourite of mine, but it's a good enough song, with slightly humourous lyrics. 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' offers another great Blackmore riff and another great vocal performance by Dio. The final track 'Still I'm Sad' is a great fast-paced instrumental closer.

3.75 stars really. A great album to add to the collection if you're a fan of hard rock - But pick up 'Rising' first.

East of Lyra | 4/5 |


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