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Rainbow - Down To Earth CD (album) cover




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2.67 | 154 ratings

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1 stars Down to Earth comes off the heels of Ritchie Blackmore's biggest bungle to date. Not even his various tantrums in Purple can match the screw up of letting go of the golden tonsils of Ronnie James Dio. In the end, the release of Dio would prove benefecial to metalheads, but Blackmore's ego trip is unbelievable. This turn of events spelled certain doom for Rainbow. Bassist Jimmy bain left too and would eventually join up with Dio's solo career, but his departure means little. Blackmore suprisingly hired ex-Purple bassist Roger Glover, a man who Blackmore fired from Purple in '73. I guess money makes a terrific bandage to wrap old wounds, because Glover reluctantly agreed. He then got Graham Bonnet to replace Dio. Bonnet is a capable vocalist, but he is no comparison to Dio. However, he fits Blackmore's new musical direction, which was commercial. Yes, desire for commercial success impacted many things in the band; it happens to be one of the main reasons for Dio's departure.

The songs on Down to Earth completely eschew the proto-power metal of yore for slickly- produced AOR. Did you just get shivers? The hit here is the blatant Boston rip-off Since You've Been Gone. The Studio 54 era never ceases to stun me; it amazes me what people will buy when they abuse cocaine. The only song here that doesn't make me curl into the fetal position and weep is Eyes of the World. It's a longer track and hints at Blackmore's neo-classic fire, but it's buried under lush AOR keyboards (Not lush symphonic keys, mind you, ther is a difference). Even that song is mediocre.

This album shows just how fast a great band can lose it all thanks to ego problems. While Yes and Genesis took time declining into AOR oblivion, Rainbow follows ELP down the express lane to failure. I thought that Blackmore was indestructible until I heard this album. When it came to an end the left side of my face was numb. That's right, I experienced what I have come to call an "aural stroke." Avoid this album any any studio output following it. Stick to the Dio-era as well as the redeeming live send-off Finyl Vinyl.

Grade: F

1800iareyay | 1/5 |


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