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Rainbow - Difficult To Cure CD (album) cover




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2.88 | 134 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Odes to joy

After just one album as lead vocalist, Graham Bonnet lost the job, to be replaced by the similar tones of Joe Lynn Turner. Also gone is the late, great Cozy Powell whose drum stool was filled by Bobby Rondinelli.

The pop rock territories explored on the previous "Down to earth" form the basis for this album which opens with a blistering cover of Russ Ballard's (Argent) "I surrender". Likewise, side two opens with a second hit "Can't happen here", Blackmore's reunion with Roger Glover showing that the pairing could be as commercially successful as Ritchie's erstwhile collaborations with Ronnie James Dio. With these huge hit singles the die is cast for the album, which is simply a succession of good rock songs.

"Spotlight kid" is "A light in the black" part 2, with superb guitar work from Ritchie followed by a complementary keyboard run by Don Airey. "No release" moves into the funkier areas adopted by the Coverdale/Hughes era Deep Purple, perhaps indicating that Blackmore was not as unhappy with that direction as he maintained.

There are a couple of what can only be described as fillers, which appear to be little more than facsimiles of other Rainbow songs. "Magic" could be (but is not) another Russ Ballard composition, which suffers from a second rate hook. The lyrics of "Freedom fighters" continue the world gone wrong theme of "Can't happen here", but the song is prosaic and unexciting.

The album includes two instrumental pieces. The first of these, "Vielleicht Das Nachster Zeit (Maybe Next Time)" is a beautiful, laid back lead guitar rendition by Ritchie. The closing track which gives the album its title is in fact an instrumental interpretation of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ("Ode to joy"). The piece is given a heavy rock beat, and effectively used as basis for improvisations by Blackmore and Airey. Great stuff though.

In all, "Difficult to cure" a straightforward rock album with some interesting deviations. For me it will always sit in the also ran category, but it by no means brings up the rear.

The sleeve has similarities with Three Dog Night's "Hard Labor", with a gathering of puzzled doctors, not one of Hipgnosis best.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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