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Rainbow - A Light In The Black 1975-1984 CD (album) cover

A LIGHT IN THE BLACK 1975-1984

Rainbow

 

Prog Related

4.00 | 2 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
4 stars After all these years there is finally a more than decent boxed compilation of Rainbow, one of the greatest hard rock bands ever to emerge in the latter half of the 70's. One could argue the progressiveness of the band as a whole but there is no denying the progressive elements found in the albums made between the years 1975-1978, aka the Dio-era. That is when the flamboyant, excentric and mysterious Blackmore lead the band (alongside Dio, I am sure) to a dimension where all the influences of the leader can be found. There is the far east, classical, folk and an abundance of hard rock. All this earns them the right to be labelled progressive or at the very least, which is the case, prog related. The progressive leanings may have declined in 1979 when Bonnet took over the microphone and finally vanished (more or less) in the Turner days.

For prog lovers I suppose the first two discs are the most interesting and for me, being a lifelong admirer of this band, it is great hearing different versions of classics in both live and studio settings. Rainbow always delivered live and they were a force to be reckoned with. For me they were the greatest live band of the 70's.

The Bonnet-era is a different ball game. I really love "Down to Earth", thinking it is a great transition album. Stuck somewhere between the Dio stuff and that of Turner, it merges the mystery and hardrock of yesterday and the radiofriendly material of Turner in the most splendid of fashions. It's fantastic to hear an early version of "Love's no friend of mine" in the shape of "Ain't A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me", alongside great live renditions showcasing the amazing vocal talents of Graham Bonnet.

The final discs, 4 and 5, are dedicated to the Joe Lynn Turner-era. This is the most commercial phase of Rainbow. While there were remnants of the past on "Down to Earth", also in part due to the powerful Bonnet vocals reminding of Dio, those Days are mostly gone by now. While not bad it holds very little, if any, interest to prog fans. There is a slicker tone to the music, also demonstrated by Turner's vocals, suiting the radiofriendly approach. Still, the music is great (in parts) and while not progressive offers the opportunity to re-visit the 1980's and well crafted pop-ish hard rock.

The DVD contains the performance made by the band in 1980 at the Monsters of Rock festival. This is great to behold and a testament to the band's extraordinary power in the live setting.

All things mentioned are great. I love this box but there are a few things that could have raised the rating from four stars to five. The fact that "A light in the black" is omitted is weird but that is, all things considered, OK but I miss that track deeply. It should have been included. The DVD should have more live clips than just the concert from 1980. There should have been clips from all eras, I think. Maybe the musical videos made in 1979-1984? Apart from that I do think that there should have been a mention and a few tracks from "Stranger in us all", the sort of comeback album from 1995. After all, that was a Rainbow album aswell.

So, who would benefit from this box set? The casual fan? Someone interested in the band? The already fans of Rainbow? I would say all three categories. This is a great box, packaged in a Beautiful way and contains most of what made this band great. If you are interested in hearing this band for the first time, you might be alright with one of the many compilations out there but you wouldn't go wrong with this box either.

Great box from one of the great bands from the past.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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