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Rainbow - Rising CD (album) cover




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4.19 | 511 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Consider that illusive rainbow (almost) caught!

Rising is clearly more adventurous and progressive compared to Rainbow's promising, but slightly immature, debut album. We have here a new line up of the band featuring in addition to masters Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio also one of the best drummers of all time in Cozy Powell. I would say that Rainbow Rising is the definitive achievement of these three amazing musical talents. (Yes, I think this is better than any Deep Purple album!)

The remaining two band members Jimmy Bain (on bass) and Tony Carrey (on keyboards) also do an excellent job here. The keyboards, which are dominated by swirling synthesizers rather than the Hammond organ we are used to in Blackmore's previous band, gives this album a very fresh and timeless sound and the keys sound particularly good on Tarot Woman and Light In The Black. The former starts with a very captivating synthesizer, slowly building up the melody until, the drums, guitars and bass kicks into the main riff of the song. Truly amazing opening!

Light In Black features one of those very rare moments of total musical bliss. At 3:41 into the track an excellent, melodic, very structured guitar part; then some more improvised, wild soloing; then at 5:42 the excellent part is repeated, this time doubled on Moog synthesizer. All accompanied by Cozy's thunderous drumming. This part is pure musical ecstasy for me (up there with Rick Wakeman's Moog solo at the end of Starship Trooper from the Yessongs live album!). I always play this part of song at least twice every time I listen to the album. The symphonic Stargazer is also a fantastic song and an instant Rainbow classic. The remaining songs, however, even if very good too, are fairly straightforward Hard Rock songs that would not be out of place on the two Deep Purple albums made just prior to Ritchie leaving to form Rainbow.

On the down side, Rising is a bit less varied and diverse than the band's debut album. There are no real ballads to speak of this time like the beautiful Catch The Rainbow or the wonderful, folky Temple Of The King both from the debut. I cannot help thinking that they could have made a masterpiece album had they taken the best tracks from the debut and put them together with the best tracks from the present album to make a single cohesive and varied album (preferably, with the drum and keyboard sound of Rising); keeping the fantastic (and very progressive) Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Light In The Black and replacing the remaining three tracks with Catch The Rainbow, Temple Of The King, Man On the Silver Mountain and Sixteenth Century Greensleeves from the debut. This "fantasy" album, had it been a reality, would most probably have gotten the full five star rating from me and be one of my most highly regarded albums of all time! However, as it now stands, Rising is a timeless, strongly Prog Related Hard Rock classic and an excellent addition to any Prog music collection, fully deserving four solid stars.

Very highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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