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Rainbow - Long Live Rock & Roll CD (album) cover




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3.47 | 238 ratings

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3 stars I discovered this thingy when I was 14. In a way, it was a gateway for discovering good old rock music. Although I liked it very much (I still do) even then I was aware this material is not the most adventurous, catchy and whatnot in that kind of music. Which doesn't mean it's bad. For start, 'L.A. Connection', ' The Shed' and 'Sensitive To Light' are a bit sub par and forgettable. Nice tight guitar riffing and drums though! Slightly above is 'Lady Of The Lake', it takes more time for the song to reveal it's beauty.

The opening track, 'Long Live Rock & Roll' is not much more than an average headbanging number, but it's catchy as hell. Or to be more precise, it's not catchy melody-wise because melody, let's admit it, is not outstanding, but there's something, maybe in its repetitiveness that makes you go for it. And who can resist a title?

The one that stands out is, of course, 'Gates Of Babylon'. That's what I call heavy metal. It's the best song on the album, and, coincidentally or not, the most progressive one too. Cool slowly meandering Middle-Eastern melody, stringy sounds, some sublime phasing effect, and I can imagine Ronnie James Dio with his fist in the air, spastic and claw-shaped, while he sings 'Gates Of Babylooooon' some kind of possessed wizard. Only he could pull up something like that and be charming instead of ridiculous.

Another one worth mentioning is 'Kill The King'...I guess 'Kill The Queen' would be too controversial as a title for an UK band even in 1978 (that's a slap in a face with musical reality writing about RAINBOW and using punk as a reference...I won't do it again!). For some reason it reminds me of Purple 'Burn', only in the slower paced part. The faster riffing towards the end (Oh! kill! oh! kill!) reminds me (as some other parts of the album as well) of early JUDAS PRIEST, and I see I'm not alone in this impression.

For the very end - ladies and gentlemen, a heavy metal ballad: 'Rainbow Eyes'. Lovely tune, nice slow arpeggios on the acoustic guitar, layered flutes, strings and whatnot. I cannot resist saying it might be an attempt to make more mellow ballad then 'Soldier Of Fortune', although this one is a love theme. However, a very pleasant listen.

Which can be said about the album in general. Don't get it if you have any high expectations on music or, God forbid, prog rock, however if you like hard rock, this one should be right up your alley, plus a few trick up it's sleeve. Very decent record.

on a less irrelevant sidenote, I never actually knew what is the heavy metal's Old Wave if, for example, Iron Maiden are New Wave; 70's stuff is, more or less, always a hard rock for me. However, Rainbow is perhaps closest to the very core of heavy metal.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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