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Rainbow - Live in Germany 1976 [Aka: Live in Europe] CD (album) cover



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3 stars It is rather amazing that some live albums are released ages after they were performed. In the old days (the early / mid seventies when I discovered music), live albums were just a continuation of the studio life of the band. Of course, for some legendary bands (to whom "Rainbow" does not belong IMHHO) the temptation to print oldies is a good opportunity to cash in. There is a huge potential of wealthy fans who would blindly buy all this stuff. If you compare the tracklist of this album with the one from "On Stage" (released in 77) you will notice that the WHOLE of this album is featured here. The song versions being even more extended (if it was necessary) on this "Live In Germany". Of course, most of them are so long because of the "audience preparation" like in "Man on the Silver Mountain" which features some "Lazy" moments in the intro.

The whole being a good hard-rock album made of snap shots of different concerts (obviously in Germany) which I only appreciate moderately. IMO, the best live albums are the ones recorded during a single and same concert ("Live At Leeds", "Rock'n'Roll Animal", "Slade Alive", "Genesis Live", "Heep Live", live sides from "Ummagumma" to name some major ones) or during the same sessions (like "In Japan" or "Keys To Ascension").

This album will feature some very weak song introduction in the likes of : "We'd like to play some music for you now...". As if the band is there to do anything else...Those guys definitely need some communication exercises or gurus...

About the two "unreleased songs now. Both come out "Rising". Their best album without any question. One of "Rainbow" best ever written song :"Stargazer" is well performed. Of course it is almost double the lenght of the original, but in "Purple", "Rainbow" will integrate either a long solo in the middle part of the song or play a long intro (or both). The second song is "Do You Close Your Eyes" which was a short three lminutes track. Brought over ten minutes...

But unfortunately, no sign of "Tarot Woman" nor "Light In The Black" some other ones of their greatest numbers. All in all, this is a good album. Slightly better than "On Stage" since it features "Stargazer". So, this one is the best live album from "Rainbow".

Three stars.

Report this review (#145962)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Saddened by Ronnie James Dio's passing, it seemed the perfect occasion to pay tribute to the voice of metal by reviewing a couple of Rainbow live albums that I never intended on reviewing at all. Not that they aren't any good, they are perfect documents to satisfy fans, but none of them will add much to the iconic On Stage release from 1977.

Live In Germany expands the setlist of On Stage with two songs. In case of Rainbow live, that quickly amounts to more then 25 minutes of baroque doodling and indulgent guitar soloing. But every Rainbow fan needs a live version of their best song Stargazer and this album has it. Tone Carey starts things off with a 5 minute long improvised synth solo and as usual he does that really well. Once Cozy Powell joins the actual song gets going, and we're in for a treat. The band performs this track really well and firm. Dio goes through the roof and Blackmore stays very sharp, not getting in the way of the vocals during the verses and extending his guitar solo with an inspired focus.

The sound of this recording is very good, almost as good as On Stage actually, be it that the vocals are very upfront in the mix. But that's not something we'd complain about today. Cozy Powell's drums suffer however, his commanding style gets buried in the mix and the overall sound loses some of its power and tightness because of it.

If you're in doubt which Rainbow live album to pick up, this one has the obvious advantage of featuring Stargazer. My preference goes to On Stage for the better sound and because some of the better inspired improvisations. Especially Still I'm Sad disappoints a bit here. But that sure got nothing to do with Ronnie James Dio performance!

Report this review (#282314)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Live in Germany 1976 is a live record released back in 1990, after the rediscovering of some tapes from that tour in some London's vaults.

What we have here is a compilation of different tracks from different gigs (recorded in Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Mannheim). To be honest, maybe Live in Munich 1977 has a better mixed material, but what makes this album remarkable is Dio's performance (rest in peace), simply stunning and Blackmore's solos is absolutely impressive, especially on Catch the Rainbow, (a song which is half way between Hendrix's "Little Wing" and "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin) and Stargazer , yes you've got it right, this is the ONLY Rainbow live record to feature the probably most famous track they've ever written, an absolute hard rock epic pearl, originally released on the "Rising" album.

Blackmore's skills are shining like they never did, especially with Deep Purple, since it is evident the expression freedom that he had with this band, mainly on stage.

Pros: Only live version of "Stargazer" available, Performances level is very high.

Cons: In certain bits the vocals are too loud.

3/4 Stars

Report this review (#282905)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink

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