Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rainbow Straight Between the Eyes album cover
2.66 | 188 ratings | 15 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Death Alley Driver (4:45)
2. Stone Cold (5:19)
3. Bring on the Night (Dream Chaser) (4:08)
4. Tite Squeeze (3:16)
5. Tearin' Out My Heart (4:06)
6. Power (4:27)
7. Miss Mistreated (4:30)
8. Rock Fever (3:52)
9. Eyes of Fire (6:36)

Total Time 40:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Joe Lynn Turner / lead & backing vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar, orchestral arrangements
- David Rosenthal / keyboards (Oberheim, Moog, Roland, Hammond & Hohner), orchestration
- Roger Glover / 4- & 8-string basses, producer
- Bobby Rondinelli / drums

- François Dompierre / orchestra conductor
- Raymond Dessaint / orchestra leader

Releases information

Artwork: Jeff Cummings with Hipgnosis

LP Polydor ‎ POLD 5056 (1982, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 800 028-2 (1983, Europe)
CD Polydor ‎- 547 366-2 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Suha Gur

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy RAINBOW Straight Between the Eyes Music

RAINBOW Straight Between the Eyes ratings distribution

(188 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

RAINBOW Straight Between the Eyes reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Stone Cold - sad stuff!

Possibly Rainbow's most commercial album, "Straight Between the Eyes" is a collection of average hard rock songs which have little interest for the Prog fan - but you knew that when you saw that awful comic book cover, didn't you? Nevertheless this album contains some stunning straight hard rock moments and sparkling guitar work from Ritchie throughout, and great vocals from Joe Lynn Turner.

Fortunately within this sea of ordinary rock songs is a shining pearl, a haunting power ballad called "Stone Cold" , which meant a lot to me personally at the time as I was going through a nightmare sequence of events which life throws up at you now and then, and this song could have been the perfect theme for that, though most of the other songs relate the dark side of love too. The group were still experiencing personnel changes, Don Airey gone and replaced by David Rosenthal on this recording. Another "gem" is the song "Tearin' Out My Heart" , which could have been subtitled "Stone Cold part 2", has a great slow riff, well written and performed and includes an emotional solo by Ritchie, also "Eyes of Fire" is an interesting song, which has an almost Zeppelinesque mysterious epic eastern flavour, and includes some intricately played solos.

Overall this album was typical of the sort of music the American rock stations were pumping out at the time a-la Van Halen, Whitesnake and Def Leppard, I assume this was aimed at that market, and guaranteed full venues, though one song an album does not make, however brilliant - I kept this album to listen to "Stone Cold" occasionally but only played the whole album through again after 24 years for this review!


Review by WaywardSon
2 stars For anyone wanting to hear Rainbow for the first time, this album is probably the worst starting point. This album is Rainbow´s most radio friendly, AOR, melodic rock album ever.

The opening number "Death Alley Driver" reminds me of a watered down version of Deep Purple´s "Highway Star" with the theme on speed and fast cars, except that it fails miserably. "Stone Cold" sounds like something Foreigner would record in the eighties. Blackmore however, plays a fantastic solo on this track.

"Bring on the night", "Tite Squeeze", "Rock Fever", "Miss Mistreated" and "Power" are very poor (and commercial sounding) compositions. The direction that they took on this album was very dissapointing. "Power" has to be the worst song they ever recorded!

The strongest tracks are "Tearin´out my heart" and "Eyes of Fire", which showcase some excellent guitar playing from Blackmore.

I gave this album two stars, One - for completionists, and the other for the guitar solos.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Lemme see ya rock, lemme see ya roll, lemme see ya burn, rock fever"

By 1982, Rainbow had abandoned any pretences of making challenging music, and opted for a straight (between the eyes?) forward heavy rock approach. The line up showed relative stability from the previous album, the only change being David Rosenthal's installation on keyboards in place of Don Airey.

Most if not all of the tracks here are simply vehicles for Joe Lynn Turner's fine vocals, and Blackmore's irresistible guitar work. The opening "Death alley driver" for example is an extremely ordinary rock song, brought to life by some superb guitar. "Bring on the night" is similarly prosaic in composition, but has some good old fashioned phasing.

Some tracks have little or no redeeming features. "Tite squeeze" (note the Slade like misspelling) is a thoroughly ordinary filler, and "Power" sounds like something Russ Ballard might have written. then thought the better of. "Miss mistreated" is a cruel deception title wise, in that the song bears no relation to the Deep Purple classic "Mistreated", also covered by Rainbow on their live album. Lyrically, the band plumb the depths on "Rock fever", the chorus of which is quoted above.

There are a couple of notable deviations from the guitar rock which dominates the album. "Stone cold" is a fine organ based rock ballad which affords Turner the opportunity to display his vocal dexterity. The songs has the distinct sound of "Perfect strangers" era Deep Purple, not surprising given that 40% of that line up are here. "Tearing out my heart" has a similar style, very much in the mould of some of Magnum's power rock. Such songs are well performed and highly enjoyable, but they are not what we might expect from Rainbow. Indeed the anonymity of these songs tends to indicate that the band had run out of ideas of their own. The final track, "Eyes of fire" sees the band finally reverting to the style and sound of "Stargazer" and "Eyes of the world". This 6½ minute piece has a distinct eastern feel, and a hint of "Kashmir" perhaps. It is without doubt the best of the bunch, and a reassuring nod over the shoulder to the band's halcyon days. While Blackmore's guitar work is been reasonably strong throughout the album, here he finds an extra gear.

There is no denying the quality of the musicianship on display. It is a pity then that they settled for writing a succession of bland pop rock songs. Had they been a little more adventurous in that department, this could have been a very good album.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Actually, there is nothing special about this album as there is no major hit or great track coming from this album. But I don't know why I like this album. It's probably I like the musicians who contributed in this album like Roger Glover, Joe Lynn Turner, even though there is no Cozy Powell anymore. But honestly, as far as hard rock music concern this is not a bad album at all. In fact, I love it. Take example of opening track "Death Alley Driver" (4:42) which comprises great combination of keyboard and guitar solos as well as excellent music flow. It's one of good rock song, even though it's not as spectacular as "Pictures of Home" or "Space Truckin'" by Deep Purple. The next track "Stone Cold" is slower in tempo and it reminds me to the music of Bad Company (Paul Rodgers as lead vocal). This song demonstrates keyboard as main rhythm section combined with good guitar work by Ritchie Blackmore. "Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser)" brings the music into faster tempo again and it reminds me to the kind of Rainbow music (first two albums) or Deep Purple "Place In The Line" (Who Do You Think You Are album). Through "Tite Squeeze" Rainbow wants to bring back their early days glory with Jon Lord-like keyboard work. "Tearing Out My Heart" is a mellow track with bluesy touch - nice guitar work. Again, I can sense of the Bad Company kind of music. It's really a nice track and I do not know why this track was not famous at all. "MISS Mistreated" is probably Ritchie's melancholic phase with respect to Deep Purple "Burn" album.

Overall, this is a good hard rock album that has been underrated by many Deep Purple and Rainbow fans so far.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The countdown for the "Purple" reunion has started and only two years separates "Straight Between The Eyes" and "Perfect Strangers" the "Purple" reunion album.

One song from "Straight Between The Eyes" is truely oriented with his first "love". The opener "Death Alley Driver" sounds indeed a bit like "Highway Star" (only vocals are not on par). And if you think that "Miss Mistreated" has something to do with the great "Mistreated", you're wrong. It is just a standard rock song. Nothing fancy about it.

But, again, most of the songs are middle-class hard-rock ones. A bit poppier for "Stone Cold" as well as "Bring on the Night". Somewhat heavier / bluesier like "Tite Squeeze". A rock ballad, maybe ? OK, we'll get "Tearin' Out My Heart". Some AOR atmosphere ? Why not ! Let's get "Power". Some good old rock'n'roll ? Let's go for "Rock Fever" (which shares some similarity with "Smooth Dancer" from "Who do You Think We Are").

At least this album will close as it opened : on a good song. "Eyes Of Fire" has some Middle-East connotations and Ritchie plays a great solo. The highlight of this album.

Very few of these songs (two) are appealing. Average hard-rock music. Here and there a good guitar break but that's not enough to raise this album to the three stars rating. To discover the prog side of the band, I guess that we'll have to wait for later releases.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Rainbow second album from the '80's named Straight between the eyes from 1982 is a straight hard rock album to my ears. Even the prog leanings from Rising and Long live r'n'r are gone, leaving place to a more mainstream aproach and less chalenging music, but overall not bad. It's obvious why Rainbow did optain for such short pieces, hard rock numbers, it's because the hard and heavy style was moving up in that time, conquoring more and more fans and places around the world. Bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Whitesnake, Scorpions, and many more were at the truth moment in early '80's, so why not Rainbow change their music from elaborate hard rock with prog leanings in one straight and catchy. So the album is not bad at all, really , some fine moments can be extract from here like:Stone Cold and the ending piece Eye of fire (remembering of good old Rainbow from Rising era) are the best from here, the rest are also good but not excellent. The musicianship is good aswell , nothing to complain really, Turner's voice is a great one, but for hard rock music not for prog orientation. Rosenthal from keys is the replace of Don Airey and the rest are the same like on previous album. The music is good , but not exciting, for fans of hard and heavy, with mentioning maybe worth some spins to prog listners, but I doubt it will enjoy it very much. To me 3 stars, a good one but not very intristing either, kinda far from the shining moments of Rising (the peak of their career).
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars A band seemingly difficult to cure

Whatever disease they contracted while making Difficult To Cure they certainly have not been cured yet here. Straight Between The Eyes continues in most respects from where the previous Difficult To Cure left off. Joe Lynn Turner is still here and this time his vocals are better, more in line with those of Ian Gillan whom he clearly tries hard to emulate. And he does this so successfully that you could almost believe that this is Ian Gillan singing on some tracks! Needless to say, the expectations for this album were very low after the disastrous Difficult To Cure. It was therefore rather easy for the band to make an album that lived up to these low expectations. They played it very safe this time and they build strongly on the formula established by the previous album. This means straightforward Hard Rock 'N' Roll with little or no interesting features.

Once again, the material is weak and not memorable. The lyrics are once again filled with old Rock 'N' Roll clichés and many cheesy lines. The song titles alone reveals the generic character of the music. Songs like Tite Squeeze and Rock Fever are good examples of this. In terms of progressive content this is basically empty. I am not going to comment on each individual track here since they are all very similar and if you have heard a couple of them you pretty much know what the rest sounds like. There is not much variation on the album.

One song that stands out above the rest is the closer Eyes Of Fire. It has a slight Far Eastern sound that I like, augmented with some slight symphonic keyboards and some nice guitar work. However, it hardly compares very well with the similarly 'oriental' sounding Gates Of Babylon from the Long Live Rock 'N' Roll album. Another song that I find acceptable is the opener Death Alley Driver which features a decent instrumental break. This song sounds very much like Gillan (Ian Gillan's solo band in the 80's).

The once so great Rainbow entered a downward spiral after the half-decent Down To Earth in the late 70's and this downward spiral continued with this album. Apart from Eyes Of Fire and a few decent bits here and there is very little to recommend Straight Between The Eyes.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Straight Between The Eyes is the sixth full-length studio album by UK hard rock/ heavy rock act Rainbow. The album was released in 1982 through Polydor. It´s the second album in a row with Joe Lynn Turner as the lead vocalist.

The music on the album is melodic hard rock/ heavy rock with a very polished AOR sound. Joe Lynn Turner´s skillful and strong vocals are rather typical for the genre. The sound of soft heavy rock riffing, cheesy eighties keyboards and generic anthemic choruses with lots of choir is normally not something that suits my taste and it´s the same with this release by Rainbow. There is only one pretty good song on the album and one acceptable song. The rest is uninspired and generic to a point were I had to really gather all my strength to get through them. The good song is the fast paced opener Death Alley Driver. That song actually rocks and it has a pretty nice neo-classical solo and theme in the middle. The acceptable song is Eyes of Fire which is a slow and kind of heavy track which does give away that Rainbow was once a great heavy rock act.

There´s nothing wrong with the musicianship on the album. Ritchie Blackmore´s guitar soloes are actually really strong and they are without a doubt the greatest asset on this album. The rest of the band are well playing too but unfortunately the music really doesn´t give them the opportunity to shine.

The production by bassist Roger Glover is the kind of eighties production that instantly gives away what decade this album was produced. A bit thin and not enough bottom.

Straight Between The Eyes is really not a very good album IMO. Unless you enjoy melodic heavy rock from the eighties with rather cheesy sounding keyboards and a cliché of a lead singer ( he is technically skilled but still a cliché) this album will probably fall flat on its face in front of you. I can´t give more than a 1.5 star rating even though there are a few redeeming features on the album. There are not enough of them for me to give a 2 star rating though.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One more Rainbow album with JL Turner on vocals. Almost the same line up as on previous album, not too many changes in music as well. I think JL Turner's voice fitted good for Rainbow music. But in fact the band became average back-up team to support JL turner singing ( with some Blackmore guitar accessories in sound).

The music is quality hard rock/AOR , enough melodic to attract radio-listener, enough energetic to be "heavy" rock, enough simple to have good sales. No hits or smallest experiments could be found here. But at the same time still listenable work from it's era.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I owned this on vinyl and did not play it that much as I was disappointed with the content after hearing the excellent "Rising" album among others. The vocals are thin and whispy with high register but nowhere near the power and passion of Ronnie James Dio. Blackmore is here in presence only, but his shredding style is rather flat and absent.

'Bring on the Night' is okay for a soft metal type song, with a good lead break and sing along anthemic chorus.

'Power' is not too bad with nice shimmering Hammond and jumpy guitar riff. It really is a commercial rock sound though.

I always liked the killer opener 'Death Alley Driver' but apart from that this one left me 'Stone Cold'.

A real waste from a legendary band. Mention has to be made too of that awful cover art which just looks ridiculous.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars The second Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow album saw them getting deeper into the AOR/melodic hard rock waters. Which, by the way, is not a bad thing: the high quality of Blackmore´s compositions, arrangements and performances is all over the place. Although that period of the band can´t be compared to their stunning beginning during the mid-seventies, they were also a completely new group by 1982. And if the new material is not their best, it is still very good. Blackmore and co seems to give even the most cliched tune such a stunning performance that they became something fresh and exciting. Better still, unlike the two previous albums, Straight Between The Eyes does not rely on outside writers for their singles. This time the Blackmore/Turner songwriting partnership proved capable of delivering a great power ballad in the form of the classic Stone Cold. It deserved to be a bigger hit than it was.

As usual for all Rainbow albums, the remaining tracks are all very good, with a few gems among them like the fantastic 6 minute epic Eyes Of Fire. In fact, the only real let-down of the whole CD is Rock Fever, a track so mediocre that even a blistering, tasteful Blackmore solo can save it. Fortunately, songs like Death Alley Driver, Bring on the Night (Dream Chaser) and Tearin' Out My Heart mote than compensate it. Production (by bassist Roger Glover) is excellent. Keyboardist Don Airey, tired of their relentless touring, decided to leave the band, but Blackmore was able to find a fitting replacement in the form of 21 year old David Rosenthal, who does a great job here.

Conclusion: a very fine AOR/Melodic Hard Rock album. It stood well the test of time and, in fact, I appreciate it more now than when it was released. Just don´t expect anything new or groundbreaking. Or prog, for the matter. It is only good rock music.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Two albums in after the departure of original lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio, the legendary RAINBOW led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had found a winner with newbie Joe Lynn Turner who helped reinvent the classic heavy metal RAINBOW into a more commercial hard rock version of the band which allowed the band to capture that Foreigner vibe which led to a slicker crossover appeal and mainstream success. While the first album with Turner, "Difficult To Cure" scored a top 5 hit with the Russ Ballard cover "I Surrender," the album was a bit clunky as the tracks were a bit inconsistent in both quality and stylistic approach. All of that was corrected with the sixth overall studio album STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES which came out the following year in 1982.

The album perfectly captured the hard rock and AOR early 80s sound and fit in perfectly with contemporary acts like Whitesnake, Journey, Toto, Styx and the aforementioned Foreigner but offered more interesting musical performances with top notch musicians including Blackmore unleashing more impressive guitar solos than on the previous two albums. STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES was the closest thing to the same lineup from a previous album with only keyboardist Don Airy being replaced by newbie David Rosenthal. While the album didn't perform as successfully in terms of pop hits and commercial success, STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES showcased nine excellent tracks that mixed the heavier aspects of rock with the AOR leaning elements of ballads. While the lyrics were still far from the Dio led world swords and sorcery, the album hit its stride as a hard rock band that offered instantly catchy hooks with emotive high range vocal performances.

The first two opening tracks were both released as singles with videos. The first "Death Alley Driver" showcased the new reinvented RAINBOW in full fury with that hard rock machismo, quickened tempos all in full decibelage and the closest thing to metal music on the album. The following "Stone Cold" has been a staple on classic rock radio ever since it hit the airwaves and is perhaps one of the best tracks of the post-Dio era. The track was perfect in how it allowed Joe Lyn Turner to display his impressive vocal range and teased the strong melodies to commingle with sophisticated dynamics, instrumental interplay and the use of that by then idiosyncratic atmospheric style that RAINBOW had made all their own. While the rest of the tracks may not be as instantly accessible or addictive as the first combo effect, after a few spins also resonate quite high as the band perfectly nailed a sound that sounded something like Foreigner's "4" album along with classic Deep Purple keyboard led hard rock.

The track "MISS Mistreated" was a dig at David Coverdale's song "Mistreated" that appeared all the way back on Deep Purple's "Burn" album. Every track on this one is fairly strong and some feature extra heft as on "Rock Fever" which offered oscillating keyboard songs and that classic boogie guitar heft. The closing track "Eyes Of Fire" is also a standout as it featured some of the most sophisticated arrangements that including a heavy driving bass groove and the return of some of those symphonically fueled Middle Eastern music scales that made some of the Dio era tracks so classic sounding. Overall this wasn't an album that won me over in the beginning as i only wanted to hear the first two songs but after giving it a fair shake i actually grew to love the entire album. Yeah, if you are totally turned off by Turner's vocal style then this clearly isn't for you but if you fancy 80s hard rock with AOR crossover appeal then you can't do better than what RAINBOW was cranking out back in those days. This one has become a regular staple for yours truly.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Oh dear, "Straight Between The Eyes" is the second album by Rainbow with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. The album is the evident sign of Blackmore's will to become more and more commercial in attempt to catch brand new sections of audience, especially in the USA. The overall sound is very 80's and ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#285496) | Posted by Malve87 | Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This was my first ever Rainbow album well over twenty years ago and I really liked it back then. An emotional journey back in time reveals that I have been on a long musical journey during these last twenty years. This album has therefore been left behind. It is better to let the memories rest ... (read more)

Report this review (#227593) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, July 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I love this album, even if I agree this is not Rainbow's best work, nor an essential at all. But there are these very nice songs here, I mean, Stone Cold, MISS Mistreated, Eyes Of Fire, Tearin' Out My Heart, Death Alley Driver. This album ain't a masterpiece, but it's very good anyway. From the ... (read more)

Report this review (#164216) | Posted by Zardoz | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of RAINBOW "Straight Between the Eyes"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.