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Direct Link To This Post Topic: PA's Artist of the Week (week 7) Prog Rainbow phas
    Posted: September 21 2007 at 05:55
This is a strange thread because focused in a precise phase of Rainbow: The Dio phase: The Symphonic Metal/ Proto Prog/ Power Metal phase.

So, while I get ready to go myself to a marriage (eh, eh...  Carpi [Modena] is a good small city) I want to begin this mythical discussion.

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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

(Studio Album, 1975)
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Review by East of Lyra

4%20stars Following the departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover from Deep Purple in 1973, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore soon jumped ship too. Blackmore decided to form his own band with former Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Their debut album was released in 1975 and retains the hard rock roots of Deep Purple, but adds medieval themed lyrics and influences which Blackmore would revisit once more later in his career with Blackmore's Night.

The album kicks off with 'Man on the Silver Mountain'. A trademark Blackmore riff and a full on hard rock assault, with some great vocals by the young Dio. This is definately one of the highlights of the album and should appeal to Deep Purple fans. Next up is 'Self Portrait' which adds some interesting time signatures, and even more great Dio vocals. Following this is 'Black Sheep of the Family' - a fairly standard rocker and a decent track.

The fourth track is 'Catch the Rainbow' - A great ballad, and possibly the best song on the album. Keyboardist Micky Lee Soule is impressive, and Blackmore adds a great emotional guitar solo. An excellent song. This is followed by 'Snake Charmer', a good rocker but nothing too special. After this comes 'Temple of the King'. Blackmore's acoustic playing on this track is fantastic, and it's always been one of my favourites, although I've never been a fan of the lyrics.

Then comes the final three tracks. 'If You Don't Like Rock n Roll' has never been a favourite of mine, but it's a good enough song, with slightly humourous lyrics. 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' offers another great Blackmore riff and another great vocal performance by Dio. The final track 'Still I'm Sad' is a great fast-paced instrumental closer.

3.75 stars really. A great album to add to the collection if you're a fan of hard rock - But pick up 'Rising' first.

Rising

(Studio Album, 1976)
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Review by Ghost Rider (Raffaella)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Art Rock Specialist

5%20stars Rainbow's second album, released not even one year after their debut, is widely considered as one of the masterpieces of hard rock, as well as one of the cornerstones on which Symphonic Prog Metal was founded. Though somewhat short for today's standards (not even 35 minutes long... about half the length of your average Dream Theater CD), it is nevertheless packed with breathtaking performances by a dream-team of musicians such as incomparable guitar wizard Ritchie Blackmore, diminutive yet iron-lunged vocalist Ronnie James Dio, and powerhouse drummer Cozy Powell (RIP - one of the saddest losses for the rock world). Keyboard player Tony Carey and bassist Jimmy Bain (later to join RJ Dio's eponymous band, with which he plays to this day) are no slouches either - the band is incredibly tight, as attested by the numerous live performances recorded at the time.

As in the case of 'mother' band Deep Purple, keyboards play a large role on this album: opener "Tarot Woman" is introduced by atmospheric synths, before the rest of the band kicks in with a crushing mid-tempo above which Dio's vocals soar. "Run with the Wolf" is another mid-paced song, quite a typical example of the Dio-era output; while the dynamic "Starstruck", undoubtedly one of Rainbow's most popular songs, features intriguing, unusual lyrics about a female stalker. The catchy yet undistinguished "Do You Close Your Eyes", possibly the only item on the album to be considered as filler (and the shortest too), closes what on vinyl was the A-side. The best, however, is yet to come...

There are only two tracks on what was the B-side, but what tracks! Accompanied by a full orchestra, the 8-minute-plus epic "Stargazer" is without any doubt the blueprint for all Symphonic Prog Metal bands, a staggering tour de force sprinkled with dazzling guitar work by the Man in Black himself, and a stellar vocal performance by RJ Dio - one of the best singers EVER in the whole history of rock. His delivery of the sword-and-sorcery-themed lyrics is nothing short of amazing, and makes one wonder at the staying power of his lungs.

Closer "A Light in the Black" is the fastest song on the album, where Tony Carey's keyboards really come into their own. However, this track is also a showcase for Cozy Powell's incredible skill with double bass drums, and clear the ground from any doubts that he was John Bonham's natural heir, the archetypal hard rock drummer. Dio and Blackmore's performances are also immaculate.

I know that, since Rainbow belong to Prog Related, I am not really supposed to give "Rising" five stars - but I will, without any regrets, and not only because it is one of my all-time favourite albums. While not fully prog by any means, it is richly textured, perfectly played, bombastic, operatic and pretentious enough (and I mean every one of these words in a completely positive sense) to appeal to most lovers of 'real' prog. This is no mind-numbing, bludgeoning, run-of-the-mill metal opus - it is a masterpiece of ROCK MUSIC. Period. Enjoy to the fullest.

On Stage

(Live, 1977)
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Review by WaywardSon (Greg)
PROG REVIEWER

5%20stars This is an album that has to be heard on headphones.

The concert begins with a sound recording (extract) from the film, The Wizard of Ozz, where Dorothy says "Toto, it looks like wer´re not in Kansas anymore!" Straight after that spoken sentence, the whole band bombard us with the first opening chords to "Somewhere over the rainbow" A thunderous roar from the crowd makes the listener feel that they are actually there!

Suddenly the band break into "Kill the king" and it is interesting to note that Cozy Powell never plays exactly on the beat, but just before the beat, pushing the band like a highly charged freight train! Keyboardist, Tony Carey, and guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore play a melodic solo in unison, Blackmore´s guitar heard in the left speaker, while Carey´s keyboards copy the same pattern as the guitar in the right hand speaker. (Blackmore always stood on the left hand side of the stage)

The Medley, consisting of a speeded up version of "Man on the silver mountain", going into "Blues", and then "Starstruck" keeps the sound interesting as the band chop and change with different time signatures. "Blues" is an interplay of call and respond, between Carey and Blackmore, with the keyboard mimicking the guitar sound. Blackmore´s tone is perfect! (In an interview he once said he would like to make a blues album one day) Ronnie James Dio shows just why he is considered one of the greatest vocalists ever, when he sings "You´re the man" with the audience shouting back their approval, finally building up to "We´re all the maaaan!!!" as the band launches back into "Man on the silver mountain"

"Catch the Rainbow" which is over fifteen minutes, begins softly, slowly building up to the guitar solo which comes in around the six minute mark. Blackmore was never an "in your face" guitarist, so one has to listen carefully for all the hidden details in this unbelievable solo. Definitely my favourite Blackmore solo ever! Ronnie James Dio also shines on this track with some of the most powerful singing in rock history. The song ends with some delicate , soft playing from Blackmore.

"Mistreated" (which appears on the Deep Purple album, Burn) is up next, with another of Ritchie´s classic solos. With Dio´s powerful vocals, Rainbow actually upstage Deep Purple´s version on "Made in Europe"

"Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" begins with beautiful slow playing from Blackmore. The sound he is able to get out of his Stratocaster is packed with emotion and longing. Eventually the entire band come in and the song takes off in a driving hard rhythm, once again show casing Dio´s incredible vocals.

"Still I´m sad" is the final track, with a well structured , clever solo from Tony Carey. This is the only track on the album that doesn´t have Blackmore´s name on the song credits. It would also appear years later on the album "Stranger in us all" A fine closing number to one of the best live albums ever.

As Yngwie Malmsteen once quoted: "There wasn´t a guitarist in the seventies that could touch Blackmore" This album bears testimony to that quote.

Long Live Rock & Roll

(Studio Album, 1978)
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Review by ClemofNazareth (Bob Moore)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist

4%20stars This is one of those albums that was probably more impressive due to its timing than its actual content. That being said, the tracks here are all works that stand the test of time rather well.

The album was released on the heels of ‘Rainbow Rising’ and the powerful ‘On Stage’ live release that documented the supporting tour. The band still had the lethal trio of Ritchie Blackmore, Cozy Powell, and incomparable voice of Ronnie James Dio behind the microphone. That combined with the band’s popularity at the time made this a hard album to screw up, but the band delivered eight killer tracks anyway just to make sure.

I was in my late teens at the time and still screaming around the countryside in my V8- powered muscle car whenever I had the chance, and this was some great music to accompany such an activity I must say. I can’t really point to a bad track, and in my opinion several of them should be considered timeless metal classics.

The title track is a sort of headbanger’s anthem, very tight with power chords and piercing drums and just the right touch on cymbals to make you stand up and take notice. Kind of frivolous lyrics, but like the rest of the album this song was made for the live stage and for radio, and it accomplished its goals quite well.

Dio starts to warm up his pipes with “Lady of the Lake”, a pseudo-mystic kind of tune that still pops into my head like a tripping seventies flashback almost any time I’m driving with plenty of gas in my car’s tank and an open road in front of me. “L.A. Connection” is kind of the same, except just slightly more restrained and with Dio’s vocals not quite into the dog-whistle range.

The showcase pieces on this album are “Gates of Babylon” and “Kill the King”. The first one is another mystical-metal song with Dio in prime form and Blackmore laying down some absolutely nasty guitar licks and Dave Stone’s keyboards really sounding eerie like a good fantasy metal tune should. The latter was played on the band’s ‘Rising’ tour, but here it gets a little studio discipline applied to it which serves to highlight Blackmore’s incredible speed on the six-strings. Dio has the exact same vocal timbre he would use on Kansas alumni Kerry Livgren’s ‘Seeds of Change’ solo album a couple years later, and I kind of wonder if this is where Livgren got the idea to use Dio as the demonic symbol for his basically Christian rock album in 1980. Perhaps.

“The Shed” is another tune that was probably intended to be a live tour staple with its sweeping arrangements and rather simple rhythm, but it’s also another one that sticks in your head even years after you’ve first heard it, and you have to admire a song that does that.

Dio’s vocal peak comes with “Sensitive to Light” with a shrieking refrain and more torrid guitar by Blackmore. Frankly I think this one is too short and that the band could have developed it a bit with some of the keyboard/orchestral dressage that they put into the closing track “Rainbow Eyes”. I seem to recall a video of that last tune back in the seventies, or maybe it was a medley from this album – can’t quite recall. Anyway, this is a nicely complex arrangement with lots of percussion, keyboards and other fluff, but maybe could have had a minute of two trimmed from it. A minor quibble in any case.

I wore out both an 8-track and a vinyl version of this album back in the late seventies, but still have an aging Maxell cassette that I made from the old vinyl before it gave out. Many of these songs still pop into my head from time to time, and I can still get a rush from listening to this nearly thirty years later. I think the addition of Stone added the most to the band for this album, as he brought just a bit of studio discipline and some classical training that helps give the album a kind of timeless feel. But most of all fans of Blackmore or Dio should have this record because it showcases both of them at what may have been the peak of their creativity and technical skills. A truly great album, probably not essential since it was basically a commercial venture, but certainly worth four stars.

peace



Remember: IN THE TEMPLE OF THE KING... LONG LIVE R'n'R"!!!



It's dark... I've fear... I have strong pains... A serpent is being born... That badly I did, I?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 05:58
Thank you for posting my review, Sara, and have a nice time at the wedding!Smile

However, here Rainbow are considered Prog-Related, no more.... Personally, as much as I love their Dio years, I don't consider them fully prog either. Anyway, more later!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 06:40
Originally posted by Ghost Rider

Thank you for posting my review, Sara, and have a nice time at the wedding!Smile

However, here Rainbow are considered Prog-Related, no more.... Personally, as much as I love their Dio years, I don't consider them fully prog either. Anyway, more later!


Thanks.

But, for my personal point of view (in Prog field) and Metallers point of view this phase (Dio era) is considered totally Prog... Totally Power metal... Totally Symphonic Metal...Ouch... After "Long Live R'n'R" don't exist Rainbow. Is another band. Very better the Blackmore's Night!!!

but I respect your good point of view, because based in all Rainbow's phases!

In every case I post my two review of the firsts two Rainbow's albums ("R. B.'s Rainbow" and "Rising"):

RAINBOW — Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Review by Lady In Black (Sara)

4%20stars ELF IN THE TEMPLE OF THE KING

Out the original axeman... In Blackmore... The new Elf album is... The first totally modern Heavy Metal album in the story of R'n'R!!! Ok, I am ad or pretentious. But it's the story, man! Ok, J.S. Bach like inspiration in this album is pretentious but if you think that Prog is a non pretentious you're not a Proglover. So this album isn't a masterpiece for various motive: too R'n'R, little technichan (the drums is normal... But really superior)... So "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Catch The Rainbow", "The Temple Of The King" (not in "On Stage"... Ouch!!!), "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" are simple songs. Not "Still I'm Sad", Yardbirds cover, without the R. J. Dio's voice (present in "On Stage Version... But I prefer this version) with a great guitar. Ok, "The Temple Of The King" is an extreme great atmospherical ballad... One of the best R'n'R and Prog ballads but Dio and Blackmore is the Rainbow in this phase and Dio and Blackmore non disappoint. But this album is only a great R'n'R album. "Rising" is another story.

RAINBOW — Rising
Review by Lady In Black (Sara)

5%20stars DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES... RUN WITH THE WOLF AND CATCH THE RAINBOW

New line-up... New music... And cover inspired by "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow"'s song "Catch The Rainbow". But sure... This is the Rainbow: Bain, Blackmore, Carey, Dio and Powell. The music is a new music because isn't the simple Symphonoc Rock of Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash or similars or the Symphonic Metal of Warlord but a great mix of Symphonic Classic music and... f**kin' R'n'R!!! Yes, because "Rising" is this. A powerful R'n'R/ Prog Album!!! A perfect inspiration for 99% of contemporary Classic Metal bands (Cozy for drummers, Carey fir keyboardists, Blackmore for axemans, Dio for vocalists and Bain for bassists). And the music is original? No. In fact for my personal point of view Uria Heeps "Salisbury, Deep Purple from "In Rock" to "Stormbringer" or Wishbone Ash played a similar music. But without the insert of Classic Music in a pure R'n'R music. In my opinion the successors of this Rainbow are the already cited Warlord that with "Deliver Us" in 1983 produced the first modern Symphonic album, a great Rainbow inspired album but with more romantic songs. Returned to "Rising" and focused my attention in Prog field... "Rising" is an earthquake! "Starstruck" is a great song with a normal Powell drum work... With a normal Blackmore... With a normal Dio... But in "Do Your Close Your Eyes" normal is also Tony Carey. And Jimmy Bain? like in 99% of the contemporary Classic Metal Bands the role of bassist is rhythmic, to increase the power. And Bain is perfect in this role. "A Light In The Black" present a torrid double bass drums (but normal) by Cozy. This is the bible of double bass drummers... Since it's all copy, today. Don't exist an album more Symphonic of this, more seminal and more normal of this! (P.s.: "Stargazer" have a great orchestra, also if limit to simple accompaniment and develops only the function to amplify the wall of sound, in this mythical semi-ballad).






It's dark... I've fear... I have strong pains... A serpent is being born... That badly I did, I?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 07:50
I would consider those 4 albums to be heavy prog. Just listen to side two of Rising - if Stargaze and Light in the Black aren't prog then I'm a ape's dad's brother. Great vocals from Dio as always and they were particularly good with the driving force of the late lamented Cozy Powell behind them (listen to the double bass drum on Light in the Black). It's a shame nobody ever lasted long in that band.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 14:29
Alan, I think I love youWinkLOL.... However, if we tried to move Rainbow to HP, half of the members (including a few collabs) would rise up in arms and demand our hide. It's already happened when I tried to suggest moving Deep Purple to HP on the strength of their first four albums. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 22:36
Originally posted by Ghost Rider

Alan, I think I love youWinkLOL.... However, if we tried to move Rainbow to HP, half of the members (including a few collabs) would rise up in arms and demand our hide. It's already happened when I tried to suggest moving Deep Purple to HP on the strength of their first four albums. 


ahhaha...  they can have my hide..


I think Rainbow wouldn't get us sent to the gallows like Deep Purple might have amoung some here,  they might let us off lightly...  a night of exposure to all DT's albums in a row LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 22:45
Amazing band!

The Dio years are some of the most metallish Hard Rock that can be found.
I thought no Hard Rock could impress me after Zeppelin and Purple, but they proved me wrong! Rising kicks serious ass!!!! ABSOLUTELY AWESOME ALBUM!!!!

The later years are pop, much worse, but still enjoyable.

PS: Lately I've been getting into a couple of Uriah Hepp songs here in PA, and, yeah, more great Hard Rock! I'm positively surprised! Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2007 at 22:49
Originally posted by Barla

Amazing band!

The Dio years are some of the most metallish Hard Rock that can be found.
I thought no Hard Rock could impress me after Zeppelin and Purple, but they proved me wrong! Rising kicks serious ass!!!! ABSOLUTELY AWESOME ALBUM!!!!

The later years are pop, much worse, but still enjoyable.

PS: Lately I've been getting into a couple of Uriah Hepp songs here in PA, and, yeah, more great Hard Rock! I'm positively surprised! Clap


man alive is Rising an awesome album Clap

Uriah Heep is some really good stuff indeed... it is no Rainbow.. but still good stuff.

have another clappie

Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2007 at 03:55
Originally posted by Ghost Rider

Alan, I think I love youWinkLOL.... However, if we tried to move Rainbow to HP, half of the members (including a few collabs) would rise up in arms and demand our hide. It's already happened when I tried to suggest moving Deep Purple to HP on the strength of their first four albums. 


In a certain sense it is the same motive than block Tyrannosaurus Rex's inclusion. in this case is the appendix (appendix?) by name T-Rex.

But for me if Rainbow and Deep Purple are in PA... With Wishbone Ash... And Ian Gillan Band (the inventors of Jazz and Funky Metal... My opinion... And Lady In Black opinion) the correct place is HP... Like Osage Tribe.... Like NT Atomic System... Like Andromeda (UK).... Like Iron Butterfly... Vanilla Fudge... Crystals...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2007 at 04:00
Originally posted by micky

Originally posted by Barla

Amazing band!

The Dio years are some of the most metallish Hard Rock that can be found.
I thought no Hard Rock could impress me after Zeppelin and Purple, but they proved me wrong! Rising kicks serious ass!!!! ABSOLUTELY AWESOME ALBUM!!!!

The later years are pop, much worse, but still enjoyable.

PS: Lately I've been getting into a couple of Uriah Hepp songs here in PA, and, yeah, more great Hard Rock! I'm positively surprised! Clap


man alive is Rising an awesome album Clap

Uriah Heep is some really good stuff indeed... it is no Rainbow.. but still good stuff.

have another clappie

Clap


Hey... We can do us promoters for the insertion of the Warlord of "Deliver Us"... More Symphonic Metal/ Prog Metal/ Prog of Warlord in the 1983...  Surely more of Yes and Genesis!!! 

This because, like Lady In Black have wrote, Warlord are the correctly prosecution of Dio/ Blackmore / Powell/ Carey/ Bain's Rainbow!!!


Edited by Mandrakeroot - September 25 2007 at 11:48
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