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Rainbow - On Stage CD (album) cover




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3.83 | 124 ratings

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5 stars 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.

WaywardSon | 5/5 |


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