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




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3.55 | 38 ratings

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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!

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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