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Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow CD (album) cover




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3.73 | 300 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars After leaving Purple for musical difference, Blackmore (who could not stand Glenn Hughes's funk ideas, but probably could not fire him for contractual reasons - it most likely would've cost Purple an harm and a leg), took almost all of the US group Elf (which had opened for Purple in recent tours) and formed his own band. Clearly from listening to this album, Blackmore had taken away most of the Purple spirit with him as his old group would soon disintegrate from lack of strong leadership and deceiving the fans.

Clearly once you get on this album, you know that most Purple fans that were deceived by the awful Stormbringer (just two valid tracks), jumped for joy and from the very opening moments of this debut. Man On The Silver Mountain, Black Sheep Of The Family, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and Snake Charmer are pure Purple nuggets, while Temple Of The King and Catch The Rainbow were the type of tracks Blackmore would've likely developed with Coverdale had he stayed in Purple. A very good album equalling with Purple's Machine Head and Burn, with only one tracks which is less enthralling: the basic If You Don't Like RnR. An excellent album, which closes on an absolute scorcher, the old Yardbirds track Still I'm Sad, which smokes and burns through the galaxy with that superb cowbell. Amazingly enough, this track was one of the Yardbirds' most progressive track with its Gregorian chants, this version is completely instrumental, shunning its previous highlights (the chants) and is completely rearranged. A small tour de force, really and a fantastic closer that will be one of the highlights of their concerts although this track will always provide Rainbow with much space for improvisations..

Yes Blackmood was set to build the group he dreamed of without any spoilers around. And of course he was not to do this over one album as his interest was in taking Dio, but not really the rest of the group and they would get fired soon after this album's promotion was over, replaced in some case with much better musos (Powell on drums) and also weaker ones (Carey was catastrophic in live improvs). But this album is very worthy of the four stars I give, not only from a Purple purist point of view, but also from a hard rocking proghead, even if there aren't many progressive moments throughout Rainbow's career.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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