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3 stars My only Rainbow CD to the date. I bought this one year ago, by recommendation of a friend. I've never heard anything by this band, and I'm a big Deep Purple fan! Also, I had expectations about Ritchie's and Glover's work outside Purple. This is not a total live album: here are studio versions of "Jealous Lover", "Bad Girl" and "Weiss Heim".

I must say ALL are catchy songs, we can hear fabulous choruses on "I Surrender", "Miss Mistreated", "Bad Girl", "Since You've Been Gone", "Jealous Lover", "Man On The Silver Mountain"... wait, ALL OF THEM!! Every song here is extremely catchy, and almost all of them with a very pop tendence, with some neo-classical passages here and there. I remember I found myself singing the choruses with the second listen! To my surprise, the first song,"Spotlight Kid" has a very Power Metal feeling despite that genre didn't exist on that time, and I supose it was a big influence. As I said before, almost all the songs are radio friendly and very poppy, BUT the solos are still good, with the addition of neo-classical stuff by Blackmore, creating some very nice moments, like for example, on "I Surrender", which is one of the highlights here. Without a doubt, the most interesting track for the Prog listener is "Difficult To Cure", a superb interpretation of Beethoven's 9th Symphony: "The Ode To Joy", also featuring an orchestra live! It has also a very good guitar intro and solos, and some moments of interplay between Ritchie and the orchestra, a most than interesting track! The other song that could be well recieved by proggers is the last one, "Weiss Heim" another instrumental, with a very Floydian, sad and quiet atmosphere, having once again some excellent neo-classical passages and solos, in other words, a true gem! Also here we've two of the most popular songs by the band, "Man On The Silver Mountain" (very raw, with a nice bluesy intermission and solos) and "Long Live Rock n' Roll" (the crowd sings at the end of this one), the only ones here with Dio on vocals.

Overall, a very good 'live' album, but with almost all Pop songs, that will not appeal to every Prog fan, so it's good but not essential. But there are some highlights like "Difficult To Cure", "Weiss Heim", "Spotlight Kid", "I Surrender" and "Man On The Silver Mountain". I'm looking forward to their old stuff.

Rating: 3.1/5

Report this review (#103857)
Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Compilation of concerts at different times, different places

This is a compilation of various concerts performed in the span of seven years from 1978 to 1984 at various places, plus one studio recording which was previously unreleased, i.e. "Bad Girl" (1979) - Disc 1, track 9 and "Jealous Lover" (studio recording, 1981). The first four tracks "Spotlight Kid", "I Surrender", "Miss Mistreated" and "Street of Dreams" were taken from the band's performance at The Tokyo Budokan, 1984 with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, Roger Glover on bass, Chuck Burgi on drums and David Rosenthal on keyboards plus Lin Robinson on backing vocals.

"Difficult To Cure" is truly a great instrumental, performed wonderfully with an orchestra conducted by Mr. Takashi Hiroi at The Tokyo Budokan, 1984. You can find great guitar work by Ritchie in his best performance with Roger Glover on bass guitar, Chuck Burgi on drums and David Rosenthal on keyboards. I personally enjoy this 10 minute instrumental performance. The next two tracks "Stone Cold" and "Power" are Rainbow's performances at The Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas, 1982 with Joe Lynn Turner on vocal, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Robby Rondinelli on drums and David Rosenthal on keyboards. The following two classic tracks "Man on The Silver Mountain" and "Long Live Rock and Roll" were performed under Ronnie James Dio era with legendary musicians like Cozy Powell (drums) and Bob Daisley (bass). It's good to have this live version of these two classic tracks because Dio sung differently from the studio version and Ritchie guitar solo is so powerful -especially after the blues part. The concluding track "Weiss Heim" is another excellent instrumental featuring Roger Glover (bass), Bobby Rondinelli (drums) and Don Airey (keyboards).

For those who love Rainbow or Deep Purple, this is a good collection of various live performances of Ritchie's band with various lineups. The recording quality is not that good but it's okay if you love Rainbow. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#140804)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars This live album holds almost all the ingredients I just hate.

Released three years after the last "Rainbow" album "Bent Out Shape", their record company (Polydor) had the brilliant idea to scrape some money together and put this "thing" on the market. What for ? Our dear friend Ritchie joined his old "Purple" mates for a more juicy career and who can be interested in such an album ?

Very average sound, songs picked up out of tons of different "live" sets, some studio recordings, some extremely poor numbers or rendition (or both). It will also remain a mystery that the one and only very good album from "Rainbow" ("Rising" in 1976) is almost ignored from any live album. Actually, even unofficial albums do not feature lots of songs from it. Always the same trio : "Stargazer" of course, as well as "Starstruck" and "Do You Close Your Eyes". NONE of these are here !

Most of the songs are second to third tier form the "Rainbow" catalogue (from a second or thirs tier band, you can have an idea of what you'll get here). Pop-rock at times ("I surrender" with a poor sound on top of this), the awful AOR-ish "Miss Mistreated" which is unfortunately not isolated, since another one of that vein is the unreleased album track "Since You've Been Gone". Poor and faded out abruptedly. The funky "Jealous Lover" (b-side of "Can' Happen Here"). The latter is also featured and very poorly recorded. It is a pity because it is a quite good rocking number. A studio version of "Bad Girl" (B-side again). It sounds more as a demo actually.

Very few (to none) great numbers. Maybe "Love Live Rock 'n' Roll" but the middle part is a karaokee exercise...Fillers all the way through, I tell you. The ridicule version of "Difficult To Cure" is really hard to bear. Over eleven minutes of the worse treatment. Dull solo introduction, a fully dispensible string section (truely useless) and then, the Ludwig von B.'s stuff. I couldn't stand the studio track and since it is doubled in lenght here, the supplice is even more painful.

The version of "Man on the Silver Mountain" is also a great way to screw a decent song. A totally boring guitar improv (solo ?) in the middle section is pointless and absolutely chaotic. If you believe that the worst has been reached, you are wrong. A bluesy part will "embellish" the end of it (in the style of what Hughes / Coverdale were doing at the end of "Smoke On The Water" if you see what I mean).

The best number here is probably the instrumental "Weiss Heim" (B-side of "Long Live Rock & Roll").

I hope that you got the picture. A mix of B-sides, poor rendition, wrong track selection. This can only deserve one rating : one star. Avoid it as the pleague. Please.

Report this review (#145440)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Three different vocalists, various live recordings and not a particular good sound. This is Finyl Vinyl. An album I loved back in the days it was released. But the once so mighty has now fallen. But I still love the iconic cover of this greatest-hits-live album.

The songs are OK. It demonstrated the egomania of Mr. Blackmore and his musicians. Overblown and overstated. The three different vocalists means that this is not a true live album and that is the biggest mistake with this album. This is without doubt the worst socalled Rainbow live albums. The two Ronnie James Dio tracks are good though. The rest is pretty average and bad. Difficult To Cure are always a great listening. But the rest is left in a time warp and has not survived the test of time. Not in my house, anyway. It hurts me who once loved this album, but this is only two points.

2 stars

Report this review (#224745)
Posted Monday, July 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Terminated? I'll be back!

Released in 1986, "Finyl Vinyl" was at the time considered to be a posthumous release. Ritchie Blackmore had decided to rejoin Deep Purple (the fine "Perfect strangers" album would be the result), and thus Rainbow was wound up. History records however that Blackmore would resurrect the name with a brand new line up in the 1990's, but we should consider this album without the benefit of hindsight.

As an attempt to close the book on the Rainbow story, "Finyl Vinyl" is not a bad effort. It draws together live versions of songs from across the band's catalogue, and adds three otherwise hard to find studio tracks. The running order is pretty haphazard, indeed if anything it generally takes us from new to old.

The live recordings cover the period 1978 to 1984, during which time Blackmore hired and fired at a faster rate than the English Premier League. Thus we have three different lead vocalists; Ronnie James Dio, Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet, plus a host of keyboard players etc. The one constant of course is the lead guitar of Ritchie Blackmore. One of the strengths of this album is that it gives us the opportunity to admire Blackmore's skills in a live environment, and to ponder the truth of Ian Gillan's recent assertion that Ritchie cannot improvise.

Turner dominates the first part of the album, singing on no less than nine of the first twelve tracks. These cover Rainbow's most commercial period, including the huge Russ Ballard (of Argent) penned hits "I surrender" and "Since you've been gone" plus the equally familiar "Can't happen here". Naturally, these renditions lack the finesse of their studio counterparts, both in terms of production and performance, but this is more than offset by the way they capture the mighty sound of the band live. The first half dozen tracks are pretty faithful recreations of the studio originals, but thereafter things get more interesting.

"Tearing out my heart", a blues ballad from the "Straight between the eyes" album, becomes an 8 minute affair, the track moving from its brooding original form into a full on belter with a rip roaring, feedback laden solo by Ritchie. Those who missed out on this track due to its omission from certain versions of the album should track it down without delay.

The longest track here is the 11+ minute version of "Difficult to cure", a piece loosely based on Beethoven's 9th. This rendition sees Ritchie at his exhibitionist best, teasing the audience with his noodling and astounding them with his virtuosity. The real meat though is the appearance of a full orchestra! The recording is taken from one of the band's last gigs, which took place in Tokyo Japan in 1984. It's all wonderfully over the top and a true prog lover's paradise.

"Man on the silver mountain" and "Long love rock'n'roll" are also much longer than the originals, the former through some great improvisation and a blues interlude, the latter through the obligatory clap and sing audience session.

The three rare studio tracks include the unimaginatively named "Bad girl" with equally bland lyrics. The song features the voice of Graham Bonnet (who sang "Night games") and is an unreleased (with good reason) track from the "Down to earth" sessions. "Jealous lover" is a B side from 1981, while "Weiss heim" ("White house", the name of Ritchie's US home at the time), a B side from 1978, is a fine instrumental. The melancholy guitar on the track is backed by atmospheric piano, the piece being criminally hidden away prior to this release.

While probably correctly listed here as a live album despite the three studio songs, this should not be considered a conventional live album. It does not capture a single concert, but is a compilation of live tracks from across the years. If you want to here the band at their live best at a single point in time, the "On stage" album is the one to go for. While many of the songs do not vary enough from the originals to make them essential listening, the ones which do certainly make this a worthwhile acquisition for anyone who enjoys the music of this fine band.

Report this review (#243552)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars This was my first Rainbow album. An odd choice but with my very limited resources at the time (1994, early 95) I thought it was a good opportunity to know the "other" band of my dear Mr. Blackmore.

For a newbie the disaster was more related to the multitude of changes in the sound than the just ok sound quality of the album. What was the real Rainbow, the Miss Mistreated one, the Spotlight Kid or the heavier Man on the Silver Mountain? Of course in my next Rainbow acquisition I discovered the right answer but by then it was real confusing the almost contradictory mix of music produced by this single (?) band.

No comments on the track list since it was clearly based on the Turner era. If Rainbow was that of course the two opening tracks are the best of the pack. Both are far better than their original versions. I even like the use of backing singers since they help poor little Joe Lynn to keep on course. The other Turner tracks rate from mediocre versions (Can't happen here) to weak ones (Stone Cold). Since that was the vynil edition I had no Bent out of shape tracks on this record to coment (and had no idea that things could become worst).

I really liked the Jealous Lover song, don't know why so side 2 of the vynil was played a lot. But after that only the Since you been gone live version - even with their awful sound - was worth mentioning.

Then came the real "treat": the live Difficult to cure. My late and beloved father liked it so much that almost every day we had to listen to it what make the whole family avoid it like the plague. From this point of time I just can say how kitsch the orchestra playing was, adding little if any value to an interpretation of dubious valour per se. Roll over on your grave, Beethoven.

Finally side four show what this band was all about: the Dio tracks are clean air in a mud atmosphere. From now on I knew what Rainbow I needed to know and even if I have by now all their studio albums and a good pack of live recordings this is most to my completionist syndrome than to any real admiration of their late output. I do believe that the best tracks of the three Turner albums could make a very good hard rock album worth of the Blackmore name (even if inferior to any of Dio's individually) and Down to Earth really could grow with a better singer. All in all I must put the blame on Roger Glover since it was after his arrival that things became disintregated, saving Blackmore's reputation. It's a false assumption, I know, but who cares?

Two stars for the Dio tracks and the firts two songs in side 1.

Report this review (#767381)
Posted Friday, June 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars First of all, it's always a terrible idea for any musical group to call anything they do "final." Chances are that a reunion of sorts is in the cards down the road and that happened to Rainbow just like it did for sundry others of their ilk. Leader Ritchie Blackmore said "never again" in 1984, folded up his tents and went to shack up with yet another reconstituted edition of Deep Purple. Lo and behold, nine years later the Rainbow balloon was re-inflated so the title of this record became a lie. No big deal, though. It happens all the time. Anywho, when Ritchie left the purple gang in the mid-70s I not only lost interest in the group he walked away from but I also failed to be able to generate any interest in the new outfit he was putting together. My tastes in music were starting to lean in more of a jazz/rock fusion sorta way in those days and despite how much I'd loved his fiery guitar style up to then I was ready to find other gun slingers to singe my short and curlies. In other words, unless I heard a Rainbow song on the FM I was oblivious to the products of their craftsmanship. Earlier this year I grabbed up one of their albums at random to see what I'd missed. "Down to Earth" was a disappointment and that's like saying the Titanic was a bust. It reeked of manure. However, I've learned not to judge a band by one CD so then I went the safe and less expensive route. In cases like this where I don't want to further invest in their catalog I'll spring for a greatest hits package to get a comprehensive overview of their career. Even better is a live album because you usually get a more accurate bead on what the group was really about. "Finyl Vinyl" fit the bill and I'm marginally pleased to say that at least it was listenable.

The curtain-raiser is "Spotlight Kid." A pompous concert opening featuring Dorothy and Toto leads to a speedy number with Blackmore out in front, shredding his fretboard frantically and as spectacularly as he did with his former combo. It's a good starter tune that gets the juices flowing. "I Surrender" is next and this heavy rocker kicks hard but the song is of average quality at best. If not for Ritchie's blistering guitar ride it would be a total waste of time to sit through. "Miss Mistreated" follows and it's the kind of lead-footed plodder that I refer to as vanilla rawk. It ponderously meanders along and never matures. There are a few studio cuts included and the first one is "Jealous Lover." It's a riff-based ditty that's somewhat unattractive yet fairly typical of the stagnant era it was created in. There's a Foreigner aroma wafting through the track and that should tell you volumes. They go back to the stage for "Can't Happen Here," a song that's reminiscent of DP's excellent "Burn" but without the splendid urgency and inventive interludes being included that made that tune a classic. They churn out a faithful rendition of their hit single, "Since You Been Gone," but, like the original, it leaves me cold as a DQ dilly bar. Too Top 40 for this stubborn progger to endorse. Another studio track, "Bad Girl," is next. It's a formula rocker that I find annoyingly vapid and predictable. Again, it's Blackmore's hot guitar solo that saves it from the abyss. But just barely. "Bad Girl" is a bad song.

Things brighten considerably with the live version of "Difficult to Cure." While its lone guitar beginning is only semi-interesting, that brief exposition evolves into a full band affair wherein the other guys join up to support Ritchie as he proceeds to put on a showcase of his six string prowess. When they morph into a strong, updated delivery of Ludwig Van's "Ode to Joy" it's a nice treat for the senses. Finally Blackmore comes through with the goods. In addition a symphonic string section appears and it's a stroke of genius. This track is definitely the proggiest thing on the disc. (Can you imagine him with ELP?) The extended organ intro for "Stone Cold" is cool but the song that ensues is weak and woefully dated. In that era 100 acts were putting schlock of this nature out every month. "Power" fares no better. It's more of the run-of-the-mill rock that only served to further taint that once proud but ultimately jaded genre and it deserves to be avoided. "Man on the Silver Mountain" is one of the few Rainbow numbers I know and it's also the one I immediately identify with the band. Taped earlier in their career, I can tell there's a lot more energy and effort being put into the performance. Ronnie James Dio's vocal is killer and Blackmore's guitar work is invigorating. I especially appreciate how they effortlessly dive into a fun, bluesy deal at the end. "Long Live Rock & Roll" follows. It's a pounding shuffle that's a decent headbanger as long as you keep your expectations low. Dio's goading-of-the-audience-into- participating segment gets real old real fast, however. The album goes out on a tasteful note with the studio instrumental, "Weiss Heim." Its somber mood is refreshing and highly effective. Ritchie restrains himself and it pays off as the number stays in its gentle pocket all the way through. My only wish is that they would've let pianist David Rosenthal become more involved along the way. He could've made the song extra special.

"Finyl Vinyl" was released in March of 1986 with hopes that it would resonate among the group's fan base who sorely missed their Rainbow fix. It sold reasonably well, reaching #87 on the US charts (not too shabby for an entity that had been dead two years). I get the impression that most of Rainbow's material was penned by Blackmore because everything I've heard so far sounds quite derivative of Deep Purple. And with good reason. Ritchie was the most vital cog in that famous ensemble in their heyday and he took a lot of their signature sound with him when he skedaddled. There's enough good stuff on this record to keep it out of my dungeon but it falls short too often for me to call it average. 2.3 stars.

Report this review (#1279633)
Posted Friday, September 19, 2014 | Review Permalink

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