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Rainbow Rising album cover
4.21 | 620 ratings | 50 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tarot Woman (6:08)
2. Run with the Wolf (3:47)
3. Starstruck (4:04)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (2:58)
5. Stargazer (8:27)
6. A Light in the Black (8:11)

Total Time 33:35

Bonus CD from 2011 expanded remaster:
1. Tarot Woman (rough mix) (6:08)
2. Run with the Wolf (rough mix) (3:51)
3. Starstruck (rough mix) (4:06)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (rough mix) (3:07)
5. Stargazer (rough mix) (9:10)
6. A Light in the Black (rough mix) (8:16)
7. Stargazer (Pirate Sound Tour rehearsal) (8:34)

Total Time 43:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Ronnie James Dio / lead vocals, arrangements
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar, arrangements
- Tony Carey / keyboards, Vako Orchestron (CD2.5 intro)
- Jimmy Bain / bass
- Cozy Powell / drums

- Munich Philarmonic Orchestra / strings & horns (5)
- Rainer Pietsch / orchestrator & conductor
- Fritz Sonneleitner / concertmaster

Releases information

Artwork: Ken Kelly

LP Polydor ‎- 2490 137 (1976, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 823 655-2 (1987, Europe) Remastered by Dennis M. Drake
CD Polydor ‎- 547 361-2 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Suha Gur
2CD Polydor ‎- 5332266 (2011, Europe) Remastered by Andy Pearce in 2 different versions (L.A. & N.Y. mixes) plus bonus CD with 7 bonus tracks (album's "rough mix"), previously unreleased

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RAINBOW Rising ratings distribution

(620 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RAINBOW Rising reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 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.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

It did not take long for Blackmore to start building his dream group by keeping the awesome-voiced Dio and by firing the rest of the old Elf group (which certainly deserved a better treatment from Blackmood), and bringing in one of the best hard rock drummer in the business, the mercenary Cozy Powell. Powell's sound and powerful, inventive and dramatic playing will be the main ingredient that was to build Rainbow's legend. With those three "beasts" in the band , it was difficult for the other two to find their spaces, with Bain just being apt and Tony Carey as a supporting KB to the group (his soloing in concert was simply very poor, and he would get fired soon, albeit Tony learned from his mistakes as he is still around nowadays), but this album is one of the bests in its category and graced with one of the most phantasmagoric artwork ever.

This second album is one of the most emblematic of 70's hared rock/heavy Metal from the 7O's and certainly one of my fave, even if it was quite short. From the start of the synth intro of the outstanding Tarot Woman to the enthralling Run With The Wolf and implacable Starstruck, the first side is simply flawless until the last track, which appears to be a throwaway track: the awful but thankfully short Do You Close Your Eyes. This is rather un-understandably the most often plated track live, often used as an encore where Blackmore destroyed his guitar. Anyway, the trio of opening track is one of the best trilogies of the genre and all three could've made major airplay (with Tarot Woman without the intro).

The second side is made of two long tracks, the first of which Stargazer is Rainbow's major achievement and the apex in dramatic singing. Dio's voice rises and soars (like he was capable until his stint with Sabbath later on) while Blackmore descending riff and Powell's power drumming are over-powering. There is a slight Arabic feeling pervading throughout the track and this adds to the grandeur of it. The second track pales a bit in comparison, but A Light In The Black does conclude capably a very excellent album even it is a bit repetitive especially given its length. Had Kill The King been added to the album track list (and thus shortening ALITB), this album would've been a perfect affair.

Surely one of the most endearing album of the 70's, I don't know any proghead that does not like this opus, and I must say that Rainbow's apex came unfortunately too soon, as I wish they'd duplicated the formula on this album.

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars I've always had an admiration for bands who pioneer genres (I hesitate to say invent because music is never simply invented). Rainbow, the project of ex-Deep Purple guitar wizard Ritchie Blackmore, did just that with this 1976 opus. This album single-handedly laid the foundations for power metal, which is often called "true metal" by its followers (the unintentionally hilarious Manowar, for example). Blackmore, along with future power metal and metal horn gesture pioneer Ronnie James Dio, combined the fantasy lyrics of prog with the burgeoning metal sound of England. The result was a short but essential slice of metal.

The album art grabs your attention from the start, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Each of the six songs is proto-power metal gold.

Tarot Woman ushers in the album with ethereal keyboards until the late, great Cozy Powell's bass drum crashes you back to reality.

Run With The Wolf sets the stage for melodic power metal with its mid tempo rumble.

Starstruck is the song most resembling a Purple tune. It's a bit silly, dealing with a female stalker, though not in the unique Ian Gillan way. However, it's still a sing-along track that will get stuck in your head.

Do You Close Your Eyes is usually considered filler, but it's ever bit as good as the previous songs.

Stargazer is Rainbow's ultimate track. Blackmore's solo, Dio's soaring vocals, the crashing drums, the keys, the punding bass, everything is perfect. This song is one of the top ten metal songs of all time IMO. It is responsible for symphonic prog and melodic power metal. How many bands can claim that one song helped set in motion TWO sub genres?

A Light In The Black closes the album with ferocity. It's propelled by Powell's double bass and Tony's keys and Dio and Blackmore never fail to shine.

Rising isn't very proggy, but it is essential for any fan of metal. In 1980, a reader's poll for Kerrang named this the greatest metal album of all time. It isn't that good, but it's certainly in the top 10.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great to see Rainbow added to Progressive archives. Ritchie Blacmore exstending the muscle and creativity from Deep Purple to Rainbow. No doubt RB is the key character in the Rainbow fold but the vocalist Ronnie James Dio has a phenomenally powerful voice backed up by the thumping solid percussion from the late Cozy Powell. Another key feature on Rainbow Rising are the grand keyboards, layers and layers of them, played very astutely by Tony Carey. The whole album is great and each track is strong. My personal favourites would be ' Tarot Woman' especially the beginning, ' Do You Close Your Eyes'.....when you are making LOVE and the awesome ' A Light In The Black'. Four and a half stars to be accurate, excellent composition and a must have for any progressive rock enthusiast.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I love the vocals of Ronnie James Dio although I think they are even better on the "Heaven And Hell" record by BLACK SABBATH. Add the amazing guitar playing of Ritchie Blackmore and it's a can't miss situation. I'm a big fan of both these guys.

"Tarot Woman" opens with synths as the guitar and drums come in followed by the vocals around the 2 minute mark. The highlight for me is the long tasteful guitar solo by Blackmore. "Run With The Wolf" has a catchy beat and the ending is the best part of the song as we are treated to some great guitar solos while Dio's vocals become very passionate.

"Starstruck" reminds me of an older DEEP PURPLE song and doesn't do a lot for me. Neither does "Do You Close Your Eyes". Thankfully the next two songs more than make up for them. "Stargazer" is the longest track and opens with some good drumming. Some more incredible guitar 4 minutes in. This song really reminds me of the LED ZEPPELIN song "Kashmir". "A Light In The Black" is an uptempo barn burner. I really like the guitar melodies throughout this song and especially 4 minutes in as he really lets it all hang out. The drumming is fantastic as well.

As much as I like Dio I don't think this is quite as good as "Machine Head" or "In Rock", but if you like those albums you should really check this one out. 4 stars.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This second album of the famous 1970's hard rock group has a real classic status. I have difficulties to appreciate it much, as there are some elements present here which bother me: Mostly the style of boasting pathos of the musicians, for example the dramatic verse of opener "Tarot Woman" sounds very much the style of later-era Scorpions. If the goal was to create moods of mighty hero riding on the plains with a hunting falcon on his shoulder, I get a visual of a teen eating a Big Mac hamburger instead. Though there are some thoughtful arrangements here and there, the major orientation towards the playing is slightly primitive, based on the "riding rhythm" familiar already from Budgie's "Napoleon Bona Part 1 / Part 2" song. Also the keyboard sounds bugs me, as they don't have any more warm analog tones, but more digital and modern sounds which don't appeal me on this musical context. The best track here for me is the "Stargazer" which has quite powerful and mystical sounding hard chord progressions in it. There are also some faint tracks of blues roots of Deep Purple in songs like "Starstruck". The long track ending the album "Light in The Black" is then really poor, like the short ass-shaker "Do You Close Your Eyes". The long closer's main theme is in my opinion a soundtrack for metal machos doing the hunt of women in the whiskey bar, and the long instrumental sequence bringing the length for the song sounds like a Commodore Amiga shoot 'em up game's progression, having one evident case of a bonus life being gained in middle of the aural mess. Also with all respect, Ronnie wrote all the lyrics to the album, and he clearly was not T.S.Elliot.

Anyway, if you like Ronnie James Dio's stuff or you are a devoted Ritchie Blackmore fan, then this is a quite clearly an album for you, as it is of course recommendable classic for all fans of 70's/80's hard rock music. In my opinion the only relations to prog with this band are just the time when they were active and the longer durations of some songs. Surely they influenced Iron Maiden and all forthcoming power metal groups, but that musical area just isn't my cup of tea. On the other hand, I don't mind people liking that kind of music, as I don't value people on basis of things like what kind of music they like. But if you're an elitist acid folk purist, run for your lives when encountering this album, as the peril of permanent deafness lies nearby.

Review by b_olariu
5 stars A masterpiece, depends the point of view of a prog devotee and of a hard rocker

This second album is one of the most emblematic of 70's hard rock . From the start of the synth intro of the outstanding Tarot Woman to the enthralling Run With The Wolf and implacable Starstruck, is simply flawless until the awful Do You Close Your Eyes. Next are two long tracks, the first of which Stargazer is Rainbow's major achievement and the apex in dramatic singing. Dio's voice rises and soars while Blackmore descending riff and Powell's power drumming. There is a slight Arabic feeling throughout the track and this adds to the grandeur of it. The next one A Light In The Black does conclude a very excellent album . Surely one of the most enjoyble album of the 70's, , with all that is a hard rock album all the way, to me, that's why some prog devotee gives 2 or 3 stars. To me is a 5 star album.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "We feel that our time has arrived"

After a fine introductory album, expectations were high that Rainbow would come up with the goods big time on this their second release. Even with that in mind, this is a mighty album.

The dropping of the Ritchie Blackmore's wording from the band name was more than just a semantic change, "Rising" is very much a band project. The songs are all written by the Blackmore/Dio team, with Ronnie James Dio providing the lyrics throughout, but the entire band are clearly contributing here.

The start of the opening "Tarot woman" sees keyboard player Tony Carey slipping in a highly progressive synth overture before the hard rocking main theme bursts forward. This song sets the mood for the entire album. Quickly dropped are the folk and medieval influences which were apparent on the first album, this is much closer to Deep Purple than it is to Blackmore's Night. The remaining tracks on side one of the album are straightforward, uncompromising hard rock songs, with strong riffs, great guitar work, and excellent vocal performances by Dio.

It is though when we move to side two of the album that we move from the inspired to the magical. There are just two tracks of 8-9 minutes here. "Stargazer" is unquestionably Rainbow's finest recording ever. Introduced by a Cozy Powell drums recital which Carl Palmer might envy, the song is quite simply a prog classic. The demons and wizards lyrics which grace the album sleeve tell a tale of a man of seemingly special powers discovering his own mortality. Dio's delivery is quite stunning, eclipsed only by what ranks as possibly Ritchie's finest guitar solo ever. As the song develops to its overwhelming climax, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra add a further dimension to the sound. Even before the album was officially released, the song was being hailed in the rock media as a classic, a status it has unquestionably maintained ever since.

The other half of the side is occupied by "A light in the black", a frantic 8 minute rock song whose apparently simple structure belies what is in fact a finely crafted and faultlessly performed epic. The superb keyboards and guitar solos maintain the breathtaking pace, driven on by Powell's relentless pounding of the skins. Dio's vocals are multi-tracked, enhancing the overall power of the track. Subtle it ain't, but this is a criminally under-recognised piece of rock magic.

If I have a gripe with the album, it is that it lasts for a mere 33― minutes. Even in the days of vinyl, such brevity was frustrating. That aside though, this is a classic rock album, with excellent prog overtones.

A masterpiece of prog? Probably not, but undeniably an excellent addition to any music collection, prog or otherwise.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Masterpiece of Hard Rock!

For those of you who were there when this second album was released, must have been aware how legendary this album is. It's not the news about Deep Purple breaking up that mattered at that time but the fact that in fact Ritchie Blackmore could establish a powerful rock band as great as Deep Purple. The debut album in itself was an excellent album. The follow up "Rising" is in fact stronger and much more solid musically. The sound is not something close with Deep Purple especialy with Tony Carey's keyboard which does not seem similar with Jon Lord's. Surprisingly, the new sound of keyboard has even made the music of Rainbow is quite unique compared to other bands.

"Tarot Woman" kicks off the album wonderfully with great keyboard solo. In fact, when I was a student, I kept playing this intro part just before I went to school because the sound is so rocking and it motivated me to go to school. What a great old days! The music that follows the keyboard solo is marvelous and t's so rocking. "Run With the Wolf" is also an excellent hard rocker followed nicely with "Startstruck" which has beautiful guitar riffs.

What makes this album is so special is "Stargazer" which has a fabulous drum solo as opening. To be honest this was my first experience listening to how dazzling the drumwork by Cozy Powell is. It's totally amazing! The blast of music follows and the song enters a great vocal line that sings: "High noon / Oh Id sell my soul for water / Nine years worth / Of breakin my back. Theres no sun in the shadow of the wizard / See how he glides / Why hes lighter than air" .. oh my God! What a rockin' style here! Since then, I admired Cozy (RIP) as one of the best rock drummers in the world. And .. "Stargazer" is so powerful and has become my long time favorite.

"A Light In The Back" is also another great composition. Oh yeah, Ritchie is a guitar hero .. but what he has done here with this album is that he gives his colleagues a chance to perform their best. Ronnie James Dio best contribution for Rainbow had reached its climax through this album!

It's a MUST for those of you who love vintage hard rock music. This is one of the best!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars As far as I am concerned, their debut album was an almost complete mess. So, basically, things could only improve. I hope.

When you listen to the opening number "Tarot Woman", this is effectively way better. Fully "Purple" oriented ("Hard Lovin Man" type of riff). It is hard-rocking alright and features some great work from Ritchie. This is what I can call a great song. The typical "Purple" structure : great beat, nice melody, fantastic soli. A great opener.

"Run With The Wolf" is almost a clone of "Sail Away" (on the "Burn" album). A good slow tempo hard-rock song; almost heavy. The good surprise (compared to their debut album) goes on with two upbeat numbers. "Starstruck" and "Do You Close Your Eyes" are strong hard-rocking numbers. Catchy chorus, shortly formatted and very dynamic.

The relation with "Mistreated" and "Kashmir" is obvious when you'll get to "Stargazer". It is another highlight of this album.Incredible and hypnotic riff and superb work from the master. Dio also performs very well. But this is also true for the album as a whole : he's doing a far better job than on their previous album. "Stargazer" is really a hard-rock / heavy classics. And the Oriental influence during the second part of the song adds an interesting flavour to this great song.

The closing number also has some "In Rock" relation. The extremely fast beat can be related not to prog but to "Flight Of The Rat" (one of my Purple fave). Great and powerful keys, you know like ...Somewhat reminiscent of the "Highway Star" solo. Fantastic. I even wonder if this is not my fave from the album !

IMHHO, this is an extremely good hard-rock album. On par with their great brother (I guess that you know whom I am writing about). Still, this relation is too strong and there is a feeling of "déjā vu" as I have outlined in this review. But on the other hand, this is also the reason why I like this album so much.

This is definitely the "Rainbow" album you need, should you need only one.

Four stars but to discover the prog side of the band, I guess that we'll have to wait for later releases.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ritche Blackmore and Dio... what else could a metal head want?

It's the mid 70s, punk and prog fight a tough battle while metal starts to head to the front. That's where Rainbow comes in... the product of the ex-Deep Purple guitarist and that blimp-lunged vocalist that is Dio. While a fairly random band when it comes to quality of releases, this is the album where it all came together. Rising is a release that captures all the intensity and power of each musician on the album and puts it forward with some very fantasy-ish lyrics to back it up. The album really does border on prog when it comes into the second side, and this is an album that should appeal to many a prog fan.

Right from the get-go this is an album with great amounts of power. A quick bit of keyboard noodling and TAROT WOMAN is under way with some excellent riffs from Blackmore. Pulling into full speed Dio backs up this song with tremendous force, his vocals actually pulling the focus away from guitar god Blackmore at times. Most of the other songs on the first half are the same. RUN WITH THE WOLF is a catchy song with an explosive intro where Dio again gets to prove how good of a singer he is. Blackmore's blues influences constantly shine through in these songs making some very interesting music, adding a great kind soul behind all the power.

Speeding up a bit we come to the end of the first side. Unfortunately it won't be quite as strong as the start. The VERY Deep Purple sounding STARSTRUCK is quite well performed, but Dio doesn't really get the showcasing that he needs on this one and the song comes off as fairly weak. However, this song is excellent when put right beside DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES. This is the standard rock song on the album. Kind of sleazy and kind of cheesy, this song is one that kind of fell into the trap that many of the 70s metal bands fell into -- poor lyrics about women. Seriously guys... stick to the nerdy stuff. This song always makes me want to laugh when it comes to the chorus. ''Do you close your eyes when you're making love/making sweet love to me?''. I'm very tempted to answer on the behalf of the women that hes singing to with a resounding ''YES'' because we all know that metal-god Dio is not the most pretty man in the world.

Off that tangent now! ...Just about got lost for a second there...

Luckily, these songs are VERY redeemed coming into the second side. STARGAZER is the best song that Deep Purple never put out. Excellent guitar riffs from Blackmore mixed with those fantasy lyrics that Rainbow is so good at to make a truly wonderful experience. Most fans will tell you (and I will too) that this song is the defining performance of Dio's career. Coming into the end of the song Dio lets out some amazing vocal parts. So emotional, so blood chilling. This is what metal's all about.

Following up directly on that song is A LIGHT IN THE BLACK. (I'm almost 100% certain) This song is the continuation of the former and it's another very excellent song, this one much faster in pace. Blackmore's guitars just fly in this one as though he hasn't really been able to play at full speed the whole time. This song is mostly (excellent) soloing and is very well worth the listen because of the song's wonderful melodies composed by that wonderful Blackmore.

Overall this is likely one of the most progressive of Rainbow's records. Well, the second half anyways. Regardless, this is music that should appeal to most prog fans, especially those into heavy prog and prog metal. Deep Purple and Dio fans should also get a kick out of this. The one weak song on the album is easily overlooked in place of some of the best stuff that any of these artists ever put on tape. 4 stars, highly recommended.

Review by russellk
5 stars Every lover of rock music ought to have this stunning album in their collection. And every fan of metal ought to listen to it regularly, reminding themselves of their genre's origins.

RAINBOW was the hard rock supergroup assembled by RITCHIE BLACKMORE after he left DEEP PURPLE in the mid 1970s. This was going to be bigger than purple - after all, a rainbow has all the colours. Their first eponymous album was disjointed though it showed promise, but this, their second album, is where everything came together. Every member of the band was at the height of their powers, and in a mere 33 minutes each band member has ample space to contribute their own genius. The superb songwriting on this record deserves to be highlighted: a blend of short, sharp rockers with not a bloated note anywhere and three magnificent extended tracks. Frankly, this album almost serves as a 'Greatest Hits' for RAINBOW, so uniformly excellent is their work here.

The first side of the album begins with 'Tarot Woman', an extended keyboard introduction building energy, leading to a dramatic, above-average rocker. RONNIE JAMES DIO is perhaps an acquired taste - I found his distinctive exaggerated tremolo hard to take initially - but it is suited to the semi-operatic style he adopts and the storytelling lyrics that characterise this album. COZY POWELL lays the strongest of foundations with his double bass drum attack, and BLACKMORE has never sounded better. The intensity drops a little with 'Run Like The Wolf' and 'Starstruck', but these songs are better than anything DEEP PURPLE was cobbling together in the mid-70s. And certainly better than the KISS-inspired pap masquerading as rock. 'Do You Close Your Eyes' is this album's little mistake, a short love song in somewhat bad taste. For those of you who demand perfection before you award five stars, subtract a star.

Side Two, however, is a level above anything hard rock had hitherto brought to the table, and must be listened to repeatedly at maximum volume. 'Stargazer' is, simply put, one of the most influential tracks in rock. However, I'd like to consider Side Two as one unit - after all, 'A Light in the Black' continues the story begun in 'Stargazer' (a wizard tries to learn the secret of flight, enslaving men to help him build a tower. He dies in the attempt, setting the slaves free). 'A Light in the Black' tells the story of one man's journey home. So, here we have a common progressive theme (fantasy) and the music is most certainly prog. From the rollicking drum prelude through the guitar motifs and the astonishing variety of vocal hooks, 'Stargazer' grabs your attention immediately. It is, however, the gargantuan keyboard lead in the chorus (with the vocal responding) that gives this song its mystical flavour. There's a central guitar solo - easily the best thing to come from BLACKMORE'S fingers, you forget such naivety as 'Smoke on the Water's riff - which builds into a series of rising notes that bring us back into the narrative of the song.

The final two minutes feature DIO at his very best, with a series of rising exclamations ('My eyes are bleeding!' 'There's a rainbow rising!') with the band at their bombastic best, backed by a full orchestra into an extended fadeout. I wish I could listen to this again for the first time, so breathtaking did I find it in 1976.

'A Light in the Black' is a much faster track, sounding for all the world like an ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND workout, something from 'Live at Fillmore East' perhaps, but with a much heavier, driving beat. The central section of the song is a series of frenetic soloing from keyboardist and guitarist, an over-the-top celebration of freedom that leaves the listener breathless. A final rock-n-roll ending - the boys deserve it - and the album is over far too soon.

This is how they made music back then. It's an album that retains every bit of its lustre three decades after it was recorded. An essential element in the history of rock, 'Rainbow Rising' is one of the most impressive albums of the 1970s and perhaps the best of its year.

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Chills, Thrills and Bellyaches

The sacrificial band of the debut (Elf) had mainly been sacked, and the original core of Blackmore and Dio came up with one of the most stunning pieces of rock music since Child in Time.

For this is Heavy Rock with keyboards - music at the roots of Heavy Metal with a strong foundation in the Blues but with far more swagger than swing, and pretentious aspirations towards Classical music and Progressive Rock, but without the structuring of the former or the musical boundary breaking of the latter.

You won't find any Prog here, of course - but Stargazer comes very close with its epic themes, and there is something about the way the band come together for this track that has that certain something.

What you will also find on this album is an awful lot of filler - like a rather bland starter to a meal with an unsatisfying main course - but a scrumptious desert that you'll keep coming back to, and coffee that doesn't just give you a lift, but jet-propels you into the night.

Dio Mk I

Tarot Woman opens with a one and a half minute flurrying, phasing keyboard run from new guy, and relative unknown, Tony Carey. This sets the scene for Blackmore to gradually crank up the volume on a menacing single-note rhythm that suddenly explodes into the main, driving riff.

Then the unmistakable tones of Ronnie James Dio knock you for six - the man could be singing about anything, the power of his vocal chords, the perfect intonation and the quality of the tones he produces are simply astonishing, no matter how many times you hear them.

A great opening, and great sound to a song that is, in itself, fairly unremarkable. The melodies are strong but forgettable, the key changes reasonably dynamic, and the performances driven with an almost unheard of precision in rock music of the time, but I find that the choppy drumming removes flow in an almost surgical manner, and the aimless noodling on both guitar and keyboards gets a bit tiring.

Run With The Wolf sounds a bit like an outtake from a Mark II Purple album. Again, all the elements are carefully in place, but the precision drumming does make the song feel rather cut up. Naturally, when you focus on the great Mr Dio's voice, the shivers run up and down the spine, but again, the song is pretty unremarkable, and Blackmore's soloing insipid. His interjections to Dio's vocal line have a decent loose and expressive feel, though, and the last minute of the song is significantly better than ther rest, as the band get into a groove.

Starstruck has a lot more groove going on - the change in gear is almost tangible as the energy of this song pours out at you, the drums flowing decently, and every change feeling like it's a part of the ongoing musical narrative rather than some afterthought. The slide guitar solo enters more interesting territory as Blackmore experiments with the possiblities of using the slide, and moves away from pentatonic noodling into something more melodic.

We're back to the choppy ploddy stuff for Do You Close Your Eyes - and it's worth nothing that we've heard little from Tony Carey apart from atmospherics, and absolutely nothing from fellow new guy Jimmy Bain... and we're still hearing little. Small wonder that Blackmore continually changed the line-up, as there are none of the personality players found in his previous band(s).

Now for the big event.

From the opening phased drums of Stargazer, you know you're in for something rather special. All the ingredients of the previous tracks are still here - inconsequential keyboards and bass, ploddy, precise drums, crunching power chords, and the majestic tones of Dio - but the overall feel has suddenly changed, like an aura of magic has descended on the group.

The verse lines are long and strung out, with decorative instrumental lines and sumptuous keyboard washes concentrating the mind on the moment rather than the journey - but Eastern flavoured motifs spring out of the guitar and keyboards, and suddenly some of Dio's rather nonsensical lyrics suddenly take on a life of their own and begin to make sense.

Then Blackmore winds out a perfect concoction of Eastern sounds, thanks to flurries around the harmonic minor scale, and microtonal note-bending and a not insubstantial amount of bluff - although here, again, the Rainbow magic is at work, making a mysterious sense out of the bluff. Some very tasteful dive-bombs later, and an even more impassioned vocal section follows, the vibrato in Dio's voice almost brass-like in quality, the spat out rhythmic patterns and note-bending giving more feel to the music than any note- flurry or technical display possibly could.

Underneath, there's the vaguely dissatisfying feeling that this is just a two-chord jam, in the manner of a psychedelic band - but, for a Hard Rock act, this is an act that's Hard to follow.

And it has to be said that Lights in Black does a good job to start with - it feels like part II of Stargazer somehow, uptempo and driving fast and hard, ex Jeff Beck group member Cozy Powell putting in a thumping battery on the double bass drums. This is quite an exit, and Blackmore and Carey's arpeggio duet puts me in mind of some of the duets he had with Jon Lord.

5 minutes of this feels a bit long though, especially when Blackmore goes off on a noodle trip. He fortunately brings it back to something a lot more melodic later - and I recognise the melody line as the same one Riot later used on the title track of the album Narita. There's lots to like about the ensuing duetting and soloing, and, of course, there's more Dio to look forward to - but nothing new is stated musically.

In Summary

Side 2 of the vinyl (the last two tracks) are well worth owning this album for, if you enjoy the heavier side of rock - although I'd argue that Stargazer is a song for all). The first side is second-rate hard rock, though, and the entire album is just the Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie Dio show, not an excursion into experimentation and improvisation by a great Prog Rock band.

Ultimately an energetic rock album that would be unremarkable if it were not for the tight precision in performance, the legacy of Blackmore, Stargazer, and above all, the astonishing vocalisations of one Ronnie James Dio.

In case I'd forgotten to mention him... ;o)

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Consider that illusive rainbow (almost) caught!

Rising is clearly more adventurous and progressive compared to Rainbow's promising, but slightly immature, debut album. We have here a new line up of the band featuring in addition to masters Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio also one of the best drummers of all time in Cozy Powell. I would say that Rainbow Rising is the definitive achievement of these three amazing musical talents. (Yes, I think this is better than any Deep Purple album!)

The remaining two band members Jimmy Bain (on bass) and Tony Carrey (on keyboards) also do an excellent job here. The keyboards, which are dominated by swirling synthesizers rather than the Hammond organ we are used to in Blackmore's previous band, gives this album a very fresh and timeless sound and the keys sound particularly good on Tarot Woman and Light In The Black. The former starts with a very captivating synthesizer, slowly building up the melody until, the drums, guitars and bass kicks into the main riff of the song. Truly amazing opening!

Light In Black features one of those very rare moments of total musical bliss. At 3:41 into the track an excellent, melodic, very structured guitar part; then some more improvised, wild soloing; then at 5:42 the excellent part is repeated, this time doubled on Moog synthesizer. All accompanied by Cozy's thunderous drumming. This part is pure musical ecstasy for me (up there with Rick Wakeman's Moog solo at the end of Starship Trooper from the Yessongs live album!). I always play this part of song at least twice every time I listen to the album. The symphonic Stargazer is also a fantastic song and an instant Rainbow classic. The remaining songs, however, even if very good too, are fairly straightforward Hard Rock songs that would not be out of place on the two Deep Purple albums made just prior to Ritchie leaving to form Rainbow.

On the down side, Rising is a bit less varied and diverse than the band's debut album. There are no real ballads to speak of this time like the beautiful Catch The Rainbow or the wonderful, folky Temple Of The King both from the debut. I cannot help thinking that they could have made a masterpiece album had they taken the best tracks from the debut and put them together with the best tracks from the present album to make a single cohesive and varied album (preferably, with the drum and keyboard sound of Rising); keeping the fantastic (and very progressive) Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Light In The Black and replacing the remaining three tracks with Catch The Rainbow, Temple Of The King, Man On the Silver Mountain and Sixteenth Century Greensleeves from the debut. This "fantasy" album, had it been a reality, would most probably have gotten the full five star rating from me and be one of my most highly regarded albums of all time! However, as it now stands, Rising is a timeless, strongly Prog Related Hard Rock classic and an excellent addition to any Prog music collection, fully deserving four solid stars.

Very highly recommended!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars One of the best power metal records ever made. I remember when it was released: I was 16 at the time and a big fan of Deep Purple. I was still recovering from the sadness of Blackmoreīs leaving from that band. Ok, the first Rainbow album was great, but nothing that really compares to Blackmoreīs best work with his former group. Rising changed all that. He fired all the Elf members (except Ronnie James Dio, of course) and hired what is now generally accepted as their best ever line up: the legendary Cozy Powell on drums, the excellent and creative Tony Carey on keyboards and bassist Jimmy Bain.

What they delivered at the time was quite unique and if Rising does sound too familiar today this is because too many artists tried to copy the formula in the following years. The record starts with one of the best things Blackmore ever wrote: Tarot Woman. This track alone is worth the price of the CD in my opinion: great atmospheric keyboards, thundering drums, excellent double tracked Dio vocals and the amazing guitar solo in the middle that simply showed why Blackmore is a genius. It is emotional, unpredictable, melodic, amazing. You have to hear to believe. The following 3 tracks are not as groundbreaking, but they are still very good (specially Starstruck, with a lyric telling the true story of a stalker that was following Blackmore for a long time. That song has a very fine slide guitar solo).

Side two of the LP is where progheads should pay atention: Stargazer is a 8+ minutes epic that really defines the future symphonic power metal genre. Itīs bombastic, itīs heavy, itīs melodic and sure as hell itīs one of their best moments (including a very good orchestral arrangement in the last part). Light In The Black is all about virtuosity with a terrific duel between Blackmoreīs guitar and Careyīs synthesizer, while Powell and Bain keep the rhythm at breakneck pace. Above all, Dio proves he was the right choice for the frontman.

It is a pity that this would be the only studio album done by this line up (the live On Stage is another classic). But they did left their mark on the music scene. Ritchie Blackmore showed anyone that heavy music could be progressive, as he had done before with Deep Purple. And, one more time, paved the way to so many great artists that would follow into the 80īs and 90īs.

A classic, 5 star CD. Highly recommended.

Review by Isa
4 stars |B+| One of the most influential hard rock albums to date.

Way back over thirty years ago, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple guitarist fame united with Dio's band Elf (at first, as a side project; for this album he would replace the rest of the musicians accept for Dio) to form a new group Rainbow that would revolutionize the world of hard rock, especially Rainbow's sophomore effort, Rising. This album in many ways has achieved historical merit regarding it's influence on the direction hard rock and metal would take in the future, and that influence reverberates throughout the metal community today, especially with power metal and prog metal acts. So exactly what about it made it so influential?

Well, nothing like it had really been done before. And it still sounds remarkably unique and well aged all the way to the incoming another decade of the millennium. Blackmore's guitar work is some of the best (if not the best) he had and has ever recorded, at least in the sense of how he'd progressed out of the blues style into what would help define hard rock/heavy metal guitar playing, with heavy hitting riffs, sweeping (guitar pun not intended) solos, and even hints at what would be the basis for power metal guitar playing (especially in A Light in the Black). The synth work is a big thing that separates this from your standard rock album as well. There is also an overall slight complexity to the composition, though not that it's nearly enough to considered all out prog, but surely enough to at least be included in this site. Dio's vocals fit the music remarkably well, adding the the wholesome and almost mystic feel the album has. The drumming is interesting enough, and I think it could have been made very cluttered had Powell had a more complicated progressive playing style, for the style and rhythm patterns he plays only contribute to the solidity and heaviness of the album. All of the instruments just fit so well together, like a puzzle that just fits nearly perfectly (though certainly not the most complex puzzle, mind you, this is still hard rock here).

What surprises me most is just how catchy all the tracks are without loosing hardly any musical integrity whatsoever. This is definitely an album that wasn't created just to make money, these guys are writing exactly the music they want without compromise, and it well paid off as that mentality created an album that has endured the test of time. Unfortunately I can't say the same for pretty much any of the group's following albums. Had they kept on the role they were on with this album, they could have easily been my favorite band, as this is definitely one of my favorite hard rock albums. Head banging hard rock, to the level of awesomeness as Uriah Heep, some Rush, and obviously Deep Purple. This is the non-progressive album that is a heavy progger's dream come true.

As far as the actual tracks go, it's pretty hard to determine the best, for all are so powerful and splendid in their own ways, but I think Stargazer takes the cake. Had the entire album been as truly transcending and godly as this one, this album would be a complete masterpiece for the ages, but alas it only comes incredibly close. It seems as though in the main chorus, at the part of the lyrics "I see a Rainbow Rising," a magical arua falls around the band, as another reviewer said at some point, a feeling caused by the introduction of the moving string lines that add to the already magical feeling the song presents, especially with the male choruses (I'm pretty sure they're keyboard settings...). It is seriously that epic. "I'm goin' home, Oooooh!!!" Everyone who listens to rock should hear this epic track at some point in their lives. My least favorite tracks are actually the first and last, though for relatively minor reasons.

This is one of those albums that makes my standards for music overall so high, the fact that I must give such incredible albums as this a four to reserve my masterpiece ratings for truly transcendental albums that surpass even this. I someday may change it to a five, should it gain such status in my collection. Essential for rockers, as I'm not sure the musically educated prog elitist would have much appreciation for rock of this simple of. If you like ANY hard rock or early metal AT ALL, especially bands like Deep Purple, Scorpions, Savatage, Black Sabbath, etc., this is an album you MUST buy, period. Oh, and the remastered version (or at least the one I bought) tweaked some things and added effects where they weren't really appropriate, especially with the cymbal crashes; just a fair warning to any of you that actually decide to buy the CD version of this remarkable piece of work.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rising is the second full-length studio album by hard rock/ heavy rock act Rainbow. After the success of the debut album Ritchie Blamoreīs Rainbow (1975) the rythm section and the keyboardist were replaced with more accomplished musicians and it clearly shows on this album. New drummer Cozy Powell ( MSG, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath...among others) is a great addition to the band and his playing on Rising is extremely powerful and drives the music forward much better than his predecessor did. New bassist Jimmy Bain is also a force to be reckoned with and new keyboardist Tony Carey brings much to the music too. The two mainmen of the band Ritchie Blackmore ( guitars) and Ronnie James Dio ( vocals) show their full potential on this release too and the sum of all these great performances makes for a very special listening experience.

The music is still blues rock based hard rock/ heavy rock but there are far more neo- classical elements in the music on Rising than on Ritchie Blamoreīs Rainbow. The biggest difference in addition to the much better songwriting on Rising is the intense performance on the album though. The vocals, the guitars, the keyboards and the rythm section are just excellent. The album is only 33:35 minutes long and only contains six tracks. That half hour packs so much power and joy about playing music that I couldnīt wish for more though. The songs Tarot Woman, Stargazer and the excellent A Light in the Black with its neo-classical twin guitar/ keyboard lead are the most most progressive sounding tracks on the album while the remaining three songs Run With the Wolf, Starstruck and Do You Close Your Eyes are more in the simpler hard rock/ heavy rock vein. All six songs are of high quality though.

The production by Martin Birch ( Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath...etc) is powerful and intense. Just like the performance. Everything seemed to click on this album.

Rising is THE Rainbow album to own if you only had to have one IMO. Itīs a seminal hard rock/ heavy rock album of the seventies and its influence on both heavy metal, power metal and ( to a lesser degree) progressive metal is not to be underestimated. A very important album that fully deserves a BIG 4 star rating from me. I find it highly recommendable. A true classic.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's not even 35 minutes long, an EP by today's standard but what a blast of melody, energy and emotion it is! I think there will be little disagreement among fans that this is Rainbow finest hour (yeah well half hour).

Tarot Woman leaves little room for doubt that Rainbow really means business this time. The debut album had a lot of good hard rock songs and tasty ballads but nothing of this epic proportion. After a nice moog interlude the track sets off for real with a vintage Cozy Powell power drum fill. What follows is an epic swirl of big riffs, thumping rhythms and Dio's ominous voice.

Run With The Wolf and Starstruck are typical Blackmore hard rock: catchy, fast and very lyrical; similar to the debut but with a bigger production and a real drummer here. Do You Close Your Eyes is the seemingly mandatory throwaway track that has to appear on every Dio-fronted album. On to 'side two' then, where two of the best hard rock songs ever are still awaiting us. These tracks will probably also be the most appealing for non-hardrock prog fans that want to check this band out. They are long, sweeping tracks with astounding melodies and a sequence of excellent guitar and keyboard solos. Yes, even I do not have any reservations against the keyboards here, on the contrary.

One warning. If you don't like (or indulge) the artwork you might not like the music neither. It's the exact visual representation of the epic power that you'll find inside the sleeve! 4.5 stars

Review by Kazuhiro
5 stars It was said that there were neither a communication of the intention nor a friendly communication with other members of Deep purple according to the remark of Ritchie Blackmore. And, it might be true not to have gotten the action that Ritchie Blackmore seceded Deep Purple the answer easily voluntarily either. His secession might have held worry as a frame of mind at that time. However, the challenge and the creation to the music of Ritchie Blackmore surely stared at the next stage.

The single Solo production has already progressed to Ritchie Blackmore in the process of the production of "Stormbringer" of the album of Deep Purple announced in 1974. Collection is refused to this "Black Sheep of the Family" for the reasons why other members of Deep Purple do not perform tunes other than the original as a result. This "Black Sheep of the Family/Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" runs aground as a result. Leaping results attended with a further necessity the idea of Ritchie Blackmore.

The band that was called "Elf" by one of the bands of the support that took charge of a lot of tours of Deep Purple existed. Ritchie Blackmore had evaluated Ronnie James Dio of this band high. It has the result of this fact's leading to the formation of "Rainbow" as a necessity.

To make the shape of the music at which Ritchie Blackmore had to aim exactly in 1975 an embodiment, their debut albums were announced. It is ..Rock album with high quality that Ritchie Blackmore in the debut album of Rainbow added elements etc. of a few Blues to the cultivated Music character with Deep Purple.. finished.

It makes remarks on Ronnie James Dio by the process from the debut album of Rainbow to the production of this "Rising". 「The member of Elf was appointed and the album was produced in the debut album. However, it was necessary to give dismantlement and restructuring to raise the perfection of the music character at which the band aimed further. 」This remark at that time was not to have criticized Ritchie Blackmore at all. The directionality of the zeal that the band had and the music that should be aimed surely catches everything at that time and it is not in "the difference. All the results might be expressed in this album. My act was a correct answer or was mistaken when Deep Purple seceded or Ritchie Blackmore was made remarks no understanding. However, this act has succeeded as a result in making very complete music as the result surely without having complete power.

The member is replaced to construct the perfection and the idea of the work for the recording of this album and it is produced. Tony Carey takes charge of the keyboard player. And, Jimmy Bain of an active Bass player in the album etc. of Wild Horses. And, Cozy Powell takes charge of the drum player. The rhythm that Cozy Powell performs as a point that should make a special mention is a point that surely responds to the music character at which Rainbow aims while following the performance to listen in the Jeff Beck group. The straight rhythm and a hard, intense performance might be the performances to complete for the band.

"Tarot Woman" might be a tune of which the element and the conception of the gramary to which Ritchie Blackmore devoted oneself went out. The tune explodes from the start of the synthesizer with the Spacey part attended with Riff of five group notes. The composition of a complete tune has evolved greatly since the time of Rainbow that has already debuted. Intensely advanced with reminiscent of the culture in the Middle Ages development might splendidly express the music character at which the band should exactly aim. The obbligati of Solo and the keyboard of the guitar harmonizes completely, too.

"Run With The Wolf" is straight Rock that ensemble of the band is splendidly demonstrated. The progress of Chord also ..good composition.. has finished while giving the change. Solo that the guitar is good twines as Groove continuing. It might have been exactly proven that the band had evolved greatly.

"Starstruck" advances with the rhythm of the shuffle with Groove from the part of the harmony of the guitar. Overwhelming power of the tune raises the album-quality. And, the line of Bass also contributes to the tune. Straight Rock will completely raise this album- quality. Solo of the guitar that uses the bottleneck has acted on the tune well, too.

"Do You Close Your Eyes" progresses with complete power and a friendly melody. It was often performed as a tune of the encore of live that Rainbow at that time had done. The sound of the guitar might be a sound for Rock in complete. Groove is continued.

"Stargazer" progresses from Solo of the drum that multiuses the demiquaver as complete Rock. The music at which the band should aim appears remarkably exactly. Development that gives the impression in the Middle Ages while containing the part of the orchestra will be one of the elements that this band will continue in the future. Solo of the guitar that twines while continuing the impression of the solemnity has the overwhelming might. The tune offers the listener one shape of the music that completely reached the peak and they aimed.

It is said that "A Light In The Black" spent the period of about eight months by the time the tune is completed as well as "Stargazer". The flow that progresses with a complete dash feeling might be one the top. The performance of the band continues complete power and the dash feeling attended with Riff of an impressive guitar. The flow that multiuses harmony from overwhelming Solo of the keyboard and shifts to an advanced composition of the tune and solo of the guitar will exactly call the excitement and impression. An overwhelming dash feeling and power express the highest idea and the power of the band.

This always popular in work of Rainbow album will have been a legend momentarily of the completion.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After very strong debut, Rainbow released their best ever album "Rising". I think the main reason of radical change of musical quality is almost totaly new line-up: Blacmore changed all Elf musicians ( only Ronnie James Dio stayed on vocal) to professional team.

I can't say that musical style was changed in their second album - it just was improved. Much more professional sound, focused songs and more heavy songs.For me the difference between the sound of their debut and second albums is in part as difference between early seventies hard-rock and heavy rock from late seventies, with heavy metal influences.

Dio voice is even better than in debut, all music is really stronger. "Stargazer" is most classical Rainbow truck. I think that this album is band's highest point.

Strong 4,5 ( for me the only reason why it isn't 5 is a bit dated common sound looking from today's point).

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars Somehow I'm not feeling the love from this album. Probably one of the most beloved albums in the archives that isn't exactly a prog album. The last two songs contain elements of prog things, but I say this is a hard rock album first and foremost.

Expecting the rock elements here to be subpar would be almost criminal as Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell all play on this album. A plethora of rock riffs invade the first half, so this is euphoria if you like that stuff especially with Blackmore being a master at this kind of thing. These four songs are really hit or miss with ''Run Like the Wolf'' being the weakest track and ''Starstruck'' being the strongest.

With ''Stargazer'', the album makes an epic detour into symphonic rock. Most progsters will find this is the best track of the album, but I tend to think the song's orchestral backings weigh everything down too much. I prefer the relentless pace of ''A Light in the Black'' even if that song runs a little too long. I'd say a prog fan should get this if they want an occasional escape from prog rock.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the shaky first album Blackmore basically fired everyone except for Dio and rebooted the band with a completely different lineup. Among the new recruits were such talents as the great Cozy Powell and Tony Carey who gives a career highlight performance with his keyboard arrangements.

Rising is a great hard rock album from start to finish with Dio/Blackmore/Powell lineup at its best. Just like in my review of the band's debut album I have a slight dispute concerning this album's highlight. Both Tarot Woman and Stargazer are excellent compositions although I tend to lean towards Tarot Woman since I can't help the excitement I get every time I hear the keyboard intro of Tarot Woman! Stargazer isn't far behind but I feel that this type of mix between classical music, hard rock and eastern flavored influences is done even better on Gates Of Babylon from the follow-up album.

The second part of A Light In The Black is another noteworthy performance from Blackmore and Powell who basically play off each other in the extensive concluding outro. Considering the lengthy in concert jams that the band was know at the time it would have been nice to hear this type of performance even featured here. Instead the album ends after only some 30 minutes and leaves me wanting to hear more.

Rising basically shows how great this band could be. Just as every other of Rainbow's albums there are a few lesser performances but this time the tops are so high that the final release is well worth awarding the seal of excellence from me!

***** star songs: Tarot Woman (6:08) Stargazer (8:27)

**** star songs: Run With The Wolf (3:47) Starstruck (4:04) A Light In The Black (8:11)

*** star songs: Do You Close Your Eyes (2:58)

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Outstanding and unique, Rising combines the vintage soul of metal with a forward thinking sound (for the time), charging at the listener with a mighty sword of classic hard-rock.

The album opens with some brief sci-fi synthisizer, opening up the throttle with the driving "Tarot Woman". The hard-rock feel of this song is excellent, and sets a powerful tone for the album. Blackmoor's guitar riffing is driving and heavy, with a thick bluesy feel and a sort of understated proficiency-- few solos but a great sound. The real highlight here, and in the strutting "Run to the Wolf" that follows, are Dio's vocals. I am rapidly being convinced that he is the one of the greatest hard-rock vocalists of this era, his masculine voice and powerful phrasing adding a tremendous amount of energy to these songs. I love a good metal wail, but Dio's gruff persona may actually be better. His vocals, and the band's style in "Starstruck", rival Zepplin on their best day.

The second side of Rising is where things get epic, and we can start to see how Rainbow's proto-power metal style influenced some of the heavy-metal giants following in their footsteps. "Stargazer" gives us a heavy, driving rock pulse with an ambitious mystic/egyptian-like feel. While overall a good and very powerful song, it lacks direction, loosing its focus in the chugging. However, the rip-roaring closer "A Light in the Black" ends Rising very well, with fat keyboard and guitar solos surrounded by classically inspired unison moments-- and did I mention Dio?

A rock solid album; the heavy/vintage sound is exceptional and the muscianship stands out even today, not to mention what is clearly one of the coolest album covers of all time!

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by EatThatPhonebook
5 stars For sure one of the best hard rock/proto metal albums ever. A true classic, a masterpiece that must be listened to anyone who loves this genre. Rainbow includes some of the worlds greatest musicians, such as Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) on lead vocals, Ritchie Blackmore on guitars, Cozy Powell on drums. Not to forget Tony Carey, that thanks to this album shows his talent, especially in songs like "Tarot Woman" and "A Light In The Black".

The style of the album is typical hard rock, even though there are some very original moments and elements, like the already mentioned virtuosity of the keyboardist Carey, making the record prog related. We also fond though traditional elements of proto metal, such as enlivened and heavy guitars that play some simple but effective riffs, and magnificent solos. Many consider Rainbow's "Rising" or even the band very similar to Deep Purple, actually they think they are pretty much the same. They couldn't be more more wrong, in my opinion. Both bands have a very original sense of songwriting, different from each other. Sure, they do have a lot in common, but I wouldn't consider them identical.

The album stars with "Tarot Woman", one of the best hard rock songs ever. It also has one of the most original intros of the genre, played only with the keyboards. The rest is extremely catchy, with great vocals by Dio and amazing guitar by Blackmore. Fantastic. "Run With The Wolf" is a great hard rock song, very traditional, with a simple riff, but played with great energy and heart. The same can be said for the two following tracks, "Starstruck" and "Do You Close Your Eyes", other two fantastic pieces. "Stargazer" is the bands masterpiece, one of the very best hard rock songs ever written. Mysterious, epic, energetic, powerful, enigmatic, here we probably find Dio's best performance. "A light In The Black"'s best moment in my opinion is Carey's solo, a true hymn to virtuosity and real music. The rest never appealed to me much.

A fantastic album, absolutley essential for any hard rock fan, I recommend it to EVERYONE!!

Review by lazland
4 stars I'm on a bit of a nostalgia festival tonight, and revisiting this classic of hard/classic rock from 1976 is a pleasure.

My very first "true" prog album was Yes, Going For The One. This album preceded it in my start to a record collection by a matter of a few weeks. I don't consider this to be a progressive rock album. It always was, and will always remain, a classic of the type of hard rock perfected by bands such as this, Blackmore's predecessor band Purple, and Black Sabbath, amongst others.

There are five classic tracks on this LP, ones which demonstrate a rock guitarist, his vocalist and sparring partner, and a backing band of exceptional quality, in the highest light. From Tarot Woman to Light In The Black, we have some incredible toe tapping numbers.

However, the centrepiece of this album, from the incredible cover (I was SO proud showing it off to my friends walking up the road at the time!) to the album itself, is Stargazer, the most incredible slab of sci fi/fantasy ever committed to vinyl.

Right from the staggering Cozy Powell intro, a drummer who is, by the way, really very much missed, to the dying embers of the orchestral interplay with band, this track still never fails to excite me and make me want to go straight out and write a sword and sorcery classic. This is a tightly worked and executed piece of music, with the basic riff and rhythm deliberately kept simple and repeated by Ritchie Blackmore, and the interplay with Tony Carey on keyboards (whatever did happen to him?), the Munich Philarmonic Orchestra, and the massive riffing drum and bass are a wonder to behold. Blackmore's solo in mid track is also amongst his finest, and that is high praise indeed.

One thing is certain. This was not intended to be a symphonic prog masterpiece. It merely reflected the bombastic hard/classic rock Blackmore & Dio were exploring at the time.

I am, however, glad it is on the site, and I have no hesitation in awarding it 4 stars, but 4.5 in reality.

If all you heavy prog fans out there want to know where your Iron Maiden, Opeth, and other such bands, started off, here it is.

Review by CCVP
5 stars Possibly the best hard rock album ever

Started as a side project of Ritchie Blackmore to counter his time at Deep Purple, Rainbow was starting to soar new hights as the years went by. The energetic and raw fantasy blues rock music presented at the band's debut, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, was replaced by a polished, operatic and epic hard rock in the band's next release, just a year later, that, by far, surpassed anything Blackmore's older band was doing at the same time. In fact, Deep Purple would enter in its first hiatus one year after Rising's release,

Capturing the peak of the creative powers of Dio and Blackmore, as well as being clearly influenced by the progressive rock scene around them, Rising manages to merge the best of the hard rock / heavy metal both usually played, composed and recorded up untill that point and some progressive rock. There are various points throughout the album that you can actually see that. In songs such as Tarot Woman, Starstruck and Stargazer it becomes evident. This album's impact was so big that, together with Rush's late 70's albums, Rising would later prove to be an enourmous influence on progressive metal bands to come.

Everywhere you look here, the lyrics, the guitars, keys, drums or bass, you canfind nothing but extraordinary musicianship combined with cleaver, new and inventive compositions, but no matter how much I praise those characteristics, Rainbow's Rising manages to be such a powerful album for, most of all, being a short album. The famous all killer, no filler.

In spite of not having any song that is really bad in their classical era, that is untill Long Live Rock & Roll, it is undenyable that, both in Rainbow's debut and in their third album, there ARE weak songs in those albums, what does not happen here. Deciding to have a compact album with only good and powerful showed to be a great decision.

The only flaws I can ever point out here are some mixing issues, being the biggest one Blackmore's downward glisando at the begining of Stargazer, which could be a bit louder.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Rising is a practically perfect rock album. Recorded just before this style of music became unfashionable, it has everything you can possibly imagine a rock album can have and everything is used well or is the right place. It has the excesses without being bloted, it has the virtuosi without being self-indulgent, it has the power without being midless, and etc.

The only conceivable grade the biggest.

Review by friso
3 stars Rainbow - Rising (1976)

This famous album by Rainbow, the band of Blackmore (ex Deep Purple) and Dio is a cornerstone in the development of the heavy metal genre as we know it today. On side one Rainbow sounds as a post-hard rock and proto stadium metal band, whilst on side two Rainbow plays early metal with an innovative edge to it. It is often mentioned this is a short studio-album with it's 33 minutes, but I must say I'm through with it when it's over. Can't make a problem of it.

The sound of Rainbow is quite exciting. Most of the compositions are up-tempo or bombastic and the sound of the band is very original (on it's time of release!). Ronnie James Dio sings very motived and theatric and because of this album I'm beginning to understand how the man gained such an reputation in the metal-scene. Ritchie Blackmore's guitar sound just great, though we mustn't expect to much Deep Purple-like material. Only the guitarsolo's reveal the origin of Blackmore.

Side one has many shorter metal tracks with extrovert vocals and simple formulas. Side two has two longer tracks that make this an worthwhile release for listeners of the progressive genre. 'Stargazer' is a symphonic and partly gothic metal track with a very impressive and magical long ending section. 'A Light in the Black' in the black is also quite impressive, but not as atmospheric as 'Stargazer'.

Conclusion. This is step towards the great heavy metal scene of the up-coming eighties and the performance of the band makes the album stand the test of time. Next to this album, I would recommend Rainbow on Stage for fans of hard rock and metal. Furthermore I would like to point out that much of this material has become 'conventional' by todays standard and that much of the high ratings of this album are given by people who listened to it in '76. Three stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rainbow rising over 70s metal.

One of the great Rainbow albums with fantastic musicianship throughout. Dio is in wonderful form along with the incredible drumming of Cozy Powell and the definitive fret melting lead work of Blackmore. He is fantastic on songs such as 'Tarot Woman' and 'Stargazer'. He uses a slide on the mid tempo 'Run With the Wolf' to great effect.

There are so many highlights including the brilliant 'Starstruck' with great classic lyrics such as "it used to be a game now I can't repeat my name at all, She seems to believe that I never can refuse her call, She wants a souvenir, To everyone it's clear, She's hooked, one look She wants a photograph, And everybody laughs But not me, 'cause I see She's creeping like a hungry cat, Seen it before and I know it can mean that the ladie's starstruck..."

'Stargazer' is a symphonic classic including a terrific drum intro and killer riff, awesome lead break and a melody that stays with you; "We built a tower of stone, With our flesh and bone, Just to see him fly Don't know why, Now where do we go".

Another treasure is the rocking fast paced 'A Light in the Black', "I'm coming home...", with amazing synth solo, and there is so much more on this album. This is one to buy if you see it, especially on vinyl with that iconic cover.

Review by Warthur
3 stars This landmark Rainbow proved to be a turning point in the careers of all involved, but most particularly of Ritchie Blackmore and Dio; it not only established Rainbow as a credible band rather than a mere vanity project of Blackmore's, but it also saw Dio join the front rank of metal frontmen from the era. It would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that most of Dio's subsequent career would be based around refining and perfecting the fantasy metal blueprint provided by this album, both in terms of his Dungeons & Dragons lyrics and the driving proto- NWOBHM sound on display.

I do not say that to denigrate Dio - quite the opposite. The fact that he was able to base so much of his future career on what was accomplished with this album just goes to show the rich creative vein tapped by it. As well as Dio's stalwart vocal performance and Blackmore's usual virtuoso guitar playing, major kudos has to go to the rhythm section of Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell, whose driving fast-paced playing provides a rock-solid base for Blackmore and keyboardist Tony Carey's solos and Dio's quasi-operatic proclamations.

Although it's of obvious historical interest, on a purely musical level I wouldn't count the album as an unadulterated classic. Tony Carey's keyboard playing, aside from the intro to Tarot Woman, is usually upstaged by the rest of the band and doesn't seem to add much to the compositions beyond the odd bit of texture here and there, to the point where it feels as though he's present solely because artsy rock bands in the 1970s were supposed to have a keyboardist. In addition, the songwriting flags a bit after the first half of the album, with Stargazer getting repetitive to the point where I never want to hear Dio yelling "Whips and chaaaaaiiins" ever again. In addition to this, fans of more brutal and aggressive metal styles - or even harder and heavier Rainbow-influenced variants of NWOBHM, traditional metal and power metal - may find it to be rather tame. But still, when I'm in just the right mood for a Dio fix and I don't want something as heavy as his Sabbath material or as quintessentially 80s as his best solo work, Rising hits the spot.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This second album by RAINBOW is not as good for my taste than their first. Their first album had more variety in the musical moods, having some slow and some heavy songs. For this second album, the music tends more to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal while in their first there even were some Classical Music inlfuences ("Temple of the King") and more Prog Rock music influences. Maybe the changes in personnel (too much changes, in my opinion, and not really needed, I think) really affected the sound and musical style of this second album. While Cozy Powell is still considered as one of the most versatile drummers and one of the best particularly in the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal musical styles, I think that their previous drummer (Gary Driscoll) was also a very good drummer and brought more variety to the music of the band. And I also think that, despite being good musicians, Tony Carey and Jimmy Bain were not better musicians than Mickey Lee Soule and Craig Gruber. Anyway, with Ritchie Blackmore being a very good musician but also "a very difficult person to work with," like some of the musicians who have worked with him have said in interviews, it really was not a surprise that he never was totally satisfied with the line-ups of his band, so many musicians came and went. This "Rising" album is good, but I still prefer their first album more than this album.
Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To put it bluntly, "Rising" is a really solid album. Ritchie Blackmore's fretboard magic, searing synth solos, Cozy Powell's tight drumming and Ronnie James Dio's hyper-masculine vocals form a careful marriage of neoclassical licks, symphonic orchestration, fantasy lyrical romance and hard rock testosterone. Altogether the album delivers like a long lost Deep Purple Mk II project, though it really stands for itself as something independent. Numbers like "Tarot Woman" and the orchestral epic "Stargazer" particularly stand out as top notch heavy prog, though there really aren't any weak songs on the album. "Do You Close Your Eyes" is more straightforward hard rock than the rest of the album but there's really nothing wrong with it; it only seems weaker due to the high caliber of the album's other five tracks.

One of my personal favourite albums, "Rising" is a short but powerful musical journey that will be a big hit for fans of bands like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep and wouldn't be out of place in any proghead's collection. A classic well worth investigating!

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Considered one of the pinnacles of 1970s hard rock and one of the primary impetuses of the world of power metal that would take off in the 1980s, Ritchie Blackmore unleashed RISING his second release with RAINBOW (after truncating the longer moniker Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow) in the spring of 1976 which played a pivotal role in ushering the hard rock 1970s into the heavy metal 80s. While building on the bluesy rock riffs infused with classical elements from the debut and previous Deep Purple experiments, Blackmore decided to start from scratch and fired his entire band with the exception of lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio. The new lineup recruited drummer Cozy Powell best known for playing with Jeff Beck, newbie Jimmy Bain on bass another newbie in the form of American keyboardist Tony Carey.

The album is often simply called RAINBOW RISING, a phrase used in the fantasy fueled subject matter of the album's 8 1/2 showpiece "Stargazer" which tackles the theme of a wizard turned to the dark side by enslaving humanity to achieve his self-serving ways. The track featured epic crossover progressive rock attributes such as symphonic influences, extended solos of the guitar, keyboards and drums and a series of interesting musical scales. The original vinyl release featured only four songs on side A and two songs that extended past the eight minute mark on the B side. The album was fairly short at only 33 1/2 minutes but packed with all those well established hard rock sounds of the 70s laced with the extra elements that made RAINBOW RISING one of those foundational albums that took the world of heavy metal to the next level.

The album begins with the sounds of distant keyboard sounds that offer a nice electronic contemplation before breaking into the guitar, bass and drum fueled hard rocker "Tarot Woman" which immediately launches the album into the mystical world of the occult and fantasy which would essentially become the subject matter for the world of much of the metal music that would dominate the 1980s and beyond carried on by Ronnie James Dio himself when he launched his own band Dio. In fact many of the tracks on RAINBOW RISING gave hints as to what Ronnie James would sound like on albums like "Holy Diver" and "The Last In Line." It's uncanny how RAINBOW RISING revisited the past glory of Blackmore's Deep Purple years while prognosticating the future simultaneously and while transitional albums can often sound stilted, RAINBOW RISING pretty much stands on its own as a masterwork of the era.

The highlights of the album are without a doubt the sole two songs that make up the second half of the album. "Stargazer" is perhaps the most famous song of RAINBOW's decade long existence and rightfully so as it perfectly embodies the stylistic approach Blackmore was striving for, that being an artful blend of razor-sharp heavy rock instrumentation infused with classical elements, ethnic folk flavors and symphonic prog sophistication without sacrificing the immediacy of a harder leaning rock band. The closing "A Light In The Black" begins with that hard boogie stomp that Blackmore made ample use of throughout his career. Stylistically this track isn't really different the average Blackmore penned composition but rather simply extended and infused with excellent guitar, keyboard and drum heft and perhaps one of the most energetic outbursts of heavy metal up to this point.

Considered one of the true masterpieces of the ages by many, personally this album took me a while to warm up to. Most likely due to the fact that it is similar and less dynamic than Dio's own stylistic interpretations from his solo releases. Let's fact it, Vivian Campbell added a fiery virtuosic energy that Blackmore was never able to achieve but alas i must consider this album for the time it was rendered and simply accept it on its own terms. In that regard, RAINBOW RISING is indeed an excellent album that is chock full of instantly addictive early heavy metal guitar riffs, organ swells and drum rolls made all the more viable by Ronnie James Dio's spot on metal vocal style. Despite it all this just doesn't resonate to me on the same level that many make it out to be. While "Tarot Woman" and the two longer tracks are certainly 5-star masterworks, the triumvirate lesser songs of "Run With The Wolf", "Starstruck" and "Don't Close Your Eyes" are fairly standard of the day. Personally i find the band's following album "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" to be superior and their crowning achievement however this is obviously an essential album for anyone into rock or metal.

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Report this review (#2312223) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rising is easily the best studio album ever released in my opinion. The style on the album is perfect, early Heavy metal mixed with classical music, dragons and wizards, and with a bit oriental harmonies. There is so much stuff on this album that pioneered a whole genre. Those who credit Motörhe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1679846) | Posted by LadyScarlet | Saturday, January 14, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rising was my first Rainbow album (still on vinyl), and I loved it immediately. Though Jimmy Bain on bass and vocalist Ronnie James Dio have never been the most talented musicians, and Ritchie Blackmore has proven later that he is at his best with an acoustic guitar, they somehow managed to compensa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1355458) | Posted by Losimba | Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the album that single handedly prised me from the clutches of punk rock when I was MUCH younger. Together with Deep Purple Made in Japan that is. 'Tarot Woman' is one of those tracks that simply stays with you forever, a monster of a track that I still remember hearing tfor the very firs ... (read more)

Report this review (#515249) | Posted by robert45 | Monday, September 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rainbow's Rising is the epitomy of traditional heavy metal. Dio's stylized, dramatic tone of voice is ideal for the genre. Cozy Powell's unambiguously thundering drumming style anchors each track perfectly. Guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore's neo-classical riffs and extended melodic solos are ... (read more)

Report this review (#512528) | Posted by bassgeezer | Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rainbow's best album by far, but not exactly a masterpiece. Yes if your expectations are low after hearing Rainbow's first effort, or if you forgive the obvious Led Zeppelin copy cat portions of Stargazer then maybe I could see giving this album a higher rating. But, can you forgive the che ... (read more)

Report this review (#410449) | Posted by By--Tor | Thursday, March 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Second album by Rainbow, Blackmore's creature after his departure from Deep Purple, is an astonishing demonstration of musical power and creative strenght, showing a mind-blowing wall of sound delivered by a lineup featuring nothing less than three giants of rock like Ronnie James Dio on vocals, ... (read more)

Report this review (#280413) | Posted by Malve87 | Monday, May 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A classic album with some heavy weights of heavy metal! So, I have to admit. I had never heard of this album until Dream Theater covered "Stargazer," at which point I just had to hear the original. After hearing a couple tracks, I was eager to go out and get the album and I haven't been disappoin ... (read more)

Report this review (#254460) | Posted by The Radiant Is | Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rainbow Rising is the second album by the group Rainbow founded by ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and ex-Elf lead singer Ronnie James Dio. Unlike their first release, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, one can hear the band's pre-power metal sound beginning to take form. Rainbow Rising i ... (read more)

Report this review (#254220) | Posted by Cygnus X-3 | Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although this album was a very influential to the world of prog, I don't see it as a masterpiece of prog. It is definitely a great hard rock album, but it isn't very proggy. Don't get me wrong, I like this album and very good performances are given by all members. The only tracks I recommend to p ... (read more)

Report this review (#223855) | Posted by estes | Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I see a Rainbow Rising We all know you're only here for that one certain song. Joking aside, this is a very solid album, with some lapses here and there, and one true highlight that is high enough as to be gazed at from the stars. I am speaking of course, of Stargazer. Opening with a captiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#210632) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is of course Rainbow's best album, and it's the best album on here that's considered prog-related. This album has some very good prog moments, too. The beginning of the album is incredibly awesome (and progish!), with Tony Carey's keyboards creating a really cool atmosphere with the sonic so ... (read more)

Report this review (#190241) | Posted by spookytooth | Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A great album in all the aspects, contains to my it looks like the best song of this group called Stargazer where it is possible to see Dio, Powell and Blackmore's great quality, In if the album is short, but entertaining enough, if we analyze song for song we have that this material is pe ... (read more)

Report this review (#164979) | Posted by Prog_Sonicc | Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Stargazer is by far the best Rainbow song. This is a must-have for a hard-rock fanatic. Too short (33 minutes for 6 tracks), but marvellous album, which contains no weak songs. Dio's voice is at his best, Blackmore's guitar is as great as always, Cozy Powell's drums are fantastic...This is almos ... (read more)

Report this review (#164746) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I see a rainbow rising!!!! I thought no Ritchie's work outside Deep Purple could be masterpieces comparable to DP's best work. But I was wrong. And I'm glad for that! And Rising is maybe the latest absolutely awesome hard rock album, and gives me that old classic feeling, the same as when I l ... (read more)

Report this review (#159740) | Posted by Barla | Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Long live rock 'n' roll.... even though that's the next album "Rising" is probably the Rainbow album that would appeal the most to a prog-oriented audience without being totally unaccessible to your average mainstream rock fan. It contains some straight on, nonetheless interesting, rockers l ... (read more)

Report this review (#145020) | Posted by Time Signature | Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I first heard Rainbow Rising when I was 11 and it has remained one of my favorite albums ever since. FYI - according to The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal, by Daniel Bukszpan, Rainbow's Rising ranks #9 on the ten most essential Metal albums. Tarot Woman - which starts with a tremendous keyboar ... (read more)

Report this review (#103879) | Posted by prisonerno6 | Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rainbow's shining moment. After releasing a promising debut album, Ritchie Blackmore chose to replace everyone except singer Ronnie James Dio for the next album, a gamble which would pay off. The Blackmore/Dio combination would reach it's peak with this album. The opening song 'Tarot Woman ... (read more)

Report this review (#101322) | Posted by East of Lyra | Friday, December 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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