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Rainbow Long Live Rock & Roll album cover
3.61 | 319 ratings | 28 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Long Live Rock & Roll (4:19)
2. Lady of the Lake (3:37)
3. L.A. Connection (4:58)
4. Gates of Babylon (6:46)
5. Kill the King (4:28)
6. The Shed (Subtle) (4:45)
7. Sensitive to Light (3:04)
8. Rainbow Eyes (7:11)

Total Time 39:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Ronnie James Dio / lead vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar, bass
- David Stone / keyboards (4-6), piano outro (3)
- Bob Daisley / bass (4,5,7)
- Cozy Powell / drums, percussion

- Bavarian String Ensemble (4)
- Rainer Pietsch / strings orchestration & conducting (4,8)
- Ferenc Kiss / concertmaster (4), violin (8)
- Nico Nicolic / violin (8)
- Ottmar Machan / viola (8)
- Karl Heinz Feit / cello (8)
- Rudi Risavy / flute (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Debbie Hall with Maxi Chan (design)

LP Polydor ‎- POLD 5002 (1978, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- P2 25090 (1987, US)
CD Polydor ‎- 547363-2 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Suha Gur

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and to projeKct for the last updates
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RAINBOW Long Live Rock & Roll ratings distribution

(319 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RAINBOW Long Live Rock & Roll reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

By the time Rainbow got down to record the follow-up to Rising, there had been a few changes in the line-up. Bain had some fall-out with Blackmood and Carey had not survived the first tour because of his inapt soloing, he had been replaced by the much better classically-trained Canadian David Stone for the next tours (when this young proghead managed to see them live for the first time). Unfortunately, the title and artwork (both still good) lacked the promise and failed to confirm the predecessor's success, but the album still held a few excellent tracks.

The fans were already familiar with the killer track Kill The King , and together with the opening title track, the fans were in known territory. But apart from one other track, I must say the album is rather deceiving for this writer. Sure there were the usual riff-laden anthem like LA Connection , Lady Of The Lake, Sensitive To Light or The Shed, but all of these tracks were too tightly written, not allowing the band members to expand their wings enough. Only the superb Gates Of Babylon managed to get enough time-length to approach the grandeur of Stargazer. Most likely drawing on Zep's Kashmir (spiritually anyway), this track and its Arabian feel is the highlight of the album. However the even-longer Rainbow Eyes is a huge disappointment, and with its syrupy strings, it is grotesquely long. Good thing it comes at the end of the album, so it is rather easy to skip. One of my main gripes aboutb this album is the production. This album is way too slick and in some ways reminds me a bit of NWOBHMB or late 70's Judas Priest especially o n the guitar/bass combo.

Unfortunately, Rainbow was unable to confirm whatever promises the fans had seen in Rising, and most of us wish that the group had made a "son of Rising" instead of trying something different. Still holds the implacable triumvirate of DIO-Powell-Blackmore, this is the last worthy album of the group as Blackmore will have a fall-out with Dio, ending up wanting to change most of the line-up and only Powell will remain a bit longer, just enough to record the very poor Down To Earth. The group will tour to promote the album with a slightly changed line-up, Don Airey coming in on keyboards.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the masterpiece that was the "Rising" album, its successor shows hints of the more radio-friendly band that Rainbow became after the departure of Ronnie James Dio.

The album kicks off with the title track which is a fairly straightforward rocker, although I've never quite grasped the connection between the lyrics and the song's title. "Lady of the Lake" and "LA Connection" are a couple of good, if not outstanding numbers but the next two tracks are the real classics of the album. "Gates of Babylon" starts off with Eastern sounding keyboards, before Cozy Powell crashes in with Bob Daisley, who's playing here is exemplary. It slows down a bit for the middle section, which features an excellent Blackmore solo. "Kill The King" is a barn-storming number played at high speed and again features the powerhouse drumming and excellent double bass drum technique of the sadly missed Mr Powell in the middle section. Both numbers are amongst the best of Rainbow. The next two tracks, "The Shed (Subtle)" and "Sensitive To Light" are again good but not outstanding and "Rainbow Eyes" ends the album on a slow orchestral note.

Rainbow veered off down a less prog-related path after this album. Not up to the standards of its brilliant predecessor but an excellent album nonetheless.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is one of those albums that was probably more impressive due to its timing than its actual content. That being said, the tracks here are all works that stand the test of time rather well.

The album was released on the heels of ‘Rainbow Rising’ and the powerful ‘On Stage’ live release that documented the supporting tour. The band still had the lethal trio of Ritchie Blackmore, Cozy Powell, and incomparable voice of Ronnie James Dio behind the microphone. That combined with the band’s popularity at the time made this a hard album to screw up, but the band delivered eight killer tracks anyway just to make sure.

I was in my late teens at the time and still screaming around the countryside in my V8- powered muscle car whenever I had the chance, and this was some great music to accompany such an activity I must say. I can’t really point to a bad track, and in my opinion several of them should be considered timeless metal classics.

The title track is a sort of headbanger’s anthem, very tight with power chords and piercing drums and just the right touch on cymbals to make you stand up and take notice. Kind of frivolous lyrics, but like the rest of the album this song was made for the live stage and for radio, and it accomplished its goals quite well.

Dio starts to warm up his pipes with “Lady of the Lake”, a pseudo-mystic kind of tune that still pops into my head like a tripping seventies flashback almost any time I’m driving with plenty of gas in my car’s tank and an open road in front of me. “L.A. Connection” is kind of the same, except just slightly more restrained and with Dio’s vocals not quite into the dog-whistle range.

The showcase pieces on this album are “Gates of Babylon” and “Kill the King”. The first one is another mystical-metal song with Dio in prime form and Blackmore laying down some absolutely nasty guitar licks and Dave Stone’s keyboards really sounding eerie like a good fantasy metal tune should. The latter was played on the band’s ‘Rising’ tour, but here it gets a little studio discipline applied to it which serves to highlight Blackmore’s incredible speed on the six-strings. Dio has the exact same vocal timbre he would use on Kansas alumni Kerry Livgren’s ‘Seeds of Change’ solo album a couple years later, and I kind of wonder if this is where Livgren got the idea to use Dio as the demonic symbol for his basically Christian rock album in 1980. Perhaps.

“The Shed” is another tune that was probably intended to be a live tour staple with its sweeping arrangements and rather simple rhythm, but it’s also another one that sticks in your head even years after you’ve first heard it, and you have to admire a song that does that.

Dio’s vocal peak comes with “Sensitive to Light” with a shrieking refrain and more torrid guitar by Blackmore. Frankly I think this one is too short and that the band could have developed it a bit with some of the keyboard/orchestral dressage that they put into the closing track “Rainbow Eyes”. I seem to recall a video of that last tune back in the seventies, or maybe it was a medley from this album – can’t quite recall. Anyway, this is a nicely complex arrangement with lots of percussion, keyboards and other fluff, but maybe could have had a minute of two trimmed from it. A minor quibble in any case.

I wore out both an 8-track and a vinyl version of this album back in the late seventies, but still have an aging Maxell cassette that I made from the old vinyl before it gave out. Many of these songs still pop into my head from time to time, and I can still get a rush from listening to this nearly thirty years later. I think the addition of Stone added the most to the band for this album, as he brought just a bit of studio discipline and some classical training that helps give the album a kind of timeless feel. But most of all fans of Blackmore or Dio should have this record because it showcases both of them at what may have been the peak of their creativity and technical skills. A truly great album, probably not essential since it was basically a commercial venture, but certainly worth four stars.


Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This straight forward hardrock album has quite a naive approach to things, songtitles like "Kill The King" and "Long Live Rock & Roll" gives one a hint of the band's style. Legendary Cozy Powell hits the drums hard and professionally, but there are not any delicateness or intelligence of jazzy aproach here. One track here pleased me though, the tender and feminine ballad "Rainbow Eyes". Also the pencil drawing of the players in the album cover is technically quite neat. But I still wouldn't recommend this anybody else except fans of Ronnie James Dio and 70's hardrock music.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Live long, and prosper

I have never held Rainbow's third studio album in the same esteem as I have for their first two, or indeed for the following "Down to earth". While it is a competent and enjoyable affair, it lacks the factors which distinguished those albums.

Take the opening title track for example, is there a more prosaic sentiment than "Long live rock and roll"? The song is clearly designed as an anthem to be used at live performances to motivate the crowd. It is however rather an ordinary number which could have been recorded by any of a thousand AOR/Melodic rock bands such as Styx or Foreigner. Only Ronnie James Dio's unique vocals offer anything to set it apart. Likewise, "L.A. connection" is obviously aimed at the American market, and at radio plays on rock radio.

It is only when we get to "Gates of Babylon" which closes side one, that we find anything approaching the quality of previous albums. Here Blackmore finds room to do something useful with his guitar, backed by the Bavarian String Ensemble. The song has the power and pomposity missing from the album as a whole.

Cozy Powell is credited as a co-writer of two of the tracks, including "Kill the king". The song had been around for some time, appearing first on the live album, before this studio recording was released. The song, which is similar to the previous album's "A light in the black", once again features a superb Blackmore solo. "Rainbow eyes" is little more than an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of "Catch the rainbow", but while it is indeed delicate, it lacks a decent melody and the performance is prefunctory.

In terms of prog, there is little here of interest. The songs are straightforward rock numbers, with little invention or development. Only "Gates of Babylon" might be deemed to offer something beyond the basics.

Putting it bluntly, I have to rate this as the poorest album in the Rainbow catalogue. It is little more than a collection of songs which would succeed in a live environment, but which are devoid of atmosphere or stimulation.

Ronnie James Dio would leave the band after this album, later joining Black Sabbath, while Ritchie briefly returned to the Deep Purple fold before resurrecting Rainbow with a new lead singer.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Another must have Rainbow, in fact this is the second best from Dio era after Rising. To me is a good one in every way, is impossible not to like Gates Of Babylon, Lady of the lake and the soft Rainbow Eyes, is absolute classics of Rainbow. This album is hard rock, not prog, i don't find it Rainbow as a prog band, not even the previous ones. So a 4 star album, and i'm very pleased to have in my collection, you have to own it, worth. 4 stars
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first time I bought this album was in cassette format. I almost returned the cassette to the record store because the record quality was bad - basically there was no bass sound at all. But in fact, when the CD format was coming out, the bass problem remained, so it's basically the recording master was not good at all. Musically, I was not impressed at initial spin as an album this one was weaker than Rainbow's "Rising" but there were great tracks as well from this album. The opening title track is quite motivating and it became our "yells" when we motivated ourselves to be consistent with rock music when I was teenager. We were so proud being a rocker and we spread the words on this. "Lady Of The Lake" 3:37 is another excellent track with unique characteristics of Ritchie's guitar sound. "Gates Of Babylon" 6:46 is really special for me in terms of songwriting, arrangement and structure. It blends the elements of eastern music with Rainbow sound and the result is totally an awesome song! I remember that this song influenced Yngwie Malmsteen when he was a kid and during his album making period he made an album called "Inspiration" which contains cover of songs which influenced his music. It's really a great track, I would say. "Kill The King" 4:28 is best presented live at "Rainbow On Stage" but it's okay also with studio version. I believe this fast tempo track had a great influence to the birth of power metal music (pioneered by Germany's Helloween). By the time I listened to this song I could not believe any song that run faster than this one. It's a very dynamic, very uplifting and energetic song that has become my all-time favorite! The concluding track "Rainbow Eyes" 7:11 is a nice and melodic ballad.

Overall, it's a very good rock album with a total of 3.5 stars out of five even though the sonic quality of the CD is not that good. I have noticed that all Rainbow's albums sonic quality are not good. Keep on rockin', keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I beleive that t was difficult for "Rainbow" to do any better than "Rising". So, in terms of quality, this "Rainbow" album would sit between their first album (which was a poor one IMHHO) and "Rising" which was a great hard-rock album and truely a classic of the genre.

Most of "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" features standard hard-rock music "Lady Of The Lake", "The Shed", "Sensitive to Light" (very similar to "Lady Double Dealer" from Purple's "Stormbringer") etc. Still, there will be three exceptions.

"Gates" is my favourite track. Fantastic beat, Middle-East influences, somewhat funky but extremely catchy. Ritchie will deliver a splendid solo in the middle. This song is somewhat "Led Zep" oriented ("Kashmir" comes of course to mind, but "Gates" has more upbeat riff). When "Rainbow" writes such a song, they really belong to the great ones.

Same applies for "Kill The King", an incredibly wild hard-rock piece. The beat of "Fireball" combined with the harmonies of "Highway Star". A ...killer, believe me.

The last track of the album is an acoustic ballad. It sounds as if there are some flute and strings involved in here. "Rainbow Eyes" is a very soft, light and gentle track. Totally different of their usual production.

This is an average hard-rock album (five out of ten). I will upgrade to three stars only for "Gates". I'm afraid that to discover the prog side of the band, we'll have to wait for later releases.

Review by The Whistler
4 stars (Long Live 4.5!)

Long Live Rock 'n Roll is usually the kind of album I hate; it has NO diversity, whatsoever. So how come I can listen to it three times in a row without batting an eye? Well, there IS a kind of vague diversity to it. Buried underneath the metal there's some blooz and there's some Eastern crap, and there's that gorgeous closer, but the keyword there was buried. Anyone who doesn't have patience for Blackmore, Dio and company will never bother sifting through the metal for those chunks. Which is actually a sin.

I have a hard time choosing a best song (every song on side one is winner, and a solid chunk of two too), but it's hard to beat the title track. That bouncy little riff 'n chorus is infectious, the walking guitar-lines behind the verses are ingenious, and the solo starts out all Chuck Berry-ish, but then takes a turn for the classic Blackmore-ish. Brilliant rocker, and such a nice sentiment too (I might have stolen that last bit from somewhere...anyway, read on).

But it doesn't stop there! "Lady of the Lake" is just a fun number. It's another medieval styled rocker (a little funky this time), but it's catchy as hell; if it don't get you singing about Lake Ladies, nothing will. Oh, and, the solo is beautiful. We toss in a (very) little variety with "L.A. Connection," a thumping, downbeat number with a great, bluesy solo. Okay, so maybe I'm a little biased, 'cause I always love a hometown song, but can you blame Dio for trying to break from the Dragons and Dungeons rock a little? He wails but good on that one. Great plinky-plink pianer too.

The epic this time is "Gates of Babylon," is yet another "Kashmir" styled song. Only much faster than either of its predecessors, and it's a REAL epic; there's a nice keyboard introduction and a couple of other little moving parts to it (okay, so there's a dip in the middle of the guitar solo, but hey, the tempo changes, and besides, it's real atmospheric and cool). Fantastic, extended solo, the orchestra is moody, the violin at the end is perfect, the Arabic feel is flawless, the lyrics are as dorky as sin, what more could you possibly want?

However, just when you think they've thrown all they could at you, the second side starts with ANOTHER class act rocker. Never mind that "Kill the King is both catchy and headbangin'; the solo is enough to make your skin crawl (in a good way, mind). It's just so fast, so twisted, how the crap does he do half that stuff? You can't even air guitar to it properly! And dig the tumbling drums that serve as backing. Fantastic coda, sounds like Dio is giving birth through his head. And the lyrics? They're about chess! I swear it's true, read 'em more carefully next time.

The next two numbers are a tiny bit of a let down, but headbangers shouldn't notice. "The Shed (Subtle)" is a somewhat mindless, albeit tight and thumping, rocker. So nice, if not finger flashing, soloing, but just listen to Ronnie; it's clear they were having some fun with that one (and the title? Get out). "Sensitive to Light" is an upbeat pop metal number with downbeat lyrics. Not the best melody, but never mind that, Blackmore's miniature solo is, quite literally, gorgeous.

Of course, after two fairly straightforward metal numbers, I wasn't sure where the Rainbows were gonna take us. But "Rainbow Eyes" is an AMAZING number. I really mean it. It's a ballad, and it's sung by Dio, and Dio...Dio sounds like a real live human being, rather than an elf king. Terrifying, isn't it? The lyrics are decent and everything; I can get real emotion from this. Good, watery guitar, and nice use of the recorder too. Not a second too long.

Look, you've got the voice and fingers of the genre working their guts out (not to mention some great session men, eh Cozy? The drums are killer), and it WORKS. The production is crisp, the rockers are fast and tight (compare the title track to the studio "Man on the Silver Mountain"), the epic is sufficiently layered and interesting (remember "Stargazer's" endlessness?), and all the numbers are played loudly and aggressively (

Well, except for "Rainbow Eyes" of course. But again, as good as the earlier ballady stuff was, it's here I can really feel for the song. And it was, in fact, this song that prompted me to raise the rating to "masterpiece." After all, it gave us JUST enough variety, JUST enough sentiment, and what's more, the album just feels so damned complete now. I know it's short, but I can't think of a thing to add to it. It's fully functional, from start to finish, from the opening drum beats to the fading recorders. I know I can't rate it higher, due to the couple of "okay" tracks, and the overall lack of diversity (it was almost a four, and it'll never be higher than a solid point-five), but hey, who needs that when you've got WIZARDS?!?

Seriously though, it's clear that by Long Live, they'd learned to milk the formula for all it was worth. It's really a pity that Dio left the band right now (and who can blame him; Ritchie had already fired/taken over the role of the bassist). Oh well, hell of a swan song he left us with, one of the best I ever heard. Godspeed elf king...Godspeed.

But let's not focus on that. Instead, let's remember that this might be the finest heavy metal album ever recorded. And I'm serious when I say that. Pick it up if you value the genre, or artsy pretentiousness, or just really, really freakishly good guitar playing. Because it's all that. And Dio.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was never going to be easy to follow up such an undisputed masterpiece as "Rising". Therefore, no wonder Rainbow's third studio album is widely considered as a sort of poor relation, or even a half-baked effort. Personally, though I've always had quite a liking for this record, I can't fail to recognise it's nowhere as good as its predecessor, and much less cohesive to boot. On the other hand, it does contain some tracks that rank among the band's best-ever compositions, and it's the last Rainbow album for a long time (in fact, until their final release, "Stranger In Us All") to have some relation to prog. After that, the band took a definitely more radio-friendly direction, which alienated a lot of fans (including myself).

A well-known fact about Rainbow is that they hardly ever recorded two albums in a row with the same line-up (with the exception of live albums, of course). "Long Live Rock'n'Roll" is no exception to the rule: gone are two-fifths of the line-up that recorded Rising (keyboardist Tony Carey and bassist Jimmy Bain), to be replaced respectively with David Stone and Bob Daisley (later with Ozzy Osbourne). The core members of the band are still Blackmore and iron-lunged singer Ronnie James Dio, flanked by the late, great Cozy Powell on drums. This trio of musicians share also all songwriting credits.

As a matter of fact, the main problem of LLRnR lies exactly with the songwriting: when it's good, it's really great - but when it isn't, then it can be somewhat hit-and-miss. This is clearly shown by tracks like "Lady of the Lake" or "Sensitive to Light" - pleasant enough to listen to, but not on a par with the best compositions of the album. Like "Do You Close Your Eyes" on "Rising", they are generic, nondescript hard rockers; while "LA Connection" and "The Shed" share the same nature of powerful mid-tempo songs dominated by Powell's sledgehammer drumming. Dio's voice is commanding as ever, but doesn't get the same opportunities to shine here as it did on "Rising". Both the anthemic title-track and the fast-paced forerunner of thrash metal that is "Kill the King" foreshadow the development of Dio's vocal style with Black Sabbath - less melody and more of an awesome roar. Blackmore's soloing is also not as inspired here as it was on the band's previous albums, though the various live albums recorded by the band in this period show a different story.

This leaves us with the record's two only actually prog-related tracks. The Middle Eastern-tinged "Gates of Babylon" (which some have unfairly called a "Kashmir" rip-off), a sinuous, keyboard- and orchestra-driven song features a dazzling guitar solo and epic, grandiloquent vocals. The orchestra also appears as the main backing of Dio's voice (this time, soft and almost understated) on the acoustic ballad "Rainbow Eyes" - a 7-minute-plus song that is quite uncharacteristic for the band (and therefore hated by many a fan), and harks back to "Stormbringer"'s beautiful "Soldier of Fortune".

After this album, Dio would leave Rainbow to join Black Sabbath and record the magnificent "Heaven and Hell". While Powell would stick for another album (the controversial "Down to Earth"), Stone and Daisley would be replaced by two veterans of the British rock scene, former Colosseum II keyboardist Don Airey, and none other than former Purple bassist Roger Glover. The band then embarked on a path which brought them commercial acclaim, but much less musical credibility. As to LLRnR, though it is indeed a more than pleasant listen, I would hesitate to give it more than 3.5 stars - so I will settle for 3, though "Gates of Babylon" and "Kill the King" alone would be worth the price of the album.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Definitely not as strong an offering as the first two Rainbow albums. Mind you nothing would exclipse Rising in any event. Long Live Rock and Roll is like dipping the toe in luke warm water. Won't set the soul on fire and at the same time warm enough to not be offensive. Ronnie James Dio for me manages to give this album it's three star credibility rating.' Gates Of Babylon', 'Kill The King' and the finale ' Rainbow Eyes' the strongest on offer. The late Cozy Powell as usual delivers on drums and some interesting keyboards from David Stone.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars At the end of the Rainbow

With this, their third album, Rainbow reverted a little bit to the sound of their debut album after having introduced some more progressive sounds on the previous album, the classic Rising. Like on that debut, there are several generic Rock 'N' Roll numbers here that are rather unimaginative and not up to par with anything the band had done up to that point.

However, there are three excellent moments here; the Far Eastern influenced Metal song Gates Of Babylon, the energetic and powerful Kill The King as well as the beautiful, folky/symphonic ballad Rainbow Eyes. The two former tracks have very much the sound of Rainbow Rising while Rainbow Eyes reminds of Catch The Rainbow from the debut album. Rainbow Eyes is a great ballad featuring flute and a string section and an amazing vocal performance (once again!) from Ronnie James Dio. Sadly, this was to be the last Rainbow album featuring Dio on vocals (he later turned up in Black Sabbath for two albums) and they would never again produce something that can be considered great by any means. We are here at Rainbow's end, at least the classic Rainbow.

Overall, Long Live Rock 'N' Roll is a somewhat uneven album with some great moments and some not so great moments. Still, if you enjoyed the two first albums you will definitely like this one as well. But make sure you get Rising and the debut (in that order) before you buy this one.

Good, but non-essential.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After two masterpieces, Rising and On Stage (and a near masterpiece with their debut), Rainbow started to suffer at the quality department, maybe due to the constant line up changes. Drummer legend Cozy Powell was still on board, but bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboards player extraordinaire Tony Carey were not. And the chemistry that made such unique band work so well was gone forever.

Of course that any work done by such talents like Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio could not be bad. Long Live Rock & Roll is good for sure, but it is not up to their previous effords. This CD seemes to be made in a hurry (Blackmore played much of the bass guitar parts), when the new members didnīt have the time to gel. Besides, the approach on the new tunes were much more toward the 70īs hard rock than of the more symphonic power metal they were famous for. So in the end David Stone does not have much to do. This change of direction is exemplified by the studio version of Kill The King: good alright, but it is nowhere as powerful and convincing as the live rendition included On Stage (you really miss Careyīs classical, screaming Hammond on that one).

The sole exception is the classic Gates Of Babylon, an excellent epic song with some lush orquestration. Thatīs the centerpiece of the whole CD. The rest of the tunes are fine, but not exceptional, and nothing that compares to Babylon. My favorites are the title song, Sensitive To Light and the closer Rainbow Eyes. The production at the time was not much help either, since it was kind of muddy. I got a russian remastered version that sounds a lot (and I mean a LOT) better than my previous Polygram copy of the early 90īs.

All in all I see this Long Live Rock & Roll as a transitional record. Not as weak as the next Down to Earth, not as good as the ones that came before it. It is still worth having it, but be sure to get their earlier releases before tackling this one. 3 stars.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I discovered this thingy when I was 14. In a way, it was a gateway for discovering good old rock music. Although I liked it very much (I still do) even then I was aware this material is not the most adventurous, catchy and whatnot in that kind of music. Which doesn't mean it's bad. For start, 'L.A. Connection', ' The Shed' and 'Sensitive To Light' are a bit sub par and forgettable. Nice tight guitar riffing and drums though! Slightly above is 'Lady Of The Lake', it takes more time for the song to reveal it's beauty.

The opening track, 'Long Live Rock & Roll' is not much more than an average headbanging number, but it's catchy as hell. Or to be more precise, it's not catchy melody-wise because melody, let's admit it, is not outstanding, but there's something, maybe in its repetitiveness that makes you go for it. And who can resist a title?

The one that stands out is, of course, 'Gates Of Babylon'. That's what I call heavy metal. It's the best song on the album, and, coincidentally or not, the most progressive one too. Cool slowly meandering Middle-Eastern melody, stringy sounds, some sublime phasing effect, and I can imagine Ronnie James Dio with his fist in the air, spastic and claw-shaped, while he sings 'Gates Of Babylooooon' some kind of possessed wizard. Only he could pull up something like that and be charming instead of ridiculous.

Another one worth mentioning is 'Kill The King'...I guess 'Kill The Queen' would be too controversial as a title for an UK band even in 1978 (that's a slap in a face with musical reality writing about RAINBOW and using punk as a reference...I won't do it again!). For some reason it reminds me of Purple 'Burn', only in the slower paced part. The faster riffing towards the end (Oh! kill! oh! kill!) reminds me (as some other parts of the album as well) of early JUDAS PRIEST, and I see I'm not alone in this impression.

For the very end - ladies and gentlemen, a heavy metal ballad: 'Rainbow Eyes'. Lovely tune, nice slow arpeggios on the acoustic guitar, layered flutes, strings and whatnot. I cannot resist saying it might be an attempt to make more mellow ballad then 'Soldier Of Fortune', although this one is a love theme. However, a very pleasant listen.

Which can be said about the album in general. Don't get it if you have any high expectations on music or, God forbid, prog rock, however if you like hard rock, this one should be right up your alley, plus a few trick up it's sleeve. Very decent record.

on a less irrelevant sidenote, I never actually knew what is the heavy metal's Old Wave if, for example, Iron Maiden are New Wave; 70's stuff is, more or less, always a hard rock for me. However, Rainbow is perhaps closest to the very core of heavy metal.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Long Live Rock & Roll is the third full-length studio album by hard rock/ heavy rock act Rainbow. Itīs also the last studio album by Rainbow to feature the considerable vocal talents of Ronnie James Dio. Dio didnīt agree with the new more commercial direction that Ritchie Blackmore wanted the band to pursue after Long Live Rock & Roll and as a consequence left Rainbow. Thereīs been a couple of replacements in the lineup since the previous album Rising (1976) but weīre fortunately still treated with the tight drumming by Cozy Powell. Bob Daisley is the new bassist and David Stone is new on keyboards.

The music is in now classic Rainbow hard rock/ heavy rock style. Blues based but with a neo-classical touch. While there are a couple of really great tracks on the album like Gates of Babylon and Kill the King I donīt think that Rainbow really comes across like the unstoppable rockīnīroll machine like they did on Rising. Donīt get my wrong though all tracks are good but only a few stand out as being exceptional IMO. The ballad Rainbow Eyes needs a mention for standing out as being a somewhat different song to the usual more hard hitting material from the band. It includes flutes and some emotional quiet singing by Dio.

The musicianship is excellent on the album. Hard hitting rythm section and some intense guitar playing by Ritchie Blackmore in addition to the raw and powerful vocals by Dio makes this another great performance by the band.

The production is good and powerful.

Long Live Rock & Roll is a good and powerful hard rock/ heavy rock album from the seventies but as a newcommer to the band I would definitely start with Rising before listening to this one. A great album though and deserving a BIG 3 star rating.

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars This Rainbow formed to make the shape of music the ideal of Ritchie Blackmore an embodiment might always have thought about the perfection and the pursuit to raise the quality of the idea and the performance of the music character.

The band exactly appeared from the debut album the zeal to "Rising" and the leap of the content for a fact ..riding the crest of wave.. in the work with complete power and the idea.

After having announced "Rising", they dared the tour. And, it is also true that the problem and the speculation that the band had as details to this album in the situation were derivative.

The problem of member's replacement in haste had the influence a little more for the band in the content of this album. Member's in addition to the part where the recording of this album had ended almost replacement meant the revolution of the band. Bob Daisley of Bass player who was active with Widowmaker. And, David Stone of a keyboard player who was active with Symphonic Slam. These two new members might have contributed to the band. However, it is partial of the conversion of the direction as the entire content of the album. And, it is impressive of the tune from which Ritchie Blackmore is intentionally made because of broadcasting the radio. These elements will greatly change the impression of the album as a result.

Their ideas at that time and changes in the speculation might be able to be discovered by comparing the construction of a perfect idea to listen by the problem and "Rising" of member's replacement with the content of this album though the band changes greatly in "Rising" and was advancing.

Details that intend part of broadcasting in radio. Or, it replaces it of the member. And, it is partial where tunes other than "Gates Of Babylon" and "Rainbow Eyes" collected to this album had already completed the recording. However, if it borrows the remark of Ronnie James Dio, it is said that zeal to this album and the idea of the tune were always kept though there was a problem of member's replacement. However, the line of Dio-Ritchie- Cozy kept as a result until this time included the flow that shifted to the next stage as a revolution period of the band. The tune is refined further and shows one circle as a content of this album. However, the part where the idea of the music that Rainbow should construct was continued will be able to be discovered everywhere.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, Rainbow returned to the more straightforward hardrock songwriting and sound of the debut. By consequence it is less symphonic then the superb Rainbow Rising but I wouldn't say it is that much less in quality. Instead it sits somewhere in between.

The opener is a undemanding but great hard rock song, perfectly executed by the tightly rocking band that Blackmore has surrounded himself with, especially impressive are of course Cozy Powell and Ronnie James Dio, who focuses on a rougher delivery here. The bass and keyboard players have been changed since the Rainbow Rising / On Stage days. I'd say we really miss the keyboard wizard Tony Carey here.

Lady Of The Lake is one of Rainbow's best shorter tracks and LA Connection tries a heavier style that reveals what Dio would start doing on his solo albums. The highpoints of the album are obviously the epic Gates of Babylon and the classic rocker Kill the King. Also The Shed delivers the goods and Sensitive to Light is the obligatory throwaway Dio track. Rainbow Eyes is a romantic folksy track, no bad but nearly not as good as Catch the Rainbow.

Overall this is a solid hard rock album that hasn't much progressive elements but due to its melodic qualities and tight musicianship, it will nevertheless please many progheads.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third Rainbow studio album and the last with great Dio on vocal. Musicians were changed once again. But when professional enough, they made first step from great "Rising" to later AOR albums.

For me this album is still good enough ( and great Dio voice is one of a reason), but contains some fillers. All music became more heavy, heavy metal is winning, melodic acoustic sound, dreamy intonations and Dio's world of dragon tales are on the back plan now.

Some songs are openly oriented to US pop-metal/AOR market. I can hear there even open Journey citation!

But still some songs are great enough ( and are some basis for future Dio solo career) after this album was released).Blackmore guitar is professional, but very calculated.

All in all, mixed bag, but still more good that bad album. And almost last strong Rainbow album at all.

Strong 3,5.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the highly successful Rising Blackmore's Rainbow created an almost equally great Long Live Rock 'n' Roll. There wasn't much change in style or direction except probably the track Gates Of Babylon which is a definite improvement over the themes explored on Stargazer and is worth the album price on its own!

In a way, one may argue that there wasn't much more this Rainbow lineup could have done after these two consecutive Hard Rock classics. That's why I'm actually happy that Ronnie James Dio and Bob Daisley quit in order to pursue other equally successful projects. The interesting thing is that Dio moved on to become the replacement for Ozzy in Black Sabbath while Bob Daisley worked with Ozzy on his first couple of solo albums!

Besides the album's sole masterpiece there are quite a few solid rock compositions like the excellent album title-track, Lady Of The Lake and who can forget Kill The King! Unfortunately the lesser tracks drive this album towards the good, but non-essential rating for me. It might be considered unjust to rate this album on the same level as their debut album but let me assure you that Long Live Rock 'n' Roll gets a definite upper hand in my collection.

This release is a perfect follow-up for everyone who have already played their copies of Rising to death and want to get a bit more excellent material from the Rainbow vaults. Dio/Blackmore/Powell give a worthy performance that will make you want to revisit this album time and time again!

***** star songs: Gates Of Babylon (6:46)

**** star songs: Long Live Rock & Roll (4:19) Lady Of The Lake (3:37) Kill The King (4:28) The Shed (Subtle) (4:45) Rainbow Eyes (7:11)

*** star songs: L.A. Connection (4:58) Sensitive To Light (3:04)

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars With a crisp production, solid mix of songs, and powerful playing, Long Live Rock n' Roll stands strong as a member of the big three Rainbow albums. This time around Blackmore and Dio come very closely to a true heavy metal sound (of the days), with the overall experience leaning more towards the Dio's solo albums than the classic bluesy hard rock of Rainbow's debut.

The album starts with the title track, a rip-roaring rocker with intensity and great performances by Dio and Blackmore. The new rhythm section sounds very strong as well-- more "there" than the previous line-up, although debatebly not as creative. These sort of heavy rockers are the prominant songs on this album, with "Kill the King" standing out to me as one of the band's best tracks. It's blazing, punctuated riffs hit all the right spots for a perfect hard rocking experience (Dio's wailing vocals do more than their share, too!).

The level of quality swings both ways though, with several songs stinking decisively like filler-- especially "LA Connection", probably the worst song on the three key Rainbow albums.

The two extended tracks, "Gates of Babylon" and "Rainbow Eyes" practicly steal the show though. "Babylon" is mystical rocker slithering into the ears with eastern panache (inspiration for Iron Maiden?), while "Rainbow Eyes" is an arresting and tender ballad-- great vocals and feel.

All in all a great listen; recommended, though not creative enough to warrant the extra star.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by lazland
3 stars This effort from 1978 is sandwiched between my two favourite studio albums from the band, Rising & Down To Earth. It was made following the release of the incredible live opus, On Stage.

By the time the band convened, various fallouts with Blackmore left him, Dio, and Powell from Rising. It is actually a very sobering thought that only Blackmore has lived to tell the tale as at the time of this review.

This album has generated a mixed response over the years, and the best way to describe it is really as a transition between the pomp symphonic rock of its predecessors and the new, more commercial, direction that Blackmore wanted to take the band.

There are some great rock anthems on this. The stomping title track is a toe tapping marvel, whilst Shed (Subtle) is one of the most misnamed tracks in history. There is nothing subtle about it at all, it's just a great rocker.

Probably the closest the band came to the sci fi, mystical fantasy so beloved by Dio and the hallmark of Rising, was Gates Of Babylon, and it is really a fantastic track, caning along at a huge pace.

However, my favourite track on this is actually the closer, the wonderful ballad Rainbow Eyes. This was covered by Blackmore's Night, and sung by Candice Night very well, on Secret Voyage in 2008, which featured a brand new arrangement of the song. This one, though, is also lovely. Dio never sang so delicately, and you actually get the feeling that he is really writing and singing about the beloved band he would soon leave. It also features beautiful strings and woodwind arrangements, and is one hell of a high for the two to part on.

Elsewhere, the album veers from very good to somewhat formulaic, and Sensitive To Light is probably the best example of the latter.

Not an essential album by any means, but it does still bring back some happy memories for me when this band could do absolutely no wrong to a teenage rock fan.

Three stars. The next one, though, would explode the band onto the wider world's radar.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars In many ways, i'm the electron that orbits the atom in the opposite way of all the others! Many classic albums i really don't see the hubbub about and likewise other styles of music that make others bonkers rock my world! Well such is the case with RAINBOW's final album with Ronnie James Dio. While many herald the band's second album "Rising" as the cream of the crop of Ritchie Blackmore's rotating cast of musical characters, i actually find the pinnacle of the band's musical prowess to be in the form of the band's third album LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL which emerged two years later after the stunningly well received live album "On Stage" sandwiched in between.

Of the eight studio albums that Blackmore released under the RAINBOW moniker, not a single one had the same lineup and LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL was certainly no exception. This one was a bit unique in that it found bassist Bob Daisley and keyboardist Tony Carey beginning the album and then leaving the band half way through thus only contributing a few tracks each. Unable to find satisfactory bassist, Blackmore himself recorded the bass parts although Mark Clarke of Colosseum, Uriah Heep and Tempest was chosen but Blackmore hated his playing style and fired him on the spot.

Continuing the style of the previous albums of early heavy metal with bluesy guitar riffing infused with classical elements, RAINBOW pretty much followed in the footsteps of "Rising" although the subject matter was less uniform and only certain tracks were based in the realms of fantasy. The rest were much more straight forward heavy rockers with lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio's rock god status stealing the show once again. Why this third installment of the RAINBOW universe appeals to me more than the others is that every track is at the top of its game as the band was a perfectly oiled machine at this point and although new members came and went, Blackmore cracked the whip and made his boys perform exactly as he wanted.

The album opens with three perfectly fueled anthem rockers including the title track, "Lady Of The Lake" and "L.A. Connection" which all hit the high notes of catchy melodic connections, intense rhythmic drive and impeccable musicians playing perfectly in tandem but the album really takes off on the fourth track "Gates Of Babylon" which is one of my all time favorite songs from any musical genre. The track would've fit in perfectly on "Rising" with its exotic musical scales, epic nature, symphonic touches and sizzlingly hot guitar solos not to mention a hard charging bass and drum backing. Same goes for the track "Kill The King" which challenges the tyranny of the world and rouses the masses to pull out the pitchforks! The track first appeared on the live album "On Stage" but came to satisfying fruition on LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL.

"The Shed (Subtle)" and "Sensitive To Light" continue the bluesy hard rock heft in perfect fashion and the album finishes off with the band's first slow cooker, the "ballad" so to speak. "Rainbow Eyes" reminisces of a Jimi Hendrix song at first but slowly builds into a monster ballad that finds Blackmore keeping it cool playing clean arpeggios while Dio provides his most subdued performance in all the RAINBOW years. The track is highly symphonic with lots of contrapuntal keys and four guest musicians that provide violins, viola, cello and flute making it sound a bit like a Renaissance song brought to the modern world. In some ways it's RAINBOW's closest thing to a "Stairway To Heaven" but never drifts into heavy rock.

While still considered a classic early heavy metal album, most fans will point to LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL as a step down in quality but for my tastes, i actually find it a step up since "Rising" didn't sustain what it excelled at for its entirety. While the first three albums are considered classic by today's standards, the band didn't really experience commercial success on the level they had hoped therefore Blackmore decided to steer the band in a more accessible direction and ditch the fantasy themes altogether which ultimately convinced Dio that it was time to move on and as we all know he would soon join Black Sabbath and replace Ozzy Osbourne and give that band a resuscitating surge in popularity. Sure, "Rising" wins for better cover art and overall visual presentation but when it comes to the compositions themselves, i much prefer this one to the other Dio led albums. Yeah i'm spinning on a different trajectory than most of you other electrons out there but hey, i still produce electricity!

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
5 stars You will hardly find a better, more complete and more compelling rock album; There really are a few, I believe. 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' is Rainbow's third studio album, release on April 9, 1978, and for some, including me, it is the band's best work. Heavy-hitting and enticing from start to finish, the record is packed with classics; Led by Ritchie Blackmore, of course, the band for this album also features Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Bob Daisley handling some bass duties, and David Stone and Tony Carey splitting the keyboards contributions. A difficult album for Blackmore, however, we have to mention, as he fired the entire band except Powell after it, and Dio left to join Black Sabbath. This one was recorded without a prober bassist as a band member, too, and had to follow up the all-time classic 'Rising'. The end result given all these factors is beyond exceptional!

Thumping bass riffs, majestic guitar playing from Blackmore, whose signature style is penetrating every song, injecting it its infectious hard rock power and mystical brilliance, tremendous vocal performance from Dio, and powerful drumming are present all throughout this perfect album - take the title track or the underrated 'Lady of the Lake', with its magnificent metallic riff, the fast-paced killer 'Kill the King' or the quite exceptional 'The Shed (Subtle)', the last two co-written with Powell (alongside Blackmore and Dio). The mystical explorations of the legendary 'Gates of Babylon' are always a more than welcome ear candy, the glorious folky and medieval mood of the closing track 'Rainbow Eyes' is perhaps the best song on the album, and one of the most impactful songs in Rainbow's entire catalogue, and this is one of the most mellow and emotive compositions of Blackmore. 'Sensitive to Light' is no less brilliant than anything else on this album, which is a pure classic and a model hard rock album, ranking as high as 'Machine Head', 'Led Zeppelin IV', 'Salisbury', or 'Paranoid' in the pantheon of rock music. Legendary release from a very significant band.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Long Live Rock and Roll 1978 (4.2/5) 12 Best Song: Kill the King/Gates of Babylon Their third album in and still going strongly. Was this a great idea, or what? But really, this album, especially when you're hearing the title track, has traveled a distance from the wizard rock of a couple ... (read more)

Report this review (#440509) | Posted by Alitare | Friday, April 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Last album by Rainbow with R.J. Dio (RIP) on vocals was released in 1978 is somewhere below its awesome predecessor "Rising" (5 stars) and very close to "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" (3.75). The whole record is convincing however there weaker moments, for instance "Sensitive To Light" and the sl ... (read more)

Report this review (#284734) | Posted by Malve87 | Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars With Long Live Rock 'N' Roll,Rainbow moved into a more heavy-oriented direction,wich resulted in the loss of the charisma found in the previous albums.It all seems less melodic and charming here.The album is still consisted by a series of well structured,strong rockers,but what was once an orig ... (read more)

Report this review (#195344) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Undoubtedly for my Rainbow's best album, but there is a problem, contains many fewer elements of the Progressive Rock that his antescesor (Rising), but from another point of view it is Hard Rock's excellent album with elements of the Progressive one. Here there is the classic ones as Long liv ... (read more)

Report this review (#164980) | Posted by Prog_Sonicc | Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is truly a hard rock classic album, and I think it's the best Rainbow release. No weak tracks here (Gates Of Babylon, Kill The King, Rainbow Eyes, the title-track), a splendid cover art, Dio's great voice, Blackmore's guitar, Powell's drums...EVERYTHING'S GREAT HERE ! Long Live Rock'n'Roll ... (read more)

Report this review (#164218) | Posted by Zardoz | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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