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Rainbow Bent Out of Shape album cover
3.01 | 177 ratings | 12 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stranded (4:30)
2. Can't Let You Go (4:24)
3. Fool for the Night (4:04)
4. Fire Dance (4:30)
5. Anybody There (2:44)
6. Desperate Heart (4:37)
7. Street of Dreams (4:28)
8. Drinking with the Devil (3:44)
9. Snowman (4:33)
10. Make Your Move (5:25)

Total Time 42:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Joe Lynn Turner / lead & backing vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- David Rosenthal / keyboards
- Roger Glover / bass, percussion, producer
- Chuck BŘrgi / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Storm Thorgerson @ Hipgnosis with Derek Burnett (photo)

LP Polydor ‎- POLD 5116 (1983, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 815 305-2 (1990, US)
CD Polydor ‎- 547 367-2 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Suha Gur

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RAINBOW Bent Out of Shape ratings distribution

(177 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

RAINBOW Bent Out of Shape reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
2 stars I remember reading in a "Hit Parader" magazine from 1983 or 1984 that by that time there were rumours of a reunion of Blackmore and Glover with Gillan, Lord and Paice for a new Deep Purple period. The interview in that magazine was done with Blackmore, who said : "yes, there are some plans, and this is the only line-up of that band in which I have interest to work with". But he also said that there were some problems for the reunion because Gillan was with Black Sabbath and Paice was working with another musician as session musician. Finally, that reunion happened in 1984, and this was the last Rainbow`s album from the `80s.

I really didn`t buy this album. In 1992 my brother (a guitarist) and me were playing with a semi-professional (we only played gigs on weekends) covers band, and the singer of that band had this album, which he exchanged with my brother with Gentle Giant`s "Three Friends" album (which we didn`t like). The idea to have another Rainbow`s album was more interesting for us instead to have a Gentle Giant`s album which we didn`t play anymore. So, when we listened to this 1983 Rainbow`s album, we were disppointed a lot, so this album, like "Three Friends", remained in the "not listened anymore" records section!

This is a "conventional" Arena Pop Rock album from the eighties. The singer, Joe Lynn Turner, is very good, but the songs are not interesting, and Blackmore`s playing is also very "conventional", like Glover`s. Maybe this could be called a "contract filler" album due to the plans to reform Deep Purple. This album was promoted with a last tour in 1983-84, with a concert with an orchestra. There is nothing Progressive in this album, in my opinion.

For Rainbow`s greatest fans and collectors only, IMO.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars One reason for me to purchase the CD was just to complete my collection of Ritchie Blackmore's album. I could not believe at that time that the band ended up with releasing this relatively "weak" album. Oh yes, there is "Street of Dreams" which became radio hit at that time. But, unfortunately this song is not quite strong musically - it's just a mediocre pop rock music I would say. I think Rainbow's peak when they reached second album "Rising" followed with legendary concert "On Stage". "Drinking With The Devil" and "Snowman" are actually good track but both could not help the overall album rating which I think it's worth only for collectors. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars So, this is the final "Rainbow" album (first period). It is about time for a "Purple" reunion by now. Not that the band released poor albums, but if you except "Rising" there were really nothing great released by the band in terms of studio work.

"Cant Let You Go" is a catchy pop song which features a good solo from the master. Enjoyable but not unforgetable. Like "Fool For The Night" and its upbeat tempo but too AOR oriented for me. Still, one of the best one from this album. One of my fave is "Fire Dance". A solid hard-rock anthem with a wild beat (almost as strong as "Fireball" - the track). The highlight of "Bent Out". No doubt. Great guitar again. A true "Purple" song (but we are getting closer and closer to the reunion)...

Another track that I like very much is the instrumental "Anybody There". It is one of the most emotional solo from Ritchie ("Purple" and "Rainbow" together). A very melodic and brilliant hymn to the guitar. What a pity that it only lasts for 2'38". And even if "Street Of Dreams" is on the pop side, it is also a very melodic song. Straight-forward rock song, on the smooth side. Maybe that some will argue about its mellowish accent (rightly) but I like it. It is not a masterpiece of course, but an enjoyable song.

Surprisingly enoough, I would say that this album is better than most of the "Rainbow" output. "Drinking With The Devil" (this must be quite an experience. Maybe I'll share this one in the after life - but I do not believe too much in this, well this is a bit of a diversion, sorry for this...).

It is really another great rock song with a fantastic rhythm. If only "Rainbow" had produced more songs of this caliber... Joe Lynn turner even trying to emulate Gillan here (not too badly actually).

Not prog for a ? cent (although "Snowman" is probably the only track of their entire catalogue that could vaguely be related with prog (one song out of seven albums, that's not really much is it) ?,

This is a good album, three stars.

Review by Gooner
4 stars Rainbow called it quits on a high note with "Bent Out Of Shape"(until a one-shot reunion in 1995 with a new lead vocalist AND band). Many highlights on this album include the instrumentals "Snowman" and "Anybody There?". This is the Joe Lynn Turner Rainbow album where these musicians started to take more chances commercially, but as a result - became less commercial(funny how that happens!). "Deperate Heart"(a great Ritchie Blackmore acoustic intro) became a big radio hit on WLLZ and WRIF in Detroit back in the day...and I remember it getting as much airplay as "Street Of Dreams". As mentioned previously on this website, "Fire Dance" is another it reminds me a bit of "Gypsy's Kiss" from the reunion Deep Purple - "Prefect Strangers" LP. Great production by Roger Glover. Rainbow's "Bent Out Of Shape" sits nice alongside Genesis - "Genesis" and Yes - "90125" from that year of 1983. 4 stars for a creative hard rock record.
Review by b_olariu
3 stars Bent out of shape is the last studio album from the'80's of this famous band. He was released in 1983 and most of the pieces from here are in the same vein with the predecesors (Turner era), but doesn't mean is bad, not by far. To me this is the best Rainbow album with Turner behind the microphone, every single piece here is a winner. Yes of course, again a hard rock album , the prog is absent all the way , but is a good one no doubt, at least for me. I always liked this band and almost every album appeal to me as good ones, some of them are really great ones like this one and Rising, the best albums Rainbow ever done. The mainstream orientation is again present here on every piece, some hard numebers with key passages here and there, the guitar shines as always, that's why Blackmore is considered one of the best guitar hero in history of music, just listen the cover version of Snowman, excellent. The voice of John Lynn Turner did a great job , he fits like a glove in this kind of music, for that reason he was invited in 1988 to do the vocal parts on one of the most intristing Malmsteen albums - Odyssey. So all in all a great album to my ears, very fine moments like:Fire Dance, Street Of Dreams, Fool For The Night, Snowman and the instrumental Anybody There. The new member behind the drums Chuch Burgi is a good drumer, no doubt, but doesn't have that mood and feeling of Powel, he doesn't shine, he only did a good job here. All in all a good album all the way and desearve a solid 3 stars, the best album of the 3 with Turner .
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Bent out of Shape is the seventh full-length studio album by UK hard rock/ heavy rock act Rainbow. Their last album Straight Between The Eyes (1982) failed to impress me much and to be honest it actually annoyed me quite a bit. So I wasn┤t really expecting much from this album either. Unfortunately I got exactly what I expected from this album.

The music is melodic hard rock/ heavy rock deeply rooted in the early to mid eighties. Lots of cheesy sounding keyboards, a clichÚ of a hard rock/ heavy rock singer, a quite anonymous rythm section and a guitar hero in Ritchie Blackmore who mixes his blues rock/ hard rock past with some slight neo-classical ideas. If it wasn┤t for the latter┤s enjoyable solo work there would be nothing on this album worth my time. The songs are generic, weak and filled with every possible cheesy eighties hard rock/ heavy rock clichÚ you can imagine. Just check out the lyrics to a song like Can┤t Let You Go. Don┤t look furhter if you enjoy rain rhymes with pain lyrics. There are ten songs on the album. Two of them are instrumentals and the short Anybody There is somewhat enjoyable while the cover song Snowman comes off as some kind of new age version of the original with sporadic guitar soloing by Ritchie Blackmore which actually works as a disturbing element in the song and not an enhancement. I much prefer Nightwish version of the song ( entitled Walking in the Air) on the Oceanborn (1998) album. the eight remaining songs are more conventional hard rock/ heavy rock songs and what you feel about this genre is of course an aquired taste. I think the genre is generally generic and bland but there are of course exceptions that shines among the many trivial and clichÚ filled albums out there. Bent out of Shape is not one of them IMO. If I have to mention one positive thing on the album it┤s the musicianship. The vocals are strong and the performance, while a bit uninspired at times, is pretty good. It┤s just not enough.

In addition to the weak compositions on the album the production is rather thin. It lacks power which doesn┤t help the already weak album.

Bent out of Shape is not an album I can recommend, but people who enjoy melodic hard rock/ heavy rock might find some redeeming features on the album. I can┤t give more than a 1.5 star rating. The cheese factor is simply too much for me.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars (Fullfillingness) first finale

Having hit on a formula for creating radio friendly pop rock music, Ritchie kept the same line up together one more time (except for a substitution on drums) for this the band's first final album. This is therefore pretty much a non-starter in prog terms, but that does not mean it should be avoided altogether.

I actually find there is plenty to enjoy here. We do of course have the obvious rehashes of songs which provided hits in the past, the opening "Stranded" being a thinly disguised amalgam of "I surrender" and "Can't happen here". Even here though we are treated to a fine if all too quick burst of Ritchie 's fine lead guitar.

It is though tracks such as"Can't let you go" which light my fire. The track features a "Toccata" like organ introduction by David Rosenthal before bursting into a highly melodic Blackmore/Turner song. Tuner actually sounds rather Dio like for the song, giving one of his finest vocal performances during his entire time with the band. "Fire dance" has a real Deep Purple feel, mixing "Fireball" and "Burn" with (relatively) more recent songs like "Not responsible". The driving organ sound is of course straight from the Jon Lord songbook.

"Anybody there" is a beautiful organ backed bluesy guitar instrumental in the Gary Moore vein, but it remains rather undeveloped. The other instrumenal on the album is a surprising cover of "The snowman" ("walking in the air"). Surprising because it really is very good, bringing out the beauty of the underlying melody, upon which Ritchie improvises superbly. Those familiar with the more recent versions by Oceansize and Nightwish should check out this version too.

The single actually chosen from the album, "Street of dreams" is pure AOR in the Journey and REO Speedwagon mould. As such, it is melodic and pleasant, but completely disposable.

Lengthwise, there is no feature track here, just a collection of 3-4 minute pop rock numbers. This is though an album of significant underlying quality, albeit in fields other than prog. Recommended for fans of all things Blackmore.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Last album from Rainbow first period of activity. Based on Blackmore-Glover-JL Turner triangle, the album contains melodic hard rock with some AOR elements and Blackmore-style characteristic neo-classic arrangements in some places.

Too pop-oriented to be good album, it still have some attractive moments in it. Perfect Blackmore guitar work, melodic elements and not-so-bad JL Turner vocals. If Turner's work in Deep Purple was terrible ( mostly because of difference between his voice and DP music ), he sounds much better in Rainbow. And there on this album he sounds better than on previous one.

I don't think this album is important in heavy rock history or even in Blackmore discography, but from another hand it is quite pleasant listening. And for sure must have for Rainbow fans.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Whoah. I feel so out of place in regards to Richie Blackmore's RAINBOW. I'm supposed to go ga ga over the first two albums which are deemed the most inventive and revered but personally i just don't find those two albums very interesting. I feel RAINBOW really started getting interesting with the third Dio fronted album "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" but i also find the vocals of the third vocalist Joe Lynn Turner to be the most captivating for this particular style of hard rock with pop musical sensibilities. BENT OUT OF SHAPE is my favorite of the three albums which grace Joe's vocal talents. True he sounds a lot like Lou Gramm of Foreigner (another band i'm fond of) but this album isn't a Foreigner clone album. Despite being a lot more based in the pop rock world than earlier RAINBOW albums, i just find this to be a really satisfying album.

It all started when i heard the single "Street Of Dreams" which just floored me with the vocal skills. The song is super catchy and has some interesting lyrics. After hearing that song i tracked down this album and found that i pretty much like every track on here. The only exception is the finale "Make Your Move" which totally seems out of place after the album makes its pop rock statement end with the ambient "Snowman" which should have ended the album on a somber note. The tracks are equally compelling from the most Foreigner inspired opening track "Stranded" to the more bad boy inspired "Drinking With The Devil" bringing an AC/DC vibe to mind. Yeah, the subject matter is contrived but the music really hits me where it counts. Blackmore's solos are nothing to the level as his best works with Deep Purple but the composition of the music is what really wins me over on this one.

There are several aspects of this album that really sink deep. First of all are Joe Lynn Turner's flawless vocal abilities. He is able to hit all those high notes with grace and dignity that behooves a male soprano. Secondly the compositions are addictive and vary enough to keep me enthralled throughout the album's running time with the exception of the unneeded "Make Your Move." Thirdly, the lyrics are fairly poetic and creative for a pop rock album. Fourthly, there is an unexplainable attraction that i can't put my finger on. Intellectually i can find many flaws with this album in comparison to every other Blackmore offering to precede it, but emotionally this album gives me goosebumps for some reason! Beyond words and explanation but true. "Street Of Dreams" will remain a favorite single song in my world until i become a decomposing corpse. Seriously. This is an album that i am clearly on an opposite spin than most but it really does resonate with me on a profound level. Go figure. We're all freaks of nature!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars A personal favourite of mine. This is the best Joe Lynn Turner era album from Rainbow. Ok, it does not compare to any Ronnie James Dio era stuff, but so what? It was a totally different band by then. I remember I bought this album solely on the basis of their most recent single Street Of Dreams, a superb power ballad like their previous Stone Cold, only better. Streets is still a song that moves even today, after all those years and I guess it is one of my top 10 songs by Rainbow of any time. But, with the LP, I was also rewarded with a collection of great songs. I knew I could always count on Ritchie Blackmore┬┤s unique guitar lines and solos and the band┬┤s superb musicianship, but clearly they produced a superior material than the first two JLT albums.

The AOR stuff here is presented by tracks like the opener Stranded, Can┬┤t Let Go and Desperate Heart. But I did not expected they would deliver fine hard rock stuff in the vein of Ian Gillan era Deep purple, like Drinking With The Devil, Make Your Move and Fire Dance. Turner shows how good he can be, even some Gillan-like screams here and there. The instrumental Anybody There is another highlight, its only drawback is its short length, certainly it could be worked for a longer piece. Snowman (a vocal-less version of the famous Walking In The Air) is also of interest. The band was really gelling, even if, as their wont, there was a new member: drummer Bobby Rondinelli quit and was replaced by Chuck Burgi. But since both had the same style you won┬┤t notice the difference. He fitted in nicely and fast.

It is only a pity that, in what it seems at the verge of finally breaking the band in America, Blackmore decided to break it up and reform Deep Purple. One can only speculate how far this lime up could go if he had turned down his former band┬┤s reunion. But Bent Out Of Shape, if it is not the best Rainbow album ever, finished its first lifetime with grace (a second coming, albeit a short lived one, would arise in 1994-95, but with a completely different line up).

Conclusion: the best Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow album. If you enjoy hard/Melodic/AOR rock laced with tasteful arrangements and fine songs (besides Blackmore┬┤s great talent), you can not go wrong with this one.

Rating: 4 strong stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Bent Out Of shape...years of remembrance 1983... Anyway, this is the best album of the Turner's era and a fine example of high quality AOR music, in my humble opinion. It's a fine collection of songs perfectly suited for Turner's voice who's vocal performance is exceptional in this album. Can't ... (read more)

Report this review (#190613) | Posted by Silent Knight | Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is Rainbow's lat album of the 80's and the most commercially driven. Despite this, Rainbow still manages to give a good album. Newest member Chuck Burgi does well behind the drums, and Joe Lynn Turner really shines here. The album seemes a tad forced though, there's nothing really creativ ... (read more)

Report this review (#107776) | Posted by rainbow111 | Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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