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RAINBOW

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Rainbow biography
Founded in 1975 - Disbanded in 1984 - Reunited between 1994-1997 - Reformed in 2015

Masterminded by Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist of Deep Purple, Rainbow recorded nine studio albums between 1975 and 1995. The period between 1975 and 1978 (also known as the Dio Era) would be remembered as the most important incarnation of the band. Blending hard rock with classical music, Rainbow paved the way for many Progressive and Progressive Metal bands with their musical virtuosity and the "sword, magic and wizardry" imagery in their lyrics. Blackmore┤s strength in improvisation led to many live albums, which are still being remastered and released until this day.

Deep Purple and Elf

In 1974, after Deep Purple had released "Stormbringer", Ritchie Blackmore had become disillusioned with the funk/soul elements that were being introduced by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, and also wanted to express his ideas that were being suppressed in Deep Purple. He went into the studio with an American band, Elf, which were to act only as a session band. Rainbow's debut was actually recorded whilst Ritchie was still a member of Deep Purple! This took place just before Deep Purple's European tour to support "Stormbringer". The line up at this stage was Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Gary Driscoll (drums), Craig Gruber (bass) and Mickey Lee Soule (piano, Mellotron, clavinet and organ). Blackmore instantly struck up a strong working relationship with the lead vocalist of Elf, Ronnie James Dio. Their shared interests in both medieval and hard rock music would build the foundations for "Ritchie Blackmore┤s Rainbow", in which Blackmore and Dio shared all the songwriting credits. Extremely pleased with the results of the recording session with Elf, Blackmore decided to quit Deep Purple and form Ritchie Blackmore┤s Rainbow.

The Dio Years

"Ritchie Blackmore┤s Rainbow" was released in August 1975, but even before its release, the first of a long line of musicians had already been fired. Bassist Craig Gruber was given his marching orders and this marked the beginning of Blackmore┤s policy of firing and hiring musicians at the drop of a hat. After the debut album was released, all the members of Elf (except for Dio) were replaced. Blackmore recruited two unknowns, bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboardist Tony Carey. Former Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell was brought in to complete the line -up. Their second album, "Rising", contained thr...
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RAINBOW Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy RAINBOW Music


Very Best Of RainbowVery Best Of Rainbow
Remastered
Polydor 1997
$3.89
$1.67 (used)
Since You Been Gone: The Essential RainbowSince You Been Gone: The Essential Rainbow
Universal 2017
$5.77
$11.14 (used)
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
Reissued · Remastered
Polydor 1999
$5.47
$3.89 (used)
Rainbow RisingRainbow Rising
Polydor 2015
$19.79
$18.50 (used)
Rainbow Rising (Remastered)Rainbow Rising (Remastered)
Reissued · Remastered
Polydor 1999
$5.84
$3.78 (used)
Straight Between The Eyes (Remastered)Straight Between The Eyes (Remastered)
Reissued · Remastered
Polydor 1999
$5.45
$11.44 (used)
Catch The Rainbow: The Anthology [2 CD]Catch The Rainbow: The Anthology [2 CD]
Remastered
Polydor 2003
$6.85
$5.22 (used)

More places to buy RAINBOW music online Buy RAINBOW & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

RAINBOW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RAINBOW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 280 ratings
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
1975
4.19 | 501 ratings
Rising
1976
3.47 | 246 ratings
Long Live Rock & Roll
1978
2.69 | 164 ratings
Down To Earth
1979
2.90 | 142 ratings
Difficult To Cure
1981
2.53 | 142 ratings
Straight Between The Eyes
1982
2.98 | 136 ratings
Bent Out Of Shape
1983
3.44 | 118 ratings
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow: Stranger In Us All
1995

RAINBOW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 123 ratings
On Stage
1977
2.54 | 58 ratings
Finyl Vinyl
1986
3.51 | 35 ratings
Live in Germany 1976 (aka Live in Europe)
1990
4.57 | 21 ratings
Live DŘsseldorf Philipshalle 1976
2006
4.55 | 22 ratings
Live K÷lner Sporthalle 1976
2006
3.86 | 41 ratings
Live In Munich 1977
2006
4.23 | 20 ratings
Live in NŘrnberg 1976
2007
4.06 | 17 ratings
Black Masquerade
2013
3.75 | 4 ratings
Denver 1979 - Down To Earth Tour
2015
3.67 | 3 ratings
Long Island 1979 - Down To Earth Tour
2015
4.33 | 3 ratings
Live In Japan
2015
4.50 | 4 ratings
Monsters of Rock Live at Donington 1980
2016
4.50 | 4 ratings
Boston 1981
2016
4.80 | 5 ratings
Memories In Rock - Live In Germany
2016
3.60 | 5 ratings
Live In Birmingham 2016
2017

RAINBOW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.41 | 13 ratings
Live Between the Eyes
1982
3.37 | 8 ratings
Japan Tour '84 (aka Live in Japan)
1984
4.30 | 10 ratings
The Final Cut
1985
2.21 | 9 ratings
Inside Rainbow 1975-1979
2003
4.17 | 22 ratings
Live In Munich 1977 (DVD)
2006
4.44 | 9 ratings
Live Between The Eyes + Final Cut
2006
4.50 | 4 ratings
Up Close and Personal
2007
5.00 | 5 ratings
Black Masquerade
2013
2.50 | 2 ratings
Memories In Rock - Live In Germany
2016

RAINBOW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 17 ratings
The Best of Rainbow
1981
4.60 | 10 ratings
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow CD Boxset
1983
3.15 | 7 ratings
Ансамбль Rainbow
1988
3.27 | 20 ratings
The Very Best Of Rainbow
1997
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rainbow
2000
4.06 | 7 ratings
The Universal Masters Collection
2001
3.75 | 4 ratings
Pot of Gold
2002
3.04 | 4 ratings
All Night Long: An Introduction
2002
4.87 | 15 ratings
Catch the Rainbow - The Anthology
2003
4.00 | 5 ratings
Colour Collection
2006
4.60 | 5 ratings
Classic Rainbow
2009
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Singles Box Set 1975-1986
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
A Light In The Black 1975-1984
2015

RAINBOW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 8 ratings
Still I'm Sad
1975
4.13 | 8 ratings
The Temple Of The King
1975
3.65 | 11 ratings
Man On The Silver Mountain
1975
3.90 | 10 ratings
Starstruck
1976
4.45 | 11 ratings
Live (Kill The King)
1977
3.89 | 9 ratings
Long Live Rock N Roll
1978
2.68 | 10 ratings
L. A. Connection
1978
3.75 | 8 ratings
Since You Been Gone
1979
3.88 | 8 ratings
All Night Long
1980
4.20 | 5 ratings
Can't Happen Here
1980
3.83 | 6 ratings
Jealous Lover
1981
4.00 | 8 ratings
I Surrender
1981
4.40 | 5 ratings
Power
1982
4.43 | 7 ratings
Stone Cold
1982
4.67 | 6 ratings
Can't Let You Go
1983
4.75 | 8 ratings
Street of Dreams
1983
3.71 | 7 ratings
Ariel
1995
3.75 | 4 ratings
Hunting Humans (Insatiable)
1995

RAINBOW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live Between the Eyes  by RAINBOW album cover DVD/Video, 1982
3.41 | 13 ratings

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Live Between the Eyes
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow first "oficial" video, recorded in 1982 during their Right Between The Eyes tour is a very good example of their sound at the time: gone are the long improvisations and the 17 minute solos. What we have here is the AOR/hard rock version of the band, the notorious "Joe Lynn Turner years". Yes, there is some guitar extravaganza and improvisation during the Blues segment and I can┤t say I am sorry for that. Sign of the times, I guess. Blackmore seems to be one of the most conscious man about the moving tastes of the public. And the "new" version of the band fits right in.

Which, by the way, does not mean "selling out" or bad music being produced, much on the contrary: you still have Blackmores unique guitar playing. The "man in black" is in top form here, both as a musician and showman, the band is hot and the songs are very good. It┤s interesting to see how the band is delivering the goods, has more of an edge and power live, without Roger Glovers slick studio production. JLT proves what most people tries to ignore: that he is a great singer and can handle different styles with ease. The rhythm section of Glover and drummer Bobby Rondinelli are tight (the latter drum solo is a bit cliched, but still a good showcase of this underrated musician). The 21 year old keyboards man David Rosenthal (who had recently replaced Don Airey) is surprisingly at ease with his instruments, delivering his parts like a seasoned pro.

Ok, there are few surprises. The tracklist is basic the recent material with only three "old" songs The "Dio years" anthem Long Live Rock┤n Roll, the Graham Bonnett era All Night Long and the classic Deep Purple Smoke On The Water. And still is amazing to see how unique, creative and wonderful guitarist Blackmore is when he puts his hands on the instrument. And how good he is at choosing the right backing band. Interesting enough, there are two girls backing singers that you can hear during the whole show, but are nowhere to be seen.

Rating: something between 3,5 and 4 stars. With a better tracklist I would give it a 4 star rating, but it still worth checking this video. If you doubt why Ritchie Blackmore is hailed as one of the best guitarists ever, just watch him playing.

 Bent Out Of Shape by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.98 | 136 ratings

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Bent Out Of Shape
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Straight Between The Eyes by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.53 | 142 ratings

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Straight Between The Eyes
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The second Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow album saw them getting deeper into the AOR/melodic hard rock waters. Which, by the way, is not a bad thing: the high quality of Blackmore┤s compositions, arrangements and performances is all over the place. Although that period of the band can┤t be compared to their stunning beginning during the mid-seventies, they were also a completely new group by 1982. And if the new material is not their best, it is still very good. Blackmore and co seems to give even the most cliched tune such a stunning performance that they became something fresh and exciting. Better still, unlike the two previous albums, Straight Between The Eyes does not rely on outside writers for their singles. This time the Blackmore/Turner songwriting partnership proved capable of delivering a great power ballad in the form of the classic Stone Cold. It deserved to be a bigger hit than it was.

As usual for all Rainbow albums, the remaining tracks are all very good, with a few gems among them like the fantastic 6 minute epic Eyes Of Fire. In fact, the only real let-down of the whole CD is Rock Fever, a track so mediocre that even a blistering, tasteful Blackmore solo can save it. Fortunately, songs like Death Alley Driver, Bring on the Night (Dream Chaser) and Tearin' Out My Heart mote than compensate it. Production (by bassist Roger Glover) is excellent. Keyboardist Don Airey, tired of their relentless touring, decided to leave the band, but Blackmore was able to find a fitting replacement in the form of 21 year old David Rosenthal, who does a great job here.

Conclusion: a very fine AOR/Melodic Hard Rock album. It stood well the test of time and, in fact, I appreciate it more now than when it was released. Just don┤t expect anything new or groundbreaking. Or prog, for the matter. It is only good rock music.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

 Difficult To Cure by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.90 | 142 ratings

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Difficult To Cure
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Two years after Down To Earth Rainbow was back with a new album and, as it is their wont, with a new line up. Replacing the erratic Graham Bonnet enters Joe Lynn Turner, the first american to join the british outfit. In several ways Turner was much more suited to the "new" sound guitarist and leader Ritchie Blackmore was aiming: a more melodic and radio friendly hard rock to win over a wider audience, especially in America. So a kind of AOR type of singer was needed. And Turner, a superb vocalist, seemed to be perfect for the job. However, the band also lost their drummer Cozy Powell, since he was not happy with the more commercial approach of the band. And although he was replaced by an excellent musician (Bobby Rondinelli, another north american), his unique style and thundering sound would never be equalled. Again the newcomer did fit well into the new style.

Unfortunately the new material did not really reach the power nor the inspiration of Down To Earth: the new compositions were good, sometimes very good but not excellent, while the slicker production and the new direction did nothing to add energy to them. The inclusion of not one, but two commercial pop covers (I Surrender and Magic) only worsened things for fans. Ok, I Surrender became a hit, but the album did not sell as much as it was hoped. Which is really a pity, since the album is not nearly as bad as some people rate it here in PA. As usual the high quality of the playing is intact and songs like Spotlight Kid, Can┬┤t Happen Here and Midtown Tunnel Vision are all very worth hard rock songs with tasteful arrangements and Blackmore┬┤s unique gutsy guitar delivering. The instrumental Vielleicht Das Nachster Zeit is another highlight, with a brilliant and emotional guitar solo from Blackmore (I only wish it was longer...). Their version of Beethoven┬┤s Nineth Ode To Joy however all their great skill and technique smells of filler material and it is really dismissible, and not even a good organ solo by Don Airey can redeem it.

In the end I found Difficult To Cure to be a better LP than I thought when it was released. Certainly it has its merits and the musical in general stood well the test of time. But it was a step back from their previous one. So I rate this one 3 stars: good, but not essential.

 Down To Earth by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.69 | 164 ratings

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Down To Earth
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3,5 stars, really. When this LP came out in 1980 (in my country), I did not bother to listen to it. How could I? I could not foresee Rainbow without Ronnie James Dio. It took me many, many years to finally give Down To Earth a shot. And I was surprised by its qualities. Yeah, fine, it was clear that Ritchie Blackmore was aiming the american market. And the record includes a hit single (Since You Been Gone) written by an outsider and ready make to the radio. Still, overall I found this album to be much stronger and well made than I initially thought. Well, Cozy Powell was still on drums and his thunderous beat is all over the place. And, let┤s face it, Graham Bonnet is a great singer. His voice works wonders here (it would not fit that well on the previous material during live shows, but that┤s another story). It was also good news to have ex Deep Purple colleague Roger Glover back on bass (and production duties).

In fact, Glover was hired primarily as a producer, but ended up playing the bass as Blackmore could not find a suitable replacement at the time. Although he was not really anxious to be back as a touring musician, to say the least, he would remains with them until the band┤s first demise in 1983. Legend says he had left Rainbow two or three times before that, but was persuaded to stay on by their manager. Composition wise he was a good choice too since Bonnet was not keen to write his own lyrics.

All in all I found this album to be quite good, specially for the times. Blackmore was one of the few who understood the moving musical tastes of the period and decided to change, but, quite wisely, did it slowly, not losing their basic fan base during the process. Although Since You Been Gone has a commercial feel and the opener All Night Long is a little bit cliched, the remaining tracks are not. Down to Earth is a hard rock album with some strong compositions like the startling Eyes Of The World (the best track), Love┤s No Friend and Lost In Hollywood. The band was also fortunate to find an excellent keyboards player in the hands of ex-Colosseum II Don Airey (ironically enough, now on Deep Purple). It┤s really a shame that this record is best remembered by two of its weakest tunes (the aforementioned Since You Been Gone and Al Night Long).

Not really as progressive and elaborated as Rainbows previous CDs, Down To Earth is nevertheless a powerful and inspired work that deserves a better validation by fans, and is recommended to anyone who appreciates good hard rocking music with lots of fine melodies.

 Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.72 | 280 ratings

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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars No matter how long I've listened to a wide range of music, with the array of incredible talents I've listened to, ranging from compositional prowess, to incredible technicality, to near inhuman vocal skill, one thing that has stayed very consistent, no matter how many other musicians I've listened to, is that Ronnie James Dio is, and likely always will be, my absolute favourite vocalist of all time. Out of the many appearances in various bands that he's had, I always go back to Rainbow's first 3 albums as some of my favourite of him, as I love the careful balance between the strong fantasy lyricism and powerful, riff-centric hard rock, giving the band its own identity while also not overdoing it on any front, which is an issue that I feel could sometimes pop up in his later solo career. The debut of the band, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, is the most straightforward, least bombastic and grandiose of the trio of albums with Dio, but that said, it definitely still displays a high level of compositional quality.

The album kicks off with one of their most popular hits of Man On The Silver Mountain, with the iconic main riff of the song immediately worming its way into the listener's head before the infectious vocal melody acts similarly. There's just something about this song that's incredibly uplifting to me, likely the combination of the way Dio belts out his voice, especially in the last minute or so, and the constant rising power that the song possesses, making this a song I often will find myself returning to. Both Self Portrait and Black Sheep of the Family are far more pedestrian tracks, but are still definitely enjoyable listens, especially Self Portrait, which is somewhat more laid back, providing nice contrast after the powerful opener. Catch The Rainbow stands out to me as not only the best song on this album, but one of my personal picks for best song that Dio was ever involved in, with the instrumentation being absolutely perfect, using the mellotron to give the song incredible atmosphere. This combined with the sublme vocal performance and the impossibly dreamy melody makes the song give the feeling of floating on a cloud, being lightly swept along by the wind, all of this comfortably making this my second favourite Rainbow song. After this utterly beautiful masterpiece, Snake Charmer seems somewhat underwhelming, although I don't put that up to the song as much as I do the track listing, as the song is definitely one of the better hard rockers here, especially with the awesome bass work. Temple of The King evokes some more beauty, but focuses on the narrative aspect more than the atmosphere of Catch The Rainbow, giving it a very different feel, while still being incredible, as the passion and power that Dio has while still being amazingly melodious and beautiful can be most clearly seen here. Unfortunately, after this comes If You Don't Like Rock N Roll, which is nothing short of awful with almost no redeeming qualities to be found, other than the fact that it is very short, but even so, the cheesiness is painful, and the piano is horrible. The final two songs definitely redeem this to some extent however, as Sixteenth Century Greensleeves is filled with excellent riffs and lyricism and the instrumental Still I'm Sad is just really fun all around.

This album is overall very high quality, with the majority of the lower points still being passable, and the highlights being absolutely breathtaking, providing a listening experience that is almost consantly an enjoyable one. While this is not the album I'd immediately go to when wanting to listen to some of Dio's work (that would be the followup album, Rising), it's still one that I do enjoy going back to. I do wish that If You Don't Like Rock N Roll was just completely cut out, as it both breaks the flow of the album and just sounds awful all around, but even with this, there are still plenty of songs which more than make up for it. The two thoughts that stick with me whenever I listen to this are "Wow, Dio had some serious talent", and "Catch The Rainbow should have closed off the album".

Best songs: Man On The SIlver Mountain, Catch The Rainbow, Temple Of The King, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves

Weakest songs: If You Don't Like Rock N Roll

Verdict: I would highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of 70s hard rock along the lines of Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin, as this definitely would fit that sort of taste. While the album has a couple of small flaws, it doesn't stop this from being a great listen.

 Rising by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 501 ratings

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Rising
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by LadyScarlet

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 Mot÷rheads drummer for being the "inventor" of heavy metal drumming should check out the drumming on "A Light in the Black". It is so powerful, and for 1976, those bassdrums are impressive!! Blackmores (and Careys) solo on the same tune is the best example on how you should take a solo over a ONE chord progession. Perfect dynamics, melody, swing and technique. "Stargazer" is just the best track ever written! So incredibly simple, but still not in a way. I love the oriental bits in that one too. "Tarot Woman" is another favourite of mine, and also an example of Blackmores unique simplicity in the riff! You can┤t talk about Rising without mentioning Dio either. His voice is a one of a kind, and on this album it is more mighty than on any other record. I love all the songs on the album, but the ones mentioned is probably my favourites. The stomping, Purple-like tune "Starstruck" is worth a mention too. If you don┤t own this album, buy it and play it till it gets worn out! You will be a happier man after that!
 Live In Munich 1977 by RAINBOW album cover Live, 2006
3.86 | 41 ratings

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Live In Munich 1977
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you're not familiar with Rainbow... then you're missing out. Led by Ritche Blackmore and the incomparable Ronnie James Dio, the group is a high-point in late '70's classic rock (with a sprinkling of prog), and Live in Munich 1977 does a great job of capturing the energy and raw power of these hard rock titans. This live album is jam-packed with extended songs, front-man banter, super charged soloing, and a throaty, raw, fist-pumping spectacle. If you're a fan of the band, then this is probably THE live album you should get.

"Kill the King" opens the album like pulling chord on a recoil start motor that revs up hard and will shake your high-fi to pieces. A great hard-rock song with killer musicianship and enthusiastic vocals. The production is crisp enough for us to hear the each player very well, but coarse enough for us to feel the feedback-heavy fuzz of the actual show. Very authentic.

"Mistreated" is the first example of opening up the space of a song for extended improvisation. It's an epic song packed with guitar solos and builds to a dynamic close that ends up sounding almost like a grand finale to the concert... but it's just getting started. This continues throughout the show, with lengthier versions of "Greensleeves," "Catch the Rainbow," "Man on the Silver Mountain," and "Still I'm Sad." The band plays most of their top songs, but there are a few gaps, such as the lauded "Stargazer," which is often thought of as their most progressive piece.

For the most part these extended tracks are effective and varied. At times it breaks down to instrumental noodling, but it never completely drifts away from the gravely intensity for long. For example, "Catch the Rainbow" builds a sensitive calm mid way through before shattering it in a grand finale; likewise, "Still I'm Sad" gives Cozy Powell two (!) drum solos before transitioning into the "Great Gates of Kiev." Epic, but not without a few spaces that say "time to use the restroom" during the playful instrumental spaces.

All in all, Live in Munich 1977 is an awesome example of hard-rock at its finest, a showcase for Ritchie Blackmore's ambitious guitar playing, and a great experience overall. Get it, turn it up to 11, love it. A must have for fans of this excellent classic rock group.

Setlist: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Stage/Energy: 5

 Rising by RAINBOW album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 501 ratings

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Rising
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

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!

 A Light In The Black 1975-1984 by RAINBOW album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.00 | 2 ratings

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A Light In The Black 1975-1984
Rainbow Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars After all these years there is finally a more than decent boxed compilation of Rainbow, one of the greatest hard rock bands ever to emerge in the latter half of the 70's. One could argue the progressiveness of the band as a whole but there is no denying the progressive elements found in the albums made between the years 1975-1978, aka the Dio-era. That is when the flamboyant, excentric and mysterious Blackmore lead the band (alongside Dio, I am sure) to a dimension where all the influences of the leader can be found. There is the far east, classical, folk and an abundance of hard rock. All this earns them the right to be labelled progressive or at the very least, which is the case, prog related. The progressive leanings may have declined in 1979 when Bonnet took over the microphone and finally vanished (more or less) in the Turner days.

For prog lovers I suppose the first two discs are the most interesting and for me, being a lifelong admirer of this band, it is great hearing different versions of classics in both live and studio settings. Rainbow always delivered live and they were a force to be reckoned with. For me they were the greatest live band of the 70's.

The Bonnet-era is a different ball game. I really love "Down to Earth", thinking it is a great transition album. Stuck somewhere between the Dio stuff and that of Turner, it merges the mystery and hardrock of yesterday and the radiofriendly material of Turner in the most splendid of fashions. It's fantastic to hear an early version of "Love's no friend of mine" in the shape of "Ain't A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me", alongside great live renditions showcasing the amazing vocal talents of Graham Bonnet.

The final discs, 4 and 5, are dedicated to the Joe Lynn Turner-era. This is the most commercial phase of Rainbow. While there were remnants of the past on "Down to Earth", also in part due to the powerful Bonnet vocals reminding of Dio, those Days are mostly gone by now. While not bad it holds very little, if any, interest to prog fans. There is a slicker tone to the music, also demonstrated by Turner's vocals, suiting the radiofriendly approach. Still, the music is great (in parts) and while not progressive offers the opportunity to re-visit the 1980's and well crafted pop-ish hard rock.

The DVD contains the performance made by the band in 1980 at the Monsters of Rock festival. This is great to behold and a testament to the band's extraordinary power in the live setting.

All things mentioned are great. I love this box but there are a few things that could have raised the rating from four stars to five. The fact that "A light in the black" is omitted is weird but that is, all things considered, OK but I miss that track deeply. It should have been included. The DVD should have more live clips than just the concert from 1980. There should have been clips from all eras, I think. Maybe the musical videos made in 1979-1984? Apart from that I do think that there should have been a mention and a few tracks from "Stranger in us all", the sort of comeback album from 1995. After all, that was a Rainbow album aswell.

So, who would benefit from this box set? The casual fan? Someone interested in the band? The already fans of Rainbow? I would say all three categories. This is a great box, packaged in a Beautiful way and contains most of what made this band great. If you are interested in hearing this band for the first time, you might be alright with one of the many compilations out there but you wouldn't go wrong with this box either.

Great box from one of the great bands from the past.

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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