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Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow CD (album) cover




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3.72 | 299 ratings

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4 stars This is a very good album, IMO, despite Blackmore`s reputation as a "hard person to work with". He is a very good guitarist and composer but himself has admitted in interviews that "not many of the Rainbow former members have nice things to say about me". Leaving politics in the background, the most important thing in this album is the music, of course.

The songs:

"Man on the Silver Mountain": started with a guitar riff (which I think was played in a Fender Stratocaster guitar, because the very own sound of this guitar is clearly heard). The lyrics, written by very good singer Ronnie James Dio, are in this song and in most of the other original songs, about fantasy worlds maybe related to Medieval themes.

"Self-Portrait": another good song with very good guitar riffs.

"Black Sheep in the Family": a song originally recorded by Quatermass. I prefer this version more than the Quatermass`s version. It has funny lyrics. It seems that Blackmore wanted to record this song with Deep Purple, but they rejected it, so with the help of the members of Elf (Dio/Gruber/Driscoll, and Soule, but obviously without Elf`s guitarist) he recorded it for this album, and so good were the results that he formed Rainbow with these members of Elf, finishing that band`s history.

"Catch the Rainbow": the best song of this album, with very good Mellotron parts by Mickey Lee Soule, it is maybe the most Progressive. Drummer Gary Driscoll plays very good drums in all the songs, but particularly in this song he shines.

"Snake Charmer": also one of my favourites, still related in sound to the best music that Deep Purple recorded with Blackmore in their best years (1969-1973), IMO.

"Temple of the King": the song with lyrics more related to Medieval themes, played with Blackmore with acoustic and electric guitars. It is another very good song.

"If You Don`t Like Rock `n`Roll": a good Rock song with funny lyrics too.

"Sixteenth Century Greensleeves": another Rock song with Medieval themes in the lyrics.

"Still I`m Sad": an instrumental version of a song originally composed and recorded by the band called The Yardbirds. It is a very good version with all band members (except Dio who didn`t sing the lyrics) playing very well.

Blackmore and Dio did a very good mix of Hard Rock with lyrics with fantasy themes and they also added some Progressive influences for this band. I still don`t know why Blackmore fired Soule (who played for a short time with Ian Gillan after this), Driscoll (who was murdered in mysterious circunstances in 1987) and Gruber after recording this very good album. I think that they didn`t deserve to be fired.

In conclusion, I recommend this album very much, which I first listened in 1976.

This album was originally released by the Oyster Records label in August 1975. It seems that Oyster was a short lived label (distributed by EMI) owned by Deep Purple. Oyster also released other albums from the Ian Gillan Band in the seventies, and maybe other albums by other bands. This album was re-issued by Polydor Records also in the seventies. The copy that one of my brothers bought in 1976 was released on the Oyster Records label.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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