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Rainbow - Down To Earth CD (album) cover




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2.72 | 180 ratings

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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, letīs 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 thatīs 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 bandīs 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), Loveīs 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). Itīs 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.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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