First, let me get this said: I love Rainbow. I found out about Deep Purple because I was a Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow fan first. I still think Rising, Long Live Rock n Roll and most of Down To Earth are great records. I only recently began to appreciate On Stage (which is excellent!) and the first album with Man On the Silver Mountain. I always liked things like “Jealous Lover” and “Stone Cold” with Joe Lynn Turner. But this record is awful, horrible, and an embarrassment. It doesn’t do the band justice, and if it DOES, then it’s no wonder Ritchie pulled the plug on it. If this was the only post-Purple Blackmore ever heard, I’d think he was the weakest member of Deep Purple and you would be hard pressed to prove otherwise. Joe Lynn Turner sounds ridiculous, even by 80s standards, and Graham Bonnet is no better. (I saw Bonnet on the Down To Earth tour, and he was a major disappointment to the fans and to Ritchie on that show.) Too bad…let sleeping dogs lie if this is the best the “archives” have to show us; let us remember these line-ups for their great records instead of these lame live performances. Call it: FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Spotlight kid is a terrific song and so are a handfull of other songs on this disc. But the two songs recorded with Ronnie James Dio are the only two songs worth listening to.
Give Ritchie Blackmore credit on one point; throughout the years and lineup changes, he was not one to look back on Rainbow’s accomplishments, unlike other bands who get bogged down in time warps within the studio and on stage.
This retrospective – released in 1986 when Blackmore disbanded his group (the band reformed and disbanded again in the 1990s) – emphasizes Blackmore’s vision on the present, as it is heavy on the late 1970s-1980s post-Ronnie James Dio years. There are two selections when Dio was lead vocalist, a period when the band was perhaps at its most creative lyrically and musically.
What shines throughout is the technical proficiency Blackmore brought to the electric guitar and his fascination with merging classical music elements into a rock framework.
This is not a place to start for fans checking out Rainbow for the first time. It is a nice collection of live performances, though from the latter lineups that may have been strong in delivering the generic 1980s AOR sound, but quite weak in forging a new frontier musically/lyrically.
This is a relatively strong live effort from Ritchie Blackmore and company. The 80’s saw Rainbow attempting to cross over a little and garner a more wider array of fans. They may have succeeded. Blackmore found that singer Joe lynn Turner had not only the vocal appeal for the 80’s pop rock scene, but also the required poofed hair as well. Consequently, many individuals who had never heard of Rainbow before, swore they were listening to a Foreigner album when introduced to Rainbow’s 80’s efforts. Having said that, there still is a lot of good old fashioned Rainbow traits here. But the instrumental on track eight “Difficult To Cure” is perhaps the best song on this disc. “Difficult” is nothing more than Rainbow showing their true talent with the ability to merge melodic metal with a symphony orchestra (Japanese, probably Tokyo). Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Song of Joy” is delicately fused and blended well here. Blackmore starts off with a typical solo, then the orchestra kicks in….what a sound! A truly magnificent performance! There is a quick version of “Since You Been Gone”, with Graham Bonnet on vocals,(Castle Donnington Rock Festival-England, one of the few times Rainbow played outdoors and actually headlined to boot) and a few recordings of Ronnie James Dio singing also. Dio attempts to rouse a rather anemic Atlanta audience on a couple of cuts. The CD opens with the typical 80’s flair. “Spotlight Kid”, “I Surrender”, and “Can’t Happen Here are okay, but Turner almost ruins “Power”, though he somewhat redeems himself with a strong performance on “Stone Cold.” The CD ends with another instrumental “Weiss Heim”. No vocals on this one, with Ritchie and Keyboardist Don Airey shining brightly on this particular cut. This is a pretty darn good recording of Rainbow performing live over the years, with shows recorded literally from around the world. Once again Ritchie Blackmore’s love of classical music is portrayed in some of his songs. But Rainbow’s trademark has always been their ability to shamelessly introduce classical music to metal, and this is no exception.