RAINBOW – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

Rainbow – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1987, PolyGram Records/Polydor Records)
Original Release: 1975, PolyGram Records

1.”Man on the Silver Mountain” … 4:37
2.”Self Portrait” … 3:12
3.”Black Sheep of the Family” … 3:19
4.”Catch the Rainbow” … 6:29
5.”Snake Charmer” … 4:30
6.”The Temple of the King” … 4:43
7.”If You Don’t Like Rock ‘n’ Roll” … 2:35
8.”Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” … 3:29
9.”Still I’m Sad” … 3:52

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar
Craig Gruber – Bass
Gary Driscoll – Drums
Mickey Lee Soule – Piano, Mellotron, Clavinet, Organ

Producer: Martin Birch

I’m so sorry I ever took so long to get into Rainbow. I really like all eras of the band but obviously the Dio years were the best and the debut is also the best of the band’s catalog. I can’t stop listening to this CD, there is NO filler here at all. The only song that comes close to being filler is the cover of Quatermass’ “Black Sheep of the Family”, which is funny because that song is the one reason Rainbow existed — Deep Purple refused to cover it at Ritchie Blackmore’s request so he went out on his own to do it and the recording session morphed into a full album and a new group (Blackmore + Elf = Purple Elf?).

Yes, there are a number of epic songs from the next two studio albums but this whole album just really pulls me in. The album has such a classic rock ‘n’ roll sound coupled with some really cool melancholy tunes (“Catch the Rainbow”, “The Temple of the King”) and a bit of a loose, bluesy feel at times (“Snake Charmer”, “If You Don’t Like Rock ‘n’ Roll”) all while playing into Blackmore & Dio’s sword & sorcery obsessions and setting the blueprint for the next generation of rock bands.

“Man on the Silver Mountain” and the cover of The Yardbirds’ “Still I’m Sad” are the hardest rocking songs of the bunch but the previously mentioned melancholy laid back tunes really get to me and have gotten the most play from me thus far. The album really is almost perfect, such a great balance between ballads, “heavy rock” and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll swagger.

Really what else can be said that hasn’t been said since 1975? Easily one of the best rock albums of all-time! Everyone should own this!

Highlights: “Man on the Silver Mountain”, “Catch The Rainbow”, “Snake Charmer”, “The Temple of the King”, “Still I’m Sad”


Posted on September 12, 2010, in Rainbow and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. such a great album, I need to get this still but so do I have tog et a bunch of other thigns too.

  2. odd, i never realized until now that cozy didn’t drum on this one. probably why i always thought the drums were rather bland. haha

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