As I have noted before I am a big fan of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and a couple of weeks ago was able to get an album I had wanted for a long while. The album in question was:
Rainbow Monsters of Rock Concert 1980
This was the very first Monsters of Rock Festival and was around the time of the Down to Earth Album with Graham Bonnet on vocals. My brother attended the festival which also included Saxon, Scorpions, Judas Priest and a few others. Overall the album is excellent, and Bonnet is actually really good live, apart from All Night Long being a bit of a disaster due to the awful audience participation attempt. I had only heard the odd Bonnet live track previously when he was with Rainbow so was very pleased to get this album. Overall I must admit this was a pleasant surprise.
Another one I have just picked up, although I had heard it before, was Live Between the Eyes from around 1984 with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. I don’t think Joe Lynn Turner gets enough credit on how he sings the early Rainbow stuff, he does an excellent job and while no one can ever really reproduce the vocals of Ronnie James Dio Turner for me will always be the best Rainbow vocalist and song writer.
Turner is very good live on this album and I have heard some of his stuff before, but on this album the standouts tend to be Spotlight Kid, Stone Cold, and Power.
Rainbow on Stage 1976.
Still the stand out Rainbow live album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals and not a bad song on the album. This is maybe the most iconic line up for most fans but the album is all good, in particular Kill the King, Catch the Rainbow and Man on the Silver Mountain. An excellent album all round.
Final Vinyl 1986
A collection of live tracks and b sides from the whole history of Rainbow up to the 80’s.
The album includes Ronnie James Dio, Joe Lynn Turner, and Graham Bonnet but is mostly Joe Lynn Turner tracks both b sides and live. It’s a good album again overall having a good live version of I surrender and also Can’t Happen Here, Jealous Lover and Miss Mistreated. Not a go to album other than once or twice a year but a definite must for Rainbow fans.
Memories in Rock 2017
Ritchie Blackmore decided to return to performing rock in 2016 and put together a live band to tour as Rainbow but also covering some Deep Purple tracks. They did play Scotland but I didn’t bother going to see them as being just Blackmore and musicians I had never heard of it didn’t really feel like Rainbow to me. Again my brother went and was overall disappointed but did say Blackmore was very good. This album includes Stargazer, Spotlight Kid to Perfect Strangers to Black Night with Ronnie Romero on vocals. It’s not a bad album and Romero is just ok but Blackmore is good, but then he will always be good. Would have preferred a more historic Rainbow line up though if he was going to bring the band back.
Live in Germany released 1990
Again a good album with live versions of Stargazer and Do You Close Your Eyes which hadn’t been on any albums live before. Dio during this period was at the top of his game, as was Blackmore, and while I won’t say I listen to this album a lot it is a very good album from the On Stage period.
Black Masquerade 2013
This album has Dougie White on vocals, Scottish Rock Musician, but I can’t really say much about it as it’s the last one I have to get and will be very soon. Strangers In Us All the 95 Rainbow album with Dougie White on vocals is a decent album. Maybe the weakest of all the studio albums in my mind but overall a decent listen. Black Masquerade has a mix of tracks from the whole Rainbow era and of course songs from Strangers. I will try and get this over the weekend so I have all the Rainbow albums as I usually only ever really bothered with studio albums and never really got into the live ones.
Rainbow are touring this year but so far there are no UK dates, if they do arrange some I might make the effort to go just to see Blackmore before he retires but it doesn’t look like they will be in the UK but here’s hoping. I should have went to Glasgow last year but there you go. Still one of my two most favourite bands and always will be. Just for fun my choice of line up would be:
Vocals – Joe Lynn Turner.
Lead – Ritchie Blackmore of course.
Drums – Cozy Powell (sadly deceased).
Bass – Roger Glover.
Keyboards – Don Airey.