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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

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iTunes Review

Dismayed by Deep Purple’s move towards funk and soul-influenced material, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow in 1975 to pursue his vision of unsullied hard rock. Rather than assemble a new band, Blackmore simply hijacked Elf, who had opened for Deep Purple in 1974. Blackmore formed an immediately bond with Elf’s lead singer, Ronnie James Dio, and from that partnership came early Rainbow classics like “Man On the Silver Mountain,” “Self Portrait” and “Snake Charmer.” The formula was surprisingly prescient. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow lays the early blueprint for bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, who would lead hard rock into its next phase. The album’s other great contribution is its medieval-themed epics. With imagery of knights and castles and eternal glory, “The Temple of the King” and “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” heralded the epic fantasies of heavy metal’s future. Dio was Rainbow’s breakout star, but the album belongs to Blackmore, and in the finale — the instrumental “Still I’m Sad”— he wields his guitar like a mighty swordsman.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

This is an outstanding album from a band of essential unknowns (Ritchie Blackmore not included). In spite of another review here claiming otherwise, this lineup was the band Elf, with Blackmore at the helm (no Cozy Powell, he joined after the album was recorded). Only Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio would move on the the next album. The entire album is a must-have for '70's classic rock fans. The must-have tracks, in my opinion, are Man on the Silver Mountain, Black Sheep of the Family, Catch the Rainbow and Sixteenth Century Greensleeves. Then again, get the whole thing, it's well worth it.

Best Rainbow Album

This is great singing from RJD and totally insurmountable guitar work from Blackmore. Best Songs: Man on the Silver Mountain - the best known one, good riff, etc. Snake Charmer - amazing vocals, heavy The Temple of the King - awesome acoustic song Sixteenth Century Greensleeves - best song on the album. killer riff, cool solos Still I'm Sad - apparently a cover of a Yardbirds song. It's really just an excuse for Blackmore to melt you eyes out with a three-minute solo

Blackmore At His Best

This album marks one of Ritchie Blackmore's high points as a recording musician. Recorded as Blackmore was finishing up with Deep Purple, his pent up musical frustration with Purple is unleashed on this album. Leaning more toward hard rock than the seed-of-metal 'Rainbow Rising', this album contains some of Blackmore's best song writing--many fresh ideas that incorporate quite a few styles. In addition to Man On the Silver Mountain's classic Blackmore riff, the music ranges from rock n roll (Black Sheep Of the Family) to to seeds of gothic metal (Sixteenth Century Greensleves). Many moods and feels are explored and Ritchie turns in some classic solos--my fave is the Snake Charmer solo. This album is also the big debut of another rock legend: Ronnie James Dio. His incredible voice and thoughtful lyrics lift the music another notch. The album's only drawback is the timid production. It would have been nice if it had the 'oompf' that the subsequent Rainbow albums had. None-the-less, it is an excellent album from the heyday of classic rock. Buy it, play it, turn it up!!!!


Formed: 1974 in England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The brainchild of former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, Rainbow quickly developed into one of the '70s most successful heavy metal bands behind charismatic front man Ronnie James Dio. Together, the duo would produce a string of acclaimed albums which are still considered classics of the genre. But the group would change their musical approach numerous times following the singer's departure, eventually confusing and alienating much of their audience. Releasing eight albums during it's decade...
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