6 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow had been a landmark debut, but Rainbow really came into its own with its second album, Rainbow Rising. Only Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio remained from the original lineup; the rest of the band was replaced by Tony Carey, Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell, veteran players who could provide the enormous force that Blackmore and Dio wanted. “Stargazer” and “A Light in the Black” are still high-water marks of epic heavy metal. The blitzkrieg assault of the latter song presages the entire New Wave of British Heavy Metal, while the former is a behemoth stomp that climaxes with the participation of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The remaining songs are less ambitious, but no less vicious. The grisly riffs “Tarot Woman,” “Run with the Wolf” and “Starstruck” are all electrified by the production of Martin Birch, who oversaw all of Deep Purple’s classic albums, and would go on to engineer all of Iron Maiden’s ‘80s work. The first Rainbow album was all about Blackmore’s vision, but here Dio takes center stage. A troll-like frontman with operatic pipes, he offered a whole new archetype of the rock god.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow had been a landmark debut, but Rainbow really came into its own with its second album, Rainbow Rising. Only Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio remained from the original lineup; the rest of the band was replaced by Tony Carey, Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell, veteran players who could provide the enormous force that Blackmore and Dio wanted. “Stargazer” and “A Light in the Black” are still high-water marks of epic heavy metal. The blitzkrieg assault of the latter song presages the entire New Wave of British Heavy Metal, while the former is a behemoth stomp that climaxes with the participation of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The remaining songs are less ambitious, but no less vicious. The grisly riffs “Tarot Woman,” “Run with the Wolf” and “Starstruck” are all electrified by the production of Martin Birch, who oversaw all of Deep Purple’s classic albums, and would go on to engineer all of Iron Maiden’s ‘80s work. The first Rainbow album was all about Blackmore’s vision, but here Dio takes center stage. A troll-like frontman with operatic pipes, he offered a whole new archetype of the rock god.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
162 Ratings
162 Ratings
strangeman ,

The Seed of Metal

OK...so you've heard of the musical genre 'Heavy Metal'? It has its roots in hard rock. But if one looks for a moment when hard rock became heavy metal, one finds this album and, in particular, the song 'Stargazer'. Driven by Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffing and Ronnie James Dio's incomparable voice, this album is the very seed of the monster that became heavy metal. (This fact is nowhere better captured than in Yngvie Malmsteen's band 'Rising Force'. RISING Force...Rainbow RISING...get it? ;D )

Two of the tunes-'Starstruck' and 'Do you Close your Eyes'- are more hard rock than metal. But they serve to remind us where the roots of metal lie and demonstrate the versatility of Rainbow that many subsequent metal bands lacked.

Plain and simple: this album rocks! Buy it, play it, turn it UP!!!!!!!

Rage Against the Nirvana ,

Two Thumbs up

One of Dio's best performances. Waaaaaay better than the naked Brothers band

DharmaLogos ,

Why isn't this played on classic rock radio?

If you love Sabbath, Purple, and Dio, you'll totally love Rainbow. I mean they have the same members. This has all of the expected stuff: Dio's powerful vocals and mystic lyrics, Blackmore's bluesy riffs, Purple-esque organ, extended jams, powerful drums. But there is one notable thing where this CD differs from the previously mentioned bands: These songs sound happy! This isn't gloom and doom; this is music that will make you smile a big grin and feel at peace while you bob your head, tap your feet, and throw the horns in the air.

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