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Winning Combinations: Deep Purple & Rainbow

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Album Review

In most fans' minds, Deep Purple and Rainbow go hand in hand, and with good reason — up until the early '90s, both were led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. And while Rainbow was supposed to be a departure from Deep Purple's sound, it didn't exactly turn out that way. True, Rainbow became streamlined and "radio-friendly" in their latter years, but there were always a few unmistakable "Purple" elements present (especially Blackmore's fluid lead breaks, the presence of organ/keyboard, etc.). The 2003 budget-priced compilation Winning Combinations is split evenly between tracks from both bands — focusing on Purple and Rainbow's '80s-era highlights. Tracks from Purple's first few reunion albums (1984's Perfect Strangers and 1987's House of Blue Light) make it appear as though the band had picked up exactly where it left off a decade earlier. This was never more evident than on the epic title track from Perfect Strangers, or from the live takes of earlier classics ("Hush" and "Highway Star") that are also included here. The Rainbow portion of the set focuses primarily on the "Joe Lynn Turner years," when the group was obviously studying such chart-toppers as Journey — "I Surrender" and "Street of Dreams" in particular — while the early MTV favorite "Stone Cold" and the oft-overlooked "Since You've Been Gone" prove to be the best of the bunch. Winning Combinations is a passable time capsule of '80s Rainbow and Purple.

Customer Reviews


Has mainly good hits but highway star and hush (top songs of Deep Purple) are in different versions. Also, its missing Smoke on the Water!

Great bands, highly questionable song choices

I'm a tremendous fan of both of the bands in question but I can't help feeling cheating in terms of the track listing. I wasn't overly fond of Deep Purple's change in sound after they reunited and I really disagreed with Blackmore's decision to let Ronnie James Dio go and move in a more commercial direction. Given that this compilation draws primarily from both band's 80's albums, I can't fully endorse this to those just developing an interest in either group. I'd recommed Machine Head, In Rock or Burn by Deep Purple and any of the Dio-era Rainbow albums to someone looking to get into these two classic hard rock bands.


Formed: 1968 in Hertford, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Deep Purple survived a seemingly endless series of lineup changes and a dramatic mid-career shift from grandiose progressive rock to ear-shattering heavy metal to emerge as a true institution of the British hard rock community; once credited in The Guinness Book of World Records as the globe's loudest band, their revolving-door roster launched the careers of performers including Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, and Ian Gillan. Deep Purple were formed in Hertford, England, in 1968, with an inaugural...
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Winning Combinations: Deep Purple & Rainbow, Deep Purple
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