Ritchie Blackmore. Ronnie James Dio. Cozy Powell. Jimmy Bain. Tony Carey. Live in Germany. 1976. Rainbow Rising. I could stop right there now couldn't I? This was the classic Rainbow line-up, on their most important tour for what many believe to be their best album, Rising. The Live in Germany 1976 album is a great companion piece to the On Stage record recorded from the same tour, although that recording was taken mostly from shows in Japan. The set lists from the two albums are fairly similar, but this one is more complete, and contains lengthier jams. Many thought the omission of the legendary "Stargazer" from the On Stage album to be sheer blasphemy (as I always did when growing up with this band in my early years), but thankfully this set has it, as well as "Do You Close Your Eyes". The rest of the set list is the same, and with the exception of "Kill the King", which sounds exactly identical to my ears as if it's the same version on both albums, the rest of the overlap songs sound pretty different from each other. Here, songs like "Mistreated", "Catch the Rainbow", and "Man on a Silver Mountain" take on even more epic proportions (take one look at the bloated song lengths below!) , with lengthy guitar jams from Blackmore, lots of keyboard noodling from Carey, as well as pyrotechnic drum explorations from Powell. Dio of course, was the man back then as well no matter how you look at it.
So, if you want to hear a band just discovering the peak of their powers, definitely check this 2CD set out, even if you already have Rainbow's On Stage. Sadly, this line-up would change after this tour, with both Carey and Bain getting the boot from the band, although rumor has it that both actually did some uncredited recording on the Long Live Rock and Roll album. For some, there might be too many solo excursions on this set and not enough "tunes", but hardcore Rainbow freaks who dig their metal & hard rock with a bit of prog in it will drool over the medieval sounds on this live collection.
1. Kill The King (5:25)
2. Mistreated (16:00)
3. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (7:50)
4. Catch The Rainbow (14:50)
1. Man On Silver Mountain (13:32)
2. Stargazer (17:10)
3. Still I'm Sad (15:00)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (9:45)