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Rainbow: The Polydor Years (8 album vinyl box)

It's not exactly a hard sell, is it? Eight classic vinyl sets from one of Hard Rock's most revered and celebrated outfits. One of the best guitarists Rock has ever heard. Three cracking, acclaimed, singers (think about how few outfits have managed that feat…ask Van Halen, or Iron Maiden how difficult it is to pull off). A genuine stone cold classic genre defining album. A genuine stone cold classic double live opus. A string of hits Commercial Rock bands have aped and reshaped to this very day. Seriously, what's not to like here?

The band in question are, of course, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, the guitarist Blackmore himself and the singers Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. The album is Rising, live opus On Stage and the hits include "Since You've Been Gone", "I Surrender", "All Night Long" and "Street Of Dreams". Package it all together in a stunning box with faithfully recreated covers, gatefold and inner sleeves, pictures, lyrics and centre of the record art (I still love the eye staring back as it rotates on Straight Between The Eyes) and really, this is a set for any Hard Rocking vinyl lovers.

The opportunity to chart the Rainbow story from Dio led 70s Hard Rockers on Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Rising, On Stage and Long Live Rock n Roll, to rough and tumble Bonnet rasping chart botherers to the smooth and slick Turner fronted Commercial Rock sensations, is a welcome one. We all know Rising is a Rock tour de force and that Down To Earth saw a sudden change in style that brought mainstream radio and chart success. Yet the chance to reacquaint with the energy packed eponymous debut and underrated Straight Between The Eyes and Bent Out Of Shape, which easily rival the more celebrated Down To Earth and Difficult To Cure, is a welcome reminder of just how good this band always were.

If I was to have a couple of complaints, they'd be that it would have been good to have the live compilation Final Vinyl as part of this set, the energetic live tracks from the Bonnet and Turner eras from that album always a highlight, and that, disappointingly, the records themselves could have been packed with more care, nearly all of the nine records (On Stage is a double remember) slightly scuffed and covered in fingerprints when I first removed them from their sleeves. However those points really are the only negatives.

For vinyl loving Rainbow fans, it's hard to suggest that it gets much better than this, it's that simple.


Track Listing

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow : Side One 1. Man On The Silver Mountain 2. Self Portrait 3. Black Sheep Of The Family 4. Catch The Rainbow
Side Two 1. Snake Charmer 2. The Temple Of The King 3. If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll 4. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves 5. Still I'm Sad

Rising : Side One 1. Tarot Woman 2. Run With The Wolf 3. Starstruck 4. Do You Close Your Eyes
Side Two 1. Stargazer 2. A Light In The Black

On Stage : Side One 1. Kill The King 2. Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain/Blues/Starstruck
Side Two 1. Catch The Rainbow
Side Three 1. Mistreated
Side Four 1. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves 2. Still I'm Sad

Long Live Rock 'n' Roll : Side One 1. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll 2. Lady Of The Lake 3. LA Connection 4. Gates Of Babylon
Side Two 1. Kill The King 2. The Shed (subtle) 3. Sensitive To Light 4. Rainbow Eyes

Down To Earth : Side One 1. All Night Long 2. Eyes Of The World 3. No Time To Lose 4. Makin' Love
Side Two 1. Since You Been Gone 2. Love's No Friend 3. Danger Zone 4. Lost In Hollywood

Difficult To Cure : Side One 1. I Surrender 2. Spotlight Kid 3. No Release 4. Magic 5. Vielleicht Das Nächster Zeit (Maybe Next Time)
Side Two 1. Can't Happen Here 2. Freedom Fighter 3. Midtown Tunnel Vision 4. Difficult To Cure

Straight Between The Eyes : Side One 1. Death Alley Driver 2. Stone Cold 3. Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser) 4. Tite Squeeze 5. Tearin' Out My Heart
Side Two 1. Power 2. Miss Mistreated 3. Rock Fever 4. Eyes Of Fire

Bent Out Of Shape : Side One 1. Stranded 2. Can't Let You Go 3. Fool For The Night 4. Fire Dance 5. Anybody There
Side Two 1. Desperate Heart 2. Street Of Dreams 3. Drinking With The Devil 4. Snowman 5. Make Your Move

Added: December 29th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: The Rainbow facebook page
Hits: 2352
Language: english

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