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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow: Memories In Rock II

After reforming Rainbow with a new line-up for a select group of shows in Europe in 2016, guitar god Ritchie Blackmore took the band out for three concerts in the UK in 2017, of which select performances comprise this latest Minstrel Hall Music release Memories in Rock II. With two CDs and a bonus DVD of interviews, fans now have additional live content to enjoy on the return of Blackmore's Rainbow.

If you have the original Memories in Rock release, which was made up of performances from Germany in 2016, the songs are basically the same, but the band here seems to be a bit tighter having played a handful of shows together and the synergy is quite apparent. Not wholly a 'best of Rainbow' set, as plenty of Deep Purple material is also tackled as well, the band play fiery versions of classics such as "Mistreated", "Man on a Silver Mountain", the epic "Stargazer", a WONDERFULLY tender "Soldier of Fortune", "Catch the Rainbow", "Perfect Strangers", "Spotlight Kid", and "I Surrender". For some, calling this Rainbow when so much Deep Purple material is played might seem a stretch, but it's great to hear Blackmore return to his heavy rock roots nonetheless. Lead vocalist Ronnie Romero does a fine job throughout, really shining on the Dio-era material as well as the Purple songs originally sung by Gillan & Coverdale, and Jens Johansson as always blazes on the keyboards. Blackmore seems a tad subdued, even failing to really let loose during his solo spot on "Child in Time", but perhaps he's happy to leave his 'guitar hero' status in the past. In fact, he's at his most impressive here on the gorgeous acoustic tribute to the late Jon Lord, titled "Carry On Jon".

Along with a host of interviews with all involved which is included on the DVD, one of the more noteworthy aspects of this set is the brand new Rainbow studio song, "Waiting for a Sign", which includes a strong Romero vocal and some tasty blues rock solos from Blackmore. As a 'Rainbow' song it's nothing monumental, but as a return to bluesy rock for Ritchie Blackmore, it will certainly suffice. Now, let's see if any more new original music will follow.

Track Listing
Over The Rainbow
Spotlight Kid
I Surrender
Since You’ve Been Gone
Man On The Silver Mountain / Woman From Tokyo
16th Century Greensleeves
Soldier Of Fortune
Perfect Strangers
Difficult To Cure
All Night Long
Child In Time

Long Live Rock’n’Roll / Lazy
Catch The Rainbow
Black Night
Carry On Jon*
Temple Of The King*
Smoke On The Water
Waiting For A Sign (brand new song)

Added: May 20th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Official Facebook Page
Hits: 7736
Language: english

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