Martin Popoff's at it again folks. After the enjoyble and informative books on UFO, Blue Oyster Cult, and Rush, he follows it up with another similarly written gem on another classic 70's/80's hard rock/metal legend, Rainbow. The focus here again is on the albums the band released in their career, with each chapter representing one of their releases, and featuring Popoff's expert commentary on the band, their history, info on the albums, and spliced with plenty of interview comments from many of the former members of the band.
While hearing comments from the man in black himself Ritchie Blackmore is great, the best reading comes from the many thoughts from the various singers employed by Blackmore over the years. Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, and Doogie White, all get to reflect on the albums they appeared on, and in many instances give their thoughts and opinions on their bandmates at the time of their tenure in the band, as well as how they feel about the singers that preceeded and followed them. Commentary from former band members Bob Daisley, Tony Carey, and Bobby Rondinelli is also included, but sadly you don't get to hear anything from the legendary drummer Cozy Powell due to his untimely passing a few years back.
In depth analysis of all the Rainbow albums are delved into, and depending what your passion is when it comes to this band (Rising and Straight Between the Eyes are this writers two favorites), it's fascinating reading the entire way. As with every Popoff book, you get little bits of gossip along the way, straight from the mouths of the former members of the band, dealing with personality conflicts, the boozing and drugging, womanizing, the firing and rehiring, and all the turmoil that comes with being in a band helmed by Mr. Blackmore. In the end, I was reaching for the "R" section of my CD collection and pulling out all the Rainbow releases one by one, hoping and wishing for a reunion someday between either Blackmore and Dio, or Blackmore and Turner (and Joe's desire to have Ritchie join him and Glenn Hughes in HTP really had me pondering!).
In short, an essential read for all Rainbow fans and those who have an interest in the immense Deep Purple family tree.