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Rainbow: Live In Munich 1977

Ritchie Blackmore remains one of the most exciting guitar players in Rock history, and is one of the key people responsible for the early influences of Hard Rock guitar. Starting out with Hard Rock/Blues legends Deep Purple, he left in 1975 to form Rainbow, a band to further explore his creative genius. He was also involved in heavy in-fighting with Purple's Ian Gillan at the time which made this project all the more appealing to him. Deep Purple would themselves disband in 1976 before reuniting in 1983. The band during the course of its life would go through a number of lineups and this recording from Munich in 1977 features what appears to be the only time this particular formation of players had been recorded. Joining Blackmore would be Ronnie James Dio, whose band Elf was a continual support act for Deep Purple. Drumming was the one and only Cozy Powell, perhaps one of the most powerful Rock drummers of the time period as well as Bob Daisley on bass and Dave Stone on keyboards. The music of Rainbow was instantly appealing to fans of Purple as well as Hard Rock stalwarts who looked for something a little heavier. Tracks like "Kill The King" and "Long Live Rock 'n Roll" ensured that would be the case with their pounding catchiness. "Catch The Rainbow" and "Still I'm Sad" with their each being over 15 minutes in length contain enough of the guitar wielding prowess fans expect of the man in black to showcase and are part of the reason that the album only runs at eight songs. Yngwie fans should note that Blackmore was among the earliest influences in the performers' life and would be smart to also pay attention especially if the axe is their chosen instrument. The CD is also a great way for the Dio fans to hear how one of the best singers in the Metal industry sounded almost thirty years ago. Wow, even I had to stop and re-read that sentence….

There is a very gritty live sound to it, and given its 1977 year there is not a heavy amount of over production done on the recording. What you hear on it is essentially what you would have gotten had you been in the audience yourself minus the "smoke" clouds of the other attendees. It's a great release to own as they also include a very highly detailed and historical booklet on the state of the band and what led to its formation and touring. A DVD of this performance is set for release and that should be interesting since there is not a lot of live Rainbow music available for public consumption. Thanks Eagle Rock Entertainment, the Classic Rock fan in me says "keep it coming". Isn't it time you caught the Rainbow?

Track Listing
1) Kill the King
2) Mistreated
3) Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
4) Catch The Rainbow
5) Long Live Rock 'n Roll
1) Man On The Silver Mountain
2) Still I'm Sad
3) Do You Close Your Eyes

Added: July 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 4221
Language: english

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Rainbow: Live In Munich 1977
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-02 10:13:33
My Score:

Ah, another vintage Rainbow concert sees the light of day thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment. The 1977 Munich show has long floated around the bootleg VHS shelves for years as the only known full concert of the Dio/Powell era of Rainbow, and it's now officially getting released on DVD and full 2CD set, which is being reviewed here. This line-up consist of Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Bob Daisley on bass, and David Stone on keyboards. While similar to the In Concert and Live in Germany 76, sets, this one sees the classic "Stargazer" omitted, and even lengthier versions of "Still I'm Sad" (25+ minutes!) and "Catch the Rainbow (17+ minutes) included. The band was pretty spot on that night, as the music is pretty raw and heavy, a little less polished perhaps than the line-up with Tony Carey and Jimmy Bain, but very powerful overall. Perhaps the tension that was starting to form within the band was rearing its head (Dio would leave shortly after the tour), which gave the band a little more edge than normal, or perhaps they were simply trying to prove something. Either way, Blackmore and Co. rip through scorching versions of "Kill the KIng", "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves"', "Man On a Silver Mountain", and "Do You Close Your Eyes". David Stone proves to be a more than capable replacement for Carey, adding plenty of rousing organ tones and synth flourishes. Dio is in top form, and Mr. Blackmore's guitar playing is forceful and full of fire.

Basically, this is a document of a band that could have taken over the world had they stayed together a little longer. Rainbow would go on to greater commercial heights on later studio albums, but it's this era of the band that would always be remembered and cherished the most.

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