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Rainbow: Live in Munich 1977 (DVD)

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow would be his answer to dissatisfaction of life within the confines of Deep Purple. It was a band that while at many times static as far as membership went, delivered some of the best Hard Rock our generation has seen. The band gave us the power of Ronnie James Dio, drummer Cozy Powell and many more over the years that it existed. Running from 1975-1983 the band was a high-energy live act and this film is apparently the only known footage of the lineup in 1977 (featuring Blackmore, Dio, Powell along with Bob Daisley (bass) and David Stone (keyboards). Filmed before a capacity crowd in Munich, Germany this is sure to appeal to fans of the band both old and new. I have to say that for a film that is approaching thirty years in age it holds up pretty darned good as far as visual and audio dynamics; given the production standards of the time it will seem dark at points but it is what it is. This is truly a document of how the band performed back then and you can see especially how great Dio was in his youth. He is a performer who has influenced many and shown like a star from the beginning. There is little stage spectacle besides the music and the only stage effect is the colossal rainbow above that towers above them. This mammoth structure was as complicated as it was magnificent to see and when you look back on it in this film you will see how far stage productions have come if you compare it to what you see at a big Rock show of today. The set list might seem short in number but it is not short in length at all, with extended versions of "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" and "Catch The Rainbow" all culminating in the destruction of Blackmore's guitar and rig. It's a bit over the top, but he was known for this practice. I don't recommend watching two of these videos back to back or this section will hit you with a big sense of "oh here we go again".

One of the cool aspects for this DVD would be the inclusion of a miniature replica of the European tour book. Fitting comfortably in the case, the viewer is able to take a little bit more of what it felt like to attend one of these shows. We saw this practice done before when Rush added three such mini-tour books to their "Replay x3" DVD Boxed set. I hope this becomes a common occurrence as I am one of those fans that always seem to buy the book at a show.

Bonus Features: Promo Videos Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, Gates Of Babylon, & L.A. Connection. Interviews: Bob Daisley, Colin Hart (Tour Manager); Photo gallery & Slide Show with Audio Commentary. The videos of the time period were primarily used to promote the band and show as very simplistic when compared to the stuff that would come to MTV in the following years. They show the band once on stage and twice in the studio performing to pre-recorded music.

This is a good DVD for fans of Ritchie Blackmore especially, as Eagle Rock Entertainment has provided them with a lot of Deep Purple releases and now has added Rainbow to the collection. Perhaps we will even see the "Live Between The Eyes" concert that features an entirely different cast of players and the Man in Black. Rainbow enthusiasts are advised to pick up a copy of Martin Popoff's "Rainbow: English Castle Magic" where the author lines out an album by album history of the band. It is sure to fill in many blanks about their existence and further explains the giant rainbow overhead that they toured with. Check them both out.

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

Added: August 19th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 3548
Language: english

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Rainbow: Live in Munich 1977 (DVD)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-19 06:59:16
My Score:

The early years of Rainbow were a pretty special time. Not only did the band hold among its ranks three powerhouse players in Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio, and Cozy Powell, but they created some excellent music that still holds up well today. This live concert, recorded in Munich, Germany in 1977, is the only known footage of this era of the band. Joining the trio on the Long Live Rock 'n' Roll album and tour would be former Symphonic Slam keyboard player David Stone and ex-Widowmaker/Chicken Shack/Mungo Jerry bassist Bob Daisley. The latter two would be replacing Tony Carey and Jimmy Bain in what would be considered the classic Rainbow line-up, but after watching Live in Munich it's obvious that Stone and Daisley can and do hold their own. Stone's hefty Hammond and Mini Moog flourishes complement the music well and provide a great foil for Blackmore, while Daisley is a solid bass player and provides plenty of backing vocals. The other three-well, let's just say that they always created magic together.

Ronnie James Dio, while always a fantastic singer, is really at the top of his game around this time, delivering gut wrenching hard rock vocals of a quality that would continue on for another decade and more with Black Sabbath and his band Dio. Not only was he an emerging vocal talent back in 1977 but he was also becoming a powerful frontman, purely evident here on "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", "Kill the King", "Mistreated", and the classic "Man on the Silver Mountain", where the tiny singer develops a great rapport with the audience and gives one towering performance after another with his commanding vocals. Blackmore, well, is Blackmore, what can you say. The guy is a legend, and his signature riffs and leads are all over each and every song here, especially blistering on "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves", with its majestic classical opening and crushing, hard rock main section, the tender yet powerful "Catch the Rainbow", and the virtuoso cover of the Yardbirds classic "Still I'm Sad". The powerhouse Cozy Powell storms his way through each track, his metal attire complete with studded wristbands and belt complements his drum prowess, which was in full bloom. While previously he was a member of Jeff Beck's group, and later on played with Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, MSG, Emerson Lake and Powell, and Yngwie Malmsteen, it's his few years in Rainbow that are often most remembered. Tragically, a car accident took him from us a few years ago, so this set is a nice reminder of his talents.

Eagle Vision has put together a nice package here, one that includes a regular DVD booklet with an essay on the band and photos, as well as a mini replica of the original tour program, which is a really special addition here and one that collectors will surely love to have. The label did this recently on the ELO Out of the Blue Tour Live at Wembley set as well.

So check it out and see why this era in the history of Rainbow has long been considered as the one that could have eventually been huge had they stayed together a little longer. They had the power, they had the creativity, and their popularity was certainly growing. Alas, it was not to happen, as Dio soon left, along with Daisley and Stone, and the revolving door of members soon began. While the Joe Lynn Turner era in the 80's had the must success from a sales standpoint, it was the Dio/Powell time that is looked back on with the most fondness from fans, and we can only speculate how huge they could have gotten they put together another album or two.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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