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The brainchild of former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, Rainbow quickly developed into one of the '70s most successful heavy metal bands behind charismatic front man Ronnie James Dio. Together, the duo would produce a string of acclaimed albums which are still considered classics of the genre. But the group would change their musical approach numerous times following the singer's departure, eventually confusing and alienating much of their audience. Releasing eight albums during it's decade long run, the band finally came to an end when Blackmore departed to rejoin his old Deep Purple comrades in a full-fledged reunion in 1984. And while the impact of Rainbow's influence has faded with the intervening decades, theirs was a crucial chapter in the development of heavy metal and hard rock.

Disillusioned and fed up with the chaotic state of Deep Purple in the mid-'70s, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore made the stunning announcement in May of 1975 that he was quitting the group he had founded and led for over seven years in order to start from scratch. Teaming up with up-and-coming American vocalist Ronnie James Dio, Blackmore built Rainbow around the singer's former band Elf, minus their guitarist David Feinstein. Featuring bassist Craig Gruber, keyboard player Mickey Lee Soule, and drummer Gary Driscoll, the group's 1975 debut Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow was quickly embraced by Rainbowan fans and yielded their first hit single, "Man on the Silver Mountain." Blackmore and Dio were dissatisfied with the album's sound, however, and decided to re-vamp Rainbow (by then sufficiently established to do without Blackmore's name) by drafting bassist Jimmy Bain, keyboard player Tony Carey, and former Jeff Beck Group drummer Cozy Powell. It was with this lineup that they entered Musicland studios in February 1976 to record the landmark Rising opus -- once voted the greatest heavy metal album of all time in a 1981 Kerrang! magazine readers' poll. Capturing Blackmore and Dio at the peak of their creative powers, Rising chronicled both the guitarist's neo-classical metal compositions at their most ambitious, and the singer's growing fixation with fantasy lyrical themes -- a blueprint he would adopt for his entire career thereafter. Following its release, the band embarked upon a successful world tour, culminating in a sold out Rainbowan jaunt which spawned a best-selling live album entitled On Stage, released in 1977.

By the time they returned with the equally acclaimed Long Live Rock'n'Roll album in 1978 (featuring bassist Bob Daisley and keyboard player David Stone), Rainbow had established themselves as one of Rainbow's best-selling groups and top concert draws. But the volatile relationship between Blackmore and Dio had already begun to deteriorate, as the American-born singer became increasingly frustrated of standing in the guitarist's shadow -- even in his own country, where the group was now fully committed to breaking big. To make matters worse, Blackmore had been so impressed with "Long Live Rock'n'Roll"'s success as a single, that he began to consider altering the band's sound in order to pursue a more mainstream hard rock approach (a direction which Dio wanted no part of). A chance meeting with Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath (only recently divorced for good from unreliable front man Ozzy Osbourne) helped the singer make up his mind, and Dio officially quit Rainbow in early 1979 to join the Sabs.

Finding a suitable replacement for the charismatic singer proved a serious dilemma, and when Blackmore eventually recruited former Marbles vocalist Graham Bonnett, his decision came with an all-around re-tooling of Rainbow's sound, not to mention, once again, the band's membership, which now included former Deep Purple cohort Roger Glover and keyboard player Don Airey. With the release of 1979's Down to Earth, gone were the mystical themes and epic metal compositions, replaced by a more streamlined commercial hard rock style. But despite containing two of Rainbow's biggest singles, "All Night Long" and "Since You've been Gone" (the second, written by former Argent singer Russ Ballard), the album sputtered in stores, selling far less than the group's previous, Dio-fronted efforts. Bonnett also failed to meet Blackmore's lofty expectations on stage, and after a single, disastrously drunken performance at the inaugural Castle Donington Monsters of Rock Festival in the summer of 1980, the singer was unceremoniously given the boot.

Once again strapped for a vocalist, Blackmore found his man in American singer Joe Lynn Turner, who along with new drummer Bobby Rondinelli signaled a true career rebirth for Rainbow. Wishing to shed the group's overblown, Dio-associated Euro-metal sound of days past once and for all, the new Rainbow lineup was made to order for another bid at widespread acceptance in America. The first product of this new direction, 1981's well received Difficult to Cure helped the group regain some of their momentum and yielded their highest-charting single ever, another Russ Ballard-penned track entitled "I Surrender." In fact, the record's title track -- a sprawling, ten-minute metallic blitzkrieg through Beethoven's {Symphony No. 9} -- was the only throwback to Rainbow's highbrow metal origins. Released in 1982, Straight Between the Eyes failed to chart any successful singles, however, and the band's appeal began to nose-dive, along with Blackmore's increasingly uninventive, risk-free song writing. 1983's Bent out of Shape (featuring new members in keyboard player David Rosenthal and drummer Chuck Burgi) fared no better, and after accepting the fact that Rainbow's best days were behind them, Blackmore finally relented to take part in the long-rumored and hoped for re-formation of Deep Purple's classic Mark II lineup. Typically, the guitarist refused to go out quietly, and Rainbow were backed by a full symphony orchestra for their final March 1984 performance in Japan.

A posthumous live release, entitled Finyl Vinyl, was compiled in 1986, and though he would briefly resurrect the Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow moniker after quitting Purple for the second time in 1994 (even recording an album called Stranger in Us All"), this incarnation would be short-lived. Blackmore was last heard from performing with his purported fiancé Candice Night in the medieval folk duo Blackmore's Night.

Band members

  • Ritchie Blackmore – guitar (1975–1984, 1993–1997)
  • Ronnie James Dio – lead vocals (1975–1979; died 2010)
  • Gary Driscoll – drums (1975; died 1987)
  • Craig Gruber – bass (1975; died 2015)
  • Micky Lee Soule – keyboard (1975)
  • Cozy Powell - drums (1975–1980; died 1998)
  • Tony Carey – keyboard (1975–1977)
  • Jimmy Bain – bass (1975–1977)
  • David Stone - keyboard (1977–1979)
  • Mark Clarke - bass (1977)
  • Bob Daisley – bass, backing vocals (1977–1979)
  • Roger Glover – bass, backing vocals (1979–1984)
  • Don Airey - keyboard, backing vocals (1979–1981)
  • Graham Bonnet - lead vocals (1979–1980)
  • Joe Lynn Turner - lead vocals, occasional rhythm guitar (1980–1984)
  • Bobby Rondinelli - drums (1980–1983)
  • David Rosenthal – keyboard (1981–1984)
  • Chuck Burgi – drums (1983–1984, 1995–1997)
  • Paul Morris – keyboard (1994–1997)
  • Greg Smith – bass, backing vocals (1994–1997)
  • Doogie White - lead vocals (1994–1997)
  • John O'Reilly – drums (1994–1995)
  • John Micelli – drums (1997)

Studio Albums

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

  • Released 4 August 1975
  • Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany, 20 February to 14 March 1975
  • Genre Progressive rock, heavy metal
  • Length 36:54
  • Label Oyster (UK)
    Polydor (rest of the world)
  • Producer Ritchie Blackmore, Martin Birch, Ronnie James Dio

All lyrics written by Ronnie James Dio, all music composed by Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio, except where indicated..

Side one

  1. "Man on the Silver Mountain" 4:42
  2. "Self Portrait" 3:17
  3. "Black Sheep of the Family" Steve Hammond 3:22
  4. "Catch the Rainbow" 6:27

Side two

  1. "Snake Charmer" 4:33
  2. "The Temple of the King" 4:45
  3. "If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll" 2:38
  4. "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" 3:31
  5. "Still I'm Sad" Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty 3:51

Rising

  • Released 17 May 1976
  • Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany, February 1976
  • Genre Progressive rock, heavy metal
  • Length 33:28
  • Label Oyster/Polydor
  • Producer Martin Birch

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio.

Side one

  1. "Tarot Woman" – 5:58
  2. "Run with the Wolf" – 3:48
  3. "Starstruck" – 4:06
  4. "Do You Close Your Eyes" – 2:58

Side two

  1. "Stargazer" – 8:26
  2. "A Light in the Black" – 8:12

2011 Deluxe Edition

Disc 1

  1. "Tarot Woman (New York Mix)"
  2. "Run With The Wolf (New York Mix)"
  3. "Starstruck (New York Mix)"
  4. "Do You Close Your Eyes (New York Mix)"
  5. "Stargazer (New York Mix)"
  6. "A Light In The Black (New York Mix)"
  7. "Tarot Woman (Los Angeles Mix)"
  8. "Run With The Wolf (Los Angeles Mix)"
  9. "Starstruck (Los Angeles Mix)"
  10. "Do You Close Your Eyes (Los Angeles Mix)"
  11. "Stargazer (Los Angeles Mix)"
  12. "A Light In The Black (Los Angeles Mix)"

Disc 2

  1. "Tarot Woman (Rough Mix)"
  2. "Run With The Wolf (Rough Mix)"
  3. "Starstruck (Rough Mix)"
  4. "Do You Close Your Eyes (Rough Mix)"
  5. "Stargazer (Rough Mix)"
  6. "A Light In The Black (Rough Mix)"
  7. "Stargazer (Pirate Sound Tour Rehearsal)"

Long Live Rock 'n' Roll

  • Released 9 April 1978
  • Recorded The Strawberry Studio, Château d'Hérouville, France, May–July & December 1977
  • Genre Progressive rock, heavy metal
  • Length 39:27
  • Label Polydor
  • Producer Martin Birch

All lyrics written by Ronnie James Dio, all music composed by Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio, except where indicated.

Side one

  1. "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" 4:21
  2. "Lady of the Lake" 3:39
  3. "L.A. Connection" 5:02
  4. "Gates of Babylon" 6:49

Side two

  1. "Kill the King" Blackmore, Dio, Cozy Powell 4:29
  2. "The Shed (Subtle)" Blackmore, Dio, Powell 4:47
  3. "Sensitive to Light" 3:07
  4. Rainbow Eyes" 7:11

Down to Earth

  • Released 28 July 1979
  • Recorded Château Pelly de Cornfeld, South France, with the Maison Rouge Mobile Studio,
    Kingdom Sound Studios, Long Island, New York (vocals),
    April–July 1979,
    Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark ("Weiss Heim"), January 1980
  • Genre Hard rock
  • Length 36:05
  • Label Polydor
  • Producer Roger Glover

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover except where noted.

Side one

  1. "All Night Long" – 3:53
  2. "Eyes of the World" – 6:42
  3. "No Time to Lose" – 3:45
  4. "Makin' Love" – 4:38

Side two

  1. "Since You Been Gone" (Russ Ballard) – 3:25
  2. "Love's No Friend" – 4:55
  3. "Danger Zone" – 4:31
  4. "Lost in Hollywood" (Blackmore, Glover, Cozy Powell) – 4:51

Additional songs

  1. "Bad Girl"
  2. "Weiss Heim" (Blackmore)

Difficult to Cure

  • Released 3 February 1981
  • Recorded Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark,
    Kingdom Sound Studios, Long Island, New York
  • Genre Hard rock
  • Length 42:53
  • Label Polydor
  • Producer Roger Glover

All Songs Published By Panache Music, Ltd., except where noted.

  1. "I Surrender" (Russ Ballard) – 4:10 (Island Music Ltd.)
  2. "Spotlight Kid" (Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover) – 5:04
  3. "No Release" (Blackmore, Glover, Don Airey) – 5:42
  4. "Magic" (Brian Moran) – 4:15 (Becket Music)
  5. "Vielleicht Das Nächste Mal (Maybe the Next Time)" (Blackmore, Airey) – 3:23
  6. "Can't Happen Here" (Blackmore, Glover) – 5:09
  7. "Freedom Fighter" (Joe Lynn Turner, Blackmore, Glover) – 4:28
  8. "Midtown Tunnel Vision" (Turner, Blackmore, Glover) – 4:44
  9. "Difficult To Cure (Beethoven's Ninth)" (Beethoven, arr. by Blackmore, Glover, Airey) – 5:58

This track listing is as it appears on the 1999 CD release. The original 1981 LP and cassette releases had the title of the fifth track as "Vielleicht Das Nachster Zeit (Maybe Next Time)". This was a mis-translation from the German, which was corrected on later releases. However, the "corrected" version still contains multiple spelling errors.

Additionally the final track, Difficult to Cure, was originally credited as arranged by Blackmore/Glover/Airey. The laughter at the end of this track is unmistakably that of Oliver Hardy. On the original LP, the laughter is an endless loop in the last groove, while on the CD it loops a few times before stopping.

I Surrender would be the band's highest charting single in the UK, reaching #3.

Spotlight Kid was covered by German band Angel Dust for the album Border of Reality (1998).

 

Straight Between the Eyes

  • Released 10 June 1982
  • Recorded Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada, December 1981
  • Genre Hard rock
  • Length 40:58
  • Label Polydor
    Mercury (North America)
  • Producer Roger Glover

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Lynn Turner, and Roger Glover except where indicated.

  1. "Death Alley Driver" (Blackmore, Turner) – 4:42
  2. "Stone Cold" – 5:17
  3. "Bring on the Night (Dream Chaser)" – 4:06
  4. "Tite Squeeze" – 3:15
  5. "Tearin' Out My Heart" – 4:03
  6. "Power" – 4:26
  7. "MISS Mistreated" (Blackmore, Turner, David Rosenthal) – 4:27
  8. "Rock Fever" (Blackmore, Turner) – 3:50
  9. "Eyes of Fire" (Blackmore, Turner, Bobby Rondinelli) – 6:37

Bent Out of Shape

  • Released 24 August 1983
  • Recorded Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark, May - June 1983
  • Genre Hard rock
  • Length 40:25
  • Label Polydor
    Mercury (North America)
  • Producer Roger Glover

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore and Joe Lynn Turner except where indicated

  1. "Stranded" – 4:25
  2. "Can't Let You Go" (Blackmore, Turner, Intro - David Rosenthal) – 4:18
  3. "Fool for the Night" – 4:04
  4. "Fire Dance" (Blackmore, Turner, Roger Glover, Rosenthal) – 4:30
  5. "Anybody There" (Blackmore) – 2:36
  6. "Desperate Heart" – 4:00
  7. "Street of Dreams" – 4:23
  8. "Drinking with the Devil" – 3:41
  9. "Snowman" (Howard Blake, arr. by Blackmore) – 4:33
  10. "Make Your Move" – 3:55

Stranger in Us All

  • Released 21 August 1995
  • Recorded Long View Farm Studios, Brookfield, Massachusetts,
    Cove City Sound Studios, Long Island, New York,
    Sound on Sound, Unique Studio and Soundtrack Studios, New York City, 1995
  • Genre Hard rock
  • Length 51:44
  • Label RCA/BMG
  • Producer Pat Regan & Ritchie Blackmore

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore and Doogie White except where indicated

  1. "Wolf to the Moon" (White, Blackmore, Candice Night) – 4:16
  2. "Cold Hearted Woman" – 4:31
  3. "Hunting Humans (Insatiable)" – 5:45
  4. "Stand and Fight" – 5:22
  5. "Ariel" – 5:39 (Blackmore, Night)
  6. "Too Late for Tears" (White, Blackmore, Pat Regan) – 4:50
  7. "Black Masquerade" (White, Blackmore, Paul Morris, Night) – 5:35
  8. "Silence" – 4:04
  9. "Hall of the Mountain King" (Edvard Grieg, additional arrgmt. by Blackmore, lyrics written by Night) – 5:34
  10. "Still I'm Sad" (Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty) – 5:22
  11. Japan pressing (RCA Records BVCP-862) adds the following

  12. "Emotional Crime"

Singles

Year Title Album
1975 "Man on the Silver Mountain" / "Snake Charmer" Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
"Catch the Rainbow"
1976 "Starstruck" / "Run with the Wolf" Rising
"Stargazer"
1978 "Kill the King" (live) / "Man on silver mountain" (live) / "Mistreated" (live) Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
"Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" / "Sensitive to Light"
"LA Connection" / "Lady of the Lake"
1979 "Gates of Babylon"
"Since You Been Gone" / "Bad Girls" Down to Earth
1980 "All Night Long" / "Weiss Heim"
1981 "I Surrender" / "Maybe Next Time" Difficult to Cure
"Can't Happen Here" / "Jealous Lover"
1982 "Stone Cold" / "Rock Fever" Straight Between the Eyes
"Power" / "Death Alley Driver"
1983 "Can't Let You Go" / "All Night Long" (live) // "Stranded" (live) Bent Out of Shape
"Street of Dreams" / "Anybody There" // "Power" (live)
1995 "Hunting Humans (Insatiable)" Stranger in Us All
"Ariel" / "The Temple of the King" (live)

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication Scroller

Artist:
Westfield Massacre

Song Played:
Heart Shaped Box

Requested by:
The_Cat

Dedication:
Kurt would like this :)


Artist:
Ellie Goulding

Song Played:
How Long Will I Love You

Requested by:
MzEssensual

Dedication:
To one of my oldest friends on his birthday.. Friday the 13th always in my heart


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Axel Rudi Pell

Song Played:
In The Air Tonight

Requested by:
Very_Sinister

Dedication:
To all the Axel Rudi Pell fans Like me :)


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Aerosmith

Song Played:
I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing

Requested by:
MzEssensual

Dedication:
to my friends Earwen and Fin.. this ones for you


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KEEL

Song Played:
If Love Is A Crime (I Wanna Be Convicted)

Requested by:
The_Cat

Dedication:
For all of us lovers :)


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