Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
In 1974 Ritchie Blackmore decided he is going to leave Deep Purple. He apparently didnt like the new sound of the band, and was disappointed from the band latest Stormbringer. After leaving the band, Blackmore was looking forward to releasing a solo album. He met with the then-unkown Ronnie James Dio, and together with Dio's former band members (Elf), he recorded Rainbow's first self-titled album. Blackmore's intent behind the album was to combine Neo-Classical Metal with Mystical lyrics. Dio was just the man for the job, writing lyrics for the whole album, such as the medieval 'The Temple Of The King' and 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves'.
The album starts off with 'The Man On The Silver Mountain', which is clearly one of the highlights here. This song follows(or should I say leads?) the classic Rainbow structure. Catchy and bluesy Blackmore riff accompanied by Dio's powerful singing and his mystical lyrics, followed by a Blackmore solo. The rest of the band dosent seem to do anything special, and they are just trying to keep up with Blackmore and Dio. This isnt that bad, though, as the two keep up the quality of the music.
The same structure goes on for most of the album, with 'Snake Charmer' and 'Self Portrait' being the best among these songs. The best part of the album, though, are the two ballads.
Dio proves that he can sing a ballad just as well as an Hard Rock piece. 'Catch The Rainbow' is a slow ballad, with great lyrics, and even though its chords are simple it carries on for six minutes pretty well. It ends with a two-minute long solo, which, with all due respect, gets sick of after a couple of listenings.
But then there is 'The Temple Of The King', the greater of the two ballads, and in my opinion the best song in the album. The lyrics are amazing, and Dio delivers them oh so well. Both the melody and the chords are so simple, yet so beautiful - and the solo is just as well. This is one of the songs you listen to when youre taking a long ride on the bus. Its raining outside and youre looking through the window, watching the obscure landscape changes. The song is sad and emotional, yet the epic lyrics create a glimmer of hope, and make your heart feel warm inside as your ears are weeping tears of joy.
The great production beneficent the incredible album, having the fine Martin Birch handling the engineering and the mixing.
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is one of the cornerstones of Heavy Metal. Rainbow was one of the most influential bands of the era, along with Deep Purple. This band also introduced to the world one of the best vocalist ever lived, which name will be remembered for many, many years.
The only thing there is to dislike about Rainbow is Blackmore's behavior; firing almost every bandmember after every album release, but god bless him can he play guitar.
Tracklist for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow:
1. Man On The Silver Mountain
2. Self Portrait
3. Black Sheep Of The Family
4. Catch The Rainbow
5. Snake Charmer
6. The Temple Of The King
7. If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll
8. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
9. Still I'm Sad