A few weeks back I read that a new/old Rainbow Live Album would be surfacing and as per protocol around these parts my curiosity level peaked!
Itunes had it.I purchased it! Anyone surprised by that??
Below is the 10 Tracks featured on Boston 1981…..
Love’s No Friend
Man On The Silver Mountain
Catch The Rainbow
Can’t Happen Here
Lost In Hollywood
Difficult To Cure
Long Live Rock N’ Roll
Smoke On The Water
This version of Rainbow features of course founding member Richie Blackmore(guitar) along with Bobby Rondelli(drums) Don Airey(keys) Roger Glover (bass) and Joe Lynn Turner(vocals)
Joe, man he followed Ronnie James Dio(RIP) and Graham Bonnet in Rainbow and Joe at times got hammered by the press as making Rainbow sound like a British Foreigner. Perhaps, but for my personal listening tastes this is my favourite version of the band as this was the Rainbow I had gotten into.
The Mix on this album is Real Good considering it’s 35 years old and has been Bootlegged numerous times it has a good sound! On the headphones it’s all Richie’s Guitar on the left side! Everything else(vocals,bass,drums,keys and bass) is in the middle on the right! You really get Blasted by Blackmore’s guitar and why not he’s a genius!
Spotlight Kid is a great opener and Turner tosses down a real cool smooth as silk Rock Vocal! Almost a little raspy (road worn?) still it gives you that live feeling like your there! Blackmore is on fire and it’s the opener and the Man In Black doesn’t fool around! I love the interplay between Richie and Don Airey on the keys! Very Deep Purple like. Rainbow rock it out the gate in a quick and orderly fashion!
Love’s No Friend starts off with Ritchie playing a chill riff while Bobby plays his bass drum to keep the beat and full points are awarded here as he smashes the tar out of his Gong(a lost live art!) Love’s No Friend is an interesting second track as it ploughs forward kinda slowly but by the end Ritchie and the Boys ramp it up and it picks up steam as the SS Rainbow heads towards the Rock Dock( yeah that was kinda a lame scenario. It’s all I got!)
Airey begins I Surrender with a throwback keyboard sound and Ritchie joins in and this is awesome stuff as Ritchie plays loose with a real live feel and with him being totally mixed on the left side when he stops for a second there’s no sound coming out! Ha! So cool gives it a real cool live feel! This song is very catchy and has a pop rock element to it and Turner sings a great track! Actually this whole album Turners voice is real good!
Want to hear a real cool opening riff? Click the video posted above of Man On A Silver Mountain. Even though Dio sang the original Turner sings it well and with respect! This is a wicked awesome track and Rainbow rock this bad boy…Crank it!
Catch The Rainbow is a 14 minute Trippy Prog Rockers Delight! Its like your on a Sonic Rainbow with all of its time changes albeit slow trance like! This must have been a Toker’s Dream at the Rainbow shows of yesteryear! I could picture it now everyone just getting baked out of their minds and drifting elsewhere in a trance like state! Blackmore approved!
Quick! Put the Dope Away as Rainbow rock it to the top with Can’t Happen Here. Love the start of this tune as the drums/bass/keys start it and it sounds like Ritchie’s having technical issues and that’s what I love about actual live albums. Warts N All! Turner and Crew are lock and loaded on this tune and it’s another great straight ahead rock track!
Don Airey plays a real crazy Keyboard almost spooky like (think the vibe of Ozzy’s Mr Crowley) and Lost In Hollywood (I’m sure there are many a Rainbow tale of Lost Nights Everywhere) The song is another rocker in the Rainbow Arsenal! For good measure toss in a Ritchie guitar solo and from what I listened too it sounds like his Strat took a Shit Kickin that night….
Probably since I work in a Hospital I always dug the Difficult To Cure album cover(Pic of the band in Hospital O.R Gear) and Difficult To Cure is a big epic like Beethoven inspired track. Blackmore and Airey weave in and out of each others music space and its like Blackmore uses the keys as a second guitar,dual lead solos with the keyboards and such. Man,say what you want about the after show party shenanigans that I’m sure all bands partook in. With Ritchie you had to have your chops together or he would Fire Yer Ass!
Long Live Rock N Roll is another straight ahead rocker track from the Dio years and Rainbow lay down the law with this song.
Blackmore digs into his previous bands catalogue but teases the crowd with he beginning of Lazy? Ummm nope! Hey there’s the beginning of Woman From Tokyo! Wawazat! So Ritchie messes with the crowd and then launches into the opening riff and its Smoke On The Water and I can see why when Ritchie and Roger were back with Purple they chose Turner to sing for them (1990s Slaves And Masters) . Turner sings Smoke real good and Rainbow pulls it off but like there would be any doubt right?
This is a real good album! Rainbow Boston 1981 is a Live album! No Fixings and Doctering it up in the studio. From What I read this show was a co headline show with Pat Travers and recorded for the King Biscuit Radio Show.