Man what an awesome Cover! If that doesn’t make a musical statement nothing will!
My Rainbow listening habits started around the time of Rainbow’s 1982 release Straight Between The Eyes. I basically skipped the whole Ronnie James Dio (RIP)period(my bad) until just recently as this album was on iTunes for $3.98 so it was an easy peasey purchase!
Tarot Woman is a whopper of an opening. Tony Carey opens the album with a 1 minute 40 second keyboard intro. Hows that for laying down some Moog Law? The late great Cozy Powell slams the drums into gear while the rest of the chaps Jimmy Bain(RIP) and Mr Happy Rainbow Himself Ritchie Blackmore provide the sonic sizzle while Dio sings the tale of the Tarot Woman. Blackmore does his deal with the devil during the solo while Powell is lurking int he background slamming the skins!
Run With The Wolf begins with all hands on deck. The band shifts a slower gear but make no mistake this song is still heavy in a Deep Purple like stomp of yesteryear. Not surprising considering Ritchie had a huge hand in those Purple songs. Dig the almost like slide guitar action during the solo. Great tune.
Speaking of Purple Starstruck begins like a Purple track(You can hear how much Ritchie had a hand in those old Purple tunes). A real cool groove that chugs down Blackmore avenue and say what you want but the real deal on these tunes is Cozy Powell who is all over the place rhythmically and basically lets Richie loose in his rock caboose to do the stuff that the man in black can do on guitar!
Ritchie takes over and opens the song Do You Close Your Eyes and this is an all out Rainbow jam played at a loud volume! Dio drops down a ton of cool lyrics on this album. I guess you could say that this would be as close to a rock radio track you could get from these guys back in 76….
Powell drops down one of the coolest opening drum fills ever at the beginning of Stargazer. 12 seconds of a drum brilliance and Rainbow will take you through the stratosphere of time changes and what nots as only they can for oh lets say 8 minutes and 20 seconds! This song is a bonafide classic. It grabs you by the back of the neck and doesn’t let you go through sweeping musical climates yet never dulling out it just goes and goes and before you know it Stargazer is done! Hard to believe its 8 minutes plus…. On the way out of the door say hello to the Wizard will ya!
How about another 8 minute opus! A Light In The Black fits the bill perfectly and it rockets right out of the gate. Dio and crew play this song at a ferocious clip! I betcha once Powell/Bain/Cary hook up and start rolling Blackmore goes all batty on his guitar for a good 5 minutes of this track! No ending in site for this song as the band is firing on all four’s.
It’s safe to say that if I was a little older back in 76 i would have been all over this album. It’s all here for the taking! You got Dio scripting all the lyrics to Blackmore’s pedal to the metal riffs. Powell slams the drum kit into smithereens while Bain and Cary (with his keyboards adding not subtracting from Ritchie) add colours to the Rainbow! (ha that was sappy) Ok how about a boot in the ass! Crazy how it took me 41 years to own this!
Blackmore for a while leaves Deep Purple in the rearview mirror and forges a new identity known as Rainbow!