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Rainbow - Rising CD (album) cover




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4.19 | 473 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm on a bit of a nostalgia festival tonight, and revisiting this classic of hard/classic rock from 1976 is a pleasure.

My very first "true" prog album was Yes, Going For The One. This album preceded it in my start to a record collection by a matter of a few weeks. I don't consider this to be a progressive rock album. It always was, and will always remain, a classic of the type of hard rock perfected by bands such as this, Blackmore's predecessor band Purple, and Black Sabbath, amongst others.

There are five classic tracks on this LP, ones which demonstrate a rock guitarist, his vocalist and sparring partner, and a backing band of exceptional quality, in the highest light. From Tarot Woman to Light In The Black, we have some incredible toe tapping numbers.

However, the centrepiece of this album, from the incredible cover (I was SO proud showing it off to my friends walking up the road at the time!) to the album itself, is Stargazer, the most incredible slab of sci fi/fantasy ever committed to vinyl.

Right from the staggering Cozy Powell intro, a drummer who is, by the way, really very much missed, to the dying embers of the orchestral interplay with band, this track still never fails to excite me and make me want to go straight out and write a sword and sorcery classic. This is a tightly worked and executed piece of music, with the basic riff and rhythm deliberately kept simple and repeated by Ritchie Blackmore, and the interplay with Tony Carey on keyboards (whatever did happen to him?), the Munich Philarmonic Orchestra, and the massive riffing drum and bass are a wonder to behold. Blackmore's solo in mid track is also amongst his finest, and that is high praise indeed.

One thing is certain. This was not intended to be a symphonic prog masterpiece. It merely reflected the bombastic hard/classic rock Blackmore & Dio were exploring at the time.

I am, however, glad it is on the site, and I have no hesitation in awarding it 4 stars, but 4.5 in reality.

If all you heavy prog fans out there want to know where your Iron Maiden, Opeth, and other such bands, started off, here it is.

lazland | 4/5 |


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