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Rainbow - Long Live Rock & Roll CD (album) cover




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3.47 | 237 ratings

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3 stars This effort from 1978 is sandwiched between my two favourite studio albums from the band, Rising & Down To Earth. It was made following the release of the incredible live opus, On Stage.

By the time the band convened, various fallouts with Blackmore left him, Dio, and Powell from Rising. It is actually a very sobering thought that only Blackmore has lived to tell the tale as at the time of this review.

This album has generated a mixed response over the years, and the best way to describe it is really as a transition between the pomp symphonic rock of its predecessors and the new, more commercial, direction that Blackmore wanted to take the band.

There are some great rock anthems on this. The stomping title track is a toe tapping marvel, whilst Shed (Subtle) is one of the most misnamed tracks in history. There is nothing subtle about it at all, it's just a great rocker.

Probably the closest the band came to the sci fi, mystical fantasy so beloved by Dio and the hallmark of Rising, was Gates Of Babylon, and it is really a fantastic track, caning along at a huge pace.

However, my favourite track on this is actually the closer, the wonderful ballad Rainbow Eyes. This was covered by Blackmore's Night, and sung by Candice Night very well, on Secret Voyage in 2008, which featured a brand new arrangement of the song. This one, though, is also lovely. Dio never sang so delicately, and you actually get the feeling that he is really writing and singing about the beloved band he would soon leave. It also features beautiful strings and woodwind arrangements, and is one hell of a high for the two to part on.

Elsewhere, the album veers from very good to somewhat formulaic, and Sensitive To Light is probably the best example of the latter.

Not an essential album by any means, but it does still bring back some happy memories for me when this band could do absolutely no wrong to a teenage rock fan.

Three stars. The next one, though, would explode the band onto the wider world's radar.

lazland | 3/5 |


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