Rainbow

Confeos

Game time started.
IRYO :p

Frankly, I did consider giving it 10/10, but I still think it's missing just a tiny bit.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
First time listenin to the debut. Good stuff. I knew Silver Mountain and Catch the Rainbow but aside from those Self-Portrait was a definite stand out. Love the drive behind Still I'm Sad, too.

I'm familiar with Rising, great album and more consistent than the debut but the high points on the debut are definitely up there. I'm the same with Starstruck, any time I hear it its in my head for ages. Like now.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Do You Close Your Eyes is definitely the only weak song on Rising. I think the album would be better off without it, especially lyrically.

I'm not really familiar with Elf - does that mean that before Rainbow, Dio wasn't fully immersed in his fantasy universe yet?
Not really, most of the songs were about rock and roll, travel, boogie woogie, etc. There are certainly a few fantasy songs (Never More, Wonderworld), but primarily not.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
A Light in the Black would be the highlight of many, many albums.
 

Confeos

Game time started.
First time listenin to the debut. Good stuff. I knew Silver Mountain and Catch the Rainbow but aside from those Self-Portrait was a definite stand out. Love the drive behind Still I'm Sad, too.

I'm familiar with Rising, great album and more consistent than the debut but the high points on the debut are definitely up there. I'm the same with Starstruck, any time I hear it its in my head for ages. Like now.
Glad to see some love for Self Portrait! :ok:
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Rising is absolutely amazing. I own two copies of it on Vinyl incase one of them dies at some point. Also I prefer the unedited version of Stargazer the synth intro works really well before the song kicks off into the album version. Only adds 30 seconds to an already perfect song.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Also I prefer the unedited version of Stargazer the synth intro works really well before the song kicks off into the album version.
Phew, I dunno. It might be because I heard the song in the "edited" version first. That intro drum solo is killer.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
what's this about different intros to stargazer? the only one I know is the drum bit with the pick slide.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
I also haven’t heard this before but I have a hard time believing there’s any better way to start Stargazer than with Cozy Powell’s drums.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
what's this about different intros to stargazer? the only one I know is the drum bit with the pick slide.
Bonus track found on the 2011 re-release (I have always found such remixes or alternative mixes pointless: give me the original ones and some different bonus content).

Nothing beats Cozy Powell's drum intro as far as I am concerned.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I also haven’t heard this before but I have a hard time believing there’s any better way to start Stargazer than with Cozy Powell’s drums.
Yes, one of the all time iconic song intros.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico

I have the reissues (up to and including Down To Earth). The issues between Carey and Blackmore may've been responsible for removal of this part.
 

Confeos

Game time started.
It's definitely for the better. The keyboard intro works wonders on "Tarot Woman" - "Stargazer" doesn't need one.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Finally got some time for this. I listened to Machine Head this morning for the Godfathers of Metal game (shameless plug!) and it was really ear-opening going from that to the first Rainbow album. The music on Rainbow is much more appropriate for Blackmore's musical skill. The songs are much more interesting musically and lyrically. Even the album's poppier moments are a step above generic Hard Rock. There are some lovely instrumental moments too. Still I'm Sad is an awesome jam to close the album and way more interesting than something like, for example, Lazy. It feels more compositional and less jam band-y. There are a couple songs that regress to the bluesy/boogie sound of Blackmore's past, but not enough to ruin the album. And, of course, Dio.

But that's just the first album. It's a very solid debut and probably a 7/10 for me. However, Rising is where the magic happens. That album is an easy 10/10 and close to what I would consider as being a perfect album. All the good things about the debut are nurtured and molded into something really special, heavy, and majestic. The keyboards add a new dimension for the sound and Blackmore's playing is top notch. Dio is fantastic as always, but really comes into his own as a vocalist and lyricist here. Rising is probably the best thing all of the musicians involved did in their career. Side A alone is an instant classic, but Stargazer takes it to the next level. A timeless moment for heavy rock music.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
14/365

Long Live Rock and Roll - Rainbow

Long Live Rock and Roll - The fun title track kicks off the record, more on the poppier side than the metal side of Rainbow, but undeniably catchy and a classic track. 9.5/10

Lady of The Lake - A solid track, mid paced filled with amazing vocals from Ronnie. The base on this song is top notch. 8.5/10

L.A. Connection - Instrumentally a nice track, overall the lyrics are decent. Not my favourite Dio track, but not bad. 7.5/10

The Gates of Babylon - Unreal mystical and powerful the Gates of Babylon is a masterpiece to be held up with Stargazer for accomplishments by Rainbow - 10/10

Kill The King - Side two kicks off with the amazing Kill the King, Dio harmonies are wonderful here and the band is tight as usual. 9.5/10

The Shed (Subtle) - An interesting intro section leads into a fun track. Better than L.A Connection but nothing outright amazing. - 8/10

Sensative to Light - A fun track that would likely have been a nice part on Rainbow/Dio's medley's in live shows. Fast paced and semi catchy 7.5/10

Rainbow Eyes - A calming guitar opens the way for the album closer, calm soft vocals from Dio tell the tale of a woman who left. Beautiful song 9.5/10

Overall 88%
 

Confeos

Game time started.
Been wanting to get on with this for a while, but apparently starting a new job is very time-consuming. Oh well, here we go.


LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL (1978)




Long Live Rock 'N' Roll - Rainbow's third and final album with Dio kicks off with the title track, probably one of their best known songs, and a live stable of basically every lineup the band has had since. In many ways it might seem like a speedier version of "Man on the Silver Mountain" (both main riffs are in Blackmore's favourite key, G), but honestly, it's not quite as good. I can't say much bad about the music itself; I think Blackmore's solo is very good, and the riff-slash-chorus is a classic (even if the final round of choruses goes on a bit too long). That leaves us with the lyrics. Songs that try to "praise" rock or metal has never really been my thing, so for all its good intentions, I can't help but find the lyrics a bit silly and, well, substandard for Dio. But since it's musically a great track, I'm gonna go with 8/10.

Lady of the Lake - This song is a personal favourite of mine. A simple, thundering riff lays the basis for tune where Dio sings of the mystical lady in question. I like how her exact nature isn't specified, only that she seems to hold a strange power over him, and the atmosphere builds up well until the chorus, where the keyboards are utilized perfectly. I also love the sliding guitars that enter from the second verse onwards, so my only real complaint is that the solo section doesn't quite hold up. This means that we end up with a final score of 9/10.

L.A. Connection - A sketchy riff leads into a mid-tempo groove with Dio in particular sounding very good - the way he belts out those verses is one of the best things about the track. But I gotta admit, as a whole the song never really did much for me. The chorus doesn't really hit home, and once again it's repeated a bit too much at the end (with some annoying "woo"'s, very un-Dio-like). In general I think the music is missing something that could take it to the next level, but it's not bad or anything, so it's a 7/10.

Gates of Babylon - Here. We. Fucking. Go. Wow. This is a monster of a track, almost completely on par with amazing stuff like "Stargazer". It represents all that made the early Rainbow so great; a fantastic vocal performance, dark and mysterious lyrics with a perfect atmosphere to boot, and yet another one of Blackmore's very best solos. I'm absolutely in love with the part in the middle of the solo section where everything breaks down into a slow groove - I feel like I'm being chased by mysterious dark riders out in the desert, with nothing but sand and scorching heat everywhere I look! I can't say much more about it, it's just a perfect song. 10/10.

Kill the King - Side one of the record closed on the highest note, and side two continues right where it left off with "Kill the King" - and I still think it should have opened the album proper, like they did with their liveshows during this period. Once again, I think everything about this song works absolutely perfectly - a flurry of guitar/keyboard notes in the intro, another classic Blackmore-riff (in G, of course!) and a top-notch vocal delivery by Dio (curiously multi-tracked all the way through, if I'm hearing correctly). If the energy in this doesn't get you pumped up, nothing will! Also, I dare anyone to find me a better song about playing chess than this one! It's easily another 10/10.

The Shed (Subtle) - This is, well… Silly, I suppose, is the right word. When I listen to this track, I'm kinda just waiting for Graham Chapman to walk in, dressed as his colonel character, and stop the song for being too silly. I don't know what the band was aiming for here, but the pounding rhythms (once we get past the intro, which is just Blackmore noodling around) and "macho" lyrics almost make it seem like a caricature of all the worst heavy metal stereotypes. I don't know if I'm making much sense here, but I really can't take it too seriously. I'm still gonna give it 6/10, so it's not exactly unenjoyable - just not very good either.

Sensitive to Light - Next, we move on to an up-tempo track reminiscent of stuff like "Do You Close Your Eyes" and "If You Don't Like Rock & Roll". It's fairly decent until the chorus hits, and then the song loses me. The way Dio sings "light-ah!" is ridiculous, and makes me wonder if James Hetfield was listening to this one on repeat when working out his own singing style! The tune almost redeems itself after the second chorus with a short, melodic breakdown, but where a solo could've worked wonders, it instead goes back to a final verse-chorus round. In the end it warrants a 6/10 in my book.

Rainbow Eyes - With a Hendrix-y intro, at first it seems very similar to "Catch the Rainbow", but this one is very much its own. It's beautifully composed and performed, melancholic and sweet at the same time. Seeing as this would turn out to be the final song from the Dio-era, the lyrics almost feel like they're reflecting back on the time Blackmore and Dio spent together as bandmates - they were so good together, but it weren't meant to be in end. I can't help but think the spark never really went away, but as we all know, Dio's death in 2010 has made a true classic-Rainbow reunion impossible, sadly. Oh, what could have been. But for "Rainbow Eyes", it's a very good closer to the album, and only really missing something like Cozy Powell entering after the last chorus, and Blackmore soloing away until the song faded out. All in all, I think it's an 8/10.


Album average rating: 8,0.

Well, there's not much left to say. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll ends up with the lowest score of the three Dio-albums, but that isn't saying much - I think most would still agree anyway it's one of Rainbow's best efforts overall. So, Dio decided to call it quits for various reasons, attributed over the years to disagreements over the band's musical direction and personal tensions, but the band wasn't at all finished. With Cozy Powell still behind the drums, Blackmore hired both a new and a familiar face for the next album. If work permits it, I will review it later this week.
 

Shmoolikipod

The Greys
I love this album, although I think the title track is waaaay too long. The 2 greatest songs are of course Gates of Babylon, I love it yet it's just not as special as the Rising duo, and Kill the King, what a song! I love the medieval riff and Dio in the prechorus and the solo! Great imagery.

... Lady of the Lake is a very strong song, I can compare it with a song like The Evil That Men Do.

I'd say my least favourite song here is Rainbow Eyes but I barely heard it, who put a ballad after Sensitive to Light? I was never in the mood. So it's easily the title track, obnoxious thing it is.

I'm not sure. Rising is just bigger I guess, 3 standard great songs and 3 perfect monsters, while Long Live is a more "normal" and organized album.

Also I'm not sure about your commemt on The Shed Confeos, I don't think it tries to sound "badass". Dio had too much fantasy in his singing for it (I'm taking about the voice, not the subjects). I hear a more empowering song in a fun way and not a serious, "macho" tone.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Loving the love for Lady of the Lake, my favourite unsung Rainbow song. That chorus gets me every time.
Also like LA Connection, it just has a swagger. And Dio.

Long Live and Rainbow Eyes are indeed fine but lesser versions of Silver Mountain and Catch the Rainbow.

And Babylon and King deserve their reps. The former is in Stagazer's class.

It's a strong album, maybe their second best, but too uneven to rank as an all-time great.
 
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