Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brian Parrish - 1975 - Love On My Mind

Brian Parrish 
Love On My Mind

01. Love On My Mind
02. Another Lover
03. Lazy Love
04. I Got A Feeling
05. Freedom Train
06. Pretty Thing
07. When Midnight Comes Around
08. I Don't Know What You Got
09. Sit Down
10. Shine Your Light

Rhythm Guitar – Vic Linton
Bass – Jerome Rimson
Drums – Peter Van Hooke
Keyboards – Brian Chatton, Pete Wingfield
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Brian Parrish

Brian Parrish seems to have spent a large part of his recording career basking in the reflected glory of others, whether it be an early association with ex-Beatle producer George Martin, or from time spent under the guidance of Yes manager, Brian Lane.

Born in July 1947, in Seven Kings, Essex, Brian picked up his first guitar at the age of 11. He had a few lessons, but is basically self-taught. Both his father and grandfather are professional singers, so it follows that Brian's determination stayed with him throughout his school days, during the latter part of which he describes himself as being "a freak, a court jester", he would finish school for the day, would go home followed by his friends, pick up his guitar and sing Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran songs all night. Fed up with providing free entertainment, he decided to change his image. He went to get a haircut. His hairdresser happened to mention that he played guitar, and before he knew it, they were forming a band which subsequently stayed together for 5 years - a large part of which was spent on the Continent playing at American service bases.

Following his departure from the band in 1968, Brian spent some time concentrating on writing and production, in fact, a couple of his songs were recorded by Johnnie Halliday and Mike and Bernie Winters.

A duo formed about a year later with a friend, Paul Gurvitz, now with Ginger Baker, and an album under the direction of George Martin was released in 1971 through EMI. The band, now consisting of five members went to the States early in 1972 for a two-month tour, on which they supported Seals And Croft and B.J. Thomas among others. The band went down well, but Brian recalls the highlight of the tour being Elvis Presley and Bill Cosby concerts they were able to catch!

Shortly after the band's return to England, and in the midst of management hassles, two members were made an offer by Peter Frampton, which they didn't hesitate in accepting.

And Brian? Well, he joined forces with ex-Yes keyboard player, Tony Kaye, Roy Dyke on drums and David Foster on bass. They called themselves Badger, obtained a management deal with Brian Lane, and went on tour with Yes. Their album, which was produced with assistance from Jon Anderson, was recorded live at the Rainbow, and quickly shot into the Billboard chart at No. 80.

Brian left shortly after to pursue a solo career. Now he has the distinction of having written, produced and performed the first single to be released on Chas Chandler's Barn Label. Brian's debut album will be coming soon.

August 1976 
Polydor Press Release for Brian Parrish's 1976 solo album, "Love On My Mind" (Barn 2314101)

April 11 a visitor requested this album, it took a while... but here it is!

Elf - 1973 - Goin' Down


101. First Avenue
102. Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright)
103. Dixie Lee Junction
104. Stay With Me
105. I Want You To Love Me
106. I’m Coming Back For You
107. Love Me Like A Woman
108. Nevermore
109. Don’t Waste A Minute Of Time
110. Old Stone Cold Fever
111. Streetwalker

201. Hoochie Koochie Lady
202. Rockin’ Chair Rock N’ Roll Blues
203. Goin’ Down
204. Drum Solo
205. Gambler Gambler
206. Guitar Solo
207. Do The Same Thing
208. Little Queenie

Recorded June 10, 1973, The Bank, Cortland, New York, USA

Tarantura’s honorable tribute to the life of Ronnie James Dio continues with Boleskine House Records’ excellent and enlightening recording from Ronnie James Dio’s pre-superstardom days.  In Elf Live: Goin’ Down, we are introduced to those days through an expertly mastered stereo soundboard recording from 1973 showing an unfamiliar side of Dio that is simply awesome to hear. 

Make no mistake, however, Dio was always Dio, and this recording gives us some strong evidence of what grabbed Ritchie Blackmore’s attention when Elf was opening for Deep Purple shortly before Blackmore left in 1974 to form Rainbow with Dio.  Of course, Elf was already under contract with Purple Records, so Dio was a known powerhouse before 1974, which was when this concert took place.

This release is packaged in a black-and-white jacket bearing a vintage picture of Elf on the front in a design that may bring back some fond memories for collectors of bootleg records designed in the 1970’s.  On the jacket’s backside are two starkly different pictures of Dio, which was a classy way to symbolize the significance of this recording to Dio fans.  One is a more familiar image of a long haired, albeit younger, Dio belting it out on stage. 

The other is the high school senior yearbook picture of Ronald Padavona (a/k/a Dio), telling us his nickname was “Pigmy” and bearing what may have been his following quote, which said it all about him even at that age: “there is no great genius without a mixture of madness.”  It is also cool to read about Dio’s extracurricular high school activities, which included senior band and dance band all 4 years, senior class president, as well as participation in baseball, wrestling and bowling.  It’s details like this that make collecting music so fascinating, and why this release is such a winner.

This was not a heavy metal concert, or band.  Yes, three-fourths of Elf recorded Rainbow’s first album, but that was largely Ritchie Blackmore’s creation.  Elf’s performance as captured in Goin’ Down treats us to music from rather diverse interest, including southern blues and honky-tonk, as well as Elf original songs such as the opening track, “First Avenue”.  That song embodied the honky-tonk, early 1970’s sound, but with Dio’s signature and unmistakable vocals driving it up front and wonderfully. 

Using falsetto accents, along with his tremendous range, the song was an interesting choice to open a show as compared to some set openers that may have contained more driving energy.  The recording captured it all perfectly though, with piano, guitar, and drums at the same level as Dio, with the audience’s clapping and response after the song suggesting a rather small, intimate venue for the show. 

Two more Elf originals follow, “Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright)” and “Dixie Lee Junction”, which are also great rock and roll songs new to my ears.  “Dixie Junction” was particularly melodic, showing Dio’s beautiful vocal abilities accompanying electric piano, tasteful guitar soloing, and creative drumming.  “Nevermore”, another Elf original, was a show highlight containing numerous tempo & timing changes with Dio ably weaving the group through each, as was the Elf tune “Gambler Gambler” with its upbeat cowbell and piano heavy patterns.

Making this fun recording all the more enjoyable was the band’s performance of covers that included an energetic version of The Faces’ “Stay With Me”, which had Dio putting his stamp on a song sang by Rod Stewart, their variation of Muddy Waters’ “I Want You to Love Me”, and an excellent version of “Goin’ Down”.

Goin’ Down is another superb release by Tarantura’s Boleskine House Records label that is highly recommended and worth having not only for fans of Ronnie James Dio, but rock and roll fans in general.

Elf - 1972 - Long Live Ronnie! (Demos and Live)

Long Live Ronnie!

Studio Recordings Date unknown
101. Wake Up Sunshine
102. Smile For Me Lady
103. Rosemarie
104. You Felt The Same Way
105. Driftin'
106. Saturday Night
Bank, Cortland, USA, late January & early February1972
107. Crosseyed Mary (Jethro Tull cover)
108. Stay With Me (Faces cover)
109. Little Queenie/Johnny B. Goode/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On(Medley)
110. Did You Ever
111. Cold Ramona
112. Black Dog (Led Zeppelin cover)
113. Four Day Creep (Humble Pie cover)

201. Give Me A Chance
202. Rumble (Inst)
203. Aqualung (Jethro Tull cover)
204. Drown Me In The River
205. Simple Man
206. Won't Get Fooled Again/Baba O'Riley Medley (The Who cover)
207. Pisces Apple Lady
208. Dirty Dollar Bill
209. Buckingham Blues
210. So Long
211. You Shook Me (Led Zeppelin cover)/Rocks Boogie
212. War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

Ronnie James Dio: Vocals / Bass
Mickey Lee Soule: Keyboards
Dave Feinstein: Guitar
Gary Driscoll; Drums / Percussion

There are tons of unreleased, live recordings, demos and prehistoric singles of Ronnie James Dio doing the rounds on the interwebs, I suppose this album has such origins, I picked it up for a tenner together with the next one I will post. Even thou the cover says ELF, it actually is the pre Elf outfit The Elves, that would change their name for the recording of the first album. 
 I love hearing Ronnie doing all those covers, speciall the Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin ones! but also that beautiful small song called Simple Man by their previous Keyboard player I think (Please correct me if I'm wrong) and then there is War Pigs... Deja Vu? Voodoo?

Elf - 1975 - Trying To Burn The Sun

Trying To Burn The Sun

01. Black Swampy Water 3:40
02. Prentice Wood 4:36
03. When She Smiles 4:55
04. Good Time Music 4:30
05. Liberty Road 3:20
06. Shotgun Boogie 3:06
07. Wonderworld 5:03
08. Streetwalker 7:06

Bass – Craig Gruber
Drums – Gary Driscoll
Guitar – Steve Edwards
Keyboards – Mickey Lee Soule
Percussion – Mark Nauseef
Vocals – Ronnie James Dio

Producer – Roger Glover

The third and final album from Elf, Trying To Burn The Sun, found the act that would soon morph into Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, back on form, the overly diverse, but still good, Carolina County Ball having stretched the band's boundaries a little too far. TTBTS however reined in the less focused elements to deliver a solid heavy rock album still infused with Mickey Lee Soule's piano, but which this time also allowed Steve Edwards' guitar to flourish a little more. Singer Ronnie James Dio, as you'd expect is mighty throughout, a harsher phrasing than before added to his armoury – something that would serve him well as he moved onto Rainbow and subsequently Black Sabbath and Dio. Alongside bassist Craig Gruber and drummer Gary Driscoll, percussionist Mark Nauseef was also added to the line-up, although as he alludes to in the excellent liner notes, he never actually appeared on the album, his contributions confined to the band's stage work.

In terms of sound, Trying To Burn The Sun seems much clearer on the heavy, boogie rock it wants to portray, the piano, guitar and drums of "Shotgun Boogie" great fun but still hard hitting, while "Black Swampy Water" is simply a piece of quality, grooving hard rock. In many ways you can almost feel the band unintentionally auditioning to become Rainbow, a similar feel and groove apparent in this track and "Prentice Wood", where they seem much more willing to really put the foot down. Excellently remastered by Andy Pearce and Matt Wortham, the force of this album's atmosphere is much more readily revealed, while Dio's vocals possess real bite. "Wonderworld" shows a more restrained, tender side to the band, strings heightening the experience as they swoop, soar and sting in equal measure. It's the most mature thing on this album and possibly in the band's catalogue, especially when you factor in an excellent solo from Edwards.

Is curious, but Elf's "Trying to burn the sun" was issued only one month before the first Rainbow album: "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" (mid 1975), personal project of the ex-Deep Purple guitarist, and which featured the same line up of "Trying..." (minus guitarist Steve Edwards, and plus Blackmore of course), ergo Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Mickey Lee Soule on keys, Craig Gruber on bass and Gary Driscoll on the drums. 
"Trying to burn the sun" is slightly different to both former Elf albums, it's less boogie-oriented, a bit more climactic, and it's possibly the least known Elf record, in part due to its simultaneous release, almost at the same time with the imposing "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow", which obviously eclipsed this album and sentenced it to the obscurity automatically, an ostracism to be redeemed by future generations perhaps. 
This album doesn't include the infectious songwriting of "Elf" or especially "Carolina County ball", its songs are not so catchy or compelling, and it's a bit dispersed, even so ain't bad, it's a listenable rock & roll work, including some interesting songs, namely the dreamy "Wonderworld", "When she smiles" or the funky-groovy "Streetwalker", which closed the LP. 
Here is when the Elf's story comes to an end, and Ronnie James Dio starts burning the sun for real.

Elf - 1974 - Carolina County Ball

Carolina County Ball

01. Carolina County Ball 4:45
02. L.A. 59 4:22
03. Ain't It All Amusing 5:00
04. Happy 5:28
05. Annie New Orleans 2:59
06. Rocking Chair Rock 'N' Roll Blues 5:37
07. Rainbow 4:00
08. Do The Same Thing
09. Blanche 5:41

Producer – Roger Glover

Bass – Craig Gruber
Vocals – Ronnie Dio
Drums, Percussion – Gary Driscoll
Guitar – Steve Edwards
Keyboards, Vocals – Micky Lee Soule

Strings – Mountain Fjord
Trombone – Chris Pyne
Trumpet – Henry Lowther
Clarinet – Ray Swinfield
Vocals [Singer] – Barry St. John, Helen Chappell, Liza Strike

Two years after the release of their eponymous debut, Elf went back into the studio to record their second album. In this time, some changes had taken place with regards to the band’s lineup. David ‘Rock’ Feinstein was replaced as the group’s axeman by Steve Edwards and Craig Gruber was brought in to handle bass guitar duties. This freed up singer Ronald James Padavona (A.K.A. Ronnie James Dio) to concentrate fully on his vocals and lyrics for the next album. Along with the newcomers and fellow veterans Mickey Lee Soule on the keys and Gary Driscoll battering the skins, Ronnie set about making an album superior to their groundbreaking but hardly successful debut, in his bid to forge a name for himself and his band.

Despite being a brilliantly conceived and expertly executed record, not to mention falling very much in line with the 1970s rock music zeitgeist, Elf did not see much commercial success. Even touring in support of rock giants Deep Purple did not seem to be gaining the band much in the way of recognition. However, producer and Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover continued to believe in them and kept them on his Purple label, financing two more albums for the band. They also caught the attentions of guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore, who left Deep Purple in 1974. The Deep Purple influence is even more evident in Carolina County Ball than the debut, resulting in a much more complex effort that brought together elements of hard rock, funk, jazz, blues, southern rock and a dose of boogie-woogie to boot. Those who would only come to know Dio through his work with Black Sabbath and his own eponymous band may find this sound shocking, even comical, but it was with this sound that Dio made his name, and things were about to get a lot more interesting.

The first point of interest is new guitarist Steve Edwards. Edwards had pretty big boots to fill, replacing Dio’s own cousin on the six– string. Feinstein’s axework was integral to the raw rocking sound of the group’s debut. Thankfully, Edwards’ skill is on par with Feinstein’s, dishing out those licks and riffs in a style so similar to Feinstein that his addition to the band’s ranks was to no detriment whatsoever. Edwards shines on tracks such as the hard-rocking L.A. 59- the track after which the album was named in the United States and Japan for some reason- and the ridiculously catchy Annie New Orleans. He could certainly solo like the best of his contemporaries, which included the likes of Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. New bassist Gruber shows off his chops brilliantly here as well, showing himself to be a much more capable bassist than Dio. Joined by the underrated Driscoll, their simple but crucial driving rhythms keep the album afloat. Gruber’s work also adds funky elements more prominently than on the debut, with songs such as the bouncy title track and the surreal closer Blanche being of a deeper and more complex nature than much of the tracks on the debut. 

Mickey Lee Soule, however, absolutely tears it up on the piano throughout the record. Rock and roll has produced some fine musicians over the years, but Soule is certainly amongst the most underrated of all time. He practically does the work of a second bassist and a second guitarist simultaneously, with plenty of lead breaks on the keys and even a few full blown piano solos here and there, such as in the mid-paced rocker Rocking Chair Rock N Roll Blues and the especially piano-centric Rainbow. The piano and guitar intertwine most effectively on the super slow Happy, the closest thing the album has to a ballad. As a whole, the album is much more complex instrument-wise, with each member demonstrating a wide range of influences that shine through to make each of the songs more distinguishable from one another, something that their first album was somewhat lacking.

Of course, there’s no way to draw attention from the main man himself, and Dio’s distinctive, raspy wails are abundant on this album, as one would expect. Much like the last effort, Dio uses more aspects of his voice here than he would on future releases. Of course, this is because his versatility as a vocalist allowed him to adapt to whatever style of music he sang over, and in this case he was left to fly free as much as possible. This works, as one would expect, very much to the record’s advantage. If you want slow, Dio could pull off a haunting, doomy performance. If you wanted upbeat and perky, Dio was also the man for the job. He truly puts his heart and soul into his performance this time around, and it really shows as each distinctive song has its own distinctive layer of vocals to add to their already complex nature. The lyrics are quirky, even by Dio’s standards, but rather than singing of wizards and dragons, we get gems like hey doo-oo, on a boogie-woogie Friday night and crazy little woman go down, go down, go down, go down, down to where the honey is sweet. If the Elf albums didn’t exist, never in a million years would anyone imagine the voice of metal himself to come out with such material!

In their attempts to make a better record than its predecessor, Elf had great success with Carolina County Ball. The songs here are much more complex and intellectually arousing yet retain their upbeat and catchy feel that made the debut so enjoyable. Elf’s sophomore release is without a doubt their crowning achievement, blending a vast array of influences correctly and cohesively with outstanding performances from all members involved. Though they would release one more album under the Elf moniker, Carolina County Ball is the one they should have been most proud of. It was by all means a spectacular achievement, cramming so much in there and still having an album chock full of tasty cuts that makes it so irresistibly infectious that the listener is bound to tap their feet along to the nine hard-rocking, funky tunes. 

Elf - 1972 - Elf


01. Hoochie Koochie Lady 5:32
02. First Avenue 4:22
03. Never More 3:50
04. I'm Coming Back For You 3:27
05. Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright) 3:48
06. Dixie Lee Junction 5:08
07. Love Me Like A Woman 3:46
08. Gambler, Gambler 4:28

Bass, Vocals – Ronald Padavona
Drums – Gary Driscoll
Guitar – David Feinstein
Piano – Mickey Lee Soule

Producer – Ian Paice, Roger Glover

New Hampshire-born Ronald James Padavona is better known to the general rock and metal community as Ronnie James Dio, the ‘voice of metal’ if you will. Ronnie’s professional music career was illustrious and prolific, with the man featuring on countless albums as part of various bands or as a special guest. His distinctive vocal style has proven influential and hugely popular. The Electric Elves was Ronnie’s first major project to gain him some recognition. They shortened their name to The Elves before finally becoming simply Elf in time for their 1972 eponymous debut album. Ronnie was about to get his big break and it was to be the beginning of another rock and metal legend…

Elf could not have come about at a more perfect time. The 60’s were over. Hippy culture had become almost non-existent in a very short period of time. As is often the case, a shift in focus of popular music coincides with changes in popular culture. Jimi Hendrix had proven at Woodstock that hard rock was the natural successor of its psychedelic parent. Bluesy riffs and licks over some simple boogie grooves followed by a killer solo or two became the name of the game. Even psychedelic giants The Doors took note of this shift and went in a more bluesy direction with their music before the untimely death of their charismatic, enigmatic frontman Jim Morrison. The Alice Cooper band discarded their initial eclectic, trippy sound to great success, both critically and commercially. Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith; all but a few of the many legendary groups to rise to prominence. It was an exciting time for rock music all right.

Elf was just as groundbreaking an album as any other to be released during this time. Produced by Roger Glover and Ian Paice of Deep Purple fame, it is perhaps no surprise that comparisons can be so easily drawn between this record and, say, Deep Purple In Rock. The band proves from the get go that they are no peace and love- preaching, flower power- mongering group, kicking off the album with an infectiously groovy, hard-rocking number in the form of Hoochie-Coochie Lady. In a sense, the entire album can be summed up in this one song. It sets the mood for the rest of the record and has a bit of everything that you can expect to hear for the next half an hour or so- a groovy bassline, tight drumwork, soulful honky-tonk piano, some killer guitar and of course Ronnie’s charismatic vocals, a melting pot of blues, jazz and southern rock. The song brings to mind a sleazy smoke-filled club with the band playing for the down-on-their-luck barflies and this has as much to do with the lyrics as well as the music, in which the speaker describes the perfect woman that all the other deadbeats could merely dream about.

Critics of Ronnie’s somewhat seemingly small vocal range will be quickly silenced by his talented display of his chops in First Avenue, when he goes from a G2 to a falsetto A5 in each line of the verse. To those uninitiated in musical theory, that’s one hell of a leap in terms of notes. But it is not just his range that makes Ronnie a sweet vocalist, it is his charisma and ability to adapt to different styles that makes him stand out. Songs like I’m Coming Home and Gambler, Gambler are the real rockers that one would expect of Ronnie, where he belts out the lines like a pro. However, other tracks like Never More, a beautiful and haunting song about regret for lost love and the more upbeat Dixie Lee Junction are pure crooning numbers.

Of course, as the vocalist and frontman, Ronnie is bound to be the centre of attention, but it would be a terrible fallacy to ignore the talents of the other band members. Driscoll proves his time keeping abilities with some tight but expert beats and decent fills, even getting a few brief solo runs in First Avenue and Gambler, Gambler. Proficient in a number of instruments, Ronnie also mans the bass guitar and gives the songs that boogie and push that makes them as bouncy and infectious as can be. Feinstein proves himself a talented guitarist, firing off those licks and solos in a superb fashion, one need only hear his jazzy rhythm keeping in the verses of Sit Down Honey and the pyrotechnic breaks in Hoochie-Coochie Lady and Love Me Like a Woman to see that he stood alongside the likes of Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore when it came to axework. But perhaps most notably of all, Soule’s piano work is outstanding. His haunting intro to Never More is but one of many moments of brilliance when it comes to the keys on this album, with even a lead break here and there.

Elf was Ronnie’s first big break, but it didn’t make a huge impact in terms of sales. It is difficult to see why not, being quite relevant to the times and indicative of the direction that popular rock music would take for the next decade. However, its raw rocking sound would prove hugely influential and it is certainly no surprise that this band caught the attentions of guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore when he had begun to become disillusioned with his own band, Deep Purple. So not so humble beginnings for a metal legend then, it would seem. But a beginning it was nonetheless, and Elf were encouraged enough to continue rocking for another two albums as a band before a change was in order. Though it hasdated a fair bit, as a debut, Elf is an accessible but interesting record, more than just three-chord boogies but offering the listener something different than what they may expect, especially with Ronnie in mind. Probably only really for die hard fans of Dio and classic rock, but as it stands, Elf’s eponymous debut is a decent slab of rock and metal history that is well worth checking out.

Rainbow - 2015 - Return Of Satan

Return Of Satan

Knights Of Rainbow 
Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

101. Opening
102. Over The Rainbow
103. Kill The King
104. Mistreated ~ Intro ~ Promoter's Announcement
105. Mistreated
106. Greensleeves
107. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
108. BWV147
109. Catch The Rainbow
110. Band Introduction
111. Lazy ~ White Christmas
112. Man On The Silver Mountain
113. Blues
114. Starstruck ~ Man On The Silver Mountain
201. Tony Carey Keyboard Solo
202. Stargazer
203. Still I'm Sad
204. Cozy Powell Drums Solo
205. 1812 Overture
206. Still I'm Sad
207. Do You Close Your Eyes
208. Over The Rainbow ~ Promoter's Announcement

Return Of Satan 
Tokyo Budokan Hall
(Afternoon Show)

101: Opening
102: Over The Rainbow
103: Kill The King
104: Mistreated
105: Greensleeves
106: Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
107: BWV147
108: Catch The Rainbow
109: Band Introduction
110: Man On The Silver Mountain
111: Starstruck ~ Man On The Silver Mountain
201: Tony Carey Keyboard Solo
202: A Light In The Black
203: White Christmas
204: Still I'm Sad
205: Cozy Powell Drums Solo
206: 1812 OverTure
207: Still I'm Sad
208: Over The Rainbow ~ Promoter's Annoucement

Return Of Satan 
Tokyo Budokan Hall 
(Evening Show)

101. Opening ~ Jingle Bell
102. Over The Rainbow
103. Kill The King
104. Mistreated
105. Greensleeves
106. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
107. BWV147
108. Catch The Rainbow
109. Lazy ~ White Christmas
110. Man On The Silver Mountain
111. Starstruck ~ Man On The Silver Mountain
201. Tony Carey Keyboard Solo
202. Stargazer
203. Still I'm Sad
204. Cozy Powell Drums Solo
205. 1812 OverTure
206. Still I'm Sad
207. Do You Close Your Eyes
208. Over The Rainbow ~ Promoter's Annoucement

Chase The Rainbow 
Tokyo Budokan Hall 
(Evening Show)

01. Over The Rainbow
02. Mistreated
03. Sixteen Century Greensleeves
04. Catch The Rainbow
05. Man On The Silver Mountain

Ritchie Blackmore: Guitar
Ronnie James Dio: Vocals
Jimmy Bain: Bass, Backing Vocals
Tony Carey: Keyboards
Cozy Powell: Drums

Rainbow - 2007 - Live in Munich 1977

Live in Munich 1977

101. Kill the King (4:38)
102. Mistreated (11:03)
103. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (8:21)
104. Catch the Rainbow (17:31)
105. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (7:33)

201. Man on the Silver Mountain (14:37)
202. Still I'm Sad (25:16)
203. Do You Close Your Eyes (9:37)

- Ritchie Blackmore / Guitar
- Ronnie James Dio / Vocals
- Cozy Powell / Drums
- Bob Daisley / Bass
- David Stone / Keyboards

Recorded at Munich Olympiahalle, Germany, 20th October 1977.

 If you're not familiar with Rainbow... then you're missing out. Led by Ritche Blackmore and the incomparable Ronnie James Dio, the group is a high-point in late '70's classic rock (with a sprinkling of prog), and Live in Munich 1977 does a great job of capturing the energy and raw power of these hard rock titans. This live album is jam-packed with extended songs, front-man banter, super charged soloing, and a throaty, raw, fist-pumping spectacle. If you're a fan of the band, then this is probably THE live album you should get.
"Kill the King" opens the album like pulling chord on a recoil start motor that revs up hard and will shake your high-fi to pieces. A great hard-rock song with killer musicianship and enthusiastic vocals. The production is crisp enough for us to hear the each player very well, but coarse enough for us to feel the feedback-heavy fuzz of the actual show. Very authentic.

"Mistreated" is the first example of opening up the space of a song for extended improvisation. It's an epic song packed with guitar solos and builds to a dynamic close that ends up sounding almost like a grand finale to the concert... but it's just getting started. This continues throughout the show, with lengthier versions of "Greensleeves," "Catch the Rainbow," "Man on the Silver Mountain," and "Still I'm Sad." The band plays most of their top songs, but there are a few gaps, such as the lauded "Stargazer," which is often thought of as their most progressive piece.

For the most part these extended tracks are effective and varied. At times it breaks down to instrumental noodling, but it never completely drifts away from the gravely intensity for long. For example, "Catch the Rainbow" builds a sensitive calm mid way through before shattering it in a grand finale; likewise, "Still I'm Sad" gives Cozy Powell two (!) drum solos before transitioning into the "Great Gates of Kiev." Epic, but not without a few spaces that say "time to use the restroom" during the playful instrumental spaces.

All in all, Live in Munich 1977 is an awesome example of hard-rock at its finest, a showcase for Ritchie Blackmore's ambitious guitar playing, and a great experience overall. Get it, turn it up to 11, love it. A must have for fans of this excellent classic rock group.

After releasing the successful and influential Rising, Rainbow were at the peak of their artistic careers. Moreover, at the point the concert in Munich took place the band had also recorded most songs from Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. Therefore, the set list for a live performance had unlimited potential. In Munich, the band played 4 songs from their first album, only 1 from Rising, 2 from the upcoming Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll and covered Deep Purple’s Mistreated.

The concert begins with a great performance of Kill the King; the forefather of power metal, unreleased at the time. Speedy, filled with great riffs and arpeggios and unknown at the time. Amazingly, this is the only song which is almost identical to its studio version.

Next comes Mistreated, originally included in Deep Purple’s Burn album. It begins with a solo from Ritchie but the standout is Dio’s powerful and melodic performance. Dio approaches this song differently than Coverdale’s bluesy manner. Even though both versions are great, Dio adds an epic dimension to the song which I prefer.

16th Century Greensleeves starts with the traditional English folk song (Greensleeves) performed by Ritchie before he plays the great riff we all know and love. The way Blackmore fuses these two songs is splendid. Needless to say, this song is far superior to the studio version. Nevertheless, it makes me wonder if the Blackmore’s Night project was in his mind since then.

Catch the Rainbow follows and the atmosphere is deeply emotional as Ronnie James Dio puts on a top notch vocal performance while Blackmore adds some great solos to the song which make it more soulful and rich. The whole band improvises on a 17:30 minute epic. The highlight of the song is the amazing climax that leads to an intense guitar solo.

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll adds some party mood to the concert as we can listen to Dio’s communication skills while he interacts with the German audience as he prompts them to participate by singing the chorus.

Man on the Silver Mountain is where Blackmore shows off his blues skills with some great licks and Dio accompanies him with his mellow singing. The band manages to blend seamlessly blues with hard rock while making a minor reference to Lady Starstruck.

Still I’m Sad serves as an improvisation platform for all band members but mostly Dave Stone, the band’s keyboard player. The song begins with an atmospheric organ solo while Dio puts in an enchanting vocal performance that missed from the album recording. Cozy Powell shows off his drumming skills while Bob Daisley provides some solid bass lines. Nevertheless, there are points where I feel that the guys seem to lose focus by trying to impress the audience or as Blackmore used to say to his fellow band members “try to push each other off the stage”.

Lastly, the concert finishes with the only song from Rising, Do you Close Your Eyes? The atmosphere is highly celebratory but the band still sounds tight. Blackmore, in a typical fashion back then, plays guitar with his feet and destroys a couple of Stratocasters as the night comes to a close under the sounds of Over the Rainbow.

Overall, this is a better live recording than On Stage and can even be considered a classic rock live album. It’s a purely electrifying live performance without studio tweaks which only adds to the wonderful feeling of a Rainbow concert. Its only drawback is the lack of more songs from Rising such as Stargazer or Light in the Black. On the other hand, Blackmore never seemed to be predictable (or even stable). However, he proves once more that when he is in the mood to play some music (rather than sitting in a dark bar drinking ale) he is the prototype of guitar hero and a brilliant showman.

Rainbow - 2006 - Live In Nürnburg 1976

Live In Nürnburg 1976

101. Introduction (1:13)
102. Kill the King (4:46)
103. Mistreated (12:51)
104. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (8:09)
105. Catch the Rainbow (13:20)
106. Man on the Silver Mountain (13:40)

201. Stargazer (14:50)
202. Still I'm Sad (16:38)
203. Do You Close Your Eyes (6:42)

- Ronnie James Dio / Vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / Guitar
- Cozy Powell / Drums
- Tony Carey / Keyboards
- Jimmy Bain / Bass

Rainbow 1976 World Tour 30th Anniversary
Nurnberg Messezentrum Halle 28.9.1976
"Live In Nuremberg 1976" on inlays.

''On Stage'' was for a long time the only official RAINBOW live album. Then, in 1990, double CD ''Live in Germany 1976'', containing records made in 4 different cities, saw the light of day. And it was the only album containing live version of ''Stargazer''. In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of RAINBOW first world tour, please fans and probably earn some money, complete records of 3 shows played in the end of September 1976 - in Köln (Cologne in English), Düsseldorf and Nürnberg (Nuremberg) - were released in 2006 - 2007. All these double CD sets have the same track lists and the same songs' running order.
I have not heard Köln and Düsseldorf concerts, but like this Nürnberg record a lot. The sound is, at least to my ears, more detailed than on ''Live in Germany 1976'' CD, the band was in a good form and musicians showed all their best that night - the power, Dio's unique vocal delivery, Ritchie's inventive and unpredictable guitar sounds, Tony Carey's nice keyboard runs and solos and thundering rhythm section. Some songs (''Mistreated'', ''Stargazer'' and ''Do You Close Your Eyes'') are shorter than on ''Live in Germany 1976'', and for good - solos never turn to noodling. Great and honest record of the best RAINBOW line-up. Highly recommended, especially if you don't have other records from this tour.

Absolutely amazing. I have been a long time fan of RJD from Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Dio etc. and of Ritchie from his days in Deep Purple and the Rainbow albums. As a musician and a long time fan of live recordings I can say that ALL of the German tour cd's from '76 are some of the mjost incredible music I have heard from these rock giants. Ritchie's playing is superb to the point of being a true virtuoso. His knowledge of the guitar and masterful technique make it a joy to listen to his swirling, spiralling runs up and down the fretboard. It proves that there truly were amazing guitar technicians before the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen. Guitar virtuosity did not start in Sweden, it started somewhere over the Rainbow.
As far as RJD's vocals? What can I say? These concerts showcased Ronnie at a time when his voice was at its pinnacle of perfection. Any singer out there who wants to hear what a true vocal virtuoso sounds like should listen to these recordings. Ronnie is clear and eloquent to the point of sending shivers down my spine when I hear him singing Stargazer or Man on The Silver Mountain. I have been listening to these cd's non-ceasingly since I bought them all about a month ago and they just keep getting better each time I listen to them.

Rainbow - 2006 - Live In Dusseldorf 1976

Live In Dusseldorf 1976

101. Kill the King
102. Mistreated
103. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
104. Catch the Rainbow
105. Man on the Silver Mountain

201. Stargazer
202. Still i'm Sad

- Ronnie James Dio / Vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / Guitar
- Cozy Powell / Drums
- Tony Carey / Keyboards
- Jimmy Bain / Bass

Rainbow 1976 World Tour 30th Anniversary
Düsseldorf Philipshalle 27.9.1976

Remastered from the master tapes cut in September 1976 (and presaging another set from Nurnberg due later this year), this eight-song 2-CD sees Ronnie James Dio on ever-mighty form, raging over the punchy percussion of Cozy Powell on opener Kill The King, before the gargantuan pomp-rock of Mistreated – all organ rushes, lofty guitar and Cream-like interplay (marred only by some nasty vocal/guitar call-and-response). The surging 16th Century Greensleeves is followed by the pomp crescendo and blues comedown of Man On The Silver Mountain, while Disc Two is comprised of a 16-minute Stargazer and 18-minute Still I’m Sad. Indulgent, flashy and eye-popping, the latter even takes in Ode To Joy and Mozart motifs, doffing the cap while harboring grand pretensions… and all in fine style.

Recorded a mere two nights after the already released 'Live In Cologne', this is, remarkably, even better. The mix seems clearer and the band performances seem to have notched up a degree. In particular, the often maligned keyboards of Tony Carey seem more integral.
But on to the stars of the show. Ronnie James Dio is in fine fettle, especially on what is my new favourite version of 'Catch The Rainbow' , Cozy Powell demonstrates that he was the greatest rock drummer ever (rebuttals on a postcard to someone who cares - for goodness sake, listen to 'Man On The Silver Mountain' for proof) and the workmanlike bass of Jimmy Bain is never less than workmanlike!
And then there's Ritchie. Now I've probably heard thousands of hours of his playing including (whisper) boots of this tour but, cleaned up and polished, I'm convinced this was when he peaked. Back in the box Purpleheads, this was when the line between genius and Xmas carols was straddled with most applomb.
So, as the Cozy 1812 Overture crashes through my head again, I doff my syrup to Mr Blackmore one more time. We shall never see his like again. Absolutely essential for fans of the man, this is an hour and a half you will want to relive over and over.

One of the greatest concerts that I attended ever, was Rainbow at The Berkeley Community Theater in 1976. It was between Fleetwood Mac in San Francisco or Ritchie's new band, as both shows were on the same night. The entire crew voted for Rainbow. This was a very wise choice by a bunch of acid-fried loonies...Rainbow, was THE show of the mid 70's that could not be topped by any other band in the world.

"Dusseldorf, 27.9.1976" is an fine audio document of the greatest version of Rainbow that stormed the stages on the planet in 1975-1976. With Cozy Powell: Drums, Jimmy Bain: Bass Guitar, Tony Carey: Keyboards, Ronnie James Dio: Vocals, and Ritchie: Guitars, this was the band loaded up with massive talent and showmen.

Dorothy tells Toto, that they are indeed: "Over The Rainbow", and then the band is right into a frantic version of the then un-released: "Kill The King" that would appear on Rainbow's third album in the following year. "Mistreated" The Purple classic is almost 14 minutes here and this leaves room for Ronnie to scream and scat while Ritchie explores some new and different places for his guitar to travel. "Sixteen Century Greensleeves" is: hard Dark Ages rock music, and again Ritchie is the key here with his amazing playing, this is what Rainbow is all about. The music is a marriage of old & new styles and it is fantastic to hear.

"Catch The Rainbow" could be known as this band's theme song as this epic showcases Ronnie's great vocals and Ritchie's soft and hard playing over the 15 minute ride. In the decade of the 'Big' song, this one was one of the very best of the bunch. Nobody could be dumb enough to cover this song, they would never come close to performance that is captured here.

"Man On The Silver Mountain" is by far Rainbow's most popular tune, and it's all due to that riff. Like: "Smoke On The Water", Ritchie had again created music, that you can't get outta your head. "Silver Mountain" earns the classic stamp of approval.

"Stargazer" should have been titled: "Showstopper", as that is exactly what it was. I saw the group play this amazing piece of music and the explosion alone made it unforgetable, but listen to what they are playing here. This song alone shows just how far head of everybody else this band was in the mid-1970's, another epic, that SHOULD be on every list as one of the best songs of the 1970's. Classic, Classic, Classic.

"Still I'm Sad" is Ritchie's nod to The Yardbirds, the sixties are transported into outer space by Ritchie's playing. I have heard the original version, but this is the way it is supposed to be performed, another execellent track and the closer to Disc Two.

These two CD's show the greatest band of the 1970's on a very good night. These tapes are real and un-doctored, {there ARE bum notes included.} and the sound quality is pretty good for tapes discovered almost three decades after the fact.

Rainbow, was a unique blend of fantasic music that was performed by masters of the art. Deep Purple, was a great group from 1967-1974, but Ritchie heard some different music in his head and this band achieved much more than Purple {not in sales or popularity} but in musical growth, Ritchie, had really moved onwards to another place from what had come before. The music of Rainbow, is nowhere near other music of it's time. Rainbow, was the Godfather of hundreds of groups that would come forth in the 1980's {some good, most bad.} To say that Rainbow was ahead of it's time would be a big understatement. For two years in the Mid-1970's, this WAS the band, The best band...Rainbow, great records and even greater in concert.
Just have a listen.
Philip S. Wolf

Rainbow - 2006 - Live In Köln 1976

Live In Köln 1976

101. Introduction (1:19)
102. Kill the King (4:36)
103. Mistreated (15:02)
104. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (8:15)
105. Catch the Rainbow (14:03)
106. Man on the Silver Mountain (12:48)

201. Stargazer (1:06)
202. Still I'm Sad (4:33)
203. Do You Close your Eyes (11:16)

- Ronnie James Dio / Vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / Guitar
- Cozy Powell / Drums
- Tony Carey / Keyboards
- Jimmy Bain / Bass

Rainbow 1976 World Tour 30th Anniversary
Kölner Sporthalle 25.9.1976

Let me start off by saying that while many of these tracks have been released previously on the live albums On Stage and Live In Germany 1976, the remastered sound and complete versions of the tracks alone makes this a worthy addition to any Rainbow fans collection.

The album starts with the standard Somewhere Over The Rainbow intro tape and continues to "Kill The King" (previously unreleased). The drums sound a bit annoying in the beginning, but it'll improve significantly after the first minute or so. Blackmore's solo starts off a tad slow, but once he gets warmed's simply amazing.

After this, the listener gets treated with "Mistreated" (previously on On Stage). If you're familiar with the old version, you'll already know how incredible this performance is, but there's still a surprise waiting for you. This now complete version includes a guitar/vocal jam at the end, that again is nothing less than superb.

After the 15 minute blues, "16th Century Greensleeves" continues the first disc. This is the exact same version as it is on the Live In Germany disc, apart from the remastered sound obviously. The performance in this track is also top notch, though I've personally never been that excited over this track.

The next track, "Catch The Rainbow" on the other hand is different. This song never ceases to amaze me, and the improvised solos on the various live versions, be it on the official releases or on bootlegs, always gives me the chills. This version is perfect, simply put.

The first disc is closed up by "Man On The Silver Mountain" , which was also released on Ritchie Blackmore's  Rock Profile - Volume 2 , where the sound quality was pretty horrible. For those familiar with On Stage, this version too has the fake starts of Lazy along with the Blues jam, which also features Ronnie and Ritchie jamming together (previous official releases have had it as full instrumental).

To start off the second disc, the epic "Stargazer" (from Live In Germany) starts it off with a bang. This sounds like it was recorded yesterday and it's almost impossible to believe that it was infact done 30 years ago. This continues seamlessly into "Still I'm Sad" (from On Stage), where Cozy Powell has a superb improvised drum solo instead of his usual Overture 1812.

To close up the show and the album they carry on with "Do You Close Your Eyes" (previously unreleased), where Ritchie does his usual smashing of the guitar.

To sum it up, this is an incredible performance from a band at their peak. Ritchie's improvisations are a must hear for everyone into hard rock or early heavy rock. That combined with Dio's incredible voice and Cozy Powell's (R.I.P.) stellar drumming is more than enough to drop some jaws right through the floor.

As a Rainbow fan who first started listening to the band as a young teenager in 79, I was never able to see them live in their glorious heyday... But now, thankfully, with the release of the Deutschland Tournee series, I've been able to at least hear how fantastic the band sounded live. And let's face it, whether playing with Purple or Rainbow, it always seems that you get a fuller and wilder sound with Ritchie playing live.

The Tournee series is comprised of three shows recorded on three days over a four day period: Cologne... Nurnberg... Dusseldorf... I've carefully listened to all three and, quite honestly, though the play lists are exactly the same, the performances do vary from show to show in one way or another. Consider disc one: while each show offers great renditions of 16th Century, Catch the Rainbow and Man on the Silver Mountain, I thought the Nurnberg's version of Kill the King edged the other shows with a more energetic and powerful rendition. Yet, the Cologne version of Mistreated was a notch better than the other two shows as it's intro was longer and fuller. In fact, I'd swear it was the same as the version on the On Stage album. On disc two, the Cologne version of Stargazer is hands down the best of the three shows... his solo is a particularly mesmerizing drawn out extravaganza with notes dripping like rich golden bombs of delight. With the silence that I hear after the solo, I can just imagine a thousand jaws dropping in the audience as they try to absorb and believe what they just heard. The energy carries over to the next song, Still I'm Sad, as the band tears it up with forceful aplomb. The only bad track on the Cologne disc is Do You Close Your Eyes - and not so much the performance but, rather, because the recording includes too much feedback and interference. This song sounds much better in the other shows. So overall, if you were only going to get one of Tournee shows, my vote would be for the Cologne show... though if you really love the Rainbow sound, try to find a way to get all three - I don't think you'll be disappointed!
Steven Shaw

Rainbow - 1990 - Live In Germany 1976

Live In Germany 1976

101. Kill The King (5:25)
102. Mistreated (16:00)
103. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (7:50)
104. Catch The Rainbow (14:50)

201. Man On The Silver Mountain (13:32)
202. Stargazer (17:10)
203. Still I'm Sad (15:00)
204. Do You Close Your Eyes (9:45)

- Ritchie Blackmore / guitars
- Ronnie James Dio / vocals
- Jimmy Bain / bass
- Tony Carey / keyboards
- Cozy Powell / drums

US version, under the title ''Live in Europe'' with different album cover

A collection of previously unreleased performances from the band's 1976 tour of Germany.
Performances were done at these towns:

Munich: Kill The King, Mistreated, Do You Close Your Eyes
Cologne: Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Stargazer, Still I'm Sad
Dusseldorf: Catch The Rainbow
Mannheim: Man On The Silver Mountain

These days live albums are not valued in the same way they were a few decades ago. Today, more often than not, they are tossed off to fulfill a contractual obligation and rarely receive much attention. Releases that achieve the quality and acclaim of Live After Death or Alive in Athens are the exception, not the rule. In the Seventies however, live albums were major releases. The Seventies were really the heyday for improvisation in rock and roll, and as such, live albums often showed a much different side of a band than did studio recordings, which were more vulnerable to the influence of producers and record company executives pushing for a hit single. In fact, live albums were responsible for the commercial breakthroughs (in one market or another) of more than a few big-name rock acts: The Alman Brothers Band (At Fillmore East), Cheap Trick (At Budokan), Peter Frampton (Frampton Comes Alive), and more to the metal point: Thin Lizzy (Live and Dangerous), Judas Priest (Unleashed in the East), and even more to the point of this review: Deep Purple (Made in Japan).

Made in Japan stands as probably the best and most famous live album in classic rock history, so when Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple in 1975 to form Rainbow, with three quarters of Ronnie James Dio’s band Elf, it was virtually assured that the band would eventually record a live album, and it did in fairly short order, with 1977’s On Stage. On Stage did not have nearly the same impact as Made in Japan, but it was nonetheless a fairly successful release. Live in Germany 1976, originally released in 1994, is, like On Stage, a double live album, recorded during the same period, with the same personnel, and featuring almost the same playlist as On Stage. So it would be easy to dismiss Live in Germany 1976 as redundant, but it is not, and I can tell you why in two words: fucking “Stargazer”. “Stargazer” is Rainbow’s crowning achievement, a true fantasy metal epic, and an important song in the development of heavy metal as we know it. A Rainbow concert without “Stargazer” is like an Iron Maiden concert without “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, or a Slayer concert without “Angel of Death”. Yet, for reasons that will forever remain a mystery, On Stage does not feature “Stargazer”; Live in Germany 1976 does, so it is better.  

If bigger is better, then Live in Germany 1976 trumps On Stage in that respect as well. With a running time of over ninety minutes, ’76 eclipses On Stage in length by more than fifty percent. With only eight tracks on the album, that equals an average of twelve minutes per song, which can only mean one thing: excessive jamming. Keyboard solo? Check. Drum solo? Check. Vocal/guitar duel? Check. Blues jam?  Check, check, check. Extended guitar solo? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. If that sounds bloated and overblown, well, it is. It was the Seventies, and as Rick James once said: “Cocaine is a hell of a drug”. While the jamming might be excessive, in the hands of this extremely talented group, it is rarely less than entertaining and frequently exhilarating. In the period between the death of Jimi Hendrix and the debut of Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore was, arguably, the biggest guitar hero in rock, and Live in Germany 1976 finds him at the height of his powers, delivering an impassioned, multi-faceted performance. Dio’s performance is every bit the equal of Blackmore’s. Ronnie’s voice remained amazingly strong throughout his life, but ’76 showcases Dio in his early thirties, a seasoned veteran,but still in his prime, and at this juncture the strength of his voice seems almost limitless. The rest of the band -- drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Jimmy Bain, and keyboardist Tony Carey -- makes up the strongest supporting cast that Ronnie and Ritchie had in Rainbow, and each one shines in his respective role.

USA Version

Album opener ‘Kill The King’ explodes with compact muscularity and clocks in at 5:30, the shortest cut on the affair. From there, both the strengths and weaknesses of ‘Live in Germany’ are glaringly apparent.
Stretching out 99 minutes of music over eight songs is a feat that few metal bands beyond the most progressive ones could achieve. Studio material that was originally three or four minutes clocks in around the mid teens on ‘Live in Germany.’ That means how much you’ll enjoy the double-disc has a lot to do with how patient you can be.
For those who can take the journey, ‘Live in Germany’ offers another chance to hear a cast of veteran metal all-stars considered by many to be the definitive Rainbow lineup — even though the band would go on to greater commercial victories with later incarnations.
‘Live in Germany’ offers only two songs above and beyond what you can find on ‘On Stage.’ But those two alone — the epic ‘Stargazer’ and the more straightforward ‘Do You Close Your Eyes’ — make this a worthy listen.
Carey’s extended keyboard solo during the intro to ‘Stargazer’ nearly rivals any of Blackmore’s amazing fret-board wizardry. It’s a song within a song, opening with psychedelic effects and moving on to a lighthearted melody around the three-minute mark that’s uncommon in Rainbow’s early work. The bulk of the tune itself checks in at a full 17:00 and highlights a heavy prog-rock influence.
‘Do You Close Your Eyes,’ meanwhile, is a straightforward rocker that is improbably stretched out to more than three times its normal album length at over 10 minutes. It’s the most unpretentious song in the bunch, with lyrics that leave behind the demons-and-wizards references in favor of lusty come-ons typical of bar-room blues metal at its best.
Elsewhere on the disc, ’16th Century Greensleeves’ provides a textbook run through lumbering medieval metal, while ‘Mistreated’ veers from a chainsaw-buzz guitar opening to find Blackmore pulling dreamy notes out of his axe during the extended midsection breakdown.
‘Man on the Silver Mountain,’ meanwhile, opens with a funk-inflected rockabilly jam and some tasty Blackmore chicken-picking before morphing into the tune’s driving signature riff. Toward the end of the 13-minute tune, Dio delivers chilling a capella moments that serve as testament to his enduring vocal legacy.

The highlight of Live in Germany 1976 is, of course, the seventeen minute rendition of “Stargazer”. The song begins with a lengthy keyboard intro -- into which Tony Carey works some licks from “Tarot Woman” -- but once the song-proper starts, the band sticks fairly close to the studio arrangement of the song until the guitar solo, at which time Ritchie Blackmore uses his slide and some slap-back echo to take his leave of planet Earth. Also of note is the band’s blazing stomp through “Sixteenth Century Green Sleeves”, and the delicately beautiful “Catch the Rainbow”, showcasing some sublime, Hendrix-inspired playing from Blackmore. As did On Stage, ’76 features a rendition of Deep Purple’s "Mistreated". Dio cannot quite match the anguish David Coverdale captures in his renditions of this gut-wrenching blues tune, but what Dio’s voice might lack in vulnerability, it more than makes up for in power, matching Blackmore’s deep-cutting licks slash for slash.

There is no getting around the fact that Live in Germany 1976 is a behemoth of a recording. An hour and a half of arena rock bombast is by no means casual listening, and so it is unlikely to appeal to the casual fan. For the die-hard Rainbow fan, however, Live in Germany 1976 is an all-too-rare opportunity to indulge in the fruit of Dio and Blackmore’s fleeting union, to hear these titans wield their might in their true element: on the stage, where legends are made.

Rainbow - 1978 - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll

Long Live Rock 'N' Roll

101. Long Live Rock'N'Roll
102. Lady Of The Lake
103. L. A. Connection
104. Gates Of Babylon
105. Kill The King
106. The Shed (Subtle)
107. Sensitive To Light
108. Rainbow Eyes

Rough Mixes, 4th July 1977
201. Lady Of The Lake
202. Sensitive To Light
203. L.A. Connection
204. Kill The King
205. The Shed (Subtle)
206. Long Live Rock'N'Roll
207. Rainbow Eyes
Shepperton Film Studios Rehersal, August 1977
208. Long Live Rock'N'Roll (Take 1)
209. Kill The King
Don Kirshner's Rock Concert With Alternative Vocals, Aired 6th October 1978
210. Long Live Rock'N'Roll
211. L.A. Connection
212. Gates Of Babylon
213. L.A. Connection (Outtake Version)
214. Gates Of Babylon (Outtake Version)

- Ronnie James Dio / lead vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar, bass
- David Stone / keyboards (4-6), piano outro (3)
- Bob Daisley / bass (4,5,7)
- Cozy Powell / drums, percussion

- Bavarian String Ensemble (4)
- Rainer Pietsch / strings orchestration & conducting (4,8)
- Ferenc Kiss / concertmaster (4), violin (8)
- Nico Nicolic / violin (8)
- Ottmar Machan / viola (8)
- Karl Heinz Feit / cello (8)
- Rudi Risavy / flute (8)

"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever released by a British band. This classic was the final Ronnie James Dio-fronted recording by RAINBOW, and truly deserved a Deluxe Edition with extra material. This Japanese Edition on SHM-CD sounds fantastic, and as it was requested by one of you and used copies are above $100 on eBay, here it is.

After this album, Ronnie James Dio would go on to front Black Sabbath, while guitarist Richie Blackmore hired a new singer in Graham Bonnet. But "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" remains as more a than brilliant swan song for this excellent Rainbow line-up.
The title track is a fan favorite and one of the strongest tunes from this era - a heavy rockin' cracker written for arenas. "Lady of the Lake" is a kick ass number featuring haunting background vocals, and still sound fresh today, even more with this pristine remaster.

"L.A. Connection" has great keyboard tinglings from David Stone and 'that' atmosphere, then "Gates of Babylon" is a mammoth track featuring the Bavarian String Ensemble, as synthesizer and strings combine for a symphonic big-rock sound. Another standout is "Kill the King," a speedy, full force tune with Mr. Blackmore doing what he does best.
Blackmore opens the thunderous "The Shed (Subtle)" with a fluid, effects-laden bluesy solo, and then the album ends with the jewel "Rainbow Eyes", a seven-minute epic that features a string quartet, flute, and Dio's euphonic balladry.

This digitally remastered and expanded Deluxe 2-CD Edition features a whole CD of bonus material with the album in a Rough Mix form as well as rehearsals and outtakes.
The main album remastered has a more top-end clarity, while the bonus CD of previously unheard material is really good. The rough mix of "Rainbow Eyes" alone worth the purchase of this pack. This version, without the overdubs it's very 'alone' and poignant sounding which has extra significance with the passing of Ronnie James Dio.

 This is one of those albums that was probably more impressive due to its timing than its actual content. That being said, the tracks here are all works that stand the test of time rather well.
The album was released on the heels of ‘Rainbow Rising’ and the powerful ‘On Stage’ live release that documented the supporting tour. The band still had the lethal trio of Ritchie Blackmore, Cozy Powell, and incomparable voice of Ronnie James Dio behind the microphone. That combined with the band’s popularity at the time made this a hard album to screw up, but the band delivered eight killer tracks anyway just to make sure.

I was in my late teens at the time and still screaming around the countryside in my V8- powered muscle car whenever I had the chance, and this was some great music to accompany such an activity I must say. I can’t really point to a bad track, and in my opinion several of them should be considered timeless metal classics.

The title track is a sort of headbanger’s anthem, very tight with power chords and piercing drums and just the right touch on cymbals to make you stand up and take notice. Kind of frivolous lyrics, but like the rest of the album this song was made for the live stage and for radio, and it accomplished its goals quite well.

Dio starts to warm up his pipes with “Lady of the Lake”, a pseudo-mystic kind of tune that still pops into my head like a tripping seventies flashback almost any time I’m driving with plenty of gas in my car’s tank and an open road in front of me. “L.A. Connection” is kind of the same, except just slightly more restrained and with Dio’s vocals not quite into the dog-whistle range.

The showcase pieces on this album are “Gates of Babylon” and “Kill the King”. The first one is another mystical-metal song with Dio in prime form and Blackmore laying down some absolutely nasty guitar licks and Dave Stone’s keyboards really sounding eerie like a good fantasy metal tune should. The latter was played on the band’s ‘Rising’ tour, but here it gets a little studio discipline applied to it which serves to highlight Blackmore’s incredible speed on the six-strings. Dio has the exact same vocal timbre he would use on Kansas alumni Kerry Livgren’s ‘Seeds of Change’ solo album a couple years later, and I kind of wonder if this is where Livgren got the idea to use Dio as the demonic symbol for his basically Christian rock album in 1980. Perhaps.

“The Shed” is another tune that was probably intended to be a live tour staple with its sweeping arrangements and rather simple rhythm, but it’s also another one that sticks in your head even years after you’ve first heard it, and you have to admire a song that does that.

Dio’s vocal peak comes with “Sensitive to Light” with a shrieking refrain and more torrid guitar by Blackmore. Frankly I think this one is too short and that the band could have developed it a bit with some of the keyboard/orchestral dressage that they put into the closing track “Rainbow Eyes”. I seem to recall a video of that last tune back in the seventies, or maybe it was a medley from this album – can’t quite recall. Anyway, this is a nicely complex arrangement with lots of percussion, keyboards and other fluff, but maybe could have had a minute of two trimmed from it. A minor quibble in any case.

I wore out both an 8-track and a vinyl version of this album back in the late seventies, but still have an aging Maxell cassette that I made from the old vinyl before it gave out. Many of these songs still pop into my head from time to time, and I can still get a rush from listening to this nearly thirty years later. I think the addition of Stone added the most to the band for this album, as he brought just a bit of studio discipline and some classical training that helps give the album a kind of timeless feel. But most of all fans of Blackmore or Dio should have this record because it showcases both of them at what may have been the peak of their creativity and technical skills. A truly great album

I don’t know if I’ve stated this before (probably!), but I’m a huge, nay massive, Rainbow fan. None more so than the Blackmore/Dio pairing. Especially the period where they could do no wrong (Rising & LLRNR). For me, the Blackmore-Dio writing partnership was, and still is the best in the business ('Tarot Woman', 'Stargazer', 'Kill The King', 'LLRNR', 'Gates of Babylon etc).Forget Lennon & McCartney, Iommi & Butler, Plant & Page, this was a (brief) partnership that delivered unparalleled quality, and should have had the chance to develop further if it wasn’t for Blackmore’s desire to polish things up a little and disband this quality team. My only real criticism of Ritchie was this loss, and ultimately Sabbaths gain.

I’m also a big, big fan of this ‘Deluxe’ CD format. There’s been the Dio / Sabbath / Lizzy / Rainbow reissues which truly deserve a listen, as some of the extras are truly superb for the discerning rock/metal fan. The layout is superb, with liner notes to die for.

Keeping up this tradition is the newly released Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. Dare I say it, but 'LLRNR' has a better flow than Rising, and the quality of songs still hold strong today, some 34 years after its original release. You get a rather nice gatefold sleeve, complete with liner notes, and lyrics which the album never had.

The jewel for me is the bonus disc, choc full of Rainbow rough mixes, a couple of songs from the (then new) band’s rehearsal’s at Shepperton Studios, including a jam-tastic version of 'LLRNR', and a clutch of songs from a US appearance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. The latter is the last recorded vocals of Dio on a Rainbow recording, as two months later, Ronnie had also departed, leaving Blackmore and Powell as sole custodians

With the rough mixes the changes are subtle except for the barnstorming ‘The Shed (Subtle)’ much heavier than the original, and I must admit, a contender as being better than the original! It is minus the Blackmore intro, but kicks off in full force going straight for the goolies, with a bass driven section (this probably being the main reason it was dropped). The main other, being one of my all time fave Dio songs, 'Rainbow Eyes', is quite similar, but with a different phrasing. It’s minus the string section, and it’s a slightly haunting piece with Carey's keyboards simmering in the background along with Blackmore.  It’s truly a pleasure to hear these alternate versions of long loved classics.

The rehearsal pieces again are wonderful. Showing Rainbow at their most creative, a 7 minute rearranged version of LLRNR (Take 1), more typical of Rainbow's live performances, and RJD improvising as only he did, inter-playing with guitar and keys. 'Kill The King' has Daisley's playing right at fore front.

The Don Kirshner Rock Concert is Ritchie's stab at the US market. Utilising the studio backing tracks, Dio sung new vocal lines over the top, and his performance is just....Ronnie!!

I won’t really comment on the original other to say it’s one of Rock's finest from the 70s or any other era. Blackmore/Dio/Powell were on fire and the 8 songs they laid down continue to inspire and please bands and fans 35 years down the line

However, it was all soon to change to a more radio FM chasing Rainbow, but this is a mighty fine testament to one of Rock's finest bands, and one that Blackmore would never ever get near to again. I know it's what he wanted, but this is by far the greatest era in Rainbow and Blackmore's history. Ignore all previous releases (except your beloved vinyl) and embrace the wonder that is 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll'.

Rainbow - 1977 - On Stage

On Stage

101. Intro: Over The Rainbow / Kill The King - Live
102. Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck
103. Catch The Rainbow
104. Mistreated
105. Sixteen Century Greensleeves
106. Still I'm Sad

Live At Osaka 9th December 1976
201. Kill The King
202. Mistreated
203. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
204. Catch The Rainbow
205. Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck
206. Do You Close Your Eyes

Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
Ronnie James Dio - vocals
Jimmy Bain - bass
Tony Carey - keyboards
Cozy Powell - drums

I don’t know why, but I remember buying this on vinyl around '80/'81 and it was the most expensive album I had bought at that moment in my life, and remained so for many a year.  It was never in the sales!!

Whilst I'm not a huge fan of live albums as they generally fall short of the live experience, ‘On Stage’ however did not and showed Rainbow at their very best;  a moving, haunting beast of a band, expanding on originals in the best prog rock sense,  with great jamming capabilities. Then there's Blackmore, let loose in a way that Deep Purple never really let him. No duelling with Jon Lord, it was Blackmore getting totally immersed in his music, turning already great songs into masterpieces. Don’t believe me, check out his playing on ‘Catch The Rainbow’, and ‘Sixteenth Century Greensleeves’ in particular and tell me this isn’t a man at the very peak of his game with the audience hanging on his every single note

 ‘On Stage’ was rare in the 70s, as Rainbow had just two albums under their belt. The third studio album was due for release late Summer 1977, but after the departures of Carey and Bain, ‘LLRNR’ didn’t surface until 1978. ‘On Stage’ bought Rainbow some valuable time. So to do ‘On Stage’ took some balls. It took years for Purple to come up with the legendary ‘Live in Japan’, yet Rainbow just two! This typified Blackmore's confidence; in his band, and particularly in his playing.

The concert begins with a sound recording (extract) from the film, The Wizard of Ozz, where Dorothy says "Toto, it looks like wer´re not in Kansas anymore!" Straight after that spoken sentence, the whole band bombard us with the first opening chords to "Somewhere over the rainbow" A thunderous roar from the crowd makes the listener feel that they are actually there!

Suddenly the band break into "Kill the king" and it is interesting to note that Cozy Powell never plays exactly on the beat, but just before the beat, pushing the band like a highly charged freight train! Keyboardist, Tony Carey, and guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore play a melodic solo in unison, Blackmore´s guitar heard in the left speaker, while Carey´s keyboards copy the same pattern as the guitar in the right hand speaker. (Blackmore always stood on the left hand side of the stage)

The Medley, consisting of a speeded up version of "Man on the silver mountain", going into "Blues", and then "Starstruck" keeps the sound interesting as the band chop and change with different time signatures. "Blues" is an interplay of call and respond, between Carey and Blackmore, with the keyboard mimicking the guitar sound. Blackmore´s tone is perfect! (In an interview he once said he would like to make a blues album one day) Ronnie James Dio shows just why he is considered one of the greatest vocalists ever, when he sings "You´re the man" with the audience shouting back their approval, finally building up to "We´re all the maaaan!!!" as the band launches back into "Man on the silver mountain"

"Catch the Rainbow" which is over fifteen minutes, begins softly, slowly building up to the guitar solo which comes in around the six minute mark. Blackmore was never an "in your face" guitarist, so one has to listen carefully for all the hidden details in this unbelievable solo. Definitely my favourite Blackmore solo ever! Ronnie James Dio also shines on this track with some of the most powerful singing in rock history. The song ends with some delicate , soft playing from Blackmore.

"Mistreated" (which appears on the Deep Purple album, Burn) is up next, with another of Ritchie´s classic solos. With Dio´s powerful vocals, Rainbow actually upstage Deep Purple´s version on "Made in Europe"

"Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" begins with beautiful slow playing from Blackmore. The sound he is able to get out of his Stratocaster is packed with emotion and longing. Eventually the entire band come in and the song takes off in a driving hard rhythm, once again show casing Dio´s incredible vocals.

"Still I´m sad" is the final track, with a well structured , clever solo from Tony Carey. This is the only track on the album that doesn´t have Blackmore´s name on the song credits. It would also appear years later on the album "Stranger in us all" A fine closing number to one of the best live albums ever.

As a massive Rainbow fan, you may feel a little disappointed as the then staples of ‘A Light In The Black’, and ‘Stargazer’ are missing from the bonus section. There are valid reasons for this as the original tapes are hidden away as securely as Jimmy Savile's diaries. Only one of the eight shows recorded (four in Germany, and four in Japan) captured ‘ALITB’, but ‘Stargazer’ was played at almost every gig during this period.  Bugger!

The original ‘On Stage’ was (due to vinyl constraints) moved around from a commercial standpoint, and proves that Martin Birch was a genius, as the quality is impeccable and his editing skills in removing Powell's thunderous 1812 drum solo, and he even spliced parts of songs from different shows, resulting in an album that stands tall against any of the studio releases.

The extended versions of ‘Mistreated’, ‘Still I'm Sad’, ‘Sixteenth Century Greensleeves’, and ‘Catch The Rainbow’ are truly phenomenal versions, to the point where it’s difficult for me to dig out the originals as they are poles apart from the live versions.

If you're buying this, then you're in it for the bonus disc as ‘On Stage’ requires little critique. Apart from the loud hiss still present (16th C in particular). As a live album, it’s up there with the very best.  Disc 2 is taken from a show in Osaka on 9/12/76 (Ah, I was 9!) so I'm assuming that the sequence of this disc is more in line with the original running order. What it does show is that Rainbow was an organic experience, growing and developing all the time, with every passing gig, with Blackmore improvising to his heart’s content, pulling the rest of the band with him in wild abandonment. ‘Catch The Rainbow’ and the ‘Medley’ being  particular examples with Ritchie showing his classical chops, and throwing in his love for ‘Lazy’ as a part of the medley as well as lots of toying with the audience, and is a good 14 mins longer than the vinyl version.

The only real addition from the original is Do You Close Your Eyes expanded and with some added welly. Despite the lack of ‘Stargazer’, ‘On Stage’ is still an album to behold and to get your mitts upon. Ritchie and Ronnie (and Rainbow) never sounded better live!

As Yngwie Malmsteen once quoted: "There wasn´t a guitarist in the seventies that could touch Blackmore" This album bears testimony to that quote.