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Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Another Rainbow anthology, you ask?

This one serves a purpose. Like many reissue projects of vintage bands, this serves as a taster and hopefully a teaser for the coming new editions of Rainbow's back catalogue.

Two new-to-CD live tracks from the UK tour of 1983. They formed the B-side of a maxi single back then, and are reasonably good, especially Stranded, though they may have been at least partially recorded in a soundcheck instead of the actual concert situation. The third 'new' track is a live cover of the old "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' (an old Shrillers' hit, later covered by the vocalist here, Graham Bonnet in his pre-Rainbow days), and makes a nice addition to the compilation.

The rest of the tracks are, I suppose, newly remastered versions of Rainbow album and single tracks, all have been issued during the 1999 remaster campaign. I think the sound is very good throuhgout as it does not sound as compressed as on the 1999 remasters. I might be wrong, I didn't do straight comparisons. I'd still long for, for example, more bass and backing vocals for the immortal Rising tracks. (I do hope the Rising Deluxe Edition, planned release in Feb 2010, will contain both mixes of the album, as the more rare mix has the bass more audible and as a result, sounds better than the more common mix.) I hope they'll do the remastering properly this time, instead of compressing for volume, go for as clean a sound as possible. This is what was done with the new Beatles remasters.

The track listing is well thought out, all the obligatory well known songs are here and of course it is impossible to agree on every track choice. I would have included Self Portrait off the first album, for example, and maybe gone for the studio take of Catch the Rainbow to put more emphasis on the ambient feel of the debut album, but these are minor details. All the best instrumentals are here, as well as the last 'epic' Rainbow track of the 1980s, Eyes of Fire.

An original idea was to have Stargazer and A Light in the Black back-to-back, but in reverse order to the studio album.

The band's second coming in the 1990s is not featured here, as it was for a different label. Understandable, but at the same time a pity, as three or four of the Stranger In Us All tracks are as good as most of the material on this compilation. I wonder how many rock fans are still out there who don't know Rainbow did an album in 1994? If they buy this compilation, hopefully they'll read the booklet to learn about the album.

The booklet is excellently done, with nice photos and memorabilia (e.g. the exotic sleeves from around the world across the center spread), and the Rainbow story, with its ups and downs, unfolds effortlessly, written by the Rainbow/Blackmore/Purple expert Jerry Bloom.

'Tribute' project Over the Rainbow is also mentioned, though true to Rainbow tradition, keyboardist Tony Carey has left the band between the time of Bloom writing the text and Universal releasing the album!

I'm eagerly waiting for the promised deluxe editions of the studio albums, first of which should come out early next year. Meanwhile, I give this compilation an occasional blast.
1/10/2009, 6:24 Link to this post Send Email to Rezi   Send PM to Rezi
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Excellent review Rezi. Thanks for your insight.

cheers

jon
1/10/2009, 19:03 Link to this post Send Email to Creamstrat   Send PM to Creamstrat
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Thanks Jon!
2/10/2009, 10:22 Link to this post Send Email to Rezi   Send PM to Rezi
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Great review, Rami. I won't be buying this one, as I don't do "Greatest Hits"/"Anthologies". But I'd grab pretty much anything Bloom puts out regarding the studio and live albums.

---
"Evil mind, lookin' down, without seeing at all."
2/10/2009, 15:54 Link to this post Send Email to Apostate   Send PM to Apostate
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Thanks Andy.

It seems Geoff Barton didn't like the anthology, see the link the the Classic Rock Forums:

[url][sign in to see URL]

Sounds like a must read!
2/10/2009, 16:04 Link to this post Send Email to Rezi   Send PM to Rezi
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


quote:

Rezi wrote:

Thanks Andy.

It seems Geoff Barton didn't like the anthology, see the link the the Classic Rock Forums:

[url][sign in to see URL]

Sounds like a must read!



Again, no offense, Rami, but judging from Barton's feelings about Rainbow in general I couldn't care less about his opinion. You and are are big fans, thus I am VERY interested in your opinion.


---
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2/10/2009, 16:34 Link to this post Send Email to Apostate   Send PM to Apostate
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


quote:

Rezi wrote:

Thanks Andy.

It seems Geoff Barton didn't like the anthology, see the link the the Classic Rock Forums:

[url][sign in to see URL]

Sounds like a must read!



If I get a chance I'll post some of Barton's' review. He was blown away by Catch The Rainbow at Sweden Rock recently, and that "Road to Damascus" experience seems to have affected him. emoticon

---
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4/10/2009, 7:35 Link to this post Send Email to Big J   Send PM to Big J
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Thanks Andy and Big J!
4/10/2009, 15:12 Link to this post Send Email to Rezi   Send PM to Rezi
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


As it's quite short, I can type the Barton review for us to marvel at. Now, remember this is coming from a guy who was completely over the moon by Rising and the band in 1976. This just so you can get the reference in this review. The context of the review is probably the absence of Blackmore in the current nostalgia-trip Classic Rock is all about. You know, re-living the glorius rock 'n' roll youth long gone. There's room only to those artists who play along with the fantasy!

"Who was the best singer in Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow? Ronnie James Dio, right? Wrong...

The popular overview of the career of RB's post-DP band goes something like this: they were imperious with pint-sized [never forget to point out RJD is short, otherwise your critical opinions on the music have absolutely no weight. -Rezi] powerhouse RJD: deteriorated dramatically when GB took over; and descended into dismal AOR mediocrity as soon as JLT joined. As for Doogie White... well, we needn't worry about his latter-day warblings as this umphteenth Anthology doens't extend beyond 1983.

Some bands improve with age, others don't. Rainbow Rising might have been the greatest album of all time in 1976 but colour TVs were the size of brick outhouses and the Austin Allegro was the peak of automotive excellence. It's time for a reassessment of Rainbow, because the early outpourings of this vintage outfit now have the flavour of cheap supermarket plonk. Wading through the contrived bombast of Catch the Rainbow makes you realise Dio has been getting away with the same old stodge for 35 years. Place Tarot Woman of Kill thee King alongside any of Heaven And Hell's output and you'll know this to be true.

Our advice: ignore the first CD with its 12 wearisome and one-Dio-mentional [ouch! -R.] tracks and plunge straight into CD two. It's a relief to escape from Ronnie's sorcerous musings and get back down to earth, lyrics-wise. [Anyone ignoring CD 1 would obviously not experience that sense of relief, so I suppose it is better to listen to the both CDs? -R.] You're all geared up for Bonnet's prime-time chat-up line 'Don't know about your brain but you look alright until you realise the original All Night Long isn't here - instead there's a weak live version with JLT and incongruous female backing vocals. Bonnet does pop up on a previously unreleased Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, bellowing like a pregnant rhino.

Still, Turner does eventually save the day. Originally criticised for his super-syrapy style, today JLT sounds as timeless as Dio sounds turgid. I Surrender is Toto times 10,000; Death Alley Driver plunges a Dyno-Rod into the sludge of Rainbow's early stuff. Ritchie (nearly forgot him) offers some pre-BN dexterity on instrumental Vielleicht Das Nachste Mal before Turner excels on Street of Dreams. There's no Can't Happen Here or Spotlight Kid [like I wrote in my review, the track listing is excellent. -R.], complete with a Cossack-dancing interlude, but there is the Snowman theme. Anohow, all hail JLT; the man who helped turn a blunt broadsword into a needle-sharp stiletto."

Rating: 5/10

Review: Geoff Barton, Classic Rock October 2009.

-------------------------------------------

So, now you know, it's official: It's not hip to dig Rainbow man. But don't take it from me an old fart like me. Take it from Mr. Barton who has discovered the joys of smaller TV sets and better cars since 1976. Which perfectly sums up the review's perspective. JLT sounds "timeless"? Oh, it was just another jab at Dio. For a moment I thought Barton the pop critic really thinks I Surrender and Toto sound "timeless" to him. I personally think they sound very much like several songs and bands did in the 1980s, though better than most other tracks and artists of the era.

On the other hand, it's great to see JLT get the praise he deserves for his excellent work in Rainbow.
6/10/2009, 11:11 Link to this post Send Email to Rezi   Send PM to Rezi
 
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Re: Rainbow Anthology 1975-1984 (Universal 2009)


Very well written, [sign in to see URL] your end.

It's just laughable to me to hear Barton rank on Dio-era Rainbow, particularly in favor of the JLT-era. I'd feel sorry for anyone who would start their Rainbow experience with the JLT-era dreck.

For me, Ronnie and Ritchie were Rainbow.

As most here know, Down To Earth was the "transitional" album; a good third of the material on that album (namely Eyes of the World, Danger Zone, and Lost in Holllywood) was far more Ronnie-era Rainbow musically than practically anything off of the JLT-era. The distant past was represented by No Time to Lose (could have been a Deep Purple In Rock outtake,like a not-as-good Speed King); Love's No Friend an inverted "Mistreated" with fantastic vocals, while All Night Long and Since You Been Gone pointed toward the future.

Makin' Love is the odd man out on that album; nothing from the JLT or Ronnie eras seems to parallel [sign in to see URL] fact, Makin' Love might be the most distinctly Graham-era Rainbow track on the album. It pretty much solidifies the individuality of the line-up, though the other, more Purple and Rainbow-reminiscent tracks are probably better quality wise.

I believe that most folks, being knowledgeable of Dio's more reknown career following his time of Ritchie, would be wont to begin their Rainbow experience with Ronnie, and I'd be pretty amazed to hear many people here arguing that point.

---
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6/10/2009, 12:21 Link to this post Send Email to Apostate   Send PM to Apostate
 


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