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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2004
Let me first just say that Ritchie Blackmore is a genius. He stands today as my favourite guitarist of all time. After playing for Deep Purple, he later left to form his own band in the early '70s, and thus, Rainbow was born. Listen to the songs he has recorded for both bands and you'll see that he has no doubt shredded the greatest riffs ever (who can doubt Smoke On The Water or Mistreated?).
But it is the combination of Blackmore and Ronnie Dio, the famous 'elf' on vocals (then later Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn-Turner) with fantastic drummers such as Cozy Powell, and Roger Glover (also a former Deep Purple member) and Jimmy Bain on bass, which catapult Rainbow to their magic heights of rock. Blackmore's original vision of creating a medieval ambience within a hard rock framework, has formed the greatest records of rock.
Rainbow followed Blackmore's vision up to 1979. Then Dio left the band to go solo, and all presence of Rainbow's unique style of medieval hard rock vanished. Dio was replaced by Graham Bonnet, and throughout the 80s Rainbow were transformed into more of a pop/rock band. 1979 marked the end of 'Rock Rainbow' and the beginning of 'Pop Rainbow'.
Anyway, the album is one hell of a disc. Essentially 'The Very Best of Rainbow' is one half Rock Rainbow (tracks 1-7) and the other half Pop Rainbow. Every single classic written by Blackmore, Dio, Glover and Turner is here on this album.
1. Man On The Silver Mountain - An early classic for Rainbow, Blackmore shredding a great riff on the guitar with Dio screaming at the vocals. Superb. 10/10
2. Catch The Rainbow - A slow, tender melody. Brilliant performance all-round. 9.5/10
3. Starstruck - Perfect vocals by Dio and awesome work by Blackmore. A fantastic song. 10/10
4. Stargazer - RAINBOW'S BEST TRACK EVER! Dio is stunning, Blackmore is outstanding. The finest masterpiece of all time! 10/10
5. Kill The King - The excellence of Blackmore and Dio as a duo shines through here. Superb. 10/10
6. Long Live Rock 'N Roll - Hear, hear! Cozy Powell pounds the drums to death on this one. Awesome.
7. Gates of Babylon - An arabic feel to Rainbow. Great keyboard work by David Stone with brilliant lyrics. 9.5/10
8. Since You Been Gone - "I'm out of my head, can't take it" Well I certainly can! The best of the Pop Rainbow era. 10/10
9. All Night Long - An excellent track! Reminds us of the hard rock genre Rainbow belong to. And an excellent opening riff by Blackmore. 10/10
10. I Surrender - Joe Lynn Turner's first appearance on the album. Has classic written all over it! 10/10
11. Can't Happen Here - Brilliant, superb work by the whole band. 9.5/10
12. Jealous Lover - Absolutely superb. One of my favourites of all time. 10/10
13. Stone Cold - Fantastic, the sort of song you can listen to over and over again without getting bored. 10/10
14. Power - Sounds perfect for a movie! This track really rocks. 10/10
15. Can't Let You Go - Intro'd with an organ by David Rosenthal, then breaks into drums and a heavy guitar riff! Excellent! 9.5/10
16. Street Of Dreams - More like the Song Of Dreams. Brilliant. 10/10
In my opinion Rainbow were weakened once Dio had gone - with his superb talent as a hard rock singer, there was no better partner for Blackmore. However, Rainbow continue to live strong and play some of the best titles in the history of rock. This album is compiled from the best tracks Rainbow have recorded (the only one missing is Light In The Black and Rainbow's live version of Deep Purple's Mistreated). Get The Very Best of Rainbow and get the very best of rock!!
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on 3 February 2005
The Very Best Of Rainbow was released in 1997 on PolyGram Records (Polydor) which covers Rainbow's period from 1975 - 1983 on one disk, to give you a little background of the group, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore leaves his own band Deep Purple in 1974 after the release of Stormbringer and hooks up with American band Elf led by Ronnie James Dio and they change their name to Rainbow.

The first seven tracks that kick of this compilation are taken from the first three albums led by vocalist Ronnie James Dio which are Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Rainbow Rising & Long Live Rock 'N' Roll then in 1978 Ronnie James Dio leaves for Black Sabbath.

Former Marbles vocalist Graham Bonnet (by this point released three solo albums) steps into Dio's shoes in 1979, he only lasted for one album Down To Earth, two tracks are lifted from the album then he leaves for The Michael Schenker Group then later Alcatrazz.

Former Fandango guitarist/vocalist American Joe Lynn Turner takes over from Bonnet in 1981 for the last three Rainbow albums, Difficult To Cure, Straight Between The Eyes and Bent Out Of Shape which makes up the last seven tracks on this compilation.

Overall the first seven tracks with Dio are very good, I did not like the Bonnet songs I found them tacky, as for the Joe Lynn Turner period there was redemption with only two songs, "Jealous Lover" (the b-side to "Can't Happen Here") and "Stone Cold" even though they sounded like they belonged to an 1980's Hollywood movie, this was the reason why I gave it three stars.

If you are a hardcore Rainbow fan and you like all periods I would recommend this otherwise it's also worth it for the Ronnie James Dio period, the liner notes are excellent, it has a diagram taken from the Rock Family Trees book with all the groups connected to Rainbow and all the complicated personnel changes in fine detail, take note Blackmore reformed Rainbow in 1995 and released a new album called Stranger In Us, also there was an American band from Anaheim, California who were called Rainbow and they released an album in 1968 called After the Storm.
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on 12 February 2001
This truly is a phenomenal collection! I bought this album really only to get 'I Surrender', 'Stargazer' and 'Since You Been Gone'; some of my favourite tracks ever. I thought that they would be the only good tracks on the album. How wrong I was. Every track on this album is worth a listen. The worst tracks on the album are just plain good! Ritchie Blackmore is a wonderfully subtle guitarist and Rainbow featured three of the finest rock vocalists of the 70s and 80s: Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. The above mentioned tracks are superb but others deserve a mention too. 'Man on the Silver Mountain' is an example of pure riff genius and fantasic vocals and lyrics. 'Rainbow Rising' is a wonderfully woeful and melodic ballad, reminiscent of Hendrix's 'Little Wing'. 'Stargazer' is the ultimate rock epic, eight minutes of pure heaven (or hell?) with Dio's vocal performance in particular being superb. 'All Night Long' is a wonderfully rousing anthem while 'Can't Happen Here' is a tongue in cheek look at western attitudes to the world. Perhaps the most impressive track of all though is 'Jealous Lover'. This track is so brilliant I can't believe it wasn't even ever an album track, let alone a single! Basically, I cannot rave enough about this album. Just buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2004
I first started listening to Rainbow during the 'Down to Earth' era, when Graham Bonnet was strutting his not inconsiderable stuff as lead singer. Back then - I was fifteen - it seemed great. Now - I'm older - you can see just what a catastrophe Ronnie James Dio leaving the band was.
The first three studio albums are just brilliant. Musically very impressive and lyrically superb. It's easy to sneer at the fantasy/mythology elements of heavy rock of the Seventies, but there's still a massive market for this sort of thing, just look at the Lord of the Rings cycle. 'Stargazer' manages to get a whole fantasy novel into eight minutes (including a guitar solo) and it creates a universe, two compelling characters and makes real, allegorical statements about purpose, ambition and freedom. It stands up - lyrically - far better than the Led Zep stuff of the same era (or Rush).
I also love the fact Dio works 'Rainbow' into the lyrics 'Fly Like a Rainbow' ??? You know, like you do. The musical subtlety of these early tracks is also impressive like in 'Gates of Babylon'
Then Dio leaves and you get 'All Night Long' ('I need a girl who can keep her head - All Night Long - naturally changed when sung live) and 'Since You Been Gone' (Since You Been Gone, Since You Been Gone, I'm out of my head, can't take it.) Fine when you're a teenager.
Musically things go from bad to worse when Bonnet leaves and Joe Lynn Turner comes in, by which time Rainbow are an ok, American-type AOR band. Like Bon Jovi. Certainly not worth remembering.
So why five stars? Because of those early tracks. Buy this. Give it to someone (my ten year old daughter's getting mine) and then buy the first three albums and enjoy......
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on 8 June 2001
Brilliant album...no doubt one of the finest rock compilations ever. Jealous Lover is just fantastic with one of the best Blackmore solos he's performed, nearly as good as the one on No One Came on Deep Purple's Fireball album. Great vocalists throughout and superb structured playing. A must have for rock and non-rock fans alike.
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on 24 January 2016
This is perfect if either you heard since you've been gone, all night long, I surrender, on the radio or in the pub and wondered what or who the bands about. Well several line up changes including 3 different lead singers is what you'll discover with rainbow. Don't worry though Ritchie Blackmore remains through out! (who? Please! Search under guitar legends!) Anyway on 1 disc you get just about the full story and get to hear rainbow before and after mr bonnet with his slick hair and shades made them cool for an album! The late great brilliant Ronnie James Dio was vocalist for the best tracks on here! And whilst your listening the inside opens into a poster of the full history of the band! Remember this isn't a greatest cd its a best of cd and is a fantastic place for you to start your rainbow journey! Already a huge fan? Great for the car, van, truck, you get the picture.
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on 15 January 2004
Theatrical Metal, comprising the Ritchie Blackmore deep part of purple.
Musical Art.
The compilation is so good I went out and bought a Fender Strat.
Goodbye air guitar, and it’s time to let my heart fly like an eagle.
Put down the lute Richie, come home, it’s time to weave your magical craft again.
An immediate shot of emotional torture remembering just how wonderful guitar bands used to be.
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on 24 October 2012
I've heard of Richie Blacmore's Rainbow (Rainbow) but never really got into the group. The only reason I ordered this CD was for one song, that song being Since You've Been Gone. It was the only song I ever heard from Rainbow. The day I received this CD I was totally blown away and listened to it at least 5 times that day. The music is brilliant, hard-core rock, even metal as it's classified. I think this is contributed to Richie Blackmore formerly of Deep Purple, a group which I really got into. If you like hard driving rock/metal, this is the album for you. I would highly recommend it. I've listened to this one several times more after the first day I received it. You won't be disappointed.
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on 19 September 2013
Bought this to replace my old Best of Rainbow LP, and was surprised to find it had additional tracks on it that I hadn't initially expected, then realised it was a 'Very Best of' CD. Very happy with it.
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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2003
Bonnet, Turner & Dio. Three different styles, all of which fitting into the vision of RB at the time.
Dio who sours and is just soooo mesmerising somtimes -'Stargazer', ' . . . Siler Mountain'.
Bonnet just has the best (studio) rock voice. Is there anything better than 'All Night Long' for punching the air to? Also what about that line? "Don't know about your brain, but you look alri-i-ight!" Chauvenism at it's testosterone soaked best(!)
Then JLT who was brought in to Americanise things into a US friendly pop-rock sensibility, 'Can't Happen Here' etc
This just about covers everything you really want from a Rinbow compilation.
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