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4.4 out of 5 stars45
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2005
I have loved this album since it came out. It is full of great tunes. I have just started learning classical guitar and now I hear practically every riff and solo is in the classical style. I always knew Blackmore was big on Bethoven and Bach but here is the evidence right in front of your ears. I guess the cover of the Bethoven's 9th Symphony was always a clue. Only the solo in Death Alley Driver from Straight Between the Eyes is more of a give away.
That said it is a truly excellent work and if you care to listen you will find out how good the rest of the band are as well.
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on 14 November 2010
At just 8 studio albums the Rainbow catalogue isn't vast considering the number of years the band has existed in its various guises. The albums can basically be split into two era's: Dio and post-Dio. Of the post-Dio offerings this was a quantum improvement on the previous album Down To Earth. This album is full of strong tracks and its hard to pick a favourite but if pushed I would probably go for No Release. Replacing vocalist Graham Bonnet with Joe Lynn Turner was a master stroke, his voice sounds far less strained than Bonnet and JLT was to last for a total of 3 albums before being replaced by the hugely under-rated Doogie White on their final album.

Its only my personal choice but I would rate this in their top 3 albums - Rainbow Rising is always going to be their best, but this is side by side with the final album Stranger In Us All ... which is a fabulous piece of work. I play this a fair bit and it still sounds fresh and rocky over 25 years after it was released. Well worth the money.
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on 21 September 2006
Just like all rock music play it loud and marvel at Blackmores exhilerating guitar. Some folk don't rate this and even the excellent allmusic site only gives it 2 stars. I don't agree I like all Rainbows stuff and this for me is up there with the best. Its real sing a long stuff with catchy riffs that make you feel glad to be alive.

If you like this type of music then but this you won't regret it, and while your at it buy the rest of their stuff as well.
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on 27 October 2000
This is a wonderful album and arguably the best in terms of its musical range and its commercial success. The album peaked at UK 3 and the single "I Surrender" was a huge hit too.
There are some magical moments especially in the instrumental "Difficult To Cure", which illustrates why Blackmore is such an exhilarating guitarist.
It is a gem of an album and anyone who is getting into Rainbow should listen to it. If you love Rock 'n' Roll music, you'll be crazy not to listen to this fantastically and sensationally pleasing album.
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For the first time Ritchies meddling weakened the band ,in my opinion,never really liked Joe Lynn Turner as Rainbow's singer,i fully understand why he was hired as Blackmore was aiming for an AOR sound,personally i would have stuck with Bonnet.This was the first Rainbow album that had tracks i actually loathe such as the pathetic 'Magic' and 'I surrender',yet when its good its magnificent ,two spellbinding instrumentals 'Maybe Next Time'& 'Difficult To Cure' show that Blackers still had it in spades to produce jaw dropping music,'Spotlight Kid' and the 2nd single 'Cant Happen Here ' are carried along on super riffs and Turner does well,as for the rest,all well played but naggingly familiar,not very original,really only Blackmores guitar keeping your interest,'No Release' being the pick of the bunch.

The first Rainbow album not to hold your full attention,sadly it wouldn't be the last
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on 27 May 2014
I've been a fan of classic Deep Purple and Dio-era Rainbow for some 30 years now, but I have always shied away from the later Rainbow albums as I'm simply not a fan of insipid FM-friendly radio 'rawk' as typified by the likes of Russ Ballard, Perry-era Journey, etc.

However, I recently came across this on CD very cheaply indeed, so I thought I’d give it a go. I figured even if I detested the songs (yes!), there must surely be some redeeming features, i.e Blacker’s guitar work. Unfortunately, this isn’t really the case. Blackmore's performance actually sounds quite forced here, like he's just going through the motions much of the time. Obviously, he thought playing godawful pop-rock pap would reap financial rewards, but it doesn’t sound like his heart was in it to me.

The wet, mushy production from Roger Glover certainly doesn’t help (and literally sabotages what could’ve been a really decent cut, namely the instrumental ‘Maybe Next Time’). Even the much-vaunted title track sounds trite and stilted and I’m convinced Ritchie could have done much better with it with one of the earlier incarnations of the band (imagine Powell, Bain and Carey ripping through this!)

As for the vocal tracks, only two seemed vaguely palatable (in a shallow retread of ‘Burn’ kinda way, mind you!) namely ‘Spotlight Kid’ and ‘Can’t Happen Here’, but I couldn’t really say I particularly like either. The rest is just sheer dross, featuring the kind of infantile lyrics and pompous, overbearing, ‘Yank’ vocalising from the godawful Joe Lynn Turner that only a naïve 13-year-old boy could ever have found even remotely convincing (come back David Coverdale, all is forgiven! At least you’ve kept your tongue firmly in cheek all these years).

To put it into perspective, just think of what Dio was achieving with Sabbath in this same timeframe - as another reviewer has said, it makes you want to give Blackmore (and Glover for that matter) a good slapping! I’m joking of course, but it does truly beggar belief that after the Graham Bonnet debacle, Ritchie would hire another complete joke of a frontman like JLT. It strikes me now that Blackmore actually needed the Deep Purple reunion rather badly, not so much to restore his bank balance, but to restore his very credibility as a musician.

One final thought - is the disturbed laughter at the end of the title track intended as a 'joke's on you' kiss-off from Ritchie, or what? I rather suspect (hope!) he knew this was a piece of junk.
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on 8 August 2014
I surrender, I surrender - oh yes, this LP gets me. Love it. And I've always adored I Surrender in particular - it's a fantastic song with sensational classical influenced, richly textured guitar.

Rainbow Rising tends to get the plaudits but I'd sooner listen to this one. Joe Lynn Turner gets a lot of flack but he has a great voice, powerful yet mellifluous.

I Surrender opens up dramatically and gets you singing straight away while Blackmore's guitar delivers with mystique. It's a combination that defines the album. Spotlight Kid sends you dizzy - the guitar solo is amazing, No Release is a moody change before Magic has you singing again. Then there is Vielleicht Das Nachste Mal - a mournful guitar instrumental with a wink in the eye.

Can't Happen Here gets you rocking and Freedom Fighter surprises you with its eastern sounding guitar solo. Midtown Tunnel Vision is a broodier number with a Hendrix influence - its cool riff is a real grower.

And finally there is Difficult to Cure, a fantastic electric guitar interpretation of Beethoven's 9th. Blackmore even makes his guitar sound like Laurel and Hardy at the end even before the laughter. Very, very pleasing to my ears.

Blackmore combines melody, mystique and humour in his playing and with Joe Lynn Turner's superb vocals this album is one of his classics! If you love heavy rock and great tunes get it.
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on 26 March 2015
Probably one of the most under-rated Rainbow albums. I remember reading a review of this album when it was first released in Sounds or Melody Maker (can't remember). The review focused on the replacement of Graham Bonnet with Joe Lynn Turner and of Cozy Powell with Bobby Rondinelli and bemoend the quality of the replacements. It complained about this being a further step away from classic Dio-era Rainbow but also that it didn't have the commercial clout of the previous album with Graham Bonnet, Down To Earh.

What it didn't do was talk much about how good the music was. For those unfamiliar with the album songs such as Spotlight Kid and the hit single, I Surrender, will probably be well known but tracks such as Magic and Can't Happen Here are equally as well written rock songs. What makes this album particularly good though are the two instrumentals Vielleicht das nachste Mal (Maybe Next Tme) and Difficult To Cure. The former is a dreamy melodic demonstration of the beauty of Blackmore's guitar playing whilst the latter is the band's version of Beethoven's Ninth which highlights the link between classical music and its influence on heavy rock. (There is a great live version of this on Finyl Vinyl with full orchestral accompaniment).

I rate this as Joe Lynn's best album with Rainbow - just!
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on 19 April 2012
This was a fabulous album. "I Surrender" was such a great song and as good a song as any Rainbow have every done. In fact the band were riding a crest of a wave. This song was covered superbly later by the Disco Boys. Anyhow, the album is full a great numbers. "Can't happen here" later received an award for its video infusion. A shame that "Jealous Lover" was not on the album, because that was a magnificent song too. Great instrumentals and performances. A must buy album.
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on 25 September 2012
The track "I Surrender" is probably known by every Rainbow fan. Not knowing the band that well, I must admit to not knowing the other tracks. The link that brought me to this album was the fact that this is a "relative" of Deep Purple. I am a great lover of that band's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" - although it had to grow on me! As a result I had to hear what Rainbow did with the European Anthem - Beethoven's Ode to Joy. SUPERB!!!
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