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!
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.
on 13 April 2014
Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, Ritchie Blackmore and the rest of the guys putting together a very good selection of tracks. This time with two instrumentals, track five being the slow, emotional one and the title track at number nine for those with a sense of humour (a play on Beethoven's ninth) ending with maniacal laughter.
on 29 May 2007
1981 - a very fertile year for rock! Following their last album "Difficult to Cure" came as a
relief and a revelation to Rainbow fans, having taken on the brilliant young vocalist Joe
Lynn Turner this album rates as my favourite post - "Rising" effort by the band - sound
quality, song quality, and the addition of Bob Rondinelli on drums, Ritchie sounds very very
pleased indeed with his "new" band! - even elaborating big-time on his classical aspirations
in the shape of an amazing tribute to Van Beethoven on the title track to the tune of
the "Ninth" symphony. This will interest Prog fans I'm sure, but there are some great songs
that accompany this little masterpiece!
"I Surrender" was the big hit from this album, the liquid tongue of JLT sliding round this one
with ease, an extremely catchy chorus, a great riff and soloing from Ritchie. Another great
riff introduces "Spotlight Kid" which features very fast solos from Ritchie and some brilliant
playing from Don Airey, reminiscent of the old Purple shoot-outs between Ritchie and Jon
Lord! The next track, the amazing "No Release" - this song has a mysteriously hypnotic
riff, and is one of my favourite song intros, the song has a shuffly beat and repeats that
riff and some great soloing, definitely one of the best songs on the album! The next catchy
pop song "Magic" is followed by "Vielleicht Das Nachster Zeit "(translates as "Perhaps that
next time"), an extremely beautiful slow instrumental guitar piece about love lost,
featuring some sad, emotional liquid playing from Ritchie - I'm surprised no-one picked this
up for a theme tune for something!
"Can't Happen Here" is another great catchy rock song with a brilliant riff, a political song
about fears of nuclear war, a subject which many songs were written about in 1981 which
worried everyone at the time, which it still does - nothing changes! "Freedom Fighter" is a
straight rock song which covers the romantic subject of political rebels, followed
by "Midtown Tunnel Vision" , an amazingly bluesy,sleazy riff introduces this amazingly
bluesy, sleazy song, which contains an amazingly bluesy, phased, sleazy solo!
The crowning instrumental mini-masterpiece "Difficult to Cure" rounds off the album
perfectly - this is Ritchie's tribute to Van Beethoven, and one of his finest symphonies,
the "Ninth", using the famous tune from the chorus "Ode to Joy", and is indeed a joy to
hear, too! Using the central theme to work round with his amazing soloing, Ritchie excels
here, some amazing playing which also includes some great playing from Don Airey, (a
worthy successor to Jon Lord in Purple), the band sound like they had a lot of fun doing
this track, and also the character laughing along in the run-off groove!!
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.
on 24 April 2013
The previous album "Down to Earth" was hard to swallow but on reflection this album was where I really began to lose interest in Blackmore both as a songwriter and more importantly as a guitarist. I don't mind pop rock but this is a bland record with few highlights. New vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sounds like a Lou Gramm (Foreigner) clone but wasn't a strong songwriting foil which meant looking outside of the band for potential radio hits. While Dio was off reinventing Black Sabbath for the better (IMO), Blackmore was chasing the Top 40, and in hindsight, beginning to lose the plot. Roger Glover's wet production doesn't help matters either, in fact Glover joining the band along with his silly trilby marked the beginning of the end. The next album "Straight Between The Eyes" was markedly better but the band that made the classic "Rising" was long gone.