6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
I'm a right sucker for these kind of deluxe anniversary remastered special editions with bonus tracks, re-boosted versions, B-sides, booklets, photos, interviews etc! Unfortunately, this collection contains no bonus tracks or B-sides whatsoever, just 3 slightly different versions of the same 6 songs! Oh and an unspectacular rehearsal 4th version of Stargazer, with Dio saving his voice by singing most parts an octave below. If you listen to both discs in one go (like I did) you may have a serious headache by the end of this final rendition!
The booklet is nice with some good photos, and mainly features the thoughts of Tony Carey!
I remember buying the original vinyl version in 1976 as an avid Blackmore fan with great excitement and thinking, "YES, he's DONE it!!" I wanted him to eclipse Purple, and I'd found the first album a little disappointing. But this was it! Epic gatefold sleeve, and what seemed like an epic album. I have a friend who swears that this is the greatest album of all time! I'm not sure about that, but it certainly has it's moments. It is very short and punchy, weighing in at barely over half an hour.
Still, it DOES boast one of Blackmore's finest moments, Stargazer, with it's great drum intro, majestic guitar riff, and Dio's soaring vocals (arguably his finest ever performance). Obviously influenced by Zeppelin (Kashmir) but not really sounding like anyone else but Rainbow. He tried the trick many times with Gates Of Babylon, Eyes Of The World etc. but never quite to the same success. The solo could be no one else but Blackmore, building and building to a Kashmir-like crescendo. And if not epic enough already, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra weigh in for the outro, with Dio's emotional vocals soaring over the top. Breathtaking stuff!
No time for a breather though as Cozy thunders in with a barnstorming display (listen to the bass drum!) in A Light In The Black. Two frenetic solos lead into a lovely classical tune (another much repeated Blackmore favourite idea).
Tarot Woman opens the album with a synthesizer intro giving the song an epic feel, before the guitar chugs in, followed by the drums, and we're off! Nice tuneful chorus.
I always liked Run With The Wolf, and another good chorus.
Starstruck is ridiculously catchy, and is written about a hugely humerous French lady.
Do You Close Your Eyes is the obvious album filler but sounds surprisingly good - driving forward relentlessly - I particularly like the guitar part behind the 'I see a glow around you...' bits.
So that's more-or-less it. The alternate versions have a bit more bass to them, which sometimes enhances the proceedings eg. A Light In The Black, and I like some of the rawer versions on the rough mix cd, especially Tarot Woman. The synthesizer intro to Stargazer doesn't particularly improve, and is better left off, but nice to hear anyway.
All in all. a worthy addition to the collection!
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
Unquestionably Rainbow's best album. RISING from 1976 was the peak which - at least for this listener - Ritchie Blackmore's band would never quite reach again. With Ronnie Dio on vocals and the thunderous drumming of Cozy Powell, Rainbow created a hard-rocking beast of an LP containing six tracks of focused quality. 'Tarot Woman', 'Run With The Wolf' and, of course, 'Stargazer' are worth their weight in gold, and I don't know about you, but when Dio exclaims "I see a rainbow rising..!" towards the end of 'Stargazer', for me it is one of those genuinely spine-tingling moments in rock music, along with, say, the tranquil opening chords of 'Stairway To Heaven'. So, this is clearly a fantastic album. But does it deserve Universal's Deluxe Edition treatment?
Well, the new remaster here is considerably beefy, with bags of bottom end to the sound (just listen to the bass-drumming on 'A Light In The Black'), so in that respect it is a considerable improvement upon the 1999 re-release. However, in terms of extras the set is rather lacking. The inclusion of the RISING album's alternative 'Los Angeles Mix' is in the end not all that different from the 'New York Mix' that was eventually released on vinyl, although on 'Stargazer' especially I detected a little more prominence to Jimmy Bain's bass guitar, while Ronnie Dio's voice throughout the L.A. mix seems a little more forward. But on the whole, you'll probably find yourself sticking with the familiar mix we all know and love. As for the "rough mixes" on disc two, well, I 've never been all that enamoured with hearing these sorts of things, so once again, you too may find yourself listening to them once or twice and forgetting about them.
As for the booklet, it is once again a nicely presented affair, although the photograph of Rainbow that was featured on the inside of the original gatefold sleeve of RISING has not been reproduced as part of the new artwork (it only appears here in the photo of a picture sleeve to a single of 'Run With The Wolf', and I'm not counting that), while the sleevenotes give no indication as to why the album was treated to different mixes prior to release, particularly as there seems to be so little difference between them!
I think it would have been nice to have seen maybe a live DVD included, rather than what amounts to basically three versions of the same album. Admittedly, Rainbow did not have a lot of material to work with for RISING, while the album was recorded relatively quickly, which would explain why no previously unreleased songs exist from the sessions. However, there is the feeling of a barrel being scraped with this Deluxe Edition.
Overall, having bought a lot of these Deluxe Editions of classic albums over the last few years, I have found this one for Rainbow's RISING rather uninteresting. The new remaster is excellent, for it highlights what a powerhouse record RISING always was. But, considering the paucity of extras on offer, a nicely packaged single disc would have probably sufficed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2003
If you are a true rock fan then your cd collection will not be complete until you have 'Rising'.
To me and thousands like me it is quite simply the ultimate rock cd. If you have only heard the wishy washy commercial rainbow stuff like 'I surrender' and 'Since you've been gone' then you will be blown away by this, it's nothing like that pop rock.
Six songs that take you on a journey, just sit back and crank up the volume and find yourself sucked into Dio's world of Wizards and Wolves. I defy anyone not to be taken back by the track 'Stargazer' which is immediately followed by 'Light in the black' which is Stargazer the sequel really.
Do not hesitate, buy this CD and go to another world, a world of outstanding vocals, great guitar solos and thumping drums.
Simply Awesome !
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2004
Remember Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven? Of course you do, it's hailed as the greatest song ever written. Many would say that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant set the standards for rock with this song. But is there an equal to this masterpiece? Put Led Zep IV aside for a moment, and let me introduce you to Rainbow's second album, Rainbow Rising, which I believe contains Stairway's rival.
Yes it is only 6 tracks long, but once you consider the actual sheer quality of the songs on this disc you'll be able to rest assured that your money was well spent.
1. TAROT WOMAN - Tarot Woman is best known for Tony Carey's opening keyboard solo - it is after all, an amazing introduction for Ritchie Blackmore to leap in with his awesome riff to bring this song to life. Full of fine vocals by Dio (although perhaps one too many "I don't know"s) and solid guitarplay by Blackmore. An amazing track. 10/10
2. RUN WITH THE WOLF - Absolutely brilliant vocals here by Dio in my opinion with an amazing bridge. Blackmore's solo which kicks in mid-way through the song is excellent, all the way through to his closing shreds on the guitar. Nice work by Cozy Powell on the drums too. Fantastic track. 10/10
3. STARSTRUCK - You'll just love the rhythm here - Blackmore and Powell's continuous, short bursts on the guitar and drums in between each pair of lines bring incredible magnitude to this song. "I could fly to the moon but she'd soon find a way to be there" and bang, in comes Powell on the drums and Blackmore on the guitar. Another amazing performance by Dio as well. A Rainbow classic. 10/10
4. DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES - I consider this track unique to this album. It has a much heavier feel to it - almost like it was recorded live. It is in fact the one track on the album which Blackmore and Dio didn't apply their medieval rock style to. The lyrics fit in brilliantly with the song. Absolutely wicked riff, and just listen to Jimmy Bain's bass playing - perfectly synchronised with Dio's vocals in the chorus! Excellent song! 10/10
5. STARGAZER - Well, here it is. Led Zep's rival to Stairway. This is what made Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio legends to the name of rock. Words cannot describe this song. From Powell's opening blast on the drums to Dio's closing "Take me back...Take me back..." you are well and truly mesmerised. Here Blackmore and Dio have created more than just a fury of drums and guitar riffs - they have created an entire story - a story about a wizard who makes slaves and orders them to build him a tower of stone to the sky with their "flesh and bone" so he can rise to the stars. Notice how this image of "Rising" coincides with the title of the album? Just put on this song - and listen to Dio's words. It is really from Dio's cry of "I see a Rainbow Rising!" that you are well and truly mesmerised by the intensity of Stargazer. I could listen to Stargazer all day, every day if I didn't have other commitments. So put Stargazer on full blast and observe the rising of Rainbow. 1000/10
6. A LIGHT IN THE BLACK - Before you hit the replay button for Stargazer, prepare to be blown away by A Light In The Black - a deemed sequel to Stargazer. Although you may not realise it at first - it is in fact Stargazer Part II. It begins where Stargazer left off - "Did he really fall? What to do now I don't know." After leaping off the tower the wizard fell to his death and the observer is being called home by something in all the darkness, ie like a "Light in the black". Listen to the magical lyrics and you will hear a story, word for word. A Light In The Black is a shining example of Blackmore's unbelievable ability on the guitar - it contains possibly his greatest performance ever (at least for a studio version) - just listen to his riff which he breaks into mid-way through the song, after Carey's amazing keyboard solo. This combination of Stargazer and A Light In The Black is the greatest 15 minutes of rock you will ever hear in your entire life. Pure bliss. Hard rock at its true best. A Light In The Black truly is the perfect conclusion to the story of the Stargazer and an amazingly intense finale to a stunning album. 10/10
So, final words? All I can say is if you don't own this album you are missing out on the greatest example of hard rock. And believe me, you will find no equal to Stairway deemed worthier than the content on this disc. Truly the rising peak of hard rock that is Rainbow.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2001
Bruce Dickinson once said of this album "Goblins will come out of your CD player". This is THE definitive fantasy concept rock album, a truly sensual experience lifting the listener higher and higher as Blackmore, Dio, Carey, Bain and Powell bond with an indescribable chemistry and produce one of the true all time classics.
Stargazer deserves the plaudits as a triumph yet the rest of the album screams quality too. Tarot Woman creates a wonderful atmosphere - play this in a darkened room and let it play with your senses! Run With The Wolf and Starstruck carry the fantasy elements on while Do You Close Your Eyes is a good straight rocker (mindblowingly good set closer on the Live In Germany 76 CD) before Stargazer and Light In The Black pull the senses back into the fantasy world this album has created.
Everything about this album is flawless - writing, musicianship and performance. Forget the mindless mediocrity churned out by the factory created media machine and let the quality of this classic shine through.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Where to begin,housed in the best album sleeve of the 70's this is one of the greatest heavy rock discs of all time.Hard to believe this was only album number 2,having dispensed with ELF,sensibly retaining Ronnie,Blackmore surrounded himself with a band on a level with his own greatness,Powell on drums,Bain on bass and the underrated Carey on keyboards,truth be told if they'd managed to hold it together they might have equalled,even toppled Zeppelin as the No1 UK rock band.
Opening with the gothic majesty of 'Tarot Woman' the difference in playing from the debut is immediately obvious,Powell's thundering drums propel the track with Bains bass underpinning everything,while Carey's keyboards enhance and compliment Blackmore's superb guitar playing while Ronnie's vocals are the icing on the cake,simply put its a brilliant track and would have been the albums highpoint if it wasnt for another track to come.
Understandably 'Run With The Wolf/Starstruck' would struggle to follow the opener but they are both excellent tracks,the former with swaggering riff,the latter more commercial(about an insistent groupie- i believe) both with killer solos from Blackmore,the weakest track 'Do You Close Your Eyes' closed side 1
Side 2 of the original album contained only 2 tracks but what a pair,'Stargazer' the quintessential Rainbow track,from the opening drum intro to the closing fade out with orchestra there is no other rock track ,IMHO,that comes close,everything about this track is perfect,the fantasy lyrics,the pounding rythmn section driving the song on and on with the keyboards adding the gloss and the solo,that solo,jaw dropping,mesmeric call it what you will, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time i listen to it and by the time the orchestra crashes in,im in another realm altogether this is the greatest heavy rock track ever!How do you follow that,you probably shouldnt why they never made it the last track on side 2 i'll never know,still, 'Light In The Black' is actually another fantastic track with yet another blinding solo from Ritchie and tends to get overlooked,
If you dont have this in your collection then why not, its a must have disc from aband that splintered soon after,we can only wonder what might have been.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2004
I can't praise this album enough. Certainly one of the top Hard Rock records ever, just for "Stargazer" and "A Light In The Black". Along with Long Live Rock 'n' Roll this is Ritchie Blackmore at his best. Never before or since has he given us music as good as that on "Rising". He seems positivly inspired. Without Ronnie James Dio however this album would not have come to pass. Ronnie sounds at his very best on this album and his Dungeons and Dragons lyrics are just perfect. This pairing is backed up by the powerful drumming of Cozy Powell, the best rock/metal drummer ever. If you listen to Stargazer you will see what I mean. Jimmy Bain on bass is excellent as well. Why Blackmore chose to replace him for LLRNR is a mystery. Now onto the songs.
Tarot Woman - The atmospheric keyboard solo at the start opens up into a massive hard rock track that pulls you into Dio's world of wizards and wolves. Second worst song on the album, and still a force to be reckoned with. It just shows you how good the musical talent is if this is one of the worst songs.
Run With The Wolf - the fantasy theme on this song is similar to the kind of stuff Dio would use through his whole career. Excellent riff, Magnificent drums and Wonderful bass, and still not even the best song on the album.
Starstruck - The catchiest song on the album about an obsessed fan. The best song from the first half of the album. There is fantastic energy from all of the band members that just wants to make you sing and play along.
Do You Close Your Eyes? - The worst song on the album. To me it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the music on the album. I think it would have been better off on LLRNR. A great song, but it just seems out of place.
Stargazer - Simply put, the best song ever. This song is the master of rock. An epic that just doesn't let up. Blackmore's solo is electifying, Cozy's drumming is the best he has ever done, Bain's energy and power shine through and then there's the Elf himself. He has never sounded more powerful than on Stargazer and the lyrics, they are perfect. About a wizard, his tower from the viewpoint of a slave. Buy this album simply for this song if nothing else.
A Light In The Black - A close second to Stargazer, and also its lyrical sequal. Stargazer II if you will. A blistering riff leads you through the final song on the album and Dio sings his little heart out. Great interplay between Blackmore and Tony Carey on keyboards.
In closing, Rainbow Rising is one of the best rock albums ever. It has two of the biggest legends in hard rock. Ritchie Blackmore is at his best and Ronnie James Dio reaches his peak, both lyrically and vocally for the next 8 or 9 years until Holy Diver (anothere highly recommended album). The whole group on this album seem to work so well together. You can feel the enjoyment they had recording it just by listening to it even now, nearly 30 years after it was recorded. If you like rock music or metal then this is a must.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2005
Simply put: this is where metal came from. Add early Rainbow to Sabbath and throw some Zeppelin lyrics, Blue Oyster Cult harmonies and a dash of punk spirit, and you have the recipe for British heavy metal pioneers Diamond Head and Iron Maiden. So you kids should buy it.
That aside, the album stands on its own as a progressive masterpiece: This is easily among Blackmore's finest moments in terms of composition and performance, and the first great example of neo-classical heavy rock. From the opening spiral of organs on "Tarot Woman" you know what you're going to get: Dazzling musicianship.
Also features the talents of Cozy Powwell, who is excellent, and Dio, whose voice is amazing (if not his lyrics ;-> ). Worth the purchase for "Stargazer" and "Light in the black" alone.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2002
Simply one of the finest rock albums to come out of the seventies,this album grabs you by the throat with 'Tarot Woman' and doesn't stop shaking you until it drops you, gasping for breath, at the end of 'Light in the Black.' If someone says they are a fan of rock music, but they don't own this album, then they haven't got a clue.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If there is a better 15 minutes or so of heavy rock ever recored that the Stargazer / Light in the Black combination I have yet to hear it - and I bought this album when it came out so that is a lot of listening. They will leave you breathless, fantastic musicins playing at the peak of their powers - simply can't be beaten.
It is only in comparison to the power of 'side 2' that the tracks on side 1 pale a little, they are still great rock songs.
If you have't heard this go and buy it, it should be in everyones collection.