25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Ritchie, you really are a god,
This review is from: Live In Germany 1976 (Audio CD)
OK so Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow was one of the greatest hits in rock. Rising propelled Rainbow to musical stardom. Long Live Rock 'N Roll provided the final magical moments for the Dio era before going out in a blaze of glory. These three glorius albums pretty much defined rock.
So maybe Jimi Hendrix did set fire to his guitar on stage back in '67. But does that sort of crowd-shocker really compare to the intensity delivered by Ritchie Blackmore? For me it's a question which can be answered by this live compilation only.
Once you've listened to the studio versions to death, turn the page in the Rainbow anthology and witness the awesome power of Blackmore/Dio's Rainbow performing live in Germany, 1976.
There is simply no finer live performance than what you'll witness on these two discs. Hard rock heaven, to say the least.
1. KILL THE KING - Wow - what an opening. The LLRNR classic kick-starts Rainbow's concert to a full-blown rollercoaster. The perfect introduction in my opinion.
2. MISTREATED - I still cannot get over the sheer briliance of Mistreated. Yes Deep Purple's version is amazing, but Rainbow's performance is just awesome. Features a solid 5-minute guitar solo by Blackmore and incredible interplay between Dio and Blackmore later in the song. Absolutely fantastic.
3. SIXTEENTH CENTURY GREENSLEEVES - One of the best performances at the concert, Sixteenth Century sounds 100 times better live. Faster, louder and more intense, Blackmore and Dio carry Rainbow all the way to the top with this song. The guitarplay by Blackmore is simply unreal. Dio's vocals are mesmerising. An incredible performance.
4. CATCH THE RAINBOW - Stunning is the word I'd use to describe this track. Rainbow create here a powerful, mystical experience which captures the entire crowd. An amazing 15 minutes of true Rainbow magic and an excellent closing track to the first disc.
1. MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN - Man On The Silver Mountain has possibly one of the best introductions I have ever heard. Blackmore's 3-minute opening solo is quite frankly, groundbreaking, and I'm astounded as to why he chose not to include this solo on one of Rainbow's studio titles. You also have to love Blackmore's 3-way rhythm slash interplay with Dio which breaks out mid-way through the song. Incredible...one of the finest on this compilation.
2. STARGAZER - I have to say, if there is one track which let me down on this compilation, it's Stargazer. Now in no way am I knocking this song, it is still fantastic, but compared to the sheer power of the original, for me this live version just - offsets the atmosphere, it doesn't properly recreate the experience for Rainbow's greatest song ever. Rather than creating mystical twists between the two sections of the song it drags on in this section with - dare I say it - ear-splitting musical noise (damn that hurt to say). Blackmore's guitarplay just doesn't seem up to scratch here. OK well try and forget that and just enjoy the song for what it is - the actual verses with Dio's vocals are still outstanding all the way through the song. After all it's Stargazer - and there's no way Rainbow's performance can fall anything short of amazing.
3. STILL I'M SAD - Fantastic performance here. Rainbow's original recording of this Yardbird cover on Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow didn't include vocals. Well, now Still I'm Sad is back with Dio here to scream his heart out. At 15 minutes this track is LONG. For me the best part of this song is the way Blackmore and Dio cleverly use this to their advantage to create lots of variation in the song - just when you think the song has finished, Blackmore starts over with his riff. Great performance here.
4. DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES - This was Rainbow's well-known hard-rocker from Rising which really stood out among the other tracks on the album. Here it follows up nicely to Still I'm Sad, and provides an excellent closing point for Rainbow. It's fairly similar to the studio version, just with loads of extra guitarplay by Blackmore and extended vocals by Dio.
Forget "On Stage" and buy Live in Germany 1976. This is the full-blown European experience delivered the way Blackmore wanted to create his medieval ambience. Rainbow's studio titles are incredible, but Rainbow live is a whole new experience altogether. Long Live Rock 'n Roll!