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Richie Blackmore's Rainbow Vinyl Release 2010,,
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This review is from: Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Looks like another excellent year for classic rock vinyl releases with the majority of the Rainbow collection now available. This is one of the few original Rainbow vinyl releases from the 70s I no longer have in my collection. Unfortunately it was played to destruction on release back in 1975 on then my state of the art `Low-Fi:' `Pye Black Box' record player. I have been listening to this album on CD from the 1999 re-mastered version, which in my view is excellent quality and worth having if vinyl is not your preferred music format. Although for me I missed the vinyl version so it was excellent news to find that it was being released again via the `Back On Black Rock Classic' series. Not having an original copy to compare against any vinyl re-issue or re-master I consider an advantage, as typically I have found so often they sound sonically compressed when compared back to back vs the 70s original.
It took a few weeks to arrive after ordering as I understand there was a delay on the release date but it was certainly worth the wait. Pressed on purple, ca 180g vinyl (this copy weighs 186g), containing the original nine tracks. I am still not convinced about the advantages claimed with heavy weight vinyl as they are never perfectly flat. I always use a record clamp whatever the weight is to ensure maximum record contact with the player's platter. The quality of the recording in my experience is more important than purely the vinyl weight and often there is no correlation. It is interesting to see it says 100% pure vinyl on the back cover, which is surprising, as it must contain a small amount of pigment to be coloured purple. No doubt they mean it contains no recycled PVC. The original double gatefold cover is very masterfully restored with a substantially supported hinge keeping the package firmly together. Unfortunately, again as so often with current vinyl releases, poor quality, thin paper inner-sleeves are used to hold heavy weight vinyl records.
The sound quality of the album is excellent; a clear, clean and detailed spectrum of sound is spread across the speakers. I have been playing the record from purchase without a clean on my VPI cleaning machine. I normally use the standard IPA/Water mix to remove the residual silicone release agent on the record so no doubt it will sound even better after this first clean.
Although this was the first time Richie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio had recorded together, the quality and consistently of the songs on this album are very high. The atmosphere on the album reflects this new exciting partnership, which unfortunately would only last two further studio albums. This album contains many famous stage classics that would span the history of the many future line-up changes of the band: `Man On The Silver Mountain (what a riff, expanded with solos on stage)', Catch the Rainbow (brilliant vocals, detail is excellent on this vinyl album), `Sixteen Century Greensleeves' and Still I'm Sad (actually I prefer the later vocal edition to this pure instrumental version)'. Also it contains one of my favourite Rainbow songs `The Temple of the King'. On this vinyl edition this is an outstanding track sonically. The vocals are so rich and detailed, the guitar sounds so clear and the bass/percussion drives the song along, absolute perfection.
In conclusion, a magnificent vinyl release which is highly recommended.