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4.7 out of 5 stars
164
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2017
The first three Rainbow albums with Ronnie James Dio on vocals are definitely real classics and the best ever. They all have something unique to offer. I particularly love Tarot Woman. Like the first album and Rock' n Roll, if it's a good rocky raunchy sound that you like then this is an album that you should add to your collection.
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on 16 April 2017
One of the classic rock albums of all time, Blackmore at his absolute best, I was lucky enough to see Rainbow live in 1980-1 on the Difficult to Cure tour , not the seminal line up as on Rising but not the load of session mucisians on the so called "Rainbow" tour of 2017 .
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on 18 March 2017
Classic album, bought it years ago on cassette, about time I upgraded.
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on 27 April 2017
The gods of metal awesome album by an awesome band.
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on 6 October 2016
Classic Dio, magical metal at its best.
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on 17 April 2017
Absolute classic album, haven't played vinyl copy for years. Fantastic cd played at high volume!
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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!
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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,

So said my review of the original disc,nothing here changes that,so what would make you re buy this disc?

Disc 1 Sound quality,not as loud as my original cd,thankfully it doesnt appear to have succumbed to the loudness wars,its actually quieter than the original cd,thats what the volume knob is for,turn it up and compare the mixes - the new york mix sounds pretty much the same,no startling differences,however the L.A mix,which i wasnt aware of , is clearer with more bottom end,bass more audible,keyboards clearer and a hint of Dio's voice higher in the mix,the most obvious difference being the slightly longer keyboard intro to 'Tarot Woman',of the two the L.A mix is the best,worth the purchase price on its own.

Disc 2 unlikely you will listen on a regular basis but its worth hearing the rough,early takes before the producers fairy dust took over,best bit being the keyboard intro to 'Stargazer.The bootleg quality of the rehearsal take of 'Stargazer' would have been better left in the bin.

Packaging: adequate at best,similar to the recent Sabbath deluxe editons,functional no more.

Essentially 3 versions of one of the best albums of the 70's,so its worth buying particularly if the L.A mix is new to you.
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on 2 April 2017
Possibly Ritchie Blackmore's best work since he left Purple, Rising , Rainbow's second Album carries on where the others left off, and puts them firmly on the map,. For a lot of people, any ,mention of either "Rainbow" or "Rainbow Rising" is automatically associated with "Stargazer", Which is a bit unfair, because brilliant thought that song is, (and it's quite an epic) the whole album is just as good. Starting off with the mysterious sounding Tarot Woman, it starts off slowly and then starts to gain momentum setting the scene very nicely for the next track Run With The Wolves,, The next track Run With The Wolves, keeps up that pace . The next track, Starstruck Has gone on to become one of the Late Ronnie Jame Dio's "Signature" songs, as it was one which he always included in his set long after he'd left the band and become a solo artist. Side one closes with Do you Close Your Eyes, which has come in for a lot of criticism from some people as being the worst track on the album, I don't agree at all, it stands up just as well as the other tracks and is a decent track.

On to Side 2 ,and the Previously mentioned Stargazer, which, as far as certain people are concerned, is the only track Rainbow ever recorded. Instantly recognisable from it's intro, thanks to some really excellent drumming by Cozy Powell before Ronnie's powerful vocals take over,, pausing halfway through for a Brilliant Ritchie Blackmore solo, giving him a chance to show why he's he's so hihglyy rated as a guitarist. Ont o the final track of the album, A Light in The Black,, quite often overlooked by many people, who probably just think it was something the band recorded in order to put another track on the Album. But take the time to listen to it, and I think you'll agree that while it may not actually top the previous track,, it certainly gives it a hell of a run for its money, for me, this is the standout track of the whole album.

Sadly, this was the final album that this line up would record together, as, due to Ritchie's never ending revolving door policy, Ronnie James Dio left and would later replace Ozzy Ozborne in Black Sabbath before reuniting with Jimmy Bain as part of his Solo Band Dio
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on 20 November 2015
The 1999 remaster suffers from vast amounts of digital distortion, particularly in "Tarot Woman" and "Do you close your eyes". Shame.
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