This CD sounds superb,a lot better than the previous "Anthology" which i was dissapointed with because of the rather poor remastering.Its all here for you to enjoy the hits ,the great album tracks and some choice live cuts of which "All night long" live is superb.The sound quality really is excellant and certainly does not sound dated at all which i was a little worried about before i bought this CD.Its nicely presented with the different band line ups shown on the sleeve notes. A must have CD which will grace your collection and a reminder of how great rock n roll music can sound.
Most of this set is material which will be familiar and readily available to Rainbow fans, but the gems of this anthology are two tracks recorded "live" featuring Joe Lynn Turner, and one with Graham Bonnet.
The JLT era tracks were previously available on the b-side of the 12" single Can't Let You Go, and were apparently recorded live, however a distinct polish and tightness to the tracks, plus complete absence of audience noise suggests they may be from a soundcheck. Nonetheless they are superb renditions of firstly Stranded, then All Night Long, the latter a good blend of a faster and more aggressive sounding track than the Down to Earth studio version, but with the smoother vocals of JLT. Ritchie's guitar tone is especially good on these tracks.
The Graham Bonnet track is Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, from his (and Cozy's) last live outing with Rainbow at the inaugural Monsters of Rock in 1980. Just as Ritchie cranks up a rather crackly guitar and the whole band pitch in for the second verse, GB blasts into a lung tearing high E in full voice - "one louder" and higher than his trademark top D which features in many tracks from his career - quite a feat given this was the second last song of a lengthy set.
It's a pity this represents only the 4th track from that set to be officially released, and only 3 of which are out on CD (Stargazer is only available on the vinyl Monsters of Rock compilation album). Hopefully some day the whole set will become available, coupled with (we can only hope) a full version of the gig on film to compensate for the poorly edited 30 minute BBC Rock Week special which aired at the time.
This is a good selection of what Blackmore's Rainbow/Rainbow have produced over the years. Take no notice of the so called purists who 'dis' the lead vocalists who followed on from Ronnie James Dio. Dio is the epitome of rock vocalists, a great singer with every band he has been with, Black Sabbath his own band Dio, etc. His contemporaries are just as great to listen to, excellent vocalists in their own right. The so called ' commercialized tracks, such as, I Surrender, Since you been gone, are great records and in no way detracts from the type of Classic rock they play. If you like any of the aforementioned bands and/or Deep Purple then you will know what a Masterful Guitarist Mr Blackmore can be. If you like rock music but haven't listened to any of these bands then get in there & try one, i'm sure you will not find them disappointing. No one rarely ever buys an album and loves every track, but there are none on this album I wouldn't listen to over and over again.
This is a tale of 3 Rainbows, covering a musical spectrum to suit most rock fans tastes. The genius of Ritchie Blackmore shines throughout, having been frustrated in the funkadelic dying embers of Deep Purple, he really lets his creative juices flow from start to finish. And nowhere better will you find the domineering power of Cozy Powell behind the sticks. The first CD covers my favourite period (5/5), the Ronnie James Dio era. This era covers Rainbow's best work, it really doesn't get much better than this for a heavy rock fan. Dio's voice is strong, powerful yet warm and mellow, illustrated best on Temple of the King. Stargazer, taken from one of classic rock's all time killer albums shines like a diamond, and Blackmore's eastern influenced guitar riff's are exemplified on Gates of Babylon. My only moan is the inclusion of the live material. One of my all time favourites is Catch the Rainbow, but here we are given an inferior live version from that on Rainbow's first album. The second CD covers the more commercial side to Rainbow, with singers Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. This is the Rainbow most people will recognise, displaying their lighter colours. Bonnet lets rip with Eyes of the World and Lost in Hollywood, but its Since You've been Gone which poptastically gave Rainbow a top 10 too many years ago to mention. Makin' Love should be here but is overlooked. Turner's era is less impressive but still has some noteworthy songs, especially Blackmore's version of the Snowman, which should keep the kids interested. Again, Rainbow scored a chart success with I Surrender, but their lesser known and better single Can't Happen Here is not included. Record companies, please pack in the live stuff on these compilations, unless it's Frampton or UFO! If you want a good overview of Rainbow's talents, then this should suffice without buying the whole catalogue. Long live rock'n'roll - oh no, it can't happen here!
I debated as to whether I should give this five stars or not. The reason for that is that Disc One is but Disc Two sadly is not. Rainbow after Ronnie James Dio was just not Rainbow. Yes they were great live, but their new material wasn't. The only track from Disc Two worth mentioning is Eyes of the World which does have that trademark Rainbow style of the Dio period. The leaving of Ronnie James Dio was definitely Rainbow's loss, but Black Sabbath's gain.
The great Rainbow tracks are all here on Disc One - Man on the Silver Mountain, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Kill the King, A Light in the Black and the monumental Stargazer, surely one of the greatest rock tracks ever.
In the end I have given the album, based on Disc One, five stars as a mark of respect for Ronnie James Dio - sadly gone, but will never be forgotten.
This comprehensive compiliation, including Live tracks, arrived promptly, and was superb value. It captures the quintessence of Rainbow over the course of 28 tracks, and is a must for any rock fan of the mid seventies-mid eighties period.