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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Rainbow

Live In Munich 1977

Review by Greg Olma

A Rainbow show from the Dio-era is always a welcome addition to any collection. There have been a couple of live albums put out, On Stage and Live in Europe, but this one is the first with the Daisley/Stone line-up. Rainbow was touring on the back of the Long Live Rock 'n' Roll album when this show was recorded. I don't know if it was the infusion of new blood or what but the band seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Ritchie Blackmore was always the moody one and you were never sure if you going to get a great show or if you would simply get a mediocre show without an encore. You don't have to worry about which show you get here because Blackmore must have been in a great mood. He plays the songs like his life depended on it. Fans of Dio will also love this live souvenir. The booklet is also informative and includes some pictures from that era.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Kill the King
It's weird not hearing the "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" intro before the start of a Rainbow show. I have heard many live shows and that has been intro to each one of them. Maybe there was a royalty issue and they left it off because of that. At any rate, this track is a scorcher. I always felt this was a better live cut than a studio tune and this version just proves me right. Live, this song has the kind of power that makes for a great opener for a concert.
Mistreated
Even though this was one of David Coverdale's signature songs, Ronnie James Dio makes it his own. Both vocalists have the pipes to sing this classic. The song starts with some improvisation from Ritchie Blackmore which was a signature style that was evident at the early Rainbow gigs.
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
Again we get a little improv from Mr. Blackmore. I like this version a little better than the one on On Stage. I think it captures Blackmore in a better mood and displays a bit more power.
Catch the Rainbow
I have never heard this track played the same way twice and this one is no exception. What made the early Rainbow shows so special was the contrast of light and dark, soft and hard, and quiet and loud. This was always the showpiece for Ronnie and Ritchie. They both shine on this version.
Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
A little bit of guitar and keyboard interplay starts this cut. It is a good version but contains that sing-along section that was popular back in the day. If you are at the show it's not that bad but recorded it does not translate as well.
Disc 2
Man On The Silver Mountain
Blackmore starts off this cut with a bit of guitar that has blues parts and country parts. They play this one much faster than the studio version and it has more power. Although it is not on the track listing, "Starstruck" (albeit an edited version) does come up in the middle.
Still I'm Sad
Dave Stone begins this tune with some church-like keyboards. Although it is a good version, it does go on a bit, clocking in at just over 25 minutes. Part of that is due to the keyboard and drum solos. When the band is playing the song, they are great but the solos break up the heavy feel that the rest of the song contains.
Do You Close Your Eyes
I always thought this was the odd song out in the early Rainbow catalogue. Many people didn't know this was the way the band ended the show because it was left off of On Stage. The reason I think it doesn't belong is because the lyrics don't have that "Dungeon and Dragons" feel that Dio is great at writing. It also is a much longer version than the studio one clocking in at almost 10 minutes.
 
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