Rainbow – Down To Earth (1979) – Review

RockmusicRaider Review - Rainbow - Down To Earth - Album CoverBlasphemy, oh sweet blasphemy. After Rainbow‘s resounding successes Rising and Long Live Rock’n’Roll, the master decided to take a different route. Down to Earth took a much more commercial tack that sent the mainstream haters into flight mode. In other words, Dio defected and landed in the bosom of Black Sabbath as a first step. One huge ego thrust into another bunch of huge egos, wow. But – quite predictably –  not for long, ’cause he then got out of dodge relatively quickly to settle in his own gig. So, things were pretty simple back then. Right?

Well, not quite. The album should actually have a blood-red color, so sanguine were the ‘killings’ amongst the band. Ritchie Blackmore already got rid of Jimmy Bain (RiP) in 1977, kind of right after Rising finished touring. I read some rather snotty remarks from Mr. Blackmore about Bain not cutting it and whatnot. Well, he hired him in the first place, so I don’t quite get it. Also some words undermining his and other musicians’ work, just because he can. This kind of talk still gets my blood boiling after so many years. Blackmore sounded like an early version of present-day Trump. Not quite coherent and shooting off at the mouth for no good reason. And – besides – Bain went on to feature on many of Dio‘s future albums, so the quality of his bass work was probably pretty decent. 

The replacement bass player Bob Daisley and David Stone (keyboards) were already on their parting legs shortly after Dio‘s demise. Blackmore then hired Roger Glover (ex Deep Purple at that time) as producer and impromptu bass player. Glover lasted until 1984 with the band and then joined Deep Purple again once this band reformed. So, the whole of Rainbow‘s history is intimately connected to Blackmore‘s alma mater, like it or not.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Rainbow – Rising (1976) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Rainbow - Rising - Album CoverIt is funny how hindsight vision 20/20 is clear and precise. Back in time Rainbow and their second full length record Rising did – at first – not garner a lot of heightened attention. It really did not – apart from a tight circle of rock nerds perhaps. The sound was good, damn straight, but not stellar. ‘Yet Another Decent Hard Rock Record’ as we would say today.

It is also true that Rainbow was ever present and blasting out of a multitude of loudspeakers. But so was Status Quo and many others. Yet still, Rising kind of had the nerve to stick itself to your neurons. And somehow followed you around big time until you gave in and got a copy. So, how come that we have this contradiction in terms? A slow start to what turned out to be a jewel in the history of rock in the eyes of many? [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Dio – Holy Diver (1983) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Dio - Holy Diver - Album CoverWhen – in 1982 – Ronnie James Dio defected from Black Sabbath and got his own band in a tearing hurry, we were all kind of scratching our heads. Not knowing where this was all going to end. Of course also counting the fact that Vinnie Appice took off with him on this flight from the witches. The vapors surrounding their somewhat abrupt departure were pregnant with disconsolate news. About infights at Black Sabbath, all about power and who should be calling the shots. And am I not surprised: The alpha-males assembled were probably incapable to let go and work together. All severely opiniated to a point, I can only imagine how these fights got underway and were somewhat impossible to resolve. So, once the chicken came to roost, it is only logical that Dio had to leave – or else.

But there was more. True shenanigans!

The main reason hinted back in time were rumors about mixing and remixing schemes of pre-produced tracks, the unauthorized kind in cloak-and-dagger actions during foggy nights. Of course, one party accused and the other denied, what have you. So, by and large it was an unhappy departure. This is all a long time past and water well under the bridge as we say. And whatever it was, we ended up with a new stellar player in the metal universe. Very interestingly, the new band Dio emerged this same year and – lo and behold – their first album Holy Diver appeared shortly thereafter in 1983. Quite a feat following such a hasty departure.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!