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Rainbow - 'Anthology 1975 - 1984' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0f/7a/8b/145_RainbowAnthology_1267026976.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 24, 2010    
 
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Double CD retrospective of the legendary rock band.

 

It was only when I looked on Rainbow’s Wikipedia page before reviewing this 2 CD compilation that I realised just how many line-up changes the band had in it’s lifetime, and that’s just in the years this retrospective covers, not counting the mid-90’s line-up with Doogie White et al. With Ritchie Blackmore being the only constant in their career I guess most people would associate different eras with the singer who sang the songs, with disc one covering the Dio years (‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’, ‘Rising’, On Stage’ and Long Live Rock’n’Roll’) and disc two covering the Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner eras (‘Down To Earth’, ‘Difficult To Cure’, ‘Straight Between The Eyes’, ‘Bent Out Of Shape’ and ‘Final Vinyl’).

Personally I found the debut album very patchy with only ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ really standing the test of time, but you can’t really argue with ‘Tarot Woman’, ‘Stargazer’ and ‘A Light In The Black’ from ‘Rising’ – a true masterclass in dynamics and virtuosity with everyone, particularly keyboard player Tony Carey and drummer Cozy Powell, stepping up to the plate. As much as I like it, the lengthy live version of ‘Catch The Rainbow’ rather breaks the flow (unlike the awesome ‘Kill The King’) and I’m a bit non-plussed by the absence of ‘Long Live Rock’n’Roll’ rather than either ‘Lady Of The Lake’ or ‘L.A. Connection’ from the album of the same name, alongside the essential ‘Gates Of Babylon’.

I’m afraid I find the second disc significantly less interesting, although at least you get something previously unreleased in a live version of the old chestnut ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ alongside single b-sides ‘Weiss Heim’ and ‘Jealous Lover’. You get all the singles: ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, ‘I Surrender’, ‘Stone Cold’, Street Of Dreams’ and a live version of ‘All Night Long’, and some great upbeat tracks like ‘Lost In Hollywood’ and ‘Death Alley Driver’. There are a handful of under-rated album tracks like ‘Eyes Of The World’, ‘Eyes Of Fire’ and ‘Can’t Let You Go’, but for me ‘Spotlight Kid’ is a glaring omission and I’m pretty much against mixing studio and live tracks on a compilation.

The quality of Rainbow’s back catalogue pretty much eliminates the possibility of putting out a really substandard anthology, but as good as this double CD is, I still feel it could have been a little bit better.

Phil Ashcroft

 

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