CD Reviews

Rainbow - 'The Polydor Years' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2015    
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A beautiful box of well-loved goodies.

It's not exactly a hard sell, is it? Eight classic vinyl albums from one of Hard Rock's most revered and celebrated outfits. That's not to mention one of the best guitarists Rock has ever heard of and three cracking, acclaimed, singers (ask Van Halen or Iron Maiden how difficult that is to pull off). Oh, and don't forget a genuine, stone cold classic, genre defining album, a genuine, stone cold, classic double live opus and a string of hits Commercial Rock bands have aped and reshaped to this very day. Seriously, what's not to like here?

The band in question is of course Rainbow, the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and the singers Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. The album is 'Rising', live opus 'On Stage' and the hits include 'Since You've Been Gone', 'I Surrender', 'All Night Long' and 'Street Of Dreams'. Package it all together in a stunning box with faithfully recreated covers, gatefold and inner sleeves, pictures, lyrics and centre of the record art (I still love the eye staring back as it rotates on 'Straight Between The Eyes') and really... this is a box-set for any Hard Rocking vinyl enthusiast.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The opportunity to chart the Rainbow story from the Dio led 1970s Hard Rockers on 'Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow', 'Rising', 'On Stage' and 'Long Live Rock 'N' Roll', through the rough and tumble Bonnet rasping chart botherers, to the smooth and slick Turner-fronted Commercial Rock sensations is a welcome one. We all know 'Rising' is a Rock tour-de-force and that 'Down To Earth' saw a sudden change in style that brought mainstream radio and chart success. Yet the chance to reacquaint with the energy packed eponymous debut and slightly underrated 'Straight Between The Eyes' and 'Bent Out Of Shape', which almost, but not quite, rival the more celebrated 'Down To Earth' and 'Difficult To Cure', is a strong reminder of just how good this band always were.

If I was to have a couple of complaints, they'd be that it would have been good to have the live compilation 'Finyl Vinyl' as part of this set; the energetic live tracks from Bonnet and Turner from that album were always a highlight and that, disappointingly, the records themselves could have been packed with more care; nearly all of the nine records ('On Stage' is a double remember) were slightly scuffed and covered in fingerprints when I first removed them from their sleeves. However those points really are the only negatives.

For vinyl loving Rainbow fans, if you can afford it (after all vinyl ain't cheap these days), there really is no good reason not to treat yourself to this beautiful box of well-loved goodies.

Steven Reid

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