Chart rules can be strange things. Way back when there were inexplicable occasions when albums were listed on the British singles chart. EPs, extended play releases, had their own chart in Britain between 1959 and 1967. But in America, chart methodology has sometimes meant that EPs land on the album survey, and that’s what happened to Rainbow in 1981.
After five album chart entries in the second half of the 1970s, Ritchie Blackmore’s band returned to the Billboard 200 in March of 1981 with the Difficult To Cure release, which outdid its three predecessors by climbing as high as No. 50.
But towards the end of that year, a new release took Rainbow back into the charts and onto rock radio. The Jealous Lover EP was a four-track release on which the B-side consisted of two tracks from Difficult To Cure: ‘I Surrender’ (the band’s biggest-ever UK hit single, reaching No. 3 in the early part of 1981) and the No. 20 follow-up ‘Can’t Happen Here.’
The A-side, however, offered the band’s American fans two songs that had not been available in the States. The lead track ‘Jealous Lover,’ written by lead singer Joe Lynn Turner and Blackmore, had been the UK flip side of ‘Can’t Happen Here,’ while Ritchie’s ‘Weiss Heim’ had been on the other side of 1980’s ‘I Surrender’ hit in Britain. In Jerry Bloom’s 2006 biography of Blackmore, Black Knight, Turner says that he called upon a recent argument he’d had with a girlfriend, to write the lyrics of ‘Jealous Lover’ in 15 minutes flat.
‘Jealous Lover’ made some noise on American rock radio, reaching No. 13 on Billboard’s Rock Tracks chart. The EP made the album chart on 14 November 1981 and reached No. 147, in a four-week run. It’s a particularly collectable item among Rainbow fans because it never came out on CD, although all of the EP tracks are available elsewhere within the band’s body of work.
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