‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Album: Long Live Rainbow In UK Top Ten
In the spring of 1978, Ritchie Blackmore’s band scored their highest-debuting UK album to date.
Ritchie Blackmore was three years and three albums into his new band, Rainbow, when the charts of May 6, 1978 brought news on both sides of the Atlantic. After two previous studio releases and a live set, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll became their highest-debuting album to date when it hit the UK survey at No.7.
The 1975 debut Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and the 1976 follow-up Rainbow Rising both unluckily missed the Top 10, each peaking at No.11. 1977’s On Stage became the group’s first UK top tenner when it reached No.7, but that was in its second chart week. The new release wasted no such time, going straight to its No.7 peak.
That chart was notable for other reasons, too. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack album, in its ninth week on the countdown, rose to No.1 for the first of what would be a remarkable 18-week run that stretched from May all through the summer into early September. It was also the week that Jethro Tull’s Heavy Horses and Steve Hillage’s Green Virgin broke into the Top 40, while Steve Hackett entered with Please Don’t Touch.
Ronnie James Dio’s swansong
The new Rainbow album, which marked vocalist Ronnie James Dio’s swansong with the band, had been previewed by the release of the title track as a single. It made the UK Top 40, but only at No.33, and the follow-up “LA Connection” (released on red vinyl) performed similarly, at No.40. The song “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” would live on in later years as part of the memorable opening jingle montage used by the great Australian-born DJ Alan “Fluff” Freeman, in his rock radio shows for the BBC and elsewhere.
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May 6 was also the date that the Rainbow album made its chart debut in America, but there it had to be content with a No.89 peak. The band spent much of 1978 on the road, much of it in North America. The next line-up of Rainbow would soon be making their pop chart breakthrough with “Since You’ve Been Gone.”
Buy or stream Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll.
May 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm
I love this album. So many more people should discover it.
May 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm
I Purchased This Great LP When It Was Released, Ronnie James Dio Rest In Peace.
November 8, 2015 at 1:41 am
I was Jethro Tull and Rainbow in Hartford Ct I think it was 1981 , awesome – wasn’t John Lord busting the keyboards that night?
December 11, 2015 at 4:12 am
I do believe there is no record of Lord ever playing keys for any Rainbow line-up, either on tour and definitely not on albums.
December 8, 2015 at 6:58 pm
Please Don’t Touch was Steve Hackett’s second solo record. Voyage of the Acolyte was his debut.
January 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm
Jon Lord never played for rainbow
Green and Black Music
April 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Amazing album at the heart of a great rock and roll mystery.
April 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm
I listen to this album often. Gates of Babylon and Kill the King are my favorites on it. I’m lucky to still have floorboards on my car due to Cozy Powell’s thunderous bass drumming which I can’t help stomping along to.
July 30, 2016 at 11:02 pm
Amazing album.. Kill the king&lady of the lake, gates of babylon really stand out on this one.. R. I. P. Ronnie.. Gone but not 4gotten..
September 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm
On a “Sitting in a bar in Adelaide” podcast episode Bob Daisley said that David Stone wrote the intro and middle part of “Gates of Babylon” and that Blackmore/Dio paid him off for it without any credit. Great song.
September 26, 2016 at 2:46 am
Till today for so so many years, I still consider ‘kill the king’ my personal best hard song song!!! RB my most fav guitarist, Dio fav vocalist and great Cozy my fav Drummer!!!!!! Majestic!!!!!