Few rock bands can remain credible and make the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic – one of a handful is Rainbow. The band was formed in 1975 by former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore; before that, for serious musical history buffs, Blackmore was in the Outlaws, played on Heinz’s top ten hit, ‘Just Like Eddie’ and worked with the legendary Screaming Lord Sutch.
This box set of 19 CDs in replica sleeves includes all of Rainbow’s single releases, starting out with ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ and the follow up, ‘The Temple of the King’ from their debut album. Neither of these singles, featuring Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals made the charts in America or the UK but they laid down markers for what was to come. Unusually it was a live ‘maxi’ single that included ‘Kill The King’ and ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ that gave Rainbow their first chart success when it made the Top 50 in the UK in 1977.
The popularity of the band’s live single was none too surprising given the strength of their concert performances and the following they had built up through consistent touring. Their next single was ‘Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘ taken from the album of the same name, and it too made the charts; as did ‘LA Connection’ from the same album.
It was their 1979 album, Down to Earth that was a commercial breakthrough on every level. It made No.6 in the UK, went top 10 in Germany and Switzerland and got to No.66 on the US album charts. It also included the first of the band’s top 10 UK singles hits, ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and the follow-up, ‘All Night Long’ that made No.5 in Britain’ the former single also became the band’s debut on the Hot 100 where it reached No.57. The stellar line up for their Down To Earth album featured Graham Bonnet on vocals, Don Airey on keyboards (he has been in Deep Purple since 2002) and Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover, along with drummer Cozy Powell.
Rainbow’s biggest success came in 1981 with the single, ‘I Surrender’ that made No.3 in the UK; taken from the album Difficult to Cure the band now featured Joe Lynn Turner on vocals and Bobby Rondinelli on drums. Roll on to 1982 and the single ‘Stone Cold’ that proved to be their most successful in the US when it made No.40 on the Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Rock Mainstream chart.
This really is a best of Rainbow and the beautifully packaged box set features a 32 page booklet with extensive sleeve notes, and most important of all, the original mixes of all the singles.