Ritchie Blackmore and the Rainbow line-up of 1983 were back on the bestsellers list in America on 1 October, when their seventh album Bent Out Of Shape, produced by Roger Glover, entered the Billboard 200 chart. It made its debut fuelled by the momentum of a big US rock radio hit with the lead single ‘Street Of Dreams,’ written by Blackmore and lead singer Joe Lynn Turner.
Bent Out Of Shape had charted two weeks earlier in the UK, entering and peaking at No. 11, and became a top ten album in the band’s Scandinavian stronghold, at No. 6 in both Sweden and Norway. In the States, that 1 October chart saw the album make its first appearance at a modest No. 181 — although it’s worth noting that in those days, records rarely made high chart debuts in the US, and the top new entry on that week’s chart was Linda Ronstadt’s What’s New at No. 93. The Police ruled the roost with the Synchronicity album, and Bent Out Of Shape went on to reach No. 34, in a 21-week run.
The two UK singles from the album, ‘Street Of Dreams’ and ‘Can’t Let You Go’ (the latter backed with a live version of Rainbow’s 1980 smash ‘All Night Long’) both peaked outside the top 40. Bent Out Of Shape was at the commercial end of Ritchie Blackmore’s body of work, but as he told Stuart Grundy and John Tobler in their 1983 book The Guitar Greats, that was never his motivation. ‘”I shall remain as stubborn as I’ve always been,” said the guitarist, “and given enough time and patience, I might come out with something worthwhile somewhere along the line.
“I have the ambition of a slug, and I’m not interested in goals of any sort, and that’s why I don’t hang out in the right places and talk to the right people and do the right things, probably,” Blackmore went on. “The only way I can do certain things that appear to be right is because I feel that it’s inside me — I love playing the guitar, but I don’t like being involved in everything else that goes with the business.”
Bent Out Of Shape can be bought here.
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