‘Straight Between The Eyes’: A Stone Cold Success For Rainbow

The powerhouse rock outfit’s new set was bolstered by the rock radio hit ‘Stone Cold.’

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Rainbow 'Straight Between The Eyes' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Rainbow 'Straight Between The Eyes' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

Ritchie Blackmore and his Rainbow bandmates had already made the UK Top 10 with their sixth studio album Straight Between The Eyes when it took its bow on the Billboard 200 on May 8, 1982. Bolstered by a track that didn’t become a big pop hit but was a rock radio smash, the LP became the best performer in the group’s US chart history.

The song in question was the brooding “Stone Cold,” which reached No.34 on the UK singles chart, and No.40 on the Hot 100. But it was a major rock radio hit, going all the way to No.1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. It replaced Scorpions’ “No One Like You” at the top of that survey. Written by Blackmore, Joe Lynn Turner, and Roger Glover, the song would have a different sort of radio endorsement of the virtual kind many years later, when it was featured in the Grand Theft Auto video game Vice City Stories.

The album came during a stable period in Rainbow’s personnel history. The only change to the Difficult To Cure line-up of the year before was the arrival of David Rosenthal on keyboards to replace Don Airey, the man who these days fills that role for Deep Purple. Turner continued as lead vocalist, while Blackmore’s once and future Purple colleague Glover carried on his linchpin role as bassist, producer and co-writer.

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Straight Between The Eyes, recorded in Canada, at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, entered the US album chart at No.94. It reached No.30, matching the performance of their debut release Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow in 1975. But it outstripped it for longevity, with 23 weeks on the chart compared to 15. The band toured the album around the world, although the UK was excluded from the itinerary.

Buy or stream Straight Between The Eyes.




  1. Nancy zacco

    March 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Rainbow has always been an awesome band, great songs n great musicians, Ronnie R.I.P. has always been great, with rainbow,, n with Sabbath, Heaven n Hell is one real awesome album, m9b Rules would have been such a better album had the great Mr. Bill Ward was on the album, one or two album put out by rainbow were not that good at all between the eyes n the eyes of the world song i can not recall the name of that album, that is about it all other were, N.B.L. NANCY N GLEN †♥♪

  2. bibidu50

    May 9, 2016 at 7:58 pm


  3. Paul

    January 8, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    The album was Down to Earth. Just thought I’d let you know.

  4. T. Bone

    May 28, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    I remember when I first heard “Stone Cold” on the radio as my brother and I were working in the garage. “What the heck is this?” I asked. “A slow song?”. I was used to songs like “Stargazer” and “Man on the Silver Mountain.”

    But I was wrong. My brother told me not to be so quick to judge. In time, the song became better and better, and today, the full extent of that era of Rainbow–undeniabky the most successful–can be appreciated. In addition, the guitar solo in “Stone Cold” remains a stunning piece of work.

    About a year later, Rainbow would do it again with “Street of Dreams” from the Bent Out of Shape album, showing that Rainbow could pump out a hit in demand.

    It ended when Deep Purple reformed…but that is another story.

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