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Music: Rainbow

I'm a wheel, I'm a wheel, I can roll I can feel
And you can't stop me turning
'cause I'm the sun, I'm the sun, I can move I can run
But you'll never stop me burning
Come down with fire
Lift my spirit higher
Someone's screaming my name
Come and make me holy again
— "Man on the Silver Mountain"

Rainbow is, to put it shortly, the lovechild of Everything's Better with Rainbows and The Power of Rock.

Actually, it is the solo project of former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. It initially started as a quick off-shoot project of Blackmore (backed by Elf, a Five-Man Band fronted by Ronnie James Dio) because he wanted to record a cover of Quatermass song "Black Sheep of the Family". After Blackmore left Deep Purple, the band became a full-time project. During the 70's, they played Hard Rock; in the early 80's they adopted more AOR-ish sound.

Discography:

  • Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow (1975)
  • Rising (1976)
  • Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1978)
  • Down to Earth (1979)
  • Difficult to Cure (1981)
    • Jealous Lover (1981, EP)
  • Straight Between the Eyes (1982)
  • Bent Out of Shape (1983)
  • Stranger in Us All (1995)

Rainbow provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop:
    • For Straight Between the Eyes (from "Rock Fever"):
    44 calibre rock and roll
    Fever deep inside her
    Hits me straight between the eyes
    When she opens fire
    • "I see a rainbow rising" from "Stargazer" on Rising (also called Rainbow Rising because of that line and the way the title was written on the album cover).
    • Stranger in Us All gets name-dropped on the track "Black Masquerade".
  • Control Freak: Ritchie Blackmore, changing the line up whenever he felt like it. He especially seemed to dislike bassists. It also led to his legendarily adversarial relationship with Ronnie James Dio and ironically led to Dio becoming something of this himself due to his intense desire to never be controlled by anyone again.
  • Cover Version: "Black Sheep of the Family" (Quatermass), "Still I'm Sad" (Yardbirds), and "Since You Been Gone" (Russ Ballard).
    • And if you were wondering, "I Surrender" by Russ Ballard was written by him for Rainbow, so it doesn't really count as a cover since they were the first to perform it.
  • Epic Rocking: "Stargazer", "a Light in the Black" and "Rainbow Eyes".
    • Their live shows during the Dio era count as well, they'd stretch most of the songs out to over 10 minutes.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Not only the band name, but a lot of the Dio-era lyrics have rainbows in them too.
  • Five-Man Band: Only two things were consistent about the band's lineup: Ritchie Blackmore, and being a Five-Man Band.
  • Genre Shift: "If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll" on Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. For this song the album suddenly goes from Hard-Rock-slash-proto-Metal to old school Rock and Roll with Little Richard-esque piano riffs.
  • Heavy Meta: "If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll" and "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll".
  • Heavy Mithril: Rainbow is one of the earliest examples of the trope.
  • I Am the Band: Ritchie Blackmore's tendency towards this caused strife both in this band and in every other band he ever played with. Ironically enough, many people remember Rainbow for Ronnie James Dio's vocals and charismatic stage presence as much as Blackmore's guitar (Ronnie was even the only other member to stay in between the debut album and Rising).
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The title of the first album.
  • Instrumentals: "Still I'm Sad" (sometimes performed with vocals during live-concerts), "Vielleicht Das Naechste Mal (Maybe Next Time)", "Difficult to Cure", "Weiss Heim", "Anybody There?" and "Snowman".
  • Lighter and Softer: Ritchie Blackmore was hell-bent on cracking the US charts, so the band adopted a pop rock/AOR oriented sound after the three Dio-fronted albums.
  • Loony Fan: Starstruck is about one.
  • New Sound Album: Difficult to Cure introduced the more commercial AOR sound for the 80s.
  • Revolving Door Band.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: In a rare inversion, the guitar smashed the rocker on one gig. Ritchie Blackmore threw his guitar up in the air, it hit the ceiling and fell down breaking his finger.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: Difficult to Cure's title-track is an arrangement of Beethoven's Ninth.
  • Sampling: "Difficult to Cure" ends with a sample of Oliver Hardy's (of Laurel & Hardy fame) laughter.


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