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 againRainbow 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 band fronted by Ronnie James Dio) because he wanted to record a cover of the Quatermass song "Black Sheep of the Family". After Blackmore left Deep Purple, the band became a full-time project. During the '70s, they played Hard Rock; in the early '80s they adopted more AOR-ish sound, briefly involving Graham Bonnett on vocals replacing Dio, before leaving Rainbow to form Alcatrazz. Bonnett would then be replaced by Joe Lynn Turner of Fandango fame.Not to be confused with the K-Pop group of the same name.
— "Man on the Silver Mountain"
- 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:
44 calibre rock and rollFever deep inside herHits me straight between the eyesWhen she opens fire
- For Straight Between the Eyes (from "Rock Fever"):
- "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".
- Arena Rock: Mostly from Difficult to Cure onwards, though Down to Earth touched on it too.
- Control Freak: Ritchie Blackmore, changing the line up whenever he felt like it. He especially seemed to dislike bassists and keyboardists. 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" (The 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.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Of a sort. Current keyboardist for Deep Purple Don Airey was a member of this band prior to joining Purple. There was a bit of personnel overlap (namely with Roger Glover) and even song overlap (Rainbow sometimes would play Lazy onstage, which Purple does currently).
- Epic Rocking: "Stargazer", "A Light in the Black" and "Rainbow Eyes" are all over seven minutes long.
- Their live shows during the Dio era count as well, they'd stretch most of the songs out to over 10 minutes.
- Five-Man Band: their most recent lineup, at least
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Not only the band name, but a lot of the Dio-era lyrics have rainbows in them too.
- 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 / 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: Dio-era 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".
- Lead Bassist: Roger Glover. Ritchie Blackmore brought in his old Deep Purple bandmate to help write songs after Dio's departure and Ritchie's desire to conquer America (the three Dio-era albums sold poorly there despite tremendous critical acclaim). Glover would be the longest-tenured bandmember next to Blackmore himself, as well as writing and producing.
- 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.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their first album had a lot of 5's and 6's plus a few in the 3-4 range. Rising and Long Live Rock 'N' Roll are mostly in the 6-7 range with some stuff that goes down a few notches. Down to Earth is, again, mostly 5-6. The stuff from Difficult to Cure onwards is mostly in the 4-5 range with the odd jump up or down a notch.
- New Sound Album: Difficult to Cure introduced the more commercial AOR sound for the '80s.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Every bassist NOT named Roger Glover.
- Power Metal: Along with Queen, Uriah Heep and Thor they're one of the Ur Examples.
- Revolving Door Band
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: Difficult to Cure's title-track is an arrangement of Beethoven's Ninth.
- 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.
- Sampling: "Difficult to Cure" ends with a sample of Oliver Hardy's (of Laurel and Hardy fame) laughter.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Catch the Rainbow" and "Rainbow Eyes". The latter even has Dio singing in a soft croon as opposed to his usual aggressive vocal style.
- Ur-Example: Much like Dio's later solo work, Rising and Long Live Rock 'n' Roll are sometimes considered to be this for Power Metal, specifically the song "Stargazer" on the former record.