Review Summary: I SURRENDER! I SURRENDER! (TO THE 80's)
Blackmore’s increasingly poppy direction with Rainbow did have its effects on the band’s most loyal and valuable members. After Dio left following the announcement that Blackmore was going to go for a commercial take on the music, it was now power drummer Cozy Powell who was fed up with things. Taking his leave, he has since provided percussion for a great many famous names, such as Michael Schenker
and Black Sabbath
, until his death in 1998. But Blackmore kept true to his habits, and yet another member was fired. Because of his heroin addiction and drunken performances, Bonnet was a goner. The drummer and vocalist were replaced by Americans Joe Lynn Turner (later to sing for Yngwie Malmsteen
and Deep Purple
) and Bobby Rondinelli (who later continued in Blue Öyster Cult
, Quiet Riot
and Black Sabbath
), respectively. What followed over a year later was Rainbow’s first release in the 80’s, Difficult to Cure
. Ironically, now four out of the five musicians (all but Rondinelli) on the album would have played for Deep Purple at some point in their careers.
Compared to Bonnet’s cocky performance, Turner’s differs greatly. He is more restrained, but has a rather generic voice, meaning many other 80’s rock vocalists could have filled his shoes on Rainbow’s fifth without making much of a difference. That said, his effectively dramatic performances on I Surrender
(a quite recognizable tune, especially the chorus) and Spotlight Kid
carry the songs forward nicely, as do Blackmore’s skills on the guitar, which had far from waned in ’81. He even does a satisfying enough 3-minute instrumental in the exact middle of the album, the German-titled Vielleicht das Nachste Mal
(which means Maybe Next Time
, for the language noobs among us).
However, as nice as some fine tunes on Difficult to Cure
may be, it suffers greatly from a common 80’s disease: the cheese. Where Down to Earth
was so damn ‘I wanna make luuuuv to you’ cheesy it became funny, it’s follow-up takes things too seriously. With songs like No Release
(‘cos it’s magic!/ can’t you see that it’s that you’ll find/ you know it’s magic!/I know who you are ‘cos there’s magic in you!’), it becomes rather hard not to wonder where on earth Blackmore & the boys are going.
The remainder of the album finds itself scrambled in another few generic-but-decent hard rock tracks (Can’t Happen Here
, Freedom Fighter
, Midtown Tunnel Vision
) and a rather odd cover of Beethoven’s Ninth
(well, part of it) in the closing title track, which just doesn’t make any sense, and is more a blasphemy on the composer’s final symphony than anything else. It leaves the listener of the album in a confused state. Difficult to Cure
is simply too messed up to work, and while it may have some catchy and even convincing tunes, the virtuoso couldn’t save his next album from being average another time.
Difficult to Cure’s Rainbow was:
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Joseph Arthur Mark ‘Joe Lynn Turner’ Linquito ~ Vocals
- Roger David Glover ~ Bass Guitar
- Bobby Rondinelli ~ Drums
- Donald Airey ~ Keyboards