Bent Out of Shape

very poor


by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
December 24th, 2009 | 16 replies | 8,191 views

Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's as bad as the cover art.

5 of 7 thought this review was well written

Since the 80’s had commenced, the quality of Rainbow’s material had become questionable. The band enjoyed a streak of excellent albums in its earlier years with Ronnie James Dio, and successfully continued in a more commercial direction for a short while, before falling into demise, starting with their fifth album Difficult to Cure. For the remainder of the 80’s they sank into even more generic, cheesy hard rock with every follow-up release. Their last album of this decade, Bent Out of Shape, is the absolute low point.

Before that album was all released, Blackmore replaced the drummer position by bringing in Chuck Burgi, but it hardly makes a difference in the sound the band had on Straight Between the Eyes. His predecessor Bobby Rondinelli was hardly noticeable, and Burgi is not much of an improvement. Ever since Down to Earth, Rainbow had been all guitar and vocals, leaving the rhythm section in the dust. The only interesting feature about Bent Out of Shape may be that it is the first album since Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll that let the keyboardist flex his chops, because Rosenthal has quite a presence on most tracks. Undoubtedly, Blackmore decided to do this to add a sense of drama to the album. In the end, it only works the other way around, with cheesy, symphonic keyboard parts spread all over the place creating an annoyance.

And it really is a shame for Turner, because the man is really trying hard in the vocal department, far more so than on the band’s previous release, but with the awful lyrics he writes, it seems like a wasted effort. None of the songs on Bent Out of Shape can be held in the same regard as the I Surrenders, Death Alley Drivers and Stone Colds of the Turner-led 80’s, and there is a general lack of hooks, both vocally and instrumentally. Cheese and unoriginality had taken over Rainbow, and it was as their fifth album predicted: the 80’s cheese disease was indeed difficult to cure. For the decade, the band had indeed been bent completely bent out of shape (pardon the awful puns).

There are two forgiving track that save the record from a full-on 1.0, and those are the actually rocking Drinking With the Devil and Make Your Move, displaying true classic hard rock with Blackmore’s aggressive leads and Turner’s frenzied performance. They arrive way too late, only appearing towards the end, but show that the guitarist had not completely abandoned his roots. At the same time, they also feels a bit out of place in the sea of cheesy dramatics that is the rest of Bent Out of Shape. You could argue that Street of Dreams, also only appearing towards the end, wraps the album’s general formula in an attractive package, but the song is far from excellent.

Even more so than their previous albums in the 80’s, Bent Out of Shape is severely lacking what is the basic ingredient of any record: great songs. All that needs to be said about Rainbow’s second has already been said: it plainly sucks, with the exception of a few notable tracks. After Bent Out of Shape, Blackmore would dissolve the band, in order to reunite with Deep Purple, which yielded initial success but also quickly fell into demise. In the 90’s, the guitarist would grab together a completely new Rainbow for one final stand.

Bent Out of Shape’s Rainbow was:
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Joseph Arthur Mark ‘Joe Lynn Turner’ Linquito ~ Vocals
- Roger David Glover ~ Bass Guitar
- Chuck Burgi ~ Drums
- David Rosenthal ~ Keyboards

Essential listening:

Drinking With the Devil

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user ratings (79)

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 24th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

Glad I'm through with that 80's Rainbow. The worst of the lot, this one.

December 24th 2009


what are you talking about that beautiful woman juxtaposed against her lonely, desolate and abandoned doorway, a representation of how even the simplest things are so crucial, but can be made important with some

god i can't even finish it that cover is SO FUCKING BAD

December 24th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

I'm really not missing much by not listening to this then, eh?

December 24th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

Not really. 80's Rainbow was pretty poor.

December 24th 2009


Poor Blackmore... (:

December 24th 2009


Wow these just get worse and worse.

December 24th 2009


Great work, it's terrible what the 80's did to a lot of bands.

December 24th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

I gave it a 2. First Rainbow album I ever bought (cringe), and certainly lousy. I liked Stranded, though, and the two you mention, and Street of Dreams is an okay AOR-style song. Blackmore was obviously going for the record-label sellout on this record. As for the lyrics, what's worse, singing about women or singing about elves and fairies? Either are fine by me.

December 24th 2009


No love, no love for Rainbow... But yeah, this sucks.

January 7th 2010


i bought this today on vinyl for 50 cents... never listened to any 80's rainbow besides straight between the eyes,which i think is a pretty good record...
havent listened to this yet but my hopes were not too high from the beginning...

but what the hell im closer to completing my rainbow collection right?

March 6th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

I think this is the best of the JLT albums - the songs I think are better than I expected. But, well, so what... Rainbow was the Dio years; the rest is a band called rainbow that shoulda been called something else.

September 27th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

Album overall is a small 2.5 rating album.

But Snowman is a fantastic emotional instrumental and Can't Let You Go is a very good rocker and with a great organ intro. These two songs makes this a big 3 rated album.

November 1st 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

SO what if its commercial, i like this album..a lot..if you look at what's out there 2day and the last 10 years, this album is a masterpiece! Ok, yeah there's Linkin Park, Foo's and Collective whatever, but hey there on the radio, simplistically if its on the radio it must be pretty good right? I like "Snowman", "Street Of Dreams", and "Can't Let You Go" the best!

April 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

Snowman is beautiful and Street of dreams is an AOR masterpiece

Digging: Todd Terje - It's Album Time

May 15th 2013


I guess album titles can be taken literally in this case.

Digging: Radiohead - Hail to the Thief

April 17th 2014


The 2 tracks you highlight are among the weakest (imo). There are still good moments and more importantly excellent solos in this. No record by Blackmore and Turner can go below average, for obvious reasons. Unless they change to Blackmore's Night or so (which is another topic)...

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