Rainbow
Rising


4.5
superb

Review

by temporary USER (14 Reviews)
March 30th, 2006 | 112 replies | 27,174 views


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist


9 of 10 thought this review was well written

One of the most Underappreciated hard rock outfits ever, Rainbow were, in their heyday, one of the most talented and interesting bands of the '70s. Though its impossible to not compare them with Deep Purple (due to their guitarist's credentials,) and though they share many similarities with the groundbreaking band, they are an entity of their own.

When guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore departed Deep Purple in 1974, he met a then unheard of singer by the name of Ronnie James Dio. The two would form Rainbow soon after, then consisting of the two men and bandmates from Dio's band Elf. Their debut, while fairly inconsistent, did sport some incredibly promising songs such as the anthem Man on the Silver Mountain and the beautifully dreamy ballad Catch the Rainbow. But immediately after the albums release, Dio and Blackmore fired their lineup, replacing it with a much more talented one.

Consisting of Dio on vocals, Blackmore on guitar, Jimmy Bain on bass, Tony Carey on keyboards, and Cozy Powell on drums, this lineup is certain to raise more than a few eyebrows. Jimmy Bain would appear on Dio's massively successful solo debut Holy Diver, as well as many other of the singers albums. Tony Carey would go on to some moderate solo success, and Cozy Powell (previously of the Jeff Beck group) is hailed as one of the greatest hard rock drummers of all time, and would go on to record with numerous artists.

The album itself is by far Rainbow's best. Its balanced between direct rockers (Run With the Wolf, Starstruck, Do You Close Your Eyes) and longer, more progressive tinged pieces (Tarot Woman, Stargazer, A Light in the Black,) all of which fair well. Every member shines equally on here. Dio's trademark growls and wails (as well as sometimes cheesy, sometimes mystical lyrics) are present even at the start of the singer's career. Blackmore's classic stratocaster tones tare through massive solos and riffs. Bain is always audible, and plays some pretty catchy basslines. Carey draws upon a bevy of synth's to provide a partner to Blackmore, and Powell's drumming is nothing short of fantastic.

A good one and a half minutes of spacey synthesizer introducing the listener to the album, before Blackmores strident riffs rip into Tarot Woman. Dio's vocals are his usual powerful best, and his catchy chorus of " Beware of a place/A smile on her bright shining face/I'll never return, how do you know/Tarot woman/I don't know, I don't know" sets the tone for Rainbow's signature sound, and will be stuck in your head for weeks. Blackmore's solo is quite effective to boot.

Tarot Woman gives way to the bluesy groove of Run With the Wolf. With memorable guitar licks and bass lines, combined with rhythmic organ, steady drumming and a signature Dio chorus, the quality of the album can't be denied.

The same groove is carried over to Starstruck, which openings with one of Blackmore's most catchy riffs. This is easily the most Deep Purple-ish of the tracks on here, with organ and vocals that could have come compliments of Jon Lord and Ian Gillan respectively.

With a massive riff, and hugely strong vocals Do You Close Your Eyes is also the shortest and most direct of the songs on Rising. It rocks with a powerful groove. But its the next track, Stargazer that really shows off Rainbow's potential. With a hugely technical and hectic drum intro, tasteful synth arrangements, Dio's huge vocals, and a wonderful guitar solo this track clock in at a full eight and a half minutes, the longest on the album. Its easily one of the best tracks Rainbow has pulled off, an mini masterpiece in itself.

The albums finale, another eight minuter, A Light In the Black is just as powerful as Stargazer. Blackmore's unforgettable intro riff and Bain's great bass lines set the tone for Dio's vocals, and some truly amazing synth and guitar soloing. By the time the song has run its course, its certainly made more than a minor impression.

Rising is a startling brief record, however, clocking in at about thirty three minutes in length, but this is an easily forgivable flaw. While Tarot Woman, Stargazer, and A Light in the Black are easily my favorites on here, all the songs are great. Unfortunately, Rainbow's next record, while certainly a stellar offering in its own right, was not as good as this would be. Even when Dio departed the band to do a stint fronting Black Sabbath, Blackmore would take the group down a surprisingly poppy road, before the guitarist returned to Deep Purple. But all that was in the future, at the time it was released, Rising was an unconditional triumph.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
antooon
March 30th 2006



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is such a great record. Giving it 4.5 is definately not overrating it.

Zebra
Moderator
March 30th 2006



2647 Comments


The opening track is the only song I have heard off the album, and it is incredible. I'm gonna pick this up as soon as I can.
Great review, but some paragraphs would help.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2006



15730 Comments


One of the most unrock band names ever.

Only way I ever heard of em was on VH1's 40's crazy concert moments.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Neoteric
March 31st 2006



3243 Comments


nice review but paragraphs are your friend.

temporary
March 31st 2006



207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the comments, I'll be putting more paragraphs in my next review.

Helion
October 7th 2006



7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review. Just put in your cd player sit and relax......

whackerinc
July 31st 2007



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Perfect in every way imaginable. It's really a shame that Rainbow didn't get the recognition it so deserved.

franklouuu
October 20th 2007



31 Comments


i hate dio solo stuff but i love this album

SabakaNjecu
January 24th 2008



9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album! It rocks from the beginning to the last second, the line-up is all star. My most favourite song from this is "Do You Close Your Eyes." Short and straight. Touches the soul of every rocker to its bottom and caresses it.

Great review btw.

stargazer76
October 2nd 2008



218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review of an absolute rock classic with Ronnie James Dio at his best.

I agree that this album is Rainbow's best, but "On Stage" (with the 15+ minute version of Catch The Rainbow) is not far behind.

Nagrarok
December 11th 2008



8184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

How can you put in the year this album came out? It's missing in the band's page.

Sabottheory
April 17th 2010



355 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is nice, but feels too much like an underdeveloped Deep Purple clone.

Rhino
May 17th 2010



71 Comments


Great example of classic rock/70's-style metal. Short, yes, but back in these days bands didn't put filler on their albums like they do now, plus they had to fit on a 12" platter.

BloodshotMetal
November 23rd 2010



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I would go as far as to say that Rainbow Rising is one of the greatest albums ever made by human beings.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 11th 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rainbow's best album, Dio is an excellent and a diverse singer.

EverythingEvil2113
May 27th 2011



1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How epic is Stargazer?

TheNotrap
July 29th 2011



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Probably their best album.

Stargazer is an absolute classic.
RIP Mr. Ronnie James Dio.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

GregLake
July 29th 2011



84 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm a big fan of this album.

Jarvig
September 27th 2011



168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Classic 70s rock. Very good.

OllieS
October 9th 2011



2030 Comments


'Stargazer' is just a classic track. It's almost a direct pre-cursor to Power Metal.

Dio is at his best on this



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