Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow hits 40

Posted: August 25, 2015 in Classic Rock, Deep Purple Family

When Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple in April 1975 he already had his first solo album in the can, recorded with members of an American outfit called Elf that had supported Deep Purple on the road. “Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow” went Top 30 both Stateside and in the UK (as well as many other territories) but the initial band never toured. Instead, Blackmore kept singer Ronnie James Dio and fired the rest of his crew and then set out to form the band that would record “Rising”.

This album is very good, but at the time I recall thinking it was not quite as good as Deep Purple – the backing musicians did not support his talent to the point that the dedicated masses of yesterday would have come to expect. I mean, it was good, but it was not that good. To me, “Man On The Silver Mountain” should have been part of the Purple catalogue. Had Purple recorded a third MK3 album, it probably would have been, but of course it would have been different. To me, this record was beautiful, but it was not as good as Purple. At the time, I felt that my money was on the new Purple that were gearing up with new guitarist Tommy Bolin. I just wanted my favourite band to live. Blackmore had let the team down, in a sense. He would redeem himself with “Rising” and his journey with this band later but back in 1975 I felt slightly betrayed. But hey, I was just a kid.

Today I can see it for the classic album that it surely is, and it certainly was a fresh start. I have heard tapes of early Van Halen playing “Man On The Silver Mountain” live, so it must have meant a lot back in the day for a lot of budding guitar heroes. I guess it will always pale beside “Rising”, but then this was a side project that accidentally took on a more serious side. It gave him the courage to walk out on one of the biggest bands on the planet.

Blackmore´s sound was probably never better than on this record though, Martin Birch really knew how to capture the magic.

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