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Rainbow (also known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
or Blackmore's Rainbow) is a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 to 1984, from 1993 to 1997, and from 2015 to the present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple
Deep Purple
bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many line-up changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. Other lead singers Joe Lynn Turner
Joe Lynn Turner
and Doogie White
Doogie White
would follow, and the project consisted of numerous backing musicians. A pioneer to power metal, the band's early work primarily featured mystical lyrics with a neoclassical metal style, but went in a more streamlined, commercial direction following Dio's departure from the group.[1] Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.[2] The band has sold over 28 million records worldwide, with 820,000 copies in the UK.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Formation (1975) 1.2 First world tour and initial success (1975–1978) 1.3 Commercial success (1978–1984) 1.4 Dissolution and temporary revival (1984–1997) 1.5 Split (1997–2014) 1.6 Reunion (2015–2017)

2 Band members 3 Discography 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

History[edit] Formation (1975)[edit]

Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio
in 2006

By 1973, Blackmore had steered Deep Purple
Deep Purple
through a significant personnel change, with Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan
and Roger Glover
Roger Glover
being replaced by David Coverdale
David Coverdale
and Glenn Hughes. However, the new members were keen to add new musical styles and Blackmore found his request to record the Steve Hammond-penned "Black Sheep of the Family" with "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" turned down by the band.[3] He decided to record the song with Dio instead, using Dio's band Elf as additional musicians.[4] He enjoyed the results, and a full album, billed as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
was recorded between February and March 1975 at Musicland Studios
Musicland Studios
in Munich, Germany.[5] The band name was inspired by the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood.[6] Rainbow's music was partly inspired by classical music since Blackmore started playing cello to help him construct interesting chord progressions,[7][8] and Dio wrote lyrics about medieval themes. Dio possessed a versatile vocal range capable of singing both hard rock and lighter ballads, and, according to Blackmore, "I felt shivers down my spine."[9] Although Dio never played a musical instrument on any Rainbow album, he is credited with writing and arranging the music with Blackmore, in addition to writing all the lyrics himself.[5][10][11] Blackmore and Dio also found a common ground in their sense of humour.[12] Following the positive experience of recording with Dio, Blackmore decided to leave Deep Purple, playing his last show in Paris in April.[3][13] The album had a positive critical reception and was a top 20 UK and top 30 US hit. Blackmore's departure from Deep Purple was publicly announced on 21 June.[14] First world tour and initial success (1975–1978)[edit]

Rainbow performing in Munich, Germany, in 1977[15]

Blackmore was unhappy about carrying the Elf line-up along for live performances, and so he fired everybody except Dio shortly after the album was recorded, due to Driscoll's style of drumming and the funky bass playing of Gruber.[16] Blackmore would continue to dictate personnel for the remainder of the band's lifetime, with drummer and former bandmate Ricky Munro remarking "he was very difficult to get on with because you never knew when he would turn around and say 'You're sacked'."[17] Blackmore recruited bassist Jimmy Bain, American keyboard player Tony Carey
Tony Carey
and drummer Cozy Powell, who had previously worked with Jeff Beck and had some solo success.[16] Powell also greatly appealed to Blackmore in their mutual fondness for practical jokes.[18] This line-up also commenced the first world tour for the band, with the first date in Montreal
Montreal
on 10 November 1975. The centrepiece of the band's live performance was a computer-controlled rainbow including 3,000 lightbulbs, which stretched 40 feet across the stage.[19] [18] A second album, Rising, was recorded in February at Musicland. By the time of the European dates in the summer of 1976, Rainbow's reputation as a blistering live act had been established. The band added Deep Purple's "Mistreated" to their setlist, and song lengths were stretched to include improvisation.[20] Carey recalls rehearsing the material was fairly straightforward, saying "We didn't work anything out, except the structure, the ending ... very free-form, really progressive rock."[21] The album art was designed by famed fantasy artist Ken Kelly, who had drawn Tarzan
Tarzan
and Conan the Barbarian.[22][23] In August 1976, following a gig at Newcastle City Hall, Blackmore decided to fire Carey, believing his playing style to be too complicated for the band. Unable to find a suitable replacement quickly, Carey was quickly reinstated,[24] but as the world tour progressed onto Japan, he found himself regularly being the recipient of Blackmore's pranks and humour.[25] Blackmore subsequently decided that Bain was substandard and fired him in January 1977. The same fate befell Carey shortly after. Blackmore, however, had difficulty finding replacements he liked. On keyboards, after auditioning several high-profile artists, including Vanilla Fudge's Mark Stein, Procol Harum's Matthew Fisher
Matthew Fisher
and ex- Curved Air and Roxy Music
Roxy Music
man Eddie Jobson, Blackmore finally selected Canadian David Stone, from the little-known band Symphonic Slam. For a bass player, Blackmore originally chose Mark Clarke, formerly of Jon Hiseman's Colosseum, Uriah Heep and Tempest, but once in the studio for the next album, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, Blackmore disliked Clarke's fingerstyle method of playing so much that he fired him on the spot and played bass himself on all but four songs: the album's title track, "Gates of Babylon", "Kill the King", and "Sensitive to Light". Former Widowmaker bassist Bob Daisley
Bob Daisley
was hired to record these tracks, completing the band's next line-up. After the release and extensive world tour in 1977–78, Blackmore decided that he wanted to take the band in a new commercial direction away from the "sword and sorcery" theme.[26] Dio did not agree with this change and left Rainbow. Commercial success (1978–1984)[edit]

Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet
in 2008

Blackmore asked Ian Gillan, also formerly of Deep Purple, to replace Dio, but Gillan turned him down. After a series of auditions, former singer/guitarist of The Marbles, Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet
was recruited. Powell stayed, but Daisley and Stone were both fired, the latter replaced by keyboardist Don Airey. At first the band auditioned bass players, but at Cozy Powell's suggestion Blackmore hired another former Deep Purple member, Roger Glover, as a producer, bassist and lyricist.[27] The first album from the new line-up, Down to Earth, featured the band's first major singles chart successes, "All Night Long" and the Russ Ballard-penned "Since You Been Gone". In 1980, the band headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock
Monsters of Rock
festival at Castle Donington
Castle Donington
in England. However, this was Powell's last Rainbow gig: he had already given his notice to quit, disliking Blackmore's increasingly pop rock direction. Then Bonnet resigned to pursue a solo project.

Joe Lynn Turner
Joe Lynn Turner
in 2008

For the next album, Bonnet and Powell were replaced by Americans Joe Lynn Turner and Bobby Rondinelli, respectively. The title track from Difficult to Cure
Difficult to Cure
was a version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The album spawned their most successful UK single, "I Surrender" (another Ballard song), which reached No.3. After the supporting tour, Don Airey quit over musical differences and was replaced by David Rosenthal. The band attained significant airplay on Album-oriented rock radio stations in the US with the track "Jealous Lover", reaching No. 13 on Billboard Magazine's Rock Tracks chart. Originally issued as the B-side to "Can't Happen Here", "Jealous Lover" subsequently became the title track to an EP issued in the US that featured similar cover art to Difficult to Cure. Rainbow's next full-length studio album was Straight Between the Eyes. The album was more cohesive than Difficult to Cure, and had more success in the United States. The band, however, was alienating some of its earlier fans with its more AOR sound.[1] The single "Stone Cold" was a ballad that had some chart success (No. 1 on Billboard Magazine's Rock Tracks chart) and its video received heavy airplay on MTV. The successful supporting tour skipped the UK completely and focused on the American market. A date in San Antonio, Texas, on this tour was filmed, and the resulting "Live Between the Eyes" also received repeated showings on MTV. Bent Out of Shape
Bent Out of Shape
saw drummer Rondinelli fired in favour of former Balance drummer Chuck Burgi. The album featured the single "Street of Dreams". Blackmore claims on his website that the song's video was banned by MTV
MTV
for its supposedly controversial hypnotic video clip,[28] but Dr. Thomas Radecki of the National Coalition on Television Violence criticised MTV
MTV
for airing the video, contradicting Blackmore's claim.[29] The resulting tour saw Rainbow return to the UK, and also to Japan in March 1984 where the band performed "Difficult to Cure" with a full orchestra. The concert was also filmed. Dissolution and temporary revival (1984–1997)[edit]

Doogie White
Doogie White
in 2009

Rainbow's management Thames Talent co-ordinated attempts to successfully reform Deep Purple
Deep Purple
MK. II. By April 1984, Rainbow was disbanded. A then-final Rainbow album, Finyl Vinyl, was pieced together from live tracks and B-sides of singles, including the instrumental "Weiss Heim" ( All Night Long B-side), "Bad Girl" (Since You Been Gone B-side), and "Jealous Lover" (Can't Happen Here B-side). In 1988, after joining the band Impelliteri, Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet
covered "Since You Been Gone" on the group's debut album, Stand In Line. In 1993 Blackmore left Deep Purple
Deep Purple
permanently due to "creative differences" with other members, and reformed Rainbow with all-new members featuring Scottish singer Doogie White. The band released Stranger in Us All
Stranger in Us All
in 1995, and embarked on a lengthy world tour. The tour proved successful, and the show in Düsseldorf, Germany, was professionally filmed for the Rockpalast
Rockpalast
TV show. This show, initially heavily bootlegged (and considered by many collectors to be the best Rainbow bootleg of the era), was officially released by Eagle Records on CD and DVD as Black Masquerade in 2013.[30] The live shows featured frequent changes in set lists, and musical improvisations that proved popular with bootleggers and many shows are still traded over a decade later. However, Blackmore turned his attention to his long-time musical passion, Renaissance and medieval music. Rainbow was put on hold once again after playing its final concert in Esbjerg, Denmark in 1997. Blackmore, together with his partner Candice Night
Candice Night
as vocalist then formed the Renaissance-influenced Blackmore's Night. Around the same time as production of Stranger in Us All
Stranger in Us All
(1995), they were already gearing up their debut album Shadow of the Moon
Shadow of the Moon
(1997).[31] Split (1997–2014)[edit]

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Many Rainbow songs have been performed live by former members of the band since the group's split in 1984 and then in 1997, particularly former frontmen Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet
and Joe Lynn Turner
Joe Lynn Turner
in recent years. Also, Don Airey
Don Airey
often plays 1979-1981 era songs during his solo shows. Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night
occasionally performs one or two Rainbow songs live, namely "Ariel", "Rainbow Eyes", "Street of Dreams" and "Temple of the King". The latter three were also re-recorded by Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night
in studio. In 2002–2004 the Hughes Turner Project played a number of Rainbow songs at their concerts. On 9 August 2007 Joe Lynn Turner
Joe Lynn Turner
and Graham Bonnet played a tribute to Rainbow show in Helsinki, Finland. The concert consisted of songs from the 1979-1983 era. In 2009, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, Greg Smith and Tony Carey created the touring tribute band Over The Rainbow with Jürgen Blackmore (Ritchie's son) as the guitarist. Over The Rainbow performed songs from every era of the band's history. After the first tour Tony Carey had to leave the band due to health concerns; he was replaced by another former Rainbow member, Paul Morris. Reunion (2015–2017)[edit] In 2015, Blackmore announced that he would play "all rock" concerts in the summer of 2016 under the banner of "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow", his first rock shows since 1997. The new Rainbow line-up was announced on November 6, 2015. It featured Lords of Black singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius
Stratovarius
keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night
drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (Bob Curiano).[32][33] The band headlined German edition of the "Monsters of Rock" festival. They debuted on 17 June 2016 at Loreley Freilichtbuhne, an open-air show in front of an audience of estimated 15,000. On 18 June they played another open-air gig for 30,000 fans in Bietigheim-Bissingen (Festplatz am Viadukt). The third and final show took place at the Birmingham Genting Arena
Genting Arena
in England.[34] Asked if Rainbow were planning to record a new album, bassist Bob Curiano replied, "I'd love to go into the studio with this Rainbow. All we need is Ritchie to say, 'Let's go!' I think all of us feel under pressure, because of the fans' expectations. For me, the pressure makes me work harder and get better results."[35] However, Blackmore said that they had no plans for a new album or world tour, and that the reunion was "just a few dates for fun."[36] Blackmore also said that Rainbow have received many offers to do "few more shows again" in the future.[37] Despite an earlier decision not to release new music, Blackmore revealed in a May 2017 interview with Burrn! magazine that Rainbow have been in the studio recording two new tracks. Blackmore stated, "I wrote one new song, and also recorded one of the old ones. Ronnie, who is in Madrid now, added his vocals and sent it back. Rather than make an album, we may release as singles."[38] Rainbow embarked on a four-date UK tour in June 2017. It kicked off with the band's first show in London since 1995 at the second annual Stone Free Festival at The O2, followed by shows in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.[39] Band members[edit] Main article: List of Rainbow band members

Current members

Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore
– guitars (1975–1984, 1994–1997, 2015–present) Ronnie Romero
Ronnie Romero
– lead vocals (2015–present) Bob Nouveau – bass, backing vocals (2015–present) David Keith – drums (2015–present) Jens Johansson
Jens Johansson
– keyboards (2015–present)

Discography[edit] Main article: Rainbow discography

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
(1975) Rising (1976) Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
(1978) Down to Earth (1979) Difficult to Cure
Difficult to Cure
(1981) Straight Between the Eyes
Straight Between the Eyes
(1982) Bent Out of Shape
Bent Out of Shape
(1983) Stranger in Us All
Stranger in Us All
(1995)

References[edit]

^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Rainbow". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 13 November 2010.  ^ a b Robinson, Simon (1996). Mk III: The Final Concerts (Media notes). Deep Purple. Connoisseur Collection. DPVSOPCD-230.  ^ "Rainbow - 1975-1978". Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio
(Official Site). Retrieved 24 June 2009.  ^ a b Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
(Media notes). Rainbow. Polydor Records. 1990. 825-089-2.  ^ Bloom 2007, p. 193. ^ Mordechai Kleidermacher (February 1991). "When There's Smoke.. There's Fire!". Guitar World.  ^ Warnock, Matt (28 January 2011). "Ritchie Blackmore: The Autumn Sky Interview". Guitar International Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011.  ^ Bloom 2007, p. 186. ^ Rainbow Rising. CD liner notes: Polydor Records.  ^ Long Live Rock 'N' Roll. CD liner notes: Polydor Records.  ^ Bloom 2007, p. 187. ^ Bloom 2007, p. 184. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 176. ^ Robinson, Simon (1977). Rainbow Live in Munich
Munich
1977 (liner notes). Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd.  ^ a b " Tony Carey
Tony Carey
Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 28 May 2013.  ^ Bloom 2007, p. 189. ^ a b Bloom 2007, p. 190. ^ Thompson 2004, pp. 195-196. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 196. ^ Bloom 2007, p. 194. ^ Mark Voger (22 October 2006). "Criss eager to meet television idol Zacherley". Asbury Park Press. p. 6E.  ^ "Manowar truck to make its debut in Austria this weekend". Austria Today. 8 September 2006.  ^ Bloom 2007, p. 201-202. ^ Bloom 2007, p. 203. ^ Davies, Roy (2002). Rainbow Rising: The Story of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Helter Skelter Publishing.  ^ "Roger Glover. 1973-2006 History". Retrieved 23 September 2009.  ^ " Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore
Bio". Blackmores Night. 8 May 1998. Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.  ^ Denisoff, R. Serge (1988). "MTV: Some People Just Don't Get It". Inside MTV. Transaction. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-88738-864-4. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 'Street of Dreams' by Rainbow has a psychiatrist dominating a man through hypnosis intermixed with male-female violent fantasies including a bound and gagged woman.  ^ "Black Masquerade by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-24.  ^ Adams, Bret (26 February 2011). "Stranger in Us All". allmusic.  ^ "Blackmore's touring lineup revealed". ClassicRock. TeamRock. Retrieved 6 November 2015.  ^ "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow: Touring Line-Up Announced". Metal Shock Finland. Retrieved 6 November 2015.  ^ "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow: Revealed UK Show Date". Metal Shock Finland. Retrieved 6 November 2015.  ^ "Rainbow ready to record says bassist". Team Rock. Retrieved 5 May 2016.  ^ "Ritchie Blackmore: No Rainbow tour or album". Team Rock. Retrieved 5 May 2016.  ^ " Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore
Says Rainbow 'Might Do A Few More Shows,' Reveals Setlist Will Be '95% Rainbow Songs'". Blabbermouth.net. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.  ^ "Ritchie Blackmore's Reactivated Rainbow Is Recording New Music". Blabbermouth.net. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.  ^ " Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Announces U.K. Tour". Blabbermouth.net. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 

Books

Bloom, Jerry (2007). Black Knight. Music Sales Group. ISBN 9780857120533.  Thompson, Dave (2004). Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Story. ECW Press. ISBN 9781550226188. 

Bibliography[edit]

Roy Davies, Rainbow Rising – The Story of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow (Helter Skelter, 2002) Martin Popoff, Rainbow – English Castle Magic (Metal Blade, 2005) Jerry Bloom, Black Knight – Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore
(Omnibus Press, 2006) Jerry Bloom, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
Story (Wymer Publishing, 2009)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rainbow (rock band).

The Rainbow Fanclan Legacy Rainbow at AllMusic

v t e

Rainbow

Ritchie Blackmore Jens Johansson David Keith Bob Nouveau Ronnie Romero

Ronnie James Dio Gary Driscoll Craig Gruber Micky Lee Soule Cozy Powell Jimmy Bain Tony Carey David Stone Mark Clarke Bob Daisley Roger Glover Don Airey Graham Bonnet Joe Lynn Turner Bobby Rondinelli David Rosenthal Chuck Burgi Paul Morris Greg Smith Doogie White John O'Reilly John Micelli

Studio albums

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow Rising Long Live Rock 'n' Roll Down to Earth Difficult to Cure Straight Between the Eyes Bent Out of Shape Stranger in Us All

EPs

Jealous Lover

Live albums

On Stage Finyl Vinyl Live in Germany
Germany
1976/Live in Europe Deutschland Tournee 1976 Live in Munich
Munich
1977 Black Masquerade Memories in Rock - Live in Germany

Compilation albums

The Best of Rainbow The Very Best of Rainbow 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rainbow Classic Rainbow Pot of Gold All Night Long: An Introduction Catch the Rainbow: The Anthology Winning Combinations: Deep Purple
Deep Purple
and Rainbow Anthology 1975 – 1984

Video albums

Live Between the Eyes The Final Cut Live in Munich
Munich
1977 Black Masquerade Memories in Rock - Live in Germany

Songs

"Man on the Silver Mountain" "Catch the Rainbow" "Stargazer" "Since You Been Gone" "Street of Dreams"

Related articles

Discography Blackmore's Night Martin Birch Elf Deep Purple Black Sabbath Whitesnake Dio Heaven & Hell Yngwie Malmsteen

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 311428710 LCCN: n83043571 ISNI: 0000 0001 1931 2221 GND: 5533238-9 BNF: cb13906030h (data) MusicBrainz: e3cb4543-210f-499a

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