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Rainbow - 1978 Long Live Rock N Roll

ARTIST: Rainbow
ALBUM: Long Live Rock 'n Roll
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1987, Polydor, 825 090-2 * 2010, Polydor, 547 363-2 (remastered)


LINEUP: Blackmore - guitar, bass * Ronnie James Dio - vocals * Cozy Powell - drums * Bob Daisley - bass * David Stone - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Long Live Rock 'N' Roll * 02 Lady Of The Lake * 03 L.A. Connection * 04 Gates Of Babylon * 05 Kill The King * 06 The Shed (Subtle) * 07 Sensitive To Light * 08 Rainbow Eyes

I suppose a good indicator a tour has gone dreadfully wrong is when the opening act's lead guitar player attacks the headliner's road manager. That's what happened when REO Speedwagon's crew decided to turn the house lights on sooner than the forever moody Ritchie Blackmore liked as Rainbow were walking off the stage mid-tour. The well publicized brawl was one of the more entertaining events of 1978 which in hindsight had to be one of the worst concert pairings in history, but both bands made it through the twenty plus dates, lopsided as it was.

The Songs
Rainbow was touring in support of this, the band's third studio record and in many ways I believe this is the band's finest album. Yes, 'Rising' had it's moments and is a classic, but on 'Long Live Rock N Roll', Rainbow put it all on the table as if in a last ditch attempt to get some type of commercial credibility. Ronnie James Dio in my opinion is one of the best vocalists that ever graced my precious turntable and his work on this record is no exception with the title track and 'Lady Of The Lake' leading the charge. Yeah, 'Sensitive To Light' sounds not so shockingly like Sweet, a band that sought Dio's many talents just a couple years earlier. Of course what Rainbow album from this era would be complete without sword and sorcery? 'Kill The King' and the closing 'Rainbow Eyes' delivered the goods to the 'Lord Of The Rings' crowd complete with a string quartet and flute. Gotta love the 70's where self indulgence was a rite of passage!

In Summary
Of course Blackmore, not knowing a good thing even if it hit him in the face (sorry, couldn't resist) disbanded this version of Rainbow with Dio going to Black Sabbath and well... let's just say everyone did quite well for themselves after the break-up. The 80's version of Rainbow with Joe Lynn Turner gets a lot of praise from GD supporters, but again, the early version(s) of the group I think are their best work. Check out this record and you decide.

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#1 | sabace on December 25 2007 19:42:13
fine lp but RISING is their best lp by far!
#2 | gdazegod on December 12 2010 13:17:53
This is one band I could never get into. Despite all the fame, Richie Blackmore does absolutely zero for me.
#3 | jefflynnefan on December 13 2010 00:21:59
George have you listened to the JLT years? Street of Dreams, Stone Cold, Can't let Go, Surrender- ???
#4 | gdazegod on December 13 2010 00:31:20
I have all the Rainbow albums. Admittedly one or two moments are good, Tarot Woman from 'Rising' is good. JLT period is ok, but during this era, I was more into Journey, Nightranger, Asia, Aldo Nova etc.
#5 | george_the_jack on October 11 2013 23:07:51
I equally love all periods of Rainbow. Despite I am a lifetime devoted JLT fan, I think the band during that first era had put out probably the most inspired and original stuff that a rock band have ever offered to rock music. Every time I spin LlR'n'R and espeecially ''Rising'' I realize how far ahead of their times were these guys back then. To my ears, very few ''rock'' recordings of the mid-70's can comfortably stand beside Rising as the vast majority of them pale in every aspect (musicianship, production, originality, progresiveness, lyrical thematology) whenever I dare to make a straight comparison. Timeless and personally life-changing albums that undoubtedly without them, rock music wouldn't be the same today.
#6 | richardb on March 02 2017 20:14:13
Really love this album. 'Gates of Babylon' in particular is an out and out classic..

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