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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Rainbow - 1983 Bent Out Of Shape
Rainbow - 1983 Bent Out Of Shape

ARTIST: Rainbow
ALBUM: Bent Out Of Shape
LABEL: Polydor (UK), Mercury (USA)
SERIAL: POLD-5116 (UK), 815305 (USA)
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1999, Polydor, 547367-2


LINEUP: Joe Lynn Turner - vocals * Ritchie Blackmore - guitars * Roger Glover - bass * Chuck Burgi - drums * David Rosenthal - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stranded * 02 Can't Let You Go * 03 Fool For The Night * 04 Fire Dance * 05 Anybody's There * 06 Desperate Heart * 07 Street Of Dreams * 08 Drinking With The Devil * 09 Snowman * 10 Make Your Move

The final proper Rainbow album, as I'm not too sure anyone counts 1995's forgotten 'Stranger In Us All', and one which saw the band at the height of their melodic powers in a last ditch effort to crack the elusive US market. To some extent they did but on reflection it's hard to blame Blackmore for giving up following the ensuing tour as every ounce of effort had been put into the three Turner recordings to convince the world of Rainbow's worth as a major melodic rock player. When things didn't pan out to Blackmore's satisfaction he called a halt to the bands life in order to reform Deep Purple, but he could at least look back to Rainbow going out with a very strong piece of heavy AOR. which in hindsight predated the sound of 'Perfect Strangers'. Could it be that Blackmore considered Purple as a trusty companion to achieve the success he craved that Rainbow couldn't? Whatever the case we have an excellent album here, an AOR connoisseurs delight.

The Songs
'Stranded's instantly memorable hook is one of latter day Rainbow's best, a lifetime from the Dio era, as the sound had been perfected to melodic precision, with the standard keyboard sound favoured by Blackmore along with his commanding guitar work. Rosenthal does his best Jon Lord impersonation prior to 'Can't Let You Go', a composition which has the title track to 'Perfect Strangers' etched on its whole lifeline. 'Fool For The Night' doesn't set the world on fire with a predictable chorus, indicating of a band running out of steam. 'Fire Dance' sees Turner sounding a lot like Ian Gillan, and if you're familiar with 'A Gypsy's Kiss' then you'll know exactly where this ones coming from, the exact sound that Purple adopted a year later. Rosenthal raises some sweat with some fancy synth parps during 'Desperate Heart' and I'm amazed just how little different Purple sounded seven years later on 'Slaves And Masters' with Turner, something I failed to consider while reviewing that album. 'Street Of Dreams' is the lone classic still played on radio today lifted from the album, and still raises a few sing a long cries from my disillusioned workmates when heard blaring from time to time! There's still room for a slice of heavy metal on 'Drinking With The Devil', which is perhaps a little too similar to 'Death Alley Driver'. The haunting instrumental 'Snowman' is almost out of place, progressive to a degree but resuming normal service 'Make Your Move' cranks the sound up again, benefiting from the man in black's seminal guitar soloing, when on form, there is nobody better.

In Summary
'Perfect Strangers' shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with this vinyl outing, and aside from Gillan's lyrics I'm tempted to say Blackmore and Glover must have had the say on the majority of the music. 'Bent Out Of Shape' bridges the gap between the two projects, almost as a taster, despite being a fine album in its own right. With seven albums in eight years and no clear sign of growing fortunes the band had stagnated enough for Blackmore to decide he had seen enough. Jumping into the frying pan with Gillan must have been an unwelcome surprise after having his way for so many years and a family tree of dozens over those eight years. A solid melodic hard rock album that I feel has gone missing in history's eyes, so perhaps time to discover or refamiliarise yourself with it.

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#1 | garyt on April 10 2006 20:53:42
Love this album. 'Can't Let You Go' has to be one of Turner's best vocal performances of all time.
#2 | george_the_jack on July 09 2008 14:09:12
One of my all time loves....
#3 | george_the_jack on July 09 2008 15:07:08
Has anyone noticed that the riff of 'Fire Dance' in certain points of the song,is completely the same with this of Purple's 'The Battle Rages On'...??? I think this proves the music and mental fatigue of Blackmore that finally lead them to perform the disgusting...'Candice Night' act....Obviously he had run out of inspiration and appetite at the same time witnessing the guitar playing skills rising worldwide..At least he had the courage and wisdom to walk away at his peak.
#4 | super80boy on May 10 2014 20:30:58
Really enjoyed the lead off rocker 'Stranded' with its strong belting chorus. 'Fire Dance' does go back to Deep Purple days with its thumping incessant beat. The sweeping classic 'Street Of Dreams' is something to be played over and over again.
#5 | richardb on January 03 2016 12:38:00
Having grown up with Dio era via Rainbow 'Rising', they'd lost me by this point. However I may be tempted to go back and investigate on the strength of this review..
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