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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Rainbow - 1979 Down To Earth
Rainbow - 1979 Down To Earth

ARTIST: Rainbow
ALBUM: Down To Earth
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1999, Polydor (Europe, UK), 547 364-2 * 1999, Polydor (USA), 314 547 364-2, plus many others..


LINEUP: Graham Bonnet - vocals * Ritchie Blackmore - guitar * Roger Glover - bass * Cozy Powell - drums * Don Airey - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Night Long * 02 Eyes Of The World * 03 No Time To Lose * 04 Makin' Love * 05 Since You Been Gone * 06 Love's No Friend * 07 Danger Zone * 08 Lost In Hollywood

Blackmore's pleasure with the success of the more commercial tracks from 1977's 'Long Live Rock 'N' Roll' led to a stalemate with vocalist Ronnie Dio who refused to pursue such a direction on future recordings. Coupled with Dio's unwillingness to play second fiddle to Blackmore and the chance to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, the writing was on the wall and Dio quit. His replacement was ex Marbles singer Graham Bonnet, a surprising choice to many. Bonnet was a competent frontman however and his inclusion was doubled by the addition of ex-Deep Purple man Roger Glover on bass and Don Airey on keyboards, replacing Bob Daisley and David Stone respectively. With this excellent lineup Rainbow began their foray into more accessible hard rock, ditching the fantasy lyrics and epic metal style that characterised the Dio years.

The Songs
Top five single 'All Night Long' makes the musical direction clear, with a Kiss like chorus, once heard never forgotten. Bonnet bellows it out in classic fashion as Powell thrashes his drum kit, while keeping it clean and radio friendly. 'Eyes Of The World' runs over six minutes, the longest cut, mostly dominated by Airey's synthesizer runs and a familiar galloping riff from Blackmore. A nice slice of boogie hits hard through 'No Time To Lose', a style that perhaps should have been taken further. It's made for Bonnet's gruff delivery, one of Rainbow's best moments. The Russ Ballard cover 'Since You Been Gone' went top ten also, becoming a hard rock staple thanks to the hook. Rainbow made the song their own subsequently. 'Love's No Friend's a slight letdown melodically, rather grim in tone. No such worries for the surging 'Danger Zone', gripping arrangements, and a burst of Blackmore's classically inspired soloing. Easily on par with the best of Purple. A steaming drum roll kicks off 'Lost In Hollywood', which credits Powell as co writer, who heavily influences the frenetic closer to a satisfying finale.

In Summary
As technically sound as 'Down To Earth' was, melody and heaviness wise, it was condemned as a poor companion to the Dio albums. Matters were not improved by Bonnet, who after an inebriated performance at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock in 1980, was sacked by Blackmore. Of course Joe Lynn Turner was hired and Rainbow began the AOR years of their career. 'Down To Earth' can be seen as the forerunner to the Turner years, but with enough grit to appeal to the fans of Dio's tenure, without the 'dungeons and dragons' element.

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#1 | Eric on April 26 2009 21:09:54
Supposedly Graham Bonnet before The Marbles auditioned for the first version of Fleetwood Mac.
#2 | super80boy on June 14 2014 16:17:48
With gobs of talent on board, this transition album was a fine effort, even know Bonnet gets a little too over zealous with his vocal range. Both 'Eyes Of The World' and 'Danger Zone' are rumbling monsters with great heavy guitar riffing from Blackmore.
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