Monday, 31 October 2011

CD Review: Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, by Rainbow (1978)

Rainbow's third studio album, and last with Ronnie James Dio on vocals, adds three classic tracks to the band's repertoire. Unfortunately, the other five selections on Long Live Rock 'N' Roll are just barely above throwaway level.

Yes, title track and album opener Long Live Rock 'N' Roll is as anthemic as metal gets, but if anthems need to exist, they may as well be this good. Ritchie Blackmore and Dio quickly get down to business, Blackmore busy with a riff invented for fist-pumping that breaks into a trademark solo, Dio leading the masses with the necessary vigour.

Gates Of Babylon is a journey to the east, a rich source of inspiration for both Blackmore and Dio. Rainbow take us to the narrow and convoluted souks with black market traders behind every rickety stall, Blackmore's guitar penetrating the thick smoke with plenty of understated soul. Kill The King is both faster and more traditional power metal, Cozy Powell getting a turn to share some prominence before Blackmore lets loose with the most energetic solo on the album, a manic fingers-are-a-blur effort that finally gives way to David Stone's keyboards.

Of the other five tracks, the romantic Rainbow Eyes may win the award for the slowest track ever included on a metal album, Dio's hushed delivery almost succeeding in making time move backwards.

With Blackmore continuing to chop and change the line up, this was Stone's only recording with Rainbow, replacing the fired Tony Carey. Blackmore also fired bassist Jimmy Bain, but had a more difficult time replacing him, ultimately playing bass himself on most of the album prior to Bob Daisley coming on-board.

Dio would leave after Long Live Rock 'N' Roll as Blackmore decided to pursue a more commercial direction, ending the band's most metallic years. The Blackmore / Dio partnership may have never reached the end of the Rainbow, but they created some terrific music along the way.


Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar, Bass
Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
Cozy Powell - Drums
Bob Daisley - Bass
David Stone - Keyboards

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll - 9
2. Lady Of The Lake - 7
3. L.A. Connection - 6
4. Gates Of Babylon - 9
5. Kill The King - 9
6. The Shed (Subtle) - 7
7. Sensitive To Light - 6
8. Rainbow Eyes - 7

Average: 7.50

Produced by Martin Birch.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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