Rainbow was and still is one of the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands that I look upon with Metal reverence. The song writing, lyrics, musicianship, melodies, well, I could go on forever about why I have liked this band so much. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, in my Metal opinion, is a guitar legend, both with Deep Purple and Rainbow. Ritchie Blackmore collaborated with lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner on a few releases, back in the 1980′s. “Bent Out Of Shape” is one of those albums they created, writing nine out of the ten songs together. “Bent Out Of Shape” can be taken as a commercial Hard Rock statement, only It is difficult for me to define this album as such. My standards for commercial Rock or Hard Rock/Heavy Metal definitely differ from other peoples standards. I need to hear consistent sappy ballads and/or radio – bubble gum – friendly songs before my stamp of commercialism is placed on an album. In other words, I feel “Bent Out Of Shape” is one mighty, melodic, Hard Rock album. Honestly, I have no problem with labeling “Bent Out Of Shape” as a Heavy Metal album. This album was released in 1983, the heaviness of Rainbow for back then, easily gave this band the label of Heavy Metal.
“Snowman” is the lone song that was not co-written by Joe Lynn Turner. This song is an instrumental, written by Ritchie Blackmore and Howard Blake. This song has a yearning feeling to it, an almost dream like atmosphere as well, I have always gravitated to it over the years. “Street Of Dreams” was the hit song from this album, plenty of FM radio play it used to receive as well. This song is very melodic, the keyboards play an integral musical role on this track. “Desperate Heart” is quite similar in style, to that of “Street Of Dreams”… both with melody and tempo. “Drinking With The Devil” is my pick for the heaviest song on this album, it has some cool edginess to it, with Joe Lynn Turner adding some tough attitude vocally. “Can’t Let You Go” is another notable song, tailor made for Joe Lynn Turner’s vocals. This song as with “Desperate Heart” and “Street Of Dreams” seems to fit the soul searching theme that I interpret from the lyrics.
Overall, “Bent Out Of Shape” carries on the signature sound of Rainbow, with rich and vibrant keyboards courtesy of David Rosenthal and of course, the guitar play of Ritchie Blackmore. Joe Lynn Turner has the velvet vocals of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, he continues to release some quality solo albums to this day. If I had to pick which version of Rainbow that I like best, of course I would choose the Ronnie James Dio fronted Rainbow. With that opinion aside, the Joe Lynn Turner era of Rainbow was and still is quite cool for me. I never can resist buying any music that Joe Lynn Turner has his vocals on, there is no doubt in my mind, that he has had an impressive career. For my taste, ”Bent Out Of Shape” has not lost any of its Heavy Rock luster, as years pass. If anything, I still appreciate the quality of all of these songs on this album. In my Metal opinion, this Rainbow album is light years better than a good percentage of new Hard Rock music you hear on the radio or internet today.
Rainbow, as they appeared on “Bent Out Of Shape”: Ritchie Blackmore on guitars, Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, Roger Glover on bass and percussion, David Rosenthal on keyboards and Chuck Burgi on drums. “Bent Out Of Shape” was produced by Roger Glover.