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RAINBOW “DOWN TO EARTH” – 1979 ALBUM REVISITED

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock songs, cool album covers, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Here is a Rainbow album that I can never get enough of. Down To Earth, released on July 28, 1979. This Rainbow lineup is nothing short of legendary, unreal musicians they were together. I actually saved this vinyl copy of Down To Earth since the mid 1980’s, never having the thought of letting it go. Graham Bonnet on vocals is tops… for me. This album just illuminates Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal legitimacy, in my Metal opinion. To this day, I will crank up, (extremely loud), the two songs: All Night Long and Since You Been Gone. I endorse the other six songs on this album as well… songs like these are what makes a complete and memorable album. I often times, find it hard to believe that Down To Earth was released back in 1979, saying these songs are dated will never cross my Metal mind.

I have always embraced each lead singer that fronted Rainbow over the years. Each new lead vocalist lent a different sound and feel, while the hardness of Rainbow never seemed to wane for me. Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White made each respective Rainbow lineup unique. Sure, you can say that there have been four different Rainbow bands… the more Rainbow music that was made, the better, in my Metal opinion! I could never embrace the gossip or rumors that surrounded each Rainbow lineup, all I ever cared about were the albums that were created. Down To Earth seems to be an album that gets skipped over, when discussions/articles of great Hard Rock releases of the ’70’s are brought forth. Maybe my blabbing about this Rainbow Down To Earth album will inspire someone to give it a listen again or for the first time, it is extremely well worth it.

Listening to this Rainbow album puts me in a darn good mood. Heck, any Rainbow album puts me in a good mood and sets me straight. I wish that Ritchie Blackmore kept the Rainbow brand moving forward. Regardless, I’ll embrace and enjoy the Rainbow albums that did become reality… especially Down To Earth.

The Rainbow lineup for Down To Earth… and what a lineup:

Ritchie Blackmore – guitar

Graham Bonnet – lead vocalist

Roger Glover – bass guitarist

Cozy Powell – drums

Don Airey – keyboards

The track list for Down To Earth… these are songs, no fillers:

All Night Long

Eyes of the World

No Time to Lose

Makin’ Love

Since You Been Gone

Love’s No Friend

Danger Zone

Lost in Hollywood

* Since You Been Gone was written and recorded by Russ Ballard, originally appearing on his 1976 album Winning. Russ Ballard wrote one pretty cool song, in my Metal opinion.


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DEEP PURPLE – “Deepest Purple” is a Space Truckin’ ride back to the ’70’s

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Is it just me thinking this way? Deep Purple “Deepest Purple”, (subtitled “The Very Best of Deep Purple”), is the epitome of what a Rock/Hard Rock Greatest Hits album is supposed to be. These Deep Purple classics are hands down, sensational and historical Rock Music. Gimme a break, how can any generation not want to embrace these songs? These Deep Purple songs are perfect examples of just how amazing the song writing was in Rock and Hard Rock, back in the 1970’s. Could Deep Purple have been ahead of their time? I certainly think so, by at least a decade. The hardness, forget about the heaviness for a second, is what drives these Deep Purple songs to the top tier of  Rock and Hard Rock history, in my Metal opinion. Just stop to think about this, for a Metal second… how many new Rock or Hard Rock bands out there today, could actually put out a Greatest Hits album, down the road, with such impeccable and recognizable songs? “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” are two Hard Rock songs alone, that represent a generation of Rock and Hard Rock music and the decade of the 1970’s. “Fireball” and “Child In Time” are just the icing on the Hard Rock cake here.

Certainly, I am not going to argue the clear fact that we had genre and decade defining Rock and Hard Rock groups during the 1970’s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, ELO, Yes, Boston, Moody Blues, The Doors, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Kansas, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, AC/DC (Bon Scott era), Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ted Nugent. The list of iconic Rock and Hard Rock bands from the 1970’s is huge. You betcha. Of course I missed mentioning some well deserved bands and solo musicians here… this post would be gigantic if I was to make a master list. My point I am making is this… there was Deep Purple, man, and they rocked liked no tomorrow during the decade of the ’70’s – “Deepest Purple” is sound Rock and Hard Rock proof of that. If a time machine really did exist and I could rent one, (I am certain that I would not be able to afford to buy one), I would get on that Rock and Roll mother ship and take a ride to a vintage Deep Purple concert back in the 1970’s. (I am positive that Connecticut would have one hefty and major time machine tax, Senator Christopher Dodd would be all over that one – if a time machine existed).

Back to Deep Purple… I could not complain about which lead singer would be fronting this legendary band… if I was to go back in time to see them in concert, it is pick ’em at lead singer  –  for all I care! David Coverdale, Ian Gillain, Glenn Hughes or Tommy Bolin as lead singer… it would not matter, I would be cheering on this 1970’s version of Deep Purple like a psyched out, Hard Rockin’, “Space Truckin” fan! Aw heck, throw in the late 1960’s lead singer Rod Evans for good measure too, he counts. I am not by any shape or form, taking away the great Hard Rock achievements of the Deep Purple lineups of the 1980’s through present day, no way. This Deep Purple music dynasty is special, an undisputed Hard Rockin’ franchise. I just have that Rock and Roll fantasy once in awhile, this whole time machine journey to see Deep Purple in the ’70’s is one. So, the next time you hear, “Woman From Tokyo”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, not to mention the other great hits of Deep Purple, earlier mentioned, just remember when they were written… these songs epitomize the label of – timeless. “Space Truckin'”… ’nuff said.

I tip my Metal Music hat to all the past and present musicians of Deep Purple, especially Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on keyboards, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Joe Lynn Turner on lead vocals, Nick Simper on bass guitar, Joe Satriani on lead guitar and Ian Paice on drums. I thank Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar for keeping the Deep Purple – Hard Rock machine turnin’ and churnin’ to this day. If it wasn’t for Deep Purple, Metal Music as we know it today, probably would not sound so cool. That… is my Metal opinion.

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Rainbow – “Bent Out Of Shape” 1983 album revisited

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Rainbow "Bent Out Of Shape" small picRainbow 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.

Rainbow "Bent Out Of Shape" large pic

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