Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow: Rainbow

Rating: 90%

Rainbow_-_Ritchie_Blackmore's_Rainbow_(1975)_front_cover.jpgIn 1975, after Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple for a new project forming what would become Rainbow,  with the backing of the band Elf. The minute I heard this record way back then, I was a fan. I loved every aspect of this record from the vocals to the guitar. It’s no wonder why!

The musicianship is outstanding. You have ex-Elf band members front man Ronnie James Dio, drummer Gary Driscoll, bassist Craig Gruber, and keyboardist Micky Lee Soule. Then you have ex-guitarist of Deep Purple Ritchie Blackmore.

Musically, this album is very tasteful. The instrumentation is well balanced. Some areas of the record seem to be very complex, but that doesn’t take away from the outcome of the overall style or sound of the album. It’s pretty tight. You have some very strong vocal work. There is also a good bit guitar work on the riffs and solos.The songs are well written. This is a pretty solid debut. It’s a good blend of Heavy Metal mixed with elements of European Folk music.

Track listing:

1. “Man on the Silver Mountain” 4:42
2. “Self Portrait” 3:17
3. “Black Sheep of the Family” (Quatermass cover) 3:22
4. “Catch the Rainbow” 6:27
5. “Snake Charmer” 4:33
6. “Temple of the King” 4:45
7. “If You Don’t Like Rock ‘n’ Roll” 2:38
8. “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” 3:31
9. “Still I’m Sad” (The Yardbirds cover)  3:51

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Come Taste The Band: Deep Purple

Rating: 90%

comeThis album released in 1975, would be the last Deep Purple album until the reformation of the Mark II line up for the 1984 “Perfect Strangers.” This also marked the first record without guitarist and founding member Ritchie Blackmore. I like the title of this album already, because it really sounds totally different. That is owed to the new guitarist Tommy Bolin. Bolin’s style was very funky, soulful, and jazzy. This allowed for the band members to add more of their creativity to the music, since Blackmore wouldn’t have it. There were some creativity differences between Jon Lord, David Coverdale, and Blackmore which led to Blackmore’s departure.

Musically, again, this isn’t just a normal average Deep Purple album. It’s full of soul and harmony. You can tell that the Jazz influences are coming out of the band and the focus has gone more to a Prop style. The music is very tasteful and enjoyable.

Musicianship is great. The guitar riffs and leads are amazing. Tommy Bolin really was the right guy for this job. He would die a year later during his solo career at a young age. But what he contributed to Deep Purple is top notch material. You actually hear the band playing better. David Coverdale’s vocals are at his beat. Glenn Huges on bass and Ian Price on drums really showcase how talented the rhythm section is of the band. Jon Lord’s keys also sound great.

So, I have passed up this album several times, and today, I decided to buy. My thought was no one can ever replace Ritchie Blackmore. But I was wrong. I am glad that I picked up this record.

Track listing:

Comin’ Home 3:52
Lady Luck 2:45
Gettin’ Tighter 3:36
Dealer 3:49
I Need Love 4:22
Drifter 4:01
Love Child 3:05
This Time Around / Owed To ‘G’ (Instrumental) 6:07
You Keep On Moving

My Favorite Danzig Records Ranked

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  1. Danzig: The first album is by far my favorite Danzig record. Not only was it original, raw, and sexy, it had this certain deep sound to it. It also was something new that Glenn Danzig had never done up to this point. The musicianship itself made this a great album.
  2. Danzig 4P: This album is the last to feature the classic line up. This record is just all around a great record. The sound is heavy and yet, you can hear some of the experimental songs that will lead Danzig into the future. This album also shows how talented Danzig is and covers wide range of vocals.
  3. Danzig II – Lucifuge: Following up on the Bluesy feel of the first record, Danzig jump all in with the Blues and mixing that with his darker and sex themed lyrics. There is also some great vocal work on this album that really showcases Danzig’s vocal range.
  4. Danzig III: How The Gods Kill: Another great album. This time it’s heavier and darker. It still retains that Blues influence, but it also brings in some newer infleunces from the Heavy Metal world. The sound is clearer, raw, and with powerful vocals.
  5. Deth Red Sabaoth: This album features a classic sounding Glenn Danzig, although his vocals are getting worn with age. The song structures are pretty good. Glenn even made candy seem to be evil and sexy at the same time.
  6. Danzig 6:66: Satans Child: This record to me was a great album. You hear Glenn moving on from the full throttle of Industrial Metal as you heard on Danzig 5 and adding more of the Heavy Metal standard sounds to it. It’s a more balanced record that is enjoyable to listen to.
  7. Circle Of Snakes: Circle of Snakes was another good album by Glenn and his band. You see Glenn leaving behind the Industrial and Techno sounds for more of a straight forward Heavy Metal record. The album is a bit darker compared to the past albums from Danzig 5 and 6:66.
  8. Danzig 5: Blackacidevil: This album was one of those records that you liked or hated. There isn’t much room in between. This album was something totally different than one would have expected from Glenn. It was heavily soaked with the Industrial Metal sound with Techno beats. But, Glenn managed to make it work. I liked it.
  9. Danzig 777: I Luciferi: Danzig 7 was a decent record. It’s raw, dark, and heavy. Glenn still retains that style of song writing that he is known for.
  10. Danzig – Black Laden Crown: The latest record is decent. Danzig is really beginning to show age, but the material is just as strong as any record.
  11. The Lost Tracks Of Danzig: This is a great compilation records of songs that are great, but were not great enough to make the final cuts on various past records.
  12. Thrall-Demonsweatlive: A nice little ep with three studio songs on the first side which are great. Live performance on the other side gives you a small taste of what Danzig sounds like. The hidden track Mother 93, made new fans from people who never heard of the man. Kind of a one hit wonder.
  13. Live On The Black Hand Side: This live performance spans the career of Danzig from 1990 to 1996. It’s OK!
  14. Skeletons: Not my favorite album. Some of the songs are covered well by Danzig, others not so well. Now, if these songs were covered by Danzig and incorporated into his own style, then maybe, this album wouldn’t have been so bad.

Come Out and Play: Twisted Sister

Rating: 70%

TwistedSisterComeOutAndPlayAlbumCover.jpg1985, saw the rise of Glam Metal and lot of bands got thrown into that genre. Bands like W.A.S.P. and Twisted Sister were no exception. Now, I will admit, that growing up I had “Stay Hungry” as well as this record. I really enjoyed “Stay Hungry” as I thought it was about as raw as Heavy Metal could be without the commercialism.

A year later, “Come Out and Play” was released. I thought that the music lost much of it’s edge, loosing that rawness that made “Stay Hungry” so good. To me, musically, this album has a more heavy leaning toward Heavy Metal with Pop influences. The sound is very clean and polished. In some spots, I felt that the music was kind of bland, a bit plain and in some cases shapeless. The chorus lines are pretty beefy. I just feel that what you have here is a basic average record from the mid 1980’s.  

The musicianship is good if you’re into Glam Metal. You have one hell of a front man in vocalist Dee Snider. In recent years, I really have come to appreciate him trying to preserve 1980’s Heavy Metal on his radio show. Backing Dee is guitarists Eddie Ojeda & Jay Jay French, bassist Mark Mendoza, and drummer A. J. Pero.  

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Come Out and Play” 4:51
2. “Leader of the Pack” (The Shangri-Las cover) 3:48
3. “You Want What We Got” 3:45
4. “I Believe in Rock ‘n’ Roll” 4:03
5. “The Fire Still Burns” 3:34

Side two
6. “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” (featuring Alice Cooper) 3:53
7. “I Believe in You” 5:23
8. “Out on the Streets” 4:27
9. “Lookin’ Out for #1” 3:07
10. “Kill or Be Killed”