On April 9, 1978, "Rainbow" released their third album, "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll".
Here is the story about the bizarre circumstances that surrounded its recording and of the scandal related to the album's inner sleeve and the Canadian power trio - "Rush".
This is Rainbow's third and final album with legendary singer Ronnie James Dio, who later joined "Black Sabbath".
Recordings for the album began in mid - 1977. The intention was to record the album at Musicland Studios in Munich, where the band's two previous albums were also recorded, but the studios were taken.
Drummer Cozy Powell was chosen to look for an alternative location for recordings. After a frantic search, Powell chose the Château d’Herouville, an 18th-century castle located about 30 km from Paris, because he liked the way the sound of the drums sounded there.
The band members did not have finished materials for the recording and the writing process for most of the album's songs were done in the castle itself.
The recordings did not progress satisfactorily. The band members were not focused on the writing process and preferred to take advantage of the beautiful weather and indulgences offered by the estate, instead of engaging in writing.
In addition, the recordings were surrounded by strange faults in the recording equipment and unexplained phenomena. Hence the band members and the recording team decided to perform a seance to find out the reason for these unusual phenomena. At first, they sought to conjure up the spirit of "Chopin" who was the owner of the estate. Ronnie James Dio said in one of his interviews that during the seance one of the pianos produced a strange sound even though no one was next to it. In another seance session, the friends brought up the spirit of the demon Baal who promised to harm them. A hint of the seance held at the Château can be found on the back cover of the album where it reads: "No thanks to Baal".
Several band members were replaced several times during the recordings, which added another difficulty to the creation process. Keyboardist Tony Carey, a former member of the band, was recruited for the recordings, but Ritchie Blackmore's repeated harassment made him spend most of his time in his room. Ritchie Blackmore who did not like the idea, stuck an ax in the door of Carrie's room who hurried away and did not return to the Château. The band's former bassist Jimmy Bain, who like Carrie, was also recruited as a salaried player, was soon replaced by Mark Clarke, but Ritchie Blackmore was not thrilled with his performance and recorded some of the bass roles himself. Auditions were then held for about 40 bassists until the role was offered to Bob Daisley (who would later play with Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, "Uriah Heep", and more).
The significant delays in the recordings led the record company to put pressure on the band to release new material. To get the record company off their backs, "Rainbow" released the excellent live album "On Stage", which was released in 1977 and gave the band more time to complete the recordings.
Finally, "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" was released with a one-year delay - on April 9, 1978. Despite all the unusual circumstances and delays that surrounded its recording, it is an excellent album that includes powerful songs that over time became legendary.
To illustrate how good this album is, just imagine that from 2004 to 2010, Ronnie James Dio included 3 of the 8 songs from the album in his setlists.
The songs played in all of Dio's shows are the anthem "Long Live Rock N 'Roll" the fast and amazing opening track "Kill the King" which Ronnie James Dio wrote about a game of chess and the epic track with oriental influences and one of Ritchie Blackmore's great solos - "Gates of Babylon".
Whoever got to see Dio in his excellent performance in Israel in 2005, knows that during his performance Ronnie James Dio explained the reason for choosing these songs as part of the setlist. Dio said that it bothered him so much that these beautiful songs would be lost, because there is no active band that has been performing them for years, so he decided to include them in his setlist regularly.
But this album is definitely not just these three songs. "Lady of the Lake" is one of the most amazing tracks on the album. We do not doubt that the riff and its rhythm were influenced by "Led Zeppelin's" "The Wanton Song", but we have no problem with that. "L.A. Connection" is actually the proof that this is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever. Why do you ask? Because this is perhaps the most "weak" song on the album and it still gets us shivering every time we listen to it. "The Shed (Subtle)" with Ritchie Blackmore's guitar intro is one of the underrated ones in this album, the light and catchy "Sensitive to Light" hints at the direction Rainbow will continue in their next albums, and "Rainbow Eyes" is Definitely one of the beautiful and moving ballads in hard rock
And now to the small scandal related to the album's the inside cover.
The inside cover of the album includes a photo from a performance that is allegedly a performance by "Rainbow". The photo shows an enthusiastic audience carrying a sign with the caption: "Long Live Rock N 'Roll" (see photo).
But no! This picture was taken at a "Rush" concert and proof of this can be found in the picture below. just note that the picture of "Rainbow's" album inside cover is a "mirror picture" of the original picture taken at the "Rush" concert. The sign made by "Rush" fans was deleted and replaced with the caption "Long Live Rock N 'Roll". In addition, the "Rush" fans' shirts which bore the inscription of the band's name were blackened,
And if you still think this "theft" is actually "Rush" from "Rainbow", you better think again. First, a quick glance at the picture will reveal that it is not possible to do a reverse manipulation and plant the caption "Rush" on the crumpled and partially hidden shirts, certainly not with the technology that existed in the 70s. More of that, which fan comes to a show with a sign that does not bear the band name or one of its members or at least a symbol of the band and instead chooses a sign that includes a slogan that has nothing to do with the band itself? Fourth, how did the fans predict the name of the record even before it was released?
But the story here is not just about forging a picture (and we do not take lightly the seriousness of the act), it is about rewriting history, stealing a very special moment of fame from "Rush's" fans, which is captured on camera.
Despite this small scandal, this is an excellent album that is also Ronnie James Dio's "Swan Song" in Rainbow. Dio will continue to a glorious career with Black Sabbath and then with the band that bears his name "Dio".