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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

On August 4, 1975, "Rainbow"'s debut album, known as "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" was released.

In November 1974, "Deep Purple" releases their last album with Ritchie Blackmore, titled "Stormbringer". Although the album received good reviews and although a considerable number of songs from it got air time on various radio stations (except for the theme song also "Lady Double Dealer", "The Gypsy" and "Soldier of Fortune"), Richie Blackmore was not happy with the result and he also expresses his dissatisfaction in public. What bothered Blackmore was the musical direction the band was drawn to, and the fact that it included elements of funk and soul.

In addition to the dissatisfaction with the musical direction, another incident was the "last straw" for "The Black Man". During the recordings of the album "Stormbringer," Ritchie Blackmore asked the band members to record a cover version of the song "Black Sheep of the Family" by the band "Quatermass" from 1970, but they objected.

Blackmore decides that was too much for him and already in February 1975 he joined Ronnie James Dio, from whom he was very impressed while with his band ELF warmed up "Deep Purple". With Ronnie on board Blackmore begins to form the band that will help him fulfill his vision. Dio brought with him all of his bandmates from "ELF" (minus the guitarist of course), but for Blackmore, the only true partnership was with Dio, while the rest of the members were considered by him as session players that helped him record his new material.

At the same time, Ritchie Blackmore informs 'Deep Purple" that he intends to leave the band at the end of the tour of the album "Stormbringer". This happened when there were only three shows left until the end of the tour. And so it happened, that on April 7, 1975, all the members of "Deep Purple" showed up for the last performance of the MKIII lineup which took place in Paris. This show was recorded and released on CD in 2001, as part of the "Deep Purple" live shows series. This performance is important both because it is the only one in which the song "The Gypsy" was performed and recorded live and because this was Blackmore's last appearance with the MKIII lineup. Anyone who listens to the show will notice that Blackmore has fulfilled his commitment, giving a good show until the last minute. He leaves the stage knowing well where he is headed. He's going to do things his own way.

The recordings for the band's debut album, later called "Rainbow", will take place in Munich from February 20 to March 14, 1975, before Blackmore gives his final bow with "Deep Purple".

Ritchie Blackmore's initial intention was to record the cover version of the song "Black Sheep of the Family" which was the in the heart of the quarrel with his bandmates from "Deep Purple", plus a new song called "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" to be used as a b-side. However, the results were so satisfying that Blackmore decided to expand the project to an entire album.

The album opens with "The Man On The Silver Mountain" with Blackmore's immortal and memorable riff, which is hard not to compare to the one from "Smoke on The Water". The combination of Blackmore and Dio is just perfect. Blackmore's catchy riffs and melodic solos blend with Dio's endless vocal range and powerful vocals. True, it is difficult to ignore the minimal contribution of the rest of the band, especially if one compares the thin sound of the album to that which will come in the next album, so one can perhaps understand Blackmore's decision to fire all members of this band (minus Dio of course) immediately after the album was released, since he thought that they were not good enough to hold the material in live performances.

The album features additional memorable pieces that have become an integral part of the band's repertoire throughout its history.

The amazing ballad "Temple of the King" which describes a spiritual and mysterious journey to the king's temple, in search of answers. In 1975 Blackmore said the song was written after watching a program called "Yoga for Health" on television. The calmness of the yoga that Blackmore practiced at the time led him to write a quiet, calm, and melodic song that even then was clear to him that it would be difficult for the band to perform live due to its complexity. Blackmore plays on two classical guitars and in addition to an electric one.

The song "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" whose lyrics were written by Dio following Blackmore's idea of ​​a castle where the Black Knight lives. The "Black Knight" is of course Ritchie and he comes out of his castle from time to time and captures a young peasant maiden from the nearby village. Blackmore seems to have lived up to this fantasy in his personal life when he co-founded "Blackmore's Night" with "Young Miss" Candice Night and began writing, playing, and recording medieval English folk music. It is interesting to note that the one who plays the cello in this track is Hugh McDowell who is known from the band "Electric Light Orchestra".

The amazing piece "Catch the Rainbow" features a background vocalist named Shoshana Feinstein who was Ritchie Blackmore's girlfriend during the recording of the album. Shoshana also performs the background voice in the cover version of the song "Still I'm Sad" by "The Yardbirds" that seals the album.

The cover version of the song "Black Sheep of the Family" which created the breakup from "Deep Purple" is among the least good tracks on the album, as is "If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll", which sounds very close to the musical direction of the "ELF".

Despite the imbalance in the quality of the songs on the album, this is a very important album in the development of heavy metal, especially because this album has revealed to the world one of the great voices in metal.

Immediately after the album's release, Blackmore will add new musicians to the band to match his musical vision, including the formidable drummer Cozy Powell, who will undoubtedly influence the band's sound and make it one of the most influential in the hard rock scene of the time.

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