And this time "Stranger in Us All", the eighth studio album by "Rainbow" was released on August 21, 1995.
After the tour that accompanied "The Battle Rages On", Deep Purple's 14th studio album, the frictions that have existed in the band ever since began to widen into huge cracks and the fierce battles between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan only intensified. The fact that the album faltered and was not a success (partly due to the outburst of alternative and grunge) did not help the dismal situation, and led Ritchie Blackmore to decide to leave the band once again.
Blackmore's natural choice was to return to the arms of the lineup he had built with his own hands two decades earlier. This time too, as in his previous departure scene, Blackmore has assembled the band that will accompany him, most of them young and anonymous artists, just like Déjà vu from the circumstances which led to the debut album that came out exactly 20 years earlier. Even the name of the original band "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow", which was featured on the first album appears here again after two decades.
Unfortunately, even some of the ardent fans of Blackmore and Rainbow tend to ignore this album, which is exactly why we are here to tell you that this is a simply excellent album, which you should not miss.
Blackmore chose as his co-pilot the amazing Scottish singer Doogie White, whose voice is simply a crazy combination between Joe Lynn Turner who "accompanied" Rainbow on three albums, and Glenn Hughes' from the MKIII lineup of Deep Purple, who is celebrating his birthday today (listen to him on the song "Silence"). Doggy does an amazing job of singing and it is no wonder that after the brief flirtation with Blackmore he continued to work with leading artists like Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Schenker.
But Doggy's contribution was not just in poetry, he co-wrote all but three of the songs with Blackmore. The remake of Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad", which appeared on an instrumental version 20 years earlier on the band's debut album and is here as a kind of closing circle, the adaptation of the classic piece "Hall of the Mountain King" by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and the song "Ariel" who Blackmore wrote along with his partner Candice Night who also co-wrote the opening song "Wolf to the Moon".
This album is for us like a walk on the yellow brick road. As if leaving us with nostalgic hints from Ritchie's previous and amazing works, with quite a few tracks corresponding with his works from the past.
For example, the song "Silence" includes a melody that in some parts reminds us of "You Fool No One" from the album "Burn", and the song "Ariel" brings up oriental scents that longingly remind us of the immortal "Stargazer", the melody in the track "Too Late for Tears" reminded us of "Can't Happen Here" written by Roger Glover and Ritchie Blackmore in the days of "Difficult to Cure" and the song "Black Masquerade" which includes in its lyrics the title of the album "Stranger in Us All" reminded us in its dynamics of "Deep Purple's" song "Anya".
And what about Ritchie Blackmore? Blackmore is just amazing !!!
How unfortunate that this album was Blackmore's last sign of life in rock music for over two decades. In 1997 he and his partner set up the folk-renaissance project "Blackmore's Night" and replaced the electric Stratocaster with an acoustic guitar.