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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rainbow – ‘Live in Munich 1977’ album review

Rainbow – ‘Live in Munich 1977’ album review

Released on: Eagle. Release date: Available now.
First off I have to tell you that this Rainbow 'Live in Munich 1977,' is a release that was previously released in different formats, although never on vinyl and has now been reissued in various different formats with re-mastered audio. 
So now it's available in DVD, vinyl, CD and digital download formats for both the video and finally the music that I have to cover here.
No mention of Blu-ray ... Yet!
My source had limited availability on the DVD, so I went and picked up a copy for myself – From Amazon … - which includes many bonus features, that I really wanted a copy of for my collection anyway ..., but I'm not covering that review here ... Took me long enough to wrap this beauty up!
This release basically features the lineup that released the wonderful album, ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ in 1978 with leader Ritchie Blackmore (Guitars), Ronnie James Dio (Lead vocals – RIP Ronnie), Cozy Powell (Drums – RIP Cozy) and the two newest members of the band, who were let go / quit after the recording the album and touring it finished in 1979.
Bob Daisley (Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack, Widowmaker, Ozzy Osbourne, Uriah Heep, Gary Moore and many more!) on bass who after leaving Rainbow was hugely sort after and on keyboards David Stone who could really jam on Hammond!
None of the other three members surely need any introduction at all, as they all have / had great track records, end of story!

Sadly both Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell are no longer with us, leaving the world way too early in anyone’s book.
After Rainbow though, they both went from success to success, until both of them sadly passed. Cozy in a car crash in 1998 and Ronnie just three years ago to stomach cancer.
I sincerely miss both these players, as they were both top notch.
RIP guys ...

So this is the CD version of this release, ‘Live in Munich 1977’ that sadly only includes nine tracks and there could’ve been more, but for Mr. Blackmore’s incredible self-indulgencies ... Seriously!

  This became all too obvious in subsequent Rainbow gigs and live releases, which in each case had much more of a set list to them, not necessarily much longer shows, but without doubt more streamlined.

In fact this is really only eight tracks when you take out the ‘Introduction’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ with the voice of Judy Garland and it really rocks out with ‘Kill The King’ reflecting the band on absolutely top form with their opening number!

David Stone’s Hammond totally compliments Ritchie’s magnificent guitar work and Ronnie’s wonderful vocals and the driving force of both Cozy Powell and Bob Daisley, it’s just wow!

At the end of ‘Kill The King,’ Ronnie talks to the crowd, ‘Thank you so much, again we say thank you for staying so long, for staying as long as you have, we hope you enjoy the show.’

The story goes that the band were late starting this gig as prior to this Munich gig, Ritchie Blackmore had to be smuggled out of Austria after trouble with Police at a gig there two nights earlier, which caused the band to arrive late for this gig.
Have to say, the band sounds great, so maybe Ritchie’s freedom drove him to play the performance of his life perhaps?! LOL!

‘Mistreated’ from Ritchie’s Deep Purple career is next and for all intents and purposes it’s as strong as ever, if drawn out which is my only criticism here, with Ritchie just going off on his own little jaunt, before the band all come crashing back in with the song’s heavy blues groove.
I love Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar work, always have done as any of my old mates would tell you and he was my favourite player for ages until around the mid-80’s when I just felt that really for me, Michael Schenker (UFO, Scorpions) was edging it ...
Still love all of his Purple and Rainbow stuff though!
‘Sixteen Century Greensleeves’ comes next, almost like a breath of fresh air.
The track that gently lulls the listener into a false sense of security with its gentle intro before kicking down the door with some seriously heavy guitar chords, drums and bass, is a
great number that I hadn’t heard in years and it brought back great memories! Magic!

The wonderful and epic ‘Catch The Rainbow’ is next, which finally starts after about two minutes of Ritchie’s ‘song introduction ...’
Although it’s such a lengthy excursion, it allows each band member to shine, but it’s really Ritchie Blackmore’s centerpiece if you will with his soloing in the middle – even with David Stone trying to make his Hammond organ get some attention – reaching over seven minutes alone in this seventeen minute monster!
Still love it!
As a lead into ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Ronnie explains ‘We’d like to do a song for you from an LP that you’ve never heard before, because we’ve only just finished recording it … An LP that you should be able to buy, I hope or steal it or whatever you do with it, get it, in January some time. Our new LP which this is the title track from, kind of the message that we’re trying to give to the world .., except for Austria … It’s a song called ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ this one!’
It’s actually kind of cool as clearly since the band had only just wrapped up recording prior to these dates, the new song’s structures were not yet set in stone, so as with ‘Kill The King,’ ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ each song actually comes across slightly different from how you may have familiarized yourself with the tune from the 1978 album release.

The intro especially with the drums – Cowbell count in! – and Hammond keyboard playing back and forth a little before finally kicking everyone in together and it’s a seriously heavy Hammond intro and then Ronnie’s vocal sounds completely inspired!
Wonderful stuff!

Disc two kicks off with an almost speed driven version of ‘Man On The Silver Mountain,’ which if you go back and listen to the original 1975 version from ‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow,’ it’s like this one leaves that version in the dust!
 It of course get's into it's jam section, where after a little Blackmore break, the band kicks into 'Starstuck' just briefly, still a kick ass jam!
Said jam continues and then gets back into 'Man On The Silver Mountan' before wrapping the track up.  

I must say I’ve always thought the original studio version sounds so slow, I remember our band looking to cover it a few years ago and when we first got together to jam it everyone said to me,Al, that’s way too slow man!’ I said, ‘OK, let’s all listen to the original together then and you’ll see why I’m playing so slow?!' LOL! Funny times!

‘Still I’m Sad’ next is another monster here, clocking in around twenty five minutes, although it does capture my all-time hero drummer Cozy Powell, performing his solo accompanying Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture!'
It is another with the lengthy intro, not Ritchie so much this time, but David Stone, no complaints though ... Then right around the four minute mark, wham! In comes the band!
 When they reach the mid section, Ritchie throws in little snatches of songs / tunes, first off I hear 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' then Beethoven's 'Ode To Joy.'
David Stone gets a little time, where he even at times sounds like Keith Emerson to a degree with some serious synth stuff ... Wow!
Then it's Cozy's turn ... Prior to the '1812 ...' piece, he shows his own little endeavors, with rapid double bass drum and wonderful fill's the whole thing clocking in just under six minutes ...
Love the DVD of this ... Boy are you missed Cozy .... :(
The cheers when Ronnie yells out, 'Cozy Powell!' Speak for themselves, massive!
The band departs the stage briefly only to be beckoned back for an encore in 'Do You Close Your Eyes?' Of course not before Ritchie's provided us another three minutes of his guitar flurries ...

The band totally rocks on this and there's a moment or so when Ritchie and David Stone play off each other in great style and then there's Ritchie's own soloing that is just wonderful!
The ending I will say though is seriously drawn out by Ritchie as he gets all crazy and trashes his guitar ...
All said and done though, a very solid and suitable finish, good old rocker!
The whole performance is closed by 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow,' with Judy Garland doing her bit in the intro for the band and at the end ....

It's releases like this that kind of in some respects rile the listener up, that Ritchie Blackmore stopped rockin' 'n' rollin' more than a few years back.

I really did enjoy listening to this though and checking out the DVD ...
The bonus footage there for me, is going to take some time for me to get to though unfortunately ..., as more album reviews beckon!

This is certainly a winner in my books however you look at it, even if kind of drawn out in places, there's plenty here in the flow of things that more than make up for Ritchie's 'dabbling's!'

With Rainbow, 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' simply couldn't say it loud enough and with these guys, the memories will always remain special and legendary.
Good job Eagle Rock for putting this out!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Related sites: - Fan site, very good!


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