Rainbow - Rising
After the shambolic and downright poor first album, the band's second album was so much better that it might as well have been released by a different band. In fact by the time Blackmore had finished rebuilding the band in his own image, it was. There are better songs; better production; better instrumentality. In short - everything on this album is better than on its predecessor. It all contributes to a much improved overall feel of the album and is one which should rank up there as one of the classic albums of the mid seventies.
This was perhaps the direction rock should have gone. Forget garbage like Kiss, this was rock music not comic books. It is not all positive. At times it is pretentious, at times the arrangements are too lush, It is definitely (like too much of Rainbow's work) too short at only a little over 16 minutes a side and always leaves you feeling short-changed. But despite those flaws this is the best album Rainbow ever put out. From here on in it was all downhill to the point where Ritchie Blackmore now plays with (in more ways than one) a candy cute doll who thinks she's Cinderella.
The six tracks on the album are, unlike the tracks on the first Rainbow album, all original. There is not a cover in sight (although to be fair the covers on the first album were by and large the best tracks). Thankfully, there is also not a single filler on here either, and considering some of the dross which padded the debut album, that is remarkable. "Tarot Woman" with its swirling synthesiser introduction, the Promethean "Stargazer" and "A Light in the Black" are the stand out tracks on the album, and it is no coincidence that they are the longest too. It seems as if the band really needed some time to get going and at times the music becomes almost prog-rock in its style, length and themes. There is at times something almost epic about this album and yet at no point does it lurch towards the pretension of bands like Yes or the mundanity of Genesis. Somehow, this remains hard rock despite it all.
Six tracks and so short a time in which to place them. Rising could have easily been longer, but that might have meant compromise. One thing Blackmore never did was compromise - he seems to have fallen out with virtually every musician he ever worked with rather than share his visions. As with Deep Purple before, the trouble with Rainbow was that Ritchie Blackmore always thought he was bigger than the band. He was the leader, the raison d'être for the very existence of it. He did nothing but mess around Rainbow, just as he had done with Deep Purple before. Therefore, gradually, everyone who was of any importance left. In the end, it was a transient population of session musicians and yes men and it was these people over whom Blackmore could safely claim total domination. No one is bigger than the band and if Blackmore had listened to that, then things would have been a whole lot different and Rainbow would have made some spectacular albums. As it is, this is their outstanding output and having been released so early in their catalogue, it is not surprising that I found the band went downhill from here.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.