In the 1980′s I owned a vinyl version of this release, an edited version of this release. I used to hear Deep Purple’s Made In Japan thundering from my older brother’s room. I thought nothing of it. Then came MTV and I saw videos by Blackmore’s band Rainbow. Soon I was listening to all the Deep Purple I could lay my hands on, especially the Mach II recordings.
This album is two concerts recorded live for the BBC. The version I have includes the host introducing the band and the songs. I like hearing some of the banter, though that may change after I listen a few more times. On the second show there is some nut with a squeaky toy or something that you can hear between songs. The concerts represent what was best and sometimes worst about early 70′s hard rock. The music is raw, and the solos are long. Some might say too long. We’ll get there later.
The first concert is from about the time of the release of In Rock, the first album with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. The band was moving from progressive rock into hard rock. The musical struggle between Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord had been won by Ritchie. This concert is the transition period for the band- and it shows. There are only 4 songs. Two are from the new album- Speed King and Child in Time. The other 2 are from their albums with Rod Evans and Nick Simper on vocals and bass- Wring that Neck and Mandrake Root.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Black Sabbath, Cozy Powell, Deep Purple, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Ozzy, Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Ronnie James Dio on February 12, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
It is all MTV’s fault when you get down to it.
MTV began to air my sophomore year in high school. Back then it was really about music, not all those pseudo-reality shows. The local radio stations didn’t play Rainbow very much (Rainbow was more popular in Europe and Japan), so I saw them first there. It was All Night Long (sadly, I think it was the sleezy girl that kept me watching at first), and Can’t Happen Here. Soon I had just about everything Ritchie Blackmore played on (including Green Bullfrog with other great guitarists playing blues-rock). Soon I discovered that my older brother had most of the albums. No wonder the songs sounded vaguely familiar.
I didn’t go digital with most of my Blackmore collection. Didn’t matter, my CD collection was stolen in a break-in. After that I remember owning a best of collection. Somehow it was misplaced during our recent cross country trip. My new iPod needed some Rainbow, so I decided to go with Anthology with its focus on the the early years of the band.
The band began as Blackmore’s frustration with Deep Purple was reaching the breaking point. A band named Elf opened for them on the Stormbringer tour. Ritchie was impressed enough to use the band, fronted by Ronnie James Dio, for his solo album which morphed into a band . Over the years, the line up changed with every album but Blackmore was the reason the band existed.
the late Ronnie James Dio
Anthology kicks off with 16th Century Greensleeves. It builds off of the old song Greeensleeves. Blackmore’s love for classical music would often show itself in songs and solos. The song is representative of the Dio-years. His obsession with mythology and mysticism would outlast his years with Rainbow. It was not about occultism so much as the struggle between good and evil. Of course, apart from Christ the outcome is altogether uncertain. Together, Blackmore and Dio would lay the ground work for heavy metal. Blackmore would inspire a legion of guitarists, and Dio another legion of lyricists.
“Someone screaming my name, come and make me holy again.” Man on the Silver Mountain
The theme continues on The Temple of the King and Man on the Silver Mountain. Thankfully they did not use any of the live versions of the latter, with Dio screaming “we’re all the man”. But the latter is a classic Blackmore song that persisted in concert until the end. The last cut from Blackmore’s Rainbow is an old Yardbird’s song Still I’m Sad. It is done as an aggressive instrumental as Ritchie lets loose. This is a great song, and I really enjoyed the live versions.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Brian Borromeo, City of Love, It Can Happen, Moody Blues, Owner of a Lonely Heart, Pretenders, Rainbow, Roman Catholicism, Scorpions, Senior Prom, the Cars, Trevor Rabin, U2, Van Halen, Yes on December 11, 2010 |
Leave a Comment »
This morning at the gym I was listening to Yes’ 90125 album. I enjoyed much of the older stuff by Yes, and I was very excited to hear that a reformulated Yes was releasing an album. This was during my Senior year in high school. This was the year that I started going to rock concerts. It all started with Rainbow (Aldo Nova was the opening act) on what would be their final world tour (Blackmore’s reformulated Rainbow in the late 90′s is blocked out from my memory). John Graves, a.k.a. Jolly since he was English, called to see if I wanted to go. I begged my father to go. That year I would see Van Halen (with Autograph), the Scorpions (with Bon Jovi) and Yes. The summer after graduation I would see the Moody Blues, the Pretenders (with the Simple Minds), the Cars (the night before my physical exam for college- being on the 4th row, I couldn’t hear anything the next day) and Yes again. Listening to It Can Happen reminded the long, strange story of how I got to go to that concert (sorry about the really bad fashion, it was the 80′s).
He had the same haircut for 30 years.
Before I get to that, today I learned one of my other best friends in High School passed away unexpectedly this week. Brian Borromeo was in most of my classes, and I somehow managed to be a few people ahead of him in the upper quarter. We spent a lot of time together while at school. He was the first of my Philippino friends. I didn’t see him much after college. One weekend I was home from school and I had a small party. He came over. It was good to head to pick up pizza and talk about life and the “new” U2 EP that had come out. The last time we got together was just after he’d transferred to Northeastern University in Boston. He apparently decided dentistry was not for him. He was angry that I was no longer Roman Catholic. I never saw him again. I kept trying to find him on Facebook, but never did. Now I never will.
Yes’ 90125 came out and we were blown away. Trever Rabin’s guitar (he’s gone on to work on a number of movie soundtracks) was a welcome addition for me. His style was very different than Steve Howe’s, so the album had a different feel to it than their great albums from the past. So we were all ready to go see the band when they came to town.
Read Full Post »