Friday, May 22, 2009

A Metal Moment Follow-up

Ever since I posted the inaugural Metal Moment last night, I've been thinking about one of the other projects Dio was in, Rainbow. Formed by Ritchie Blackmore after the frustration of having the rug pulled out from under him in Deep Purple, He decided to work with a band that Deep Purple had toured with before. That band was Elf, a bluesy rock outfit fronted by Dio at the time. Blackmore kicked the guitarist out of Elf, and set himself up as replacement, changing their name to Rainbow. After the release of their first album, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, which was best known for the song, "Man on the Silver Mountain," Blackmore fired everyone from the band except for Dio. Blackmore got replacements and started the band anew with the album, Rising, which accelerated the band to new heights with Blackmore's expertly laid guitars and Dio's powerful voice over mystical sword-and-sorcery lyrics. I actually dug up Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, their next album, from my collection. It's an awesome album, but there's a schism etched into it. About this point, Blackmore wanted to do more "commercial" rock, which Dio thought was retarded. So half the songs, like "Lady of the Lake" and the kick ass "Gates of Babylon" still have Dio's influence in them while other songs, like "L.A. Connection" and "Sensitive to Light" have a more radio friendly (and weaker, in my opinion) sound to them that Blackmore wanted. Of course, this would be Dio's last album with the band, as he quit and then got asked by Tony Iommi to join Black Sabbath after they fired Ozzy. Rainbow would continue with more albums, with more personell changes. Despite making some good songs, the band didn't have the same power that they had with Dio. Despite some of the "weaker" songs, LLRnR is still a solid album because the songs that Dio influenced are just that good. One thing about this album made me laugh my ass off. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll has a gatefold sleeve, featuring a picture of a crowd going crazy at a concert, holding up a banner that read "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll." According to Wikipedia, that photo was actually taken from a Rush concert (my all time favorite band) and you can tell the wording on the banner was doctored. The original wording was probably something like, "The Holy Trinity of Rock," or "Neil Peart is God Incarnate," or something like that. I just thought that was fucking hilarious. So there you go. These albums are proof that Dio is more than just some Ozzy wannabe. Kaiser out

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