A great, and in parts, very funny review of one of the greatest albums in rock history. The journalist could not at this time imagine Blackmore`s Night, and neither could the rest of us. But the medieval experimentation or maybe we should call it flirtation, started around this time for Mr. Blackmore.
I don`t know why the title of the album (“Rising”) isn`t mentioned in the article, but maybe he didn`t have the cover at the time of his review or something.
And, I must also say, that this version of the band was one of the best ones. A really rocking band full of talented musicians. Unfortunately, three of the five musicians recording this album is not with us today. But what a legacy they left behind. Just playing on “Stargazer” is enough to be remembered forever. What a melody! What a song!
By Bob Edmands
Ritchie Blackmore, the world`s loudest musician, sees an amazing new role for himself – as a medieval minstrel.
Hard to believe, right? Like Lou Reed campaigning in support of Real Ale: or George Harrison opting for atheism; or Tony Blackburn playing music; or Bob Harris shouting.
Well there it is in black and white. “An interest in medieval music… reflected in the Rainbow sound,” says the press handout. “Many of the songs make use of medieval modes.”
You gotta be joking. If Ritchie had to get the Sword out of the Stone, you can be sure he`d use a pneumatic drill.
Blackmore pours out the notes like burning oil from battlements. The band`s menace suggests the rack rather than the maypole. Their unhinged attack is enough to dissolve the monasteries all over again. The sound is fat, powerful and brutish, like Henry the Eight. Domesday Book? Doomsday machine, more like.
Medieval modes or not, the important thing is that with one album, Blackmore has transcended anything he did with Deep Purple.
It was Blackmore, with Ian Paice, who kept Deep Purple from being Shallow Sepia. Paice is sadly still with Purple, but on hand (and feet) is the great Cozy Powell, hammering away like the sort of octopus that could inspire a new Peter Benchley bestseller.
The combination is the hottest heavy in years. Lots of snarling riffs snapping at you, compelling, ferocious presence.
Blackmore is never gonna be a new Hendrix. He`s not into that sort of frenzied inspiration. It`s a sense of dramatic effect and dynamics that he`s built his reputation on, and those instincts have rarely been put to better use than here.
“Stargazer” is the track that says it all, taking up half of one side, with a satanic majesty and a perverse epic grandeur that make it a classic.
Blackmore turns in one of his most stunning solos on “Stargazer”, precise, calculated, soaring and shimmering over the melee. And the song thunders for the exits with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra taking up the riff. Well done Koncert Meister Fritz Sonneleitner, you and the boys sound just like a rampaging synthesiser. It`s amazing what they can do with orchestras these days.
Not content with one goldplated monster cut, Rainbow turn to “A Light in the Dark,” the sort of crazed, flat-out blitzkrieg the Purple tried for on “Machine Head”. When this baby rumbles out of the speakers, there`s not a grey cell left intact within a five-mile radius. No matter. Who needs grey cells to review this kind of mind-mangler?
Rainbow is different to Purple, and it`s not just the range of musical colours they produce. Most of those are varying shades of black, anyway. What this band have created is a bad guys` mutant of orchestral rock, the perfect antidote to the pious mysticism of Yes and other yesmen. Proof at last that rock music doesn`t have to be twee to be ambitious.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Todd Rundgren, Steve Miller Band, Streetwalkers, Gram Parsons, Dr. Hook, Joe Higgs, Sonny Rollins.
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