The Legacy of Deep Purple
"We have started the inheritance of Deep Purple in each case. Even if we do not dissolved it", meant Ritchie Blackmore recently in an interview. After the line-up's second LP of his new "Rainbow" ("Rainbow Rising") it's also no longer of importance. Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow represents today what from Deep would have become, if the group had developed further.
The worm has gotten long before in Deep Purple, before Ritchie decided to go his own way. Before they could struggle through this step, one had nearly already forgotten that he actually ranks among the best rock guitarists. His nerve-wrecking play seemed itself dragging only from concert to concert, from LP to LP without any changes. From ideas no more trace, only screwed up routine; desireless with a sarcastic face expression, that's how people saw Ritchie at the last concerts with Deep Purple.
A bet on the wrong horse
There were sceptical reactions, after he'd presented his first "Rainbow" Formation. With the delicate Ronnie Dio he had really made a good catch. From where this dwarf takes his superb Rock-organ, is puzzling us. He shows exactly the energy, that Ritchie needs for his dynamic ideas. Ronnie, leader of the group Elf, was presented together with his musicians as Blackmore's new "orchestra". The fact that there was soon a row was to be foreseen. As transfer vehicles for Ritchie the musicians were good enough, but did not possess up to Ronnie however not the necessary profile, in order to satisfy the master. After the first LP "Rainbow" Ritchie fired everyone up to Ronnie, who does not only has an enormous voice, but also as songwriter supplies the "boss" with good ideas.
Before the first LP appeared, Ritchie and Ronnie exchanged many ideas to the best. Thus for example Ritchies preference for medieval music should effectively fitted in. But when the product on the recordplayer ended, one could only decline. Except for few exceptions all titles could been on the newest Deep Purple: average Hardrock with a few lightpoints, but still well enough, in order to satisfy die-hard Blackmore fans.
Ritchie plays again
With new people, drummer Cozy Powell, Jimmy Bain (bass) and Tony Carey (keyboard), nevertheless Ritchie Blackmore finally created it after all, to convert his ideas somewhat more effectively.
"Rainbow Rising" is to be rated therefore actually as the genuine entrance into his new career: new label (Oyster), new people (those finally understand, what he intended) and new joy in playing.
Perhaps he even succeeds in re-establishing his scratched image as a guitarist. His playin' shows even already California influences, so loosely he hasn't touched his guitar for a long time. A little bit of a strings galery play belongs to it, because Rainbow is a group of class, that still freshly and new pulls off. With open arms Ritchie waits now for the crowds of abandoned Purple fans, which he and his new band can comfort with security over the "loss".
After the ponderously ramming monotone of the different "dinosaur" Deep Purple (Jon Lord), you'll certainly enjoy to turn to a hard rock act, which still offers except ear pain some musical alternation to them.
The Purple fans definitely will come
Ritchie Blackmore invested anyhow seriously into his "rainbow". Now, since you notice, he does not throw his beads no more before the famous sows, he moves again from his beasty role, convert himself even, that he sees himself as a fully integrated group member and not as a star with backinggroup. But in this relationship it is incalculable.
That he indicates the tone, and the group is mainly a medium for his ideas, he won't deny it, even if it looks going democratically on stage.
But in one point he limits himself realistically: The fact that Rainbow enters immediately again as absolute top act, where Purple gave up, appears probably to him also illusorily.
Although the concerts ran extremely successfully in the States, Blackmore prefers smaller halls. He is even ready to play with Rainbow as support-act for example to Jethro Tull or Alice Cooper. But both fell in the water on the last minute. Now he heads with Rainbow for Europe - with a diagonal view on the English press, which did not touch him with velvet gloves.
Musik Express, October 1976 [translated from German language]