CATCH THE RAINBOW
Germany Nov 1998 - Jan 1999 Sanctuary Records CMRCD183
1. Kill The King
2. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
4. Lost In Hollywood
5. Catch The Rainbow
6. I Surrender
7. Spotlight Kid
8. Man On The Silver Mountain
9. Rainbow Eyes
10. Eyes Of The World
11. Still I'm Sad
12. Lady Of The Lake
(Bonus Track On Japan Release Only)
Vocals: Henne Basse
Guitar: Guido Bungenstock
Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Uli Kusch at FIXITINTHEMIX November 1998 - January 1999
Mastered by Tommy Hansen at Jailhouse, January 1999
Artwork by Kalli Haun & Henjo Richter
Rainbow made their mark on an entire generation with their music, and today no one can take away their magic. Trends come and go but Hard Rock has durability.....Long Live Rock'n'Roll!!!
Ah yes, it's time to ride the rainbow all over again. There aren't many who should be bold enough to try to reinterpret one of the all-time greats as Rainbow once were and continue to be to this day, but this latest assembly of fine German musicians have brought forth a spirited attempt that goes beyond doing justice to the original. Banded together from already known classic lineups featuring members of Helloween, Gamma Ray, Gravedigger, Primal Fear, though I don't quite get why bassist Jens Becker's connection to Kingdom Come should take precedence over his stellar years with Running Wild, but nonetheless, he's here to lend the lines to opener "Kill the King."
The core of the contributing artists feature such "freelancers" as Markus Glossner doing the keyboard work-no small task considering-Guido Bungenstock and Frank Hellmuth on guitar and bass respectively and current Helloween drummer Uli Kusch-a busy man fresh off his recent Shock Machine stint with Marcus Groskopf, filling the role of producer and mixer quite admirably. The biggest moment early on would be how they'd handle the majestic "Stargazer," with its Zeppelin-esque aura and musical posture that makes it a handful all its own. Proudly, the performers come through with shining colors!
The brunt of the vocal chores fall upon Henne Basse, another of the less prominent featured here who happens to sound nothing like Dio or any of those who followed. On "I Surrender" imagine Graham Bonnet having held on to the notes just a tad longer, not to mention his voice and this one's a real showstopper made out of a relatively basic song. Their version of the classic "Man on the Silver Mountain" is drum heavy while for some reason Basse's vocals get lost somewhere in the mix but overall, a decent job on another of those songs that take a great deal of care and concern to make it sound right. The guys bring it home with the Ralf Scheepers led closure "Still I'm Sad" which boasts some brilliant guitar work that even Blackmore himself might have to step back and nod his head in agreement.
The finest in melodic power metal who have long entertained listeners with their own dignified artistry for a number of years now have really captured the power and brilliance of one of the true rock and roll supergroups-in this case, one to another!
review: Vinnie Apicella
When Deep Purple disbanded and from its ashes arose the glowing star that first became Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, then Blackmore's Rainbow and finally just Rainbow, the world had gained another grade A act. With undeniable talent in the form of Ronnie James Dio's voice and Blackmore's guitar playing and songwriting, they have created many a memorable tune. After several albums that went far beyond mere excellence, Ronnie James Dio was kicked out of the band. In came Graham Bonnet. Out went Bonnett. In came Joe Lynn Turner. Rainbow stopped, and reunited several years later.
None questions the fact that Rainbow's finest albums were all made when Ronnie was still in the fold. That is probably the reason that 8 of the 12 tracks on "Catch the Rainbow - a Tribute to Rainbow" in fact stem from those efforts. A good choice, even though it does mean that vocalists will inevitably fail to attain Dio's incredible voice and instantly recognizable style.
The album is played by a variety of musicians, though most vocals are done by Henne Basse (of Metalium fame) and most guitars are played by Guido Bungenstock (who doesn't seem to be in a band). Now Henne Basse is a power metal vocalist and he's my main gripe with the album: He just isn't fit to sing Ronnie James Dio's style. On "Lost in Hollywood" he outsings the originally atrocious Graham Bonnet and on the Japanese bonus track "Lady of the Lake" he really shines, but on the other seven tracks he contributes to he just doesn't quite cut it. In general, the tracks on this tribute album sound pretty faithful to the originals, with especially the guitarists doing very capable jobs. Production-wise, the rather 'fatter' Martin Birch approach might have been used a bit more here and there, but otherwise this is a really good album. There's a fine version of "Stargazer", a cool "Spotlight Kid" (though the keyboards aren't too inspired) and "Man on the Silver Mountain", a sensitive "Rainbow Eyes", a musically well executed "Eyes of the World" (where the vocalist - Uli "Helloween" Kusch - is a lot like Graham Bonnett, i.e. mediocre) and a nice "Still I'm Sad" (though vocalist Ralf "Primal Fear" Scheepers doesn't contribute positively).
On the whole, "Catch the Rainbow - a Tribute to Rainbow" is an album made by a bunch of good musicians who really love Rainbow. It shows. Vocalists aren't always good, but musically it's all, as we may sometimes be heard to say in Holland, "fat in order". The Japanese version has "Lady of the Lake" which is, apart from the less subtle guitar work, one of the climaxes of the album. Worth getting.
Well it is finially here!!!! Uli's Rainbow tribute. Being a huge Rainbow fan from all three eras (Bonnet, Dio and Turner), I was pumped and primed for this baby and was hoping it would be good. Well it did not disappoint at all!!!! Metalium's Henne Basse was a highlight..... perfect guy to sing these tunes. In fact they picked pretty much all my favorite Rainbow songs and many of the better Rainbow songs in the first place.... definitely something worthwhile. The sound is amazing as well..... some of the songs didn't change really from the originals but they are heavier, thicker sounding and have more punch using modern equipment. Production is excellent too. Uli sings "Eyes Of The World" and does an outstanding job....Ralf Scheeper's rendition of "Still I'm Sad" is great and Andi Deris singing "Catch The Rainbow" was a treat. Rainbow was a band that wrote such good songs that this tribute is a must for them or nonfans because not only is the original band Rainbow good.... but with some of the best musicians in Germany playing their songs..... it makes it that much better. This album sounds GREAT when turned up LOUD!!!! The old style keyboards and organs, etc blend in NICELY! Overall this is a good release.... Japanese only for now unfortunately.
There has been a plague of tribute records flooding the marketplace over the last few years and very few of them have been approached from this particular direction or with such stunning results. First off, this is less a collection of groups or single musicians tributizing the songs of Ritchie Blackmore as it is a single band interpreting eleven pieces of rock and roll brilliance. The first thing that is really clear here is that CATCH THE RAINBOW, (comprised of current and former members of HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, GRAVE DIGGER, KINGDOM COME, PUNCH TV and METALIUM and a host of "special guests") are huge RAINBOW fans. The "RAINBOW ON STAGE" record is obviously firmly implanted in this group's collective memory and it must have been a chore not to repeat every nuance of that record note for note for this recording. Still, there are shades of that landmark recording, the keyboard passages on "Still I'm Sad" for instance, but we weren't looking for a complete re-write anyway, were we? Of course not. As you would be justified in expecting, much of this record highlights the "Dio era RAINBOW" but what you might not expect is a full seven minutes of disc space dedicated to "Rainbow Eyes" which remains as beautiful a composition as any in rock music history.
Equally as unexpected are the selections that cover the Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner periods. CTR did the adventurous thing and dug deeper than "Stone Cold" and "Since You've Been Gone" to give us stunning renditions of "Lost in Hollywood," "I Surrender," "Spotlight Kid" and "Eyes of the World." I think that the world will find forgiveness for the band having bypassed the Doogie White era this time out although I did catch the six or seven note bass run on "Still I'm Sad" that approximated a guitar lead from "STRANGER IN US ALL." Not only is CTR a recording unit but they have also taken the act out live which is doubly great to hear as these are songs that are rarely if ever played live. Other than DIO and Blackmore's Night begrudgingly pulling out a number here and there this will likely be the only place to see RAINBOW material performed live, period. My wish is that this thing sells a million copies so that they take the roadshow world wide but there isn't much chance of that, buy a copy and prove me wrong, PLEASE!
review: David L. Wilson, electricbasement.com