Review: Rainbow – 'Rising: 40th Anniversary'

“High noon. Oh I’d sell my soul for water. Nine years worth of breaking my back. There’s no sun in the shadow of the wizard. See how he glides why he’s lighter than air. Oh I see his face !” Or as the song climaxes… “All eyes see the figure of the wizard. As he climbs to the top of the world. No sound, as he falls instead of rising. Time standing still, then there’s blood on the sand. Oh, I see his face !” As rock compositions go, this was musical nirvana to me, sweeping and grandiose, with Blackmore wailing away time after time. His two minute solo, mid-song, is jaw dropping, and one that everyone hopes he repeats when he reforms Rainbow this summer. “Now, look.. look.. look.. look at his tower of stone… I see a rainbow rising…” ‘Rising’ could have finished with ‘Stargazer’, and I would have been happy, but ‘Stargazer Part II’, aka ‘A Light In The Black’, ends the album, continuing the ‘Stargazer’ story. Did asks, “Can’t believe it all. Did he really fall ? What to do know? I don’t know” After being freed from the mad wizard, the slaves building his tower don’t really know what to do, but the light in the black gives them a bit of hope… or at least that’s my interpretation, anyway. Another eight minute monster, with some genius riffing from Blackmore, before his lengthy solo at the four minute point blows you away. Tony Carey didn’t last much longer with Blackmore’s ‘revolving door’ policy, which was puzzling, as he played like a demon. An incredible end to a masterpiece of an album. So, is Rainbow’s ‘Rising’ still relevant today? Fuck yeah, it is! As well as Dream Theater covering ‘Stargazer’ back in 2009, Metallica recently paid tribute in their own style, on the Ronnie James Dio tribute album – ‘This Is Your Life’. Unable to come up with just one song for the album, Hetfield and Co chose a medley of four, and as they batter their way through the likes of ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Tarot Woman’ in true ‘Tallica style, it’s clear to all how much fun they are having. Seek out ‘Rising’ on vinyl and you won’t be disappointed. Here’s hoping that the 40th anniversary this year will see a definitive version of the definitive hard rock album. Review: Dave Stott]]>

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