Over The Rainbow…

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow was arguably the most successful of the Deep Purple spin-off groups from 1975 to 1984, when Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord & Paice buried the hatchets and reformed Deep Purple Mk.II.

Rainbow released 7 studio albums in that time, with every one of them featuring a line up change in some way! The only constant member being Ritchie Blackmore himself. Rainbow achieved commercial success with all 7 albums breaking into the UK Top 20 and 4 of them in the Top 10. Several singles also charted highly in the UK.

Towards the latter stages of Rainbow’s career, Blackmore craved commercial success in the USA and achieved this with a No.1 hit single in 1982. Rainbow nearly equalled this the following year, but ‘Street Of Dreams’ peaked at No.2 in the USA, not quite emulating the success of ‘Stone Cold’ the year before.

By 1984, the lure of a Deep Purple reformation had proved irresistible with all 5 Mk.II members agreeing to record and tour under the Deep Purple banner once more. This would survive for nearly 10 years, although Gillan would be sacked, replaced by Rainbow’s Joe Lynn Turner, before being eventually reinstated just over 2 years later.

Blackmore was by now totally frustrated with being overruled at the reinstatement of Gillan and had been offered a huge sum of money (rumoured to be between $1million and $2million) to resurrect Rainbow. Blackmore duly obliged by resigning from Deep Purple halfway through the 1993 European Tour. A new line up (again) and the final Rainbow studio album appeared in 1995.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow has been an enigmatic, creative, evolving tour-de-force and this is a fan’s perspective on the music, the line-ups, the concerts, the books and the articles written about this unique and influential heavy rock band.