Blackmore’s Best Work…

Ronnie James Dio preferred the debut album, Blackmore himself never seemed satisfied…my all time favourite Rainbow album has to be ‘Rainbow Rising’. It’s easily his best work since ‘In Rock’ and ‘Machine Head’ and could actually top them, in my opinion…certainly, I don’t believe he ever bettered it for sheer consistency of quality and performance throughout the album.

The debut was too funky and similar to ‘Stormbringer’ and Elf, with a couple of weak songs; ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was great but had a lighter, less atmospheric sound overall and lacked the consistency of ‘Rising’. Dio also stated that recording ‘Long Live…’ was not a great experience for him. ‘Down To Earth’ went a bit too commercial, with the driving force of Cozy Powell leaving as a result.

‘Difficult To Cure’ was another accomplished album, but again, obviously seeking USA commercial success, as did ‘Straight Between The Eyes’ and ‘Bent Out Of Shape’, both of which provided Blackmore with a No.1 and No.2 top US hit. But they all gradually sacrificed the sound, the atmosphere and the vibe that Blackmore, Dio and Powell (and to a lesser extent Carey and Bain) had created so magnificently on ‘Rainbow Rising’.

Even the final opus ‘Stranger In Us All’ was a fine album in its own right, but had a few too many reworkings of old riffs and melodies to be truly outstanding. So, ‘Rainbow Rising’…Blackmore’s best? Discuss.