Album Reviews

Rainbow: The Singles Box Set 1975-1986 Review

The Singles Box Set 1975-1986_cover

 

 

TRACK \ CD LISTING

 

CD One

01. Man On The Silver Mountain (7″ Edit)

02. Snake Charmer

 

CD Two

01. Still I’m Sad

02. Temple Of The King

 

CD Three

01. Man On The Silver Mountain

02. Snake Charmer

03. If You Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll

04. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves

 

CD Four

01. Starstruck

02. Run With The Wolf

CD Five

01. Kill The King (Live / Edit – “On Stage”)

02. Man On The Silver Mountain (Live – “On Stage”)

03. Mistreated (Live / 7″ Edit – “On Stage”)

 

CD Six

01. Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll

02. Sensitive To Light

CD Seven

01. LA Connection (7″ Edit)

02. Lady of the Lake

 

CD Eight

01. Since You Been Gone

02. Bad Girl

 

CD Nine

01. Since You Been Gone

02. No Time To Lose

 

CD Ten

01. All Night Long

02. Weiss Heim

 

CD Eleven

01. I Surrender

02. Vielleicht Das Nächster Zeit (Maybe Next Time)

 

CD Twelve

01. Difficult To Cure

02. Can’t Happen Here (7″ Edit)

03. Jealous Lover

 

CD Thirteen

01. Magic

02. Freedom Fighter

 

CD Fourteen

01. Can’t Happen Here (7″ Edit)

02. Jealous Lover

 

CD Fifteen

01. Stone Cold

02. Rock Fever

 

CD Sixteen

01. Death Alley Driver

02. Tite Squeeze

 

CD Seventeen

01. Street Of Dreams

02. Anybody There

03. Power (Live at the Convention Center, San Antonio)

 

CD Eighteen

01. Can’t Let You Go (7″ Edit)

02. All Night Long (Live at David’s Hall, Cardiff)

03. Stranded (Live at David’s Hall, Cardiff)

 

CD Nineteen

01. Bad Girl

02. Spotlight Kid (Live at Budokan, Tokyo)

03. Man On The Silver Mountain (Live)

 

 

Rainbow the British / American rock band founded by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1986 (and again from 1994 to 1997) underwent in their short life span significant line-up changes that are very noticeable as you play through the 19 CDs on offer here. Having started life as just Blackmore with members of American band Elf, Blackmore fired all but Ronnie James Dio who performed on some of their classic, legacy ensuring, albums such as ‘Rainow Rising’. As Dio left for pastures new in 1979, three British musicians joined, singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover. Here, the new line up represents the biggest change in style for the band as they deliver commercial classics ‘Since You Been Gone’ and ‘All Night Long’. As the years passed, Blackmore became the only permanent fixture to a revolving door of musicians with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. Joe Lynn Turner would then get a stint behind the mike and Doogie White would also join when Blackmore reformed Rainbow in the late 1990s.

The classical \ mystical elements that Dio would become famous for as a solo artist are apparent on the early singles and the Bonnet and Lynn Tuner releases clearly play to the American AOR market. The White era is not represented here as the period saw only the ‘Stranger in Us All’ album released rather than any singles.

If you grew up listening to Rainbow, you’ll have a favourite era be that Dio, Bonnet or Lynn Turner and thus go straight to those singles to listen to them first.

There’s no denying that the physical copy of this collection is a work of art. 19 CDs beautifully replicated picture sleeves from an era where the sleeve art often comprised of white paper with a circular hole in the middle so that you could see the artist and the tracks listed. The discs are housed in a presentation box with a lift off lid, there’s a 32 page booklet with some detailed comments on each release, the tracks have been remastered and it is of course a limited edition. Naturally, it also comes at a price and the going rate seems to be around £60 ($90) for (in several cases) 2-3 copies of the same song either on a second release single with a different B-side or as a live B-side when no new studio material was available to go with an A-side.

As such, packaging aside, the listener only gets 36 (not 45) unique tracks and in this day and age where the buyer may often opt for the digital only copy of a release (as I have) the track repetition does wear after a while. Admittedly the digital copy is only a third of the price of the box set but it does beg the question as to who the buyer is. Long term Rainbow fans probably have it all in their collection already but will relish the chance to get hold of pristine replicas of the original singles. New listeners or digital buyers would be better placed picking up one of the many ‘Best Of’ collections or visit the original albums that spawned the singles e.g. classic albums like ‘Rainbow Rising’ , ‘Long Live Rock ‘n Roll’ or ‘Down to Earth’.

A beautiful package but one for collectors or completists only.

 

Written by Adrian

Physical Copy – 9/10

Digital Copy – 6/10 

 

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