Rising
RAINBOW

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RAINBOW - Rising cover
4.44 | 95 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1976

Tracklist

1. Tarot Woman (6:04)
2. Run With the Wolf (3:43)
3. Starstruck (4:08)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (3:02)
5. Stargazer (8:32)
6. A Light in the Black (8:10)

Total Time: 33:40

Line-up/Musicians

- Ronnie James Dio / vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- Tony Carey / keyboards
- Jimmy Bain / bass
- Cozy Powell / drums
with
- Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rainer Pietsch

About this release

Full length, Polydor (UK)/Oyster (US), 1976.

Thanks to Pekka for the updates

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RAINBOW RISING reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
This landmark Rainbow proved to be a turning point in the careers of all involved, but most particularly of Ritchie Blackmore and Dio; it not only established Rainbow as a credible band rather than a mere vanity project of Blackmore's, but it also saw Dio join the front rank of metal frontmen from the era. It would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that most of Dio's subsequent career would be based around refining and perfecting the fantasy metal blueprint provided by this album, both in terms of his Dungeons & Dragons lyrics and the driving proto-NWOBHM sound on display.

I do not say that to denigrate Dio - quite the opposite. The fact that he was able to base so much of his future career on what was accomplished with this album just goes to show the rich creative vein tapped by it. As well as Dio's stalwart vocal performance and Blackmore's usual virtuoso guitar playing, major kudos has to go to the rhythm section of Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell, whose driving fast-paced playing provides a rock-solid base for Blackmore and keyboardist Tony Carey's solos and Dio's quasi-operatic proclamations.

Although it's of obvious historical interest, on a purely musical level I wouldn't count the album as an unadulterated classic. Tony Carey's keyboard playing, aside from the intro to Tarot Woman, is usually upstaged by the rest of the band and doesn't seem to add much to the compositions beyond the odd bit of texture here and there, to the point where it feels as though he's present solely because artsy rock bands in the 1970s were supposed to have a keyboardist. In addition, the songwriting flags a bit after the first half of the album, with Stargazer getting repetitive to the point where I never want to hear Dio yelling "Whips and chaaaaaiiins" ever again. In addition to this, fans of more brutal and aggressive metal styles - or even harder and heavier Rainbow-influenced variants of NWOBHM, traditional metal and power metal - may find it to be rather tame. But still, when I'm in just the right mood for a Dio fix and I don't want something as heavy as his Sabbath material or as quintessentially 80s as his best solo work, Rising hits the spot.
AtomicCrimsonRush
Rainbow rising over 70s metal.

One of the great Rainbow albums with fantastic musicianship throughout. Dio is in wonderful form along with the incredible drumming of Cozy Powell and the definitive fret melting lead work of Blackmore. He is fantastic on songs such as 'Tarot Woman' and 'Stargazer'. He uses a slide on the mid tempo 'Run With the Wolf' to great effect.

There are so many highlights including the brilliant 'Starstruck' with great classic lyrics such as "it used to be a game now I can't repeat my name at all, She seems to believe that I never can refuse her call, She wants a souvenir, To everyone it's clear, She's hooked, one look She wants a photograph, And everybody laughs But not me, 'cause I see She's creeping like a hungry cat, Seen it before and I know it can mean that the ladie's starstruck..."

'Stargazer' is a symphonic classic including a terrific drum intro and killer riff, awesome lead break and a melody that stays with you; "We built a tower of stone, With our flesh and bone, Just to see him fly Don't know why, Now where do we go".

Another treasure is the rocking fast paced 'A Light in the Black', "I'm coming home...", with amazing synth solo, and there is so much more on this album. This is one to buy if you see it, especially on vinyl with that iconic cover.
Phonebook Eater
For sure one of the best hard rock/proto metal albums ever. A true classic, a masterpiece that must be listened to anyone who loves this genre. Rainbow includes some of the worlds greatest musicians, such as Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) on lead vocals, Ritchie Blackmore on guitars, Cozy Powell on drums. Not to forget Tony Carey, that thanks to this album shows his talent, especially in songs like "Tarot Woman" and "A Light In The Black". The style of the album is typical hard rock, even though there are some very original moments and elements, like the already mentioned virtuosity of the keyboardist Carey, making the record prog related. We also fond though traditional elements of proto metal, such as enlivened and heavy guitars that play some simple but effective riffs, and magnificent solos. Many consider Rainbow's "Rising" or even the band very similar to Deep Purple, actually they think they are pretty much the same. They couldn't be more more wrong, in my opinion. Both bands have a very original sense of songwriting, different from each other. Sure, they do have a lot in common, but I wouldn't consider them identical.

The album stars with "Tarot Woman", one of the best hard rock songs ever. It also has one of the most original intros of the genre, played only with the keyboards. The rest is extremely catchy, with great vocals by Dio and amazing guitar by Blackmore. Fantastic. "Run With The Wolf" is a great hard rock song, very traditional, with a simple riff, but played with great energy and heart. The same can be said for the two following tracks, "Starstruck" and "Do You Close Your Eyes", other two fantastic pieces. "Stargazer" is the bands masterpiece, one of the very best hard rock songs ever written. Mysterious, epic, energetic, powerful, enigmatic, here we probably find Dio's best performance. "A light In The Black"'s best moment in my opinion is Carey's solo, a true hymn to virtuosity and real music. The rest never appealed to me much.

A fantastic album, absolutley essential for any hard rock fan, I recommend it to EVERYONE!!

Members reviews

bassgeezer
Rainbow’s Rising is the epitomy of traditional heavy metal. Dio’s stylized, dramatic tone of voice is ideal for the genre. Cozy Powell’s unambiguously thundering drumming style anchors each track perfectly. Guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore’s neo-classical riffs and extended melodic solos are class. Jimmy Bain’s bass provides the consummate level of heaviness to proceedings. Tony Carey’s keyboard playing beautifully enhances the fullness and symphony of the band’s sound, and provides some great solos of his own. In particular Carey sets the mood with a solo at the start of the album. The tracks are full of the requisite epic melodies and themes reinforced by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in the case of Stargazer where the album rises to its summit.
Isa
Way back over thirty years ago, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple guitarist fame united with Dio's band Elf (at first, as a side project; for this album he would replace the rest of the musicians accept for Dio) to form a new group Rainbow that would revolutionize the world of metal, especially Rainbow's sophomore effort, Rising. This album in many ways has achieved historical merit regarding it's influence on the direction hard rock and metal would take in the future, and that influence reverberates throughout the metal community today, especially with power metal and prog metal acts. So exactly what about it made it so influential?

Well, nothing like it had really been done before. And it still sounds remarkably unique and well aged all the way to the incoming another decade of the millennium. Blackmore's guitar work is some of the best (if not the best) he had and has ever recorded, at least in the sense of how he'd progressed out of the blues style into what would help define hard rock/heavy metal guitar playing, with heavy hitting riffs, sweeping (guitar pun not intended) solos, and even hints at what would be the basis for power metal guitar playing (especially in A Light in the Black). The synth work is a big thing that separates this from your standard rock album as well. There is also an overall slight complexity to the composition, though not that it's nearly enough to considered progressive. Dio's vocals fit the music remarkably well, adding the the wholesome and almost mystic feel the album has. The drumming is interesting enough, and I think it could have been made very cluttered had Powell had a more complicated playing style, thus rhythm patterns he plays only contribute to the solidity and heaviness of the album. All of the instruments just fit so well together, like a puzzle that just fits nearly perfectly.

What surprises me most is just how catchy all the tracks are without loosing hardly any musical integrity whatsoever. This is definitely an album that wasn't created just to make money, these guys are writing exactly the music they want without compromise, and it well paid off as that mentality created an album that has endured the test of time. Unfortunately I can't say the same for pretty much any of the group's following albums. Had they kept on the role they were on with this album, they could have easily been my favorite band, as this is definitely one of my favorite hard rock (or on this site, traditional metal) albums. Head banging hard rock, to the level of awesomeness as Uriah Heep, some Rush, and obviously Deep Purple.

As far as the actual tracks go, it's pretty hard to determine the best, for all are so powerful and splendid in their own ways, but I think Stargazer takes the cake. It seems as though in the main chorus, at the part of the lyrics "I see a Rainbow Rising," a magical aura falls around the band, a feeling caused by the introduction of the moving string lines that add to the already magical feeling the song presents, especially with the male choruses (I'm pretty sure they're keyboard settings...). It is seriously and literally epic. "I'm goin' home, Oooooh!!!" Everyone who listens to rock, especially metal should hear this epic track at some point in their lives. My least favorite tracks are actually the first and last, though for relatively minor reasons, as they're both still amazing.

Essential for any self-respecting metal head out there. If you like ANY hard rock or early metal AT ALL, especially bands like Deep Purple, Scorpions, Savatage, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc., this is an album you MUST buy, period. Oh, and the remastered version (or at least the one I bought) tweaked some things and added effects where they weren't really appropriate, especially with the cymbal crashes; just a fair warning to any of you that actually decide to buy the CD version of this remarkable piece of work.
SouthSideoftheSky
Consider that illusive rainbow (almost) caught!

Rising is clearly more adventurous and progressive compared to Rainbow's promising, but slightly immature, debut album. We have here a new line up of the band featuring in addition to masters Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio also one of the best drummers of all time in Cozy Powell. I would say that Rainbow Rising is the definitive achievement of these three amazing musical talents. (Yes, I think this is much better than any Deep Purple album!)

The remaining two band members Jimmy Bain (on bass) and Tony Carrey (on keyboards) also do an excellent job here. The keyboards, which are dominated by swirling synthesizers rather than the Hammond organ we are used to in Blackmore's previous band, gives this album a very fresh and timeless sound and the keys sound particularly good on Tarot Woman and Light In The Black. The former starts with a very captivating synthesizer, slowly building up the melody until, the drums, guitars and bass kicks into the main riff of the song. A truly amazing opening song and a Rock classic in its own right!

Light In Black features one of those very rare moments of total musical bliss. At 3:41 into the track an excellent, melodic, very structured guitar part; then some more improvised, wild soloing; then at 5:42 the excellent part is repeated, this time doubled on Moog synthesizer. All accompanied by Cozy's thunderous drumming. This part is pure musical ecstasy for me. I always play this part of song at least twice every time I listen to the album! The symphonic Stargazer is also a fantastic song and an instant Rainbow classic. The remaining songs, however, even if very good too, are fairly straightforward Hard Rock songs that would not be out of place on the two Deep Purple albums made just prior to Ritchie leaving to form Rainbow.

On the down side, Rising is a bit less varied and diverse than the band's debut album. There are no real ballads to speak of this time like the beautiful Catch The Rainbow or the wonderful, folky Temple Of The King both from the debut. I cannot help thinking that they could have made a complete masterpiece album had they taken the best tracks from the debut and put them together with the best tracks from the present album to make a single cohesive and varied album (preferably, with the drum and keyboard sound of Rising); keeping the fantastic (and very progressive) tracks Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Light In The Black and replacing the remaining three tracks with Catch The Rainbow, Temple Of The King, Man On the Silver Mountain and Sixteenth Century Greensleeves from the debut. This imaginary album, had it been a reality, would have recieved the full five star rating from me and be one of my most highly regarded albums of all time! However, as it now stands, I have to deduct a half star.

Rising is clearly a timeless Rock classic and an excellent addition to any Rock (Metal or otherwise) collection.
Sean Trane
It did not take long for Blackmore to start building his dream group by keeping the awesome-voiced Dio and by firing the rest of the old Elf group (which certainly deserved a better treatment from Blackmood), and bringing in one of the best hard rock drummer in the business, the mercenary Cozy Powell. Powell's sound and powerful, inventive and dramatic playing will be the main ingredient that was to build Rainbow's legend. With those three "beasts" in the band , it was difficult for the other two to find their spaces, with Bain just being apt and Tony Carey as a supporting KB to the group (his soloing in concert was simply very poor, and he would get fired soon, albeit Tony learned from his mistakes as he is still around nowadays), but this album is one of the bests in its category and graced with one of the most phantasmagoric artwork ever.

This second album is one of the most emblematic of 70's hared rock/heavy Metal from the 7O's and certainly one of my fave, even if it was quite short. From the start of the synth intro of the outstanding Tarot Woman to the enthralling Run With The Wolf and implacable Starstruck, the first side is simply flawless until the last track, which appears to be a throwaway track: the awful but thankfully short Do You Close Your Eyes. This is rather un-understandably the most often plated track live, often used as an encore where Blackmore destroyed his guitar. Anyway, the trio of opening track is one of the best trilogies of the genre and all three could've made major airplay (with Tarot Woman without the intro).

The second side is made of two long tracks, the first of which Stargazer is Rainbow's major achievement and the apex in dramatic singing. Dio's voice rises and soars (like he was capable until his stint with Sabbath later on) while Blackmore descending riff and Powell's power drumming are over-powering. There is a slight Arabic feeling pervading throughout the track and this adds to the grandeur of it. The second track pales a bit in comparison, but A Light In The Black does conclude capably a very excellent album even it is a bit repetitive especially given its length. Had Kill The King been added to the album track list (and thus shortening ALITB), this album would've been a perfect affair.

Surely one of the most endearing album of the 70's, I don't know any proghead that does not like this opus, and I must say that Rainbow's apex came unfortunately too soon, as I wish they'd duplicated the formula on this album.
Raff
Rainbow's second album, released not even one year after their debut, is widely considered as one of the masterpieces of hard rock, as well as one of the cornerstones on which Symphonic Progressive Metal was founded. Though somewhat short for today's standards (not even 35 minutes long... about half the length of your average Dream Theater CD), it is nevertheless packed with breathtaking performances by a dream-team of musicians such as incomparable guitar wizard Ritchie Blackmore, diminutive yet iron-lunged vocalist Ronnie James Dio, and powerhouse drummer Cozy Powell (RIP - one of the saddest losses for the rock world). Keyboard player Tony Carey and bassist Jimmy Bain (later to join RJ Dio's eponymous band, with which he plays to this day) are no slouches either - the band is incredibly tight, as attested by the numerous live performances recorded at the time.

As in the case of 'mother' band Deep Purple, keyboards play a large role on this album: opener "Tarot Woman" is introduced by atmospheric synths, before the rest of the band kicks in with a crushing mid-tempo above which Dio's vocals soar. "Run with the Wolf" is another mid-paced song, quite a typical example of the Dio-era output; while the dynamic "Starstruck", undoubtedly one of Rainbow's most popular songs, features intriguingly unusual lyrics about a female stalker. The catchy yet undistinguished "Do You Close Your Eyes", possibly the only item on the album to be considered as filler (and the shortest too), closes what on vinyl was the A-side. The best, however, is yet to come...

There are only two tracks on what was the B-side, but what tracks! Accompanied by a full orchestra, the 8-minute-plus epic "Stargazer" is without any doubt the blueprint for all Symphonic Prog Metal bands, a staggering tour de force sprinkled with dazzling guitar work by the Man in Black himself, and a stellar vocal performance by RJ Dio. His delivery of the sword-and-sorcery-themed lyrics is nothing short of amazing, and makes one wonder at the staying power of his lungs (which continues to this day, when he is closer to 70 than 60).

On closing track "A Light in the Black", the fastest song on the album, Tony Carey's keyboards really come into their own. However, this track is also a showcase for Cozy Powell's incredible double-bass drumming, a powerful wall of sound propelling the song along - clearing the ground from any doubts that he was John Bonham's natural heir, the archetypal hard rock drummer. Dio and Blackmore's performances are also immaculate.

Though "Rising" is one of my all-time favourite albums, my five-star rating does not only stem from matters of personal preference. A richly textured, flawlessly performed, album, bombastic, operatic and pretentious enough (in a thoroughly positive sense, of course!) to appeal to lovers of vintage progressive rock as well as metal fans, this is no mind-numbing, bludgeoning, run-of-the-mill metal opus - but rather a genuinely ground-breaking effort that sounds as relevant today as it did 34 years ago.

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