RAINBOW — Straight Between the Eyes

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RAINBOW - Straight Between the Eyes cover
2.79 | 35 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1982

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Death Alley Driver (4:45)
2. Stone Cold (5:19)
3. Bring on the Night (Dream Chaser) (4:08)
4. Tite Squeeze (3:16)
5. Tearin' Out My Heart (4:06)
6. Power (4:27)
7. Miss Mistreated (4:30)
8. Rock Fever (3:52)
9. Eyes of Fire (6:36)

Total Time: 41:02


- Joe Lynn Turner / vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- David Rosenthal / keyboard
- Roger Glover / bass
- Bobby Rondinelli / drums

About this release

Full length, Polydor/Mercury, 1982.

Thanks to Pekka, Time Signature for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
Two albums in after the departure of original lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio, the legendary RAINBOW led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had found a winner with newbie Joe Lynn Turner who helped reinvent the classic heavy metal RAINBOW into a more commercial hard rock version of the band which allowed the band to capture that Foreigner vibe which led to a slicker crossover appeal and mainstream success. While the first album with Turner, “Difficult To Cure” scored a top 5 hit with the Russ Ballard cover “I Surrender,” the album was a bit clunky as the tracks were a bit inconsistent in both quality and stylistic approach. All of that was corrected with the sixth overall studio album STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES which came out the following year in 1982.

The album perfectly captured the hard rock and AOR early 80s sound and fit in perfectly with contemporary acts like Whitesnake, Journey, Toto, Styx and the aforementioned Foreigner but offered more interesting musical performances with top notch musicians including Blackmore unleashing more impressive guitar solos than on the previous two albums. STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES was the closest thing to the same lineup from a previous album with only keyboardist Don Airy being replaced by newbie David Rosenthal. While the album didn’t perform as successfully in terms of pop hits and commercial success, STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES showcased nine excellent tracks that mixed the heavier aspects of rock with the AOR leaning elements of ballads. While the lyrics were still far from the Dio led world swords and sorcery, the album hit its stride as a hard rock band that offered instantly catchy hooks with emotive high range vocal performances.

The first two opening tracks were both released as singles with videos. The first “Death Alley Driver” showcased the new reinvented RAINBOW in full fury with that hard rock machismo, quickened tempos all in full decibelage and the closest thing to metal music on the album. The following “Stone Cold” has been a staple on classic rock radio ever since it hit the airwaves and is perhaps one of the best tracks of the post-Dio era. The track was perfect in how it allowed Joe Lyn Turner to display his impressive vocal range and teased the strong melodies to commingle with sophisticated dynamics, instrumental interplay and the use of that by then idiosyncratic atmospheric style that RAINBOW had made all their own. While the rest of the tracks may not be as instantly accessible or addictive as the first combo effect, after a few spins also resonate quite high as the band perfectly nailed a sound that sounded something like Foreigner’s “4” album along with classic Deep Purple keyboard led hard rock.

The track “MISS Mistreated” was a dig at David Coverdale’s song “Mistreated” that appeared all the way back on Deep Purple’s “Burn” album. Every track on this one is fairly strong and some feature extra heft as on “Rock Fever” which offered oscillating keyboard songs and that classic boogie guitar heft. The closing track “Eyes Of Fire” is also a standout as it featured some of the most sophisticated arrangements that including a heavy driving bass groove and the return of some of those symphonically fueled Middle Eastern music scales that made some of the Dio era tracks so classic sounding. Overall this wasn’t an album that won me over in the beginning as i only wanted to hear the first two songs but after giving it a fair shake i actually grew to love the entire album. Yeah, if you are totally turned off by Turner’s vocal style then this clearly isn’t for you but if you fancy 80s hard rock with AOR crossover appeal then you can’t do better than what RAINBOW was cranking out back in those days. This one has become a regular staple for yours truly.
I owned this on vinyl and did not play it that much as I was disappointed with the content after hearing the excellent "Rising" album among others. The vocals are thin and whispy with high register but nowhere near the power and passion of Ronnie James Dio. Blackmore is here in presence only, but his shredding style is rather flat and absent. 'Bring on the Night' is okay for a soft metal type song, with a good lead break and sing along anthemic chorus.

'Power' is not too bad with nice shimmering Hammond and jumpy guitar riff. It really is a commercial rock sound though.

I always liked the killer opener 'Death Alley Driver' but apart from that this one left me 'Stone Cold'.

A real waste from a legendary band. Mention has to be made too of that awful cover art which just looks ridiculous.

Members reviews

A band seemingly difficult to cure

Whatever disease they contracted while making Difficult To Cure they certainly have not been cured of it yet here! Straight Between The Eyes continues in most respects from where the previous Difficult To Cure left off. Joe Lynn Turner is still here and this time his vocals are better, more in line with those of Ian Gillan whom he clearly tries hard to emulate. And he does this so successfully that you could almost believe that this is Ian Gillan singing on some tracks! Needless to say, the expectations for this album were very low after the disastrous Difficult To Cure. It was therefore rather easy for the band to make an album that lived up to these low expectations. They played it very safe this time and they build strongly on the formula established by the previous album. This means straightforward Hard Rock 'N' Roll with little or no interesting features.

Once again, the material is weak and not memorable. The lyrics are once again filled with old Rock 'N' Roll clichés and many cheesy lines. The song titles alone reveals the generic character of the music. Songs like Tite Squeeze and Rock Fever are good examples of this. In terms of progressive content this is basically empty. I am not going to comment on each individual track here since they are all very similar and if you have heard a couple of them you pretty much know what the rest sounds like. There is not much variation on the album.

One song that stands out above the rest is the closer Eyes Of Fire. It has a slight Far Eastern sound that I like, augmented with some slight symphonic keyboards and some nice guitar work. However, it hardly compares very well with the similarly 'oriental' sounding Gates Of Babylon from the Long Live Rock 'N' Roll album. Another song that I find acceptable is the opener Death Alley Driver which features a decent instrumental break. This song sounds very much like Gillan (Ian Gillan's solo band in the 80's).

The once so great Rainbow entered a downward spiral after the half-decent Down To Earth in the late 70's and this downward spiral continued with this album. Apart from Eyes Of Fire and a few decent bits here and there is very little to recommend Straight Between The Eyes.

Ratings only

  • mrblond
  • SilentScream213
  • Bosh66
  • ian
  • luger7
  • kalacho
  • Seven Moons
  • Beyonder
  • michelandrade
  • jahkhula
  • IndianaJones
  • StargazerSlave
  • Pekka
  • KatiLily
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  • fisciletti
  • stefanbedna
  • Khabarov
  • Lynx33
  • progpostman
  • mr.gonzoss
  • miguellangell
  • pazkual
  • Colt
  • SecondTimeAround
  • Tlön
  • snowman1980
  • abdulbashur
  • slow man
  • Hagbard Celine
  • Sean Trane

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