RAINBOW — Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (review)

RAINBOW — Long Live Rock 'n' Roll album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Coming off the very strong Rising album, Rainbow make a slightly more commercial album this time around. Most of the material here makes for strong single material: the title-track and “L.A. Connection” at least were chosen as appropriate singles. “Lady Of The Lake” is another solid hard rock track with Dio’s voice sounding very rich during the chorus I'd place in a similar category to the tracks it's sandwiched between. A pair of tracks on the second side, “The Shed (Subtle)” and “Sensitive To Light” (my least favorite song on the album), would even make for a decent singles. These may be a bit simpler and less exploratory than some of what’s on their previous album, but it is nonetheless still strong stuff.

The remaining 3 tracks are probably what I consider to be the main highlights:

The most musically elaborate track on the album is probably “Gates of Babylon”. While still an accessible track (it too was a single), this is one of the songs that helped unleash what is often called neo-classical metal. Starting with a David Stone keyboard intro, it goes into a rather symphonic-sounding track featuring the Bavarian String Ensemble. Though their inclusion is highly notable, the track would still be powerful with their omission, as all Rainbow musicians give an energetic performance.

The most metallic track of the lot, “Kill The King”, has a great deal of power and features some blazing Richie Blackmore leads and thundering drumming by Cozy Powell. Pure energy!

Dio’s voice sounds great on album closing ballad “Rainbow Eyes”. Most people are used to hearing his pipes project over heavier tunes, but I’m often just as delighted (if not more) to hear him sing delicately. The instrumentation is different here, with the keys and rhythm section being swapped for cello, viola and flute. A non-rocker on an album titled “Long Live Rock n Roll”? It makes for a nice touch.

Excellent work that is diverse enough to please a number of different rock or metal fans.
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