The Ronnie James DIO album-by-album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Javimulder, May 19, 2010.

  1. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    I've read stories from the early Purple Mk2 days that mention Blackmore actually doing that sort of thing: hiding speakers in the wardrobe of a bandmate's room and then producing ungodly noises in the dead of night :laugh: I think it was during the Fireball writing sessions when they were all in a house in the middle of nowhere... I don't remember the details now...
     
  2. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    In August 1977, Rainbow found themselves again reduced to the core trio of Blackmore, Dio and Powell. Their studio time had ran out and the album wasn't finished. Furthermore, a summer tour of the US had already been scrapped and they needed to get their stuff together before they'd be forced to scrap the European tour they'd lined up for the autumn as well, which was due to begin in September with a string of shows across the UK, always an important market. The band moved back to Los Angeles to hold auditions in order to find suitable players, but it proved difficult, as Blackmore noted: "The problem is finding someone who can play organ. It's really a rhythm instrument, but nobody seems to realise it." Ritchie's particular outlook on keyboard playing was what made it tricky, according to Cozy: "It's difficult for a keyboard player in this band. I wouldn't want to be Rainbow's keyboard player! The band is based around what Ritchie writes, which is very riff and guitar orientated, so a keyboard player has to be able to provide chords under that. It's down to laying a good foundation for Ritchie to solo on."

    Eventually, and almost by chance, Blackmore found Rainbow's new keyboard player. It happened when he simply turned on the radio in his car and heard the Canadian band Symphonic Slam, in which David Stone played keys: "Ritchie happened to hear us on the radio at the time he was looking for a keyboard player. He was taking shots in the dark at the time, trying to find the right guy, and he flew me down to L.A. to do an audition. He had a lot of people there but in the end he picked me because I was prepared to be as flexible as he required. The trouble is Ritchie wants a player as familiar with his music and antics as Jon Lord was."

    The search for a bass player ended when, after some 40-odd auditions, Bob Daisley came along. Originally from Australia, Daisley was playing the US as a member of Widowmaker, and Ritchie checked him out on and off stage. Daisley was a no-frills, solid pick-player, and after spending some time with him and auditioning, Ritchie was now sure he'd made the right decision: "Bob was the best bass player we could find and we looked for ages. There aren't a lot of people who want to play straight rock. When the good guys come along, they're into this very hip jazz thing."

    Rainbow's new line-up was finally complete:

    RITCHIE BLACKMORE - guitar
    RONNIE JAMES DIO - vocals
    BOB DAISLEY - bass
    DAVID STONE - keyboards
    COZY POWELL - drums
     
  3. antonkk

    antonkk Forum Resident

    Location:
    moscow
    Since David Stone is Rainbow's most obscure member I was surprised to find this info on him on Wikipedia and learn that he's in fact bulgarian!


    David Stone
    Instruments Keyboards

    Dave Stone is a professional keyboardist/synthesizer virtuoso from Toronto, Canada, born 1952, as Michael David Stoyanoff. Stone was a member of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and played on the 1978 Rainbow album, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll.[1] Dave played keys for Three Dog Night during a reunion tour, and was a guest musician on the 1980 Max Webster album, Universal Juveniles. Also played in Canadian bands Symphonic Slam, Solo Flight, BB Gabor. Worked on the Bud Matton Agency tour circuit with various club bands and manager Brian Ayers. Formerly married to award winning journalist Madelaine Drohan. Currently working on a side project with his son, a Toronto-based vocalist.
     
  4. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    Interesting tidbit, Anton... thanks for contributing :thumbsup:
     
  5. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    The European tour was due to start in the UK in mid September 1977, and they couldn't afford to cancel it this time so the band got to work for a month of rehearsals in L.A. and the completion of the new studio album would just have to wait. Still, they couldn't make it in time and they had to postpone the UK dates until November, leaving the start of the tour for September 23th, when they were due to play Helsinki; but even that date had to be cancelled after the band's gear was held up at customs for too long. Rainbow's 1977 On Stage tour eventually commenced at the old Konserthuset in Stockholm on September 25th, and it was scheduled to take the band through Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Austria and France, spending most of October in Germany and the whole of November in Britain. For this tour, the show remained much as it had been the previous year, the only notable difference was the inclusion of a brand new song, Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, in place of the epic Stargazer.

    To tie in with the tour, an EP was issued with material off the On Stage album. It featured edited versions of Mistreated and Man On The Silver Mountain on the b-side, with the a-side devoted to Kill The King, the only song the record company could push as new at this time.

    [​IMG]

    In promotional interviews, Dio said the lyrics for Kill The King are all about a chess game, and explained how the song came to be: "That song was written especially for the stage show. We felt we didn't have a song that was hard enough to open the show, so we put this song together." On release, Kill The King had the writing credit of Blackmore/Dio/Powell, something former member Jimmy Bain took exception to: "I was involved in the writing of that with Cozy, that was the first band thing we did. Had I still been in the band I'd have got credit for it."
     
  6. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    Just like the Rising tour of the previous year, 1977's On Stage European tour proved to be another crowd-pleaser, but not everything went smoothly and technical problems still dogged some shows which had to be postponed and sometimes cancelled altogether. Not all setbacks were of a technical nature, however, like the events that took place on October 18th in Vienna, where one bouncer's rough handling of the audience earned him a swift, violent kick to the head courtesy of Mr. Blackmore. The bouncer went down with a broken jaw and, according to tour manager Colin Hart, the place was soon surrounded by policemen looking to arrest Ritchie who, after the show, hid in one of the road cases in order to be smuggled out of the venue. Unfortunately for him, the police were carrying dogs and they sniffed him, blowing his cover. Hart says the police were going to beat up Ritchie, but 'The Ox' (one of Rainbow's roadies) did everything he could to prevent that, taking a beating himself. Blackmore was eventually taken away and was held in jail for two days. He remembers the incident thus: "The security was made up of policemen. The guy went down and, within moments, all exits were blocked. During the encore I ran off stage and jumped into a flight case that a roadie had ready for me. The crew told them I had run to the railway station and my pursuers went there on motorcycles. My roadies rolled me outside and, just at the moment they were putting the case on the truck, two policemen wanted to check the contents of the case. A few seconds later, I had won a nice stay overnight with full board. I was kept for a full two days... I felt like a prisoner of war."

    Rainbow were due to play Munich the following night (19th) but, with Blackmore arrested, that was now impossible. It was an important show too, as German tv were due to film the show for the Rockpalast series but, fortunately, both the tv crew and the band had the next night available, so the show was postponed to the 20th rather than cancelled, in the hopes that the lawyers could get Blackmore out in time. Ritchie was finally let go on the 20th (when his case was seen a few months later, he was fined five thousand pounds), and he darted from his Vienna cell straight to the concert venue in Munich, making it very late but still in time to play the show, where the crowd had been informed of the delay. Support band Kingfish played an extended set to make up for the headliner's absence and refunds were offered to those who had to leave before Rainbow came on. Those who chose to stay would have to wait until around midnight, when Rainbow finally took the stage.
     
  7. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    RAINBOW - Live In Munich 1977 (2006)

    [​IMG]

    Recorded live at the Olympiahalle in Munich, on October 20th, 1977.


    - Kill The King
    - Mistreated
    - Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
    - Catch The Rainbow
    - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
    - Man On The Silver Mountain
    - Still I'm Sad
    - Do You Close Your Eyes


    RITCHIE BLACKMORE - guitar
    RONNIE JAMES DIO - vocals
    BOB DAISLEY - bass
    DAVID STONE - keyboards
    COZY POWELL - drums


    Filmed for German tv, Rainbow's concert at Munich's Olympiahalle during their 1977 On Stage tour was a high energy affair, typical of the kind of show they'd been putting on since the year before. In spite of the late starting time and the events since the Vienna show two nights before, the band still crackles with energy all the way through, with the core of Powell, Dio and Blackmore giving an excellent performance. This is particularly true for Ritchie, who shows no signs of tiredness at all and seems in good spirits, playing like a madman throughout, with some especially inspired moments.

    Right from the start with Kill The King, Dio sounds confident and his voice is at full power. As the show progresses, his vocals only get better, with Catch The Rainbow and Man On The Silver Mountain (dedicated to 'The Ox') being impressive in that respect. He seems to have the crowd in the palm of his hand, as demonstrated on Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, the new song in the set that seems especially designed to bring a bit of a party atmosphere to the proceedings and which includes an audience participation bit in the middle, with Ronnie getting the crowd to sing for him. It's an energetic performance, but the accustomed intensity of the rest of the set makes this song seem "smaller". It certainly can't hold a candle to Stargazer, the song it replaced in the set for this tour, but maybe this was the band's way of taking a little breather while offering some new material at the same time.

    Like I said before, Blackmore is in fine form for this concert, and it's great to hear him improvising and leading the band through different sonic areas and bringing things up to a climax or reducing everything to a mere whisper as the mood takes him. For this tour he has added a set of Taurus bass pedals to his rig, and he uses them to accompany himself as he solos through the quiet bits or simply to stomp on for a loud crash as if to spur himself. Ritchie's versatility as a player is plain to hear throughout the show, providing brash riffing and manic solos as much as gentle runs and melodic passages, throwing in some slide here and there for good measure. It's amazing the way he blends all of that with classical quotes and Hendrix-type riffs on a whim, making his playing one of a kind and setting him well apart from his peers.

    Near the end of the show, Dio introduces the new members of the band, Bob Daisley and David Stone on bass and keyboards, respectively. Daisley is a great addition to the band, his bass holding things together with authority and doesn't make me miss Jimmy Bain; in fact, I think Daisley is a much better player than Bain was, even if the latter contributed better backing vocals. Stone, on the other hand, doesn't bring much to the table and has a lower profile than his predecessor Tony Carey, who used to contribute more. Stone seems happy enough (or maybe carefully instructed?) to provide backing on Hammond organ most of the time, and even when he gets a solo spot (Still I'm Sad) I find his playing neither impressive nor entertaining. Maybe this is by design, but I find I prefer more of a guitar/keys balance of power. With David Stone, things are even more slanted towards the guitar.

    This concert was released in 2006 both as a 2CD set and a DVD, and the visual aspect of the concert is a real treat. For a start, we get to watch the much vaunted electronic rainbow in all its glory, its colours flowing from one side to another at various speeds and in very different patterns, making for stunning and sometimes truly beautiful effects. We also get the opportunity of witnessing a typical Cozy Powell solo of the era, complete with 1812 Overture, flying drumsticks, elevating drum riser, strobes and pyro. But watching Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell performing together at the top of their game is, for me, what this DVD is all about. It's great to watch Ritchie pumping up the band and the intensity of Cozy's playing. Actually, check this pair playing off each other during Catch The Rainbow, as it's one of the DVD's highpoints. See Dio unleashing his jaw-dropping vocals effortlessly; this is awesome stuff.

    Also, a fun moment occurs during Do You Close Your Eyes when Ritchie cuts his solo short and instructs the band to resume the song, and Dio, who was expecting him to go into his guitar destruction bit, is completely caught by surprise and can't make it to his mike in time. Blackmore's smirk and the looks they give each other are priceless. And what about the show's guitar-splintering climax? Some guys in the front row were lucky not to have their heads cracked open like melons.

    Arguably not as good as the best shows from the Rising tour of 1976, this Munich '77 show is still really great, even with the absence of Stargazer. The only flaw I find is the contributions of David Stone on keyboards, which I find lacking; but seeing how he mostly sticks to rhythm playing, that's a minor quibble indeed. The rest of the band's performance is excellent and any early Rainbow fan will really enjoy it, especially on DVD.
     
  8. progmog

    progmog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Le Royaume Uni
    Excellent summary of an awesome set! I just wanted to add that this concert was also recently released on vinyl by the Back On Black label.
     
  9. antonkk

    antonkk Forum Resident

    Location:
    moscow
    Regarding David Stone's bulgarian origin - I'm sure our bulgarian friends will confirm that Rainbow is still the kings of classic rock radio in Bulgaria! You simply cannot ecsape 'em when driving around the country on local FM stations. Even Joe Lynn Turner gets invited to the top national TV shows when he tours there.
     
  10. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    Didn't know this... thanks for the info! :thumbsup:
     
  11. JA Fant

    JA Fant New Member

    Thanks! for the info.
     
  12. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Which album again? :D
     
  13. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Look up Back On Black Records. Not Back TO Black but Back ON Black. They have released all the Rainbow albums up to Down To Earth and the Live In Munich set on 180 gram LP. I never heard of them before today either, and it's not clear what sources they use, but Live in Munich 77 does now exist on LP.
     
  14. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Ok, cool. Thanks.
     
  15. Inertiatic-Wrist

    Inertiatic-Wrist Active Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    *bump*

    so... Long Live Rock and Roll?

    I can't wait to read the next bit javimulder!
     
  16. Jontario

    Jontario Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Javimulder, this has been an excellent thread, great reading.:)
     
  17. Jontario

    Jontario Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Anton, I don't see anything from the Wikipedia info claiming he's Bulgarian?:confused:
     
  18. Spitfire

    Spitfire Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    I finally got the Nuremberg CD from Amazon UK. It is a pretty hot show. The only issue I had was with the mix on Kill the King as the organ was almost inaudible for most of the song. I'm so used to the On Stage version where the organ kicks in and on this one it never comes. Otherwise it's a great show and the sound is pretty good, definitely better than Live in Germany. :righton:
     
  19. JA Fant

    JA Fant New Member

  20. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    Sorry for the delay getting to the next album, guys... Sometimes life just gets in the way!

    Now, without further ado...


    The 1977 On Stage tour carried on through November with dates across the UK where ticket demand was high, with the band playing four nights in London and two each in other main cities like Newcastle, Manchester or Liverpool. It was the second of the shows for the Scouser audience that saw Blackmore appear in one of the boxes above the stage during the encore, where he proceeded to demolish his Stratocaster causing damage to the plaster ornaments of the venerable Empire Theatre. Unimpressed, the venue banned Rainbow from ever playing there again.

    The last date of the European leg of the On Stage tour was November 22nd, when Rainbow played Cardiff to end an almost month-long trek across the UK. After a short break, the quintet reconvened at Le Ch√Ęteau with Martin Birch, to undertake the final recording sessions and at last finish a new album that had been almost a year in the making.
     
  21. Javimulder

    Javimulder New Member

    Location:
    Spain
    RAINBOW - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll (1978)

    [​IMG]


    - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
    - Lady Of The Lake
    - L.A. Connection
    - Gates Of Babylon
    - Kill The King
    - The Shed
    - Sensitive To Light
    - Rainbow Eyes


    RITCHIE BLACKMORE - guitar, bass
    RONNIE JAMES DIO - vocals
    BOB DAISLEY - bass
    DAVID STONE - keyboards
    COZY POWELL - drums



    Rainbow's third album, Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, continues with the sound explored on Rising two years prior, although in a more economic fashion. Gone are the long epics and big instrumental sections and the emphasis throughout the album seems to be put on the songs instead. The axis of Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell is still here working as you'd expect it to, but this is no "Rising Part Two"; it's more like "Rising's Little Brother".

    But don't let that put you off, since quality is hardly lacking on this record. Over Cozy's mean bashing Blackmore is still churning out riffs like nobody's business and he's in awesome form for some of the solos, while Dio's vocals are his trademark technical quality with the right pinch of emotion sprinkled over, if sometimes he gets a little growlier than usual. What I might be inclined to point out as a let down, are the overall contributions of bass and keyboards, one does have to pay attention to actually notice them. The album sleeve has the bass credit shared between Blackmore and new man Bob Daisley, which might be a reason why its lines are so unobtrusive and follow the guitar so closely for the most part. As for the keyboards, they are mostly mixed way back when not altogether absent, only playing a real part on Gates Of Babylon.

    But what about the songs themselves? Like I mentioned earlier, the heavy sound brought to the fore on Rising is featured here, thanks in no small part to Cozy Powell's drumming providing a perfect foil for Ritchie's direct riffs, like on the massive stomp of The Shed or on L.A. Connection, a slow and heavy track for the most part until some bar-room piano comes in and makes it ends up sounding not unlike Elf. But in general, the album's songs could be divided into two categories: the good-but-not-great, and the excellent. Yes, some tracks are a bit of a let-down in that they don't offer much to begin with and seem to run dry with each further listen, like title track (and lackluster opener) Long Live Rock 'N' Roll or the Mk3 Deep Purple soundalike Sensitive To Light. There are a couple of songs that, for me, straddle the fence between the two categories, the aforementioned L.A. Connection and The Shed, which I can really enjoy depending on the day. However, firmly placed under the banner of excellence, is where I find the remaining four.

    Lady Of The Lake features everything that's good about this band, with a strong melody and wonderful vocals, powerful but appropriate drumming and the versatile guitar talents of Blackmore, providing atmosphere to great effect with his slide under the verses as well as using it for some mysterious soloing before the joyous reprise of the chorus melody. A stunning little piece.

    Another highlight is Kill The King, already a veteran of Rainbow's stage show, slightly reworked and certainly more polished than the live version we know from On Stage, it still delivers the goods with Dio's harmonies, Cozy's manic double bass drum, a great solo by Ritchie and the strong presence of Daisley's bass, probably the only track on the whole album where that instrument actually catches my ear. Why this song isn't the album opener instead of Long Live Rock 'N' Roll is something I'll never understand.

    But the album's pinnacle has to be Gates Of Babylon, a mini-epic that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Rising, and the song that single-handedly makes me forget all of this album's shortcomings. Heralded by a keyboard intro, the song comes forth with Dio providing some of his most dynamic phrasing to date over a particularly nasty riff that slithers around at a fast pace, constantly on the move and ever so slightly changing, making for a very unsettling atmosphere that is wonderfully conveyed with the help of the Bavarian String Ensemble, who are joining Ritchie's guitar on this one and providing some great accents of their own during the bridges prior to the chorus. Dio's performance is again superb, using his voice to build up tension and washing it all with such emotion that's overwhelming. When he explodes on the chorus with "sleep with the devil and then you must pay!" and prompts the keyboard blasts that follow, I'm irresistibly hooked. Ritchie brings in his A-game for the solo, starting with some of his trademark runs over the menacing backing that the band provides, driving on and on before the harmonies start shifting and he moves along with them with consummate ease. Cozy gets caught up in the changes and brings in plenty of breaks until eventually we're taken down into a dark, empty area where there's only a variation of the main riff hovering at a slow pace over a very sparse arrangement, with some heavy phasing for ghostly effect. This reprise is short though, and it soon builds up till we reach the surface and the verse returns. Dio is left to provide the icing on this tasty musical cake with the revelation of his last line, and we're left alone while a distant violin throws a veil of melancholy before the final darkness. Gates Of Babylon is thoroughly impressive; arguably not as big or epic as Stargazer, but I find it musically better and more interesting in the way it moves and develops.

    Finally, the last track on the album and another firm favourite is Rainbow Eyes, a very mellow and gentle song that catches Ritchie and Ronnie playing as a duo over the backing of string quartet, with flute and recorder providing an earthy quality to the melody. Totally in contrast to the rest of the album and totally effective, it's also a piece of immense beauty, its mood quietly impregnating everything around you while it's playing. It's another one to get lost into, and I particularly love how it slowly fades away, going out without a hurry, like the gentle dying of light on a summer sunset.

    All in all, I guess the Rising album is just too tough an act to follow, and even the best tracks on Long Live Rock 'N' Roll seem like a step down in comparison. But the truth is that, taken as a whole, this record is a pretty damn good listen (although I'd make the title track and Kill The King swap places in the running order for a better one) and it still contains great tracks and two or three truly awesome ones. I get to thinking that this album is actually the missing link between the first one and Rising, only it came out third.
     
  22. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    I actually prefer LLRNR to Rising myself, although I agree with you that the title track and "Sensitive To Light" are fairly weak links. Why the title track is the one track from this album that seemed to remain a permanent fixture in Rainbow sets is a mystery to me. Outside of those two tracks every song is great. "Gates Of Babylon" is the best song Rainbow did with Dio in my opinion. Some of Dio's better lyrics, too. And I love the boogie woogie piano in "L.A. Connection".
     
  23. bare trees

    bare trees Well-Known Member

    This was my first Rainbow album. I bought it in 1988 because it had Dio on it. I love most of it but certain tracks have since lost their appeal for me. "The Shed" just plods along and "Sensitive To Light" has a generic boogie rock feel to it that doesn't mesh well with Dio's voice. I still love the remaining tracks. The title track may be a tad smplistic but it has an energy to it that sucks me in. "Gates Of Babylon" shows how a song can be epic without being overlong and meandering. "Kill The King" just rocks. It's almost speed metal before the phrase was coined.
     
  24. Claus

    Claus Fireblade Rider

    Location:
    Germany
    I was a little disappointed when I heard LLRR the first time... I would not count LLRR as a classic HARD ROCK album... too many fillers IMO, but the title song, Kill the King, Gates of Babylon (one of the best guitar solos) and Rainbow Eyes are great.
     
  25. JA Fant

    JA Fant New Member

    I was disappointed w/ LLRR as well.
     

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