RAINBOW – On Stage [Deluxe Edition Extra Tracks / Remastered] *HQ*

RAINBOW - On Stage [Deluxe Edition Extra Tracks / Remastered] *HQ* - full

As requested, more classic RAINBOW in high quality to complete the collection. In this case, we have their live effort, 1977’s “On Stage [Deluxe Edition Extra Tracks / Remastered]“. The definitive version of one of Rainbow’s career highlights, this digitally Remastered and expanded deluxe 2-CD edition features a bonus disc of an unreleased concert recorded in Japan, 1976, from the Deep Purple archives.
Rainbow released an acclaimed album in 1976’s ‘Rising’ that had been well received by the public both ends of the pond but they hadn’t really finished a follow up; couple this with the fact that they had already been lauded as a very good live band and their label nudged them for a live album.
The following year they released ‘On Stage’ a group of songs that had been recorded in 1976 in Germany and Japan (in that famous venue Budokan) with the same line up (Dio – Blackmore – Carey – Bain – Powell) that had recorded the previous album and with Martin Birch producing.

The original ‘On Stage’ was (due to vinyl constraints) moved around from a commercial standpoint, and proves that Martin Birch was a genius, as the quality is impeccable and his editing skills in removing Powell’s thunderous 1812 drum solo, and he even spliced parts of songs from different shows, resulting in an album that stands tall against any of the studio releases.
The extended versions of ‘Mistreated’, ‘Still I’m Sad’, ‘Sixteenth Century Greensleeves’, and ‘Catch The Rainbow’ are truly phenomenal versions, to the point where it’s difficult for me to dig out the originals as they are poles apart from the live versions.

Rainbow open as always with a recording of Judy Garland uttering the famous ‘I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas…’ before breaking into to a phrase of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow.’ Normally bands will open with one of their most punchy tracks or at least something that the crowd will immediately recognise but Rainbow surprise me by launching into ‘Kill The King.’ This is a track off an album which hasn’t been released yet!
It’s actually a very shrewd move as the muscular riff roared by Blackmore’s customised Strat mixed with Powell and Bain thumping and growling away really has something that is arguably missing from the version that would appear on the 1978 recording and is one of the highlights of this album.

Medley ‘Man on the Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck’ is a thumping track and has excellent keyboard work from Carey with his consistent melodic playing complementing both Dio’s soaring vocals and Blackmore’s riff. His slide solo fits perfectly as the song builds to quicker beat and is complete with Dio scatting to an inevitable climax of drums and guitars duelling for supremacy.
We then descend into a bluesy instrumental with Blackmore making his guitar squeal and scream as another duel with something like an answer guitar alongside Powell showing off his jazz chops. It all feels very free flowing and from a musicians point of view must be something but it begs the question, is this needed? Does it add to the song? In my opinion it goes on far too long and then just when you think it’s reached the end and we are back onto MOTSM Dio then starts showing his operatic trained voice as he improvises different lyrics to the song and I switch off again.

There’s a change of pace after the urgency of ‘Kill The King’ and the grandiose of MOTSM we switch to ‘Catch The Rainbow.’ It opens with a beautiful mournful vocal turn by Dio backed up with a stirring work from Carey and the oh so consistent Bain. It slowly becomes more anthemic and epic as the song progresses and Blackmore’s guitar becomes more frantic and desperate, its the type of song that Rainbow always excelled at as you close your eyes and listen to the story that band are telling, the imagery and melody conjure tales of warriors and passion.

‘Mistreated’ is a highlight here. Complete with a gorgeous building organ chord through out complimenting the excellent melody and then a slow blues solo stripped down towards the end with slow hand clapping from the audience before bursting into the final phrasing with Cowell smashing through with so many fills adding to the drama of the song.

‘Sixteenth Century Greensleeves’ starts with a refrain from Blackmore, you can really see the vision that he and Dio shared of neo-classical metal, a type of rock that would blur the line between the two. After this slightly frumpy and portentous beginning a heavy chugging riff smashes its way through the malaise with Bain really pushing that beat. Cozy Powell’s drumming is brilliant here as his energy pushes the song to the anthemic chorus.
The original album ends with ‘Still Im Sad,’ it’s another cover (although Blackmore did write ‘Mistreated’) this time by The Yardbirds.

The second disc on this Deluxe was originally planned to contain tracks from the concert hall at the “Orix Theater” (formerly Osaka Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan) in Osaka, Japan (9 December 1976). Instead the second disc contains tracks from the final Rainbow gig in Tokyo, Japan at the “Nippon Budokan Hall” on 16 December 1976.
Anyway, the sequence of this disc is more in line with the original running order. What it does show is that Rainbow was an organic experience, growing and developing all the time, with every passing gig, with Blackmore improvising to his heart’s content, pulling the rest of the band with him in wild abandonment.

‘Catch The Rainbow’ and the ‘Medley’ being particular examples with Ritchie showing his classical chops, and throwing in his love for ‘Lazy’ as a part of the medley as well as lots of toying with the audience, and is a good 14 mins longer than the vinyl version.
The only real addition from the original is ‘Do You Close Your Eyes’ expanded and with some added welly. Despite the lack of ‘Stargazer’, ‘On Stage’ is still an album to behold and to get your mitts upon.
Highly Recommended


Disc I – On Stage remastered
01 – Kill the King
02 – Medley: Man on the Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck
03 – Catch the Rainbow
04 – Mistreated
05 – Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
06 – Still I’m Sad

Disc II – Live At Osaka, Dec. 9th, 1976
01 – Kill The King
02 – Mistreated
03 – Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
04 – Catch The Rainbow
05 – Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain~Blues~Starstruck
06 – Do You Close Your Eyes

Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Tony Carey – keyboards, Orchestron
Jimmy Bain – bass
Cozy Powell – drums



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