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Disgruntled Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow with members of American bar band Elf (featuring future mega-dude Ronnie James Dio) in 1975. Innumerable lineup changes, eight studio albums, a pair of live sets and a handful of radio hits later, the band finally ground to a halt in 1995. Regardless of the lack of chart success enjoyed by the group, Rainbow -- with an early take on what was still growing into heavy metal in the mid-'70s -- remain one of the more influential bands of the era. Much like the chug of Heart's "Barracuda," "Man on the Silver Mountain," from Rainbow's 1975 debut album, is built around an undeniably archetypal metal riff. On top of that, Dio's scream-singing portends the pervasive effect he would have on metal vocalists just a few years later as Ozzy's replacement in Sabbath, and then later as a solo artist. After Dio's departure, the band managed a brief period of MTV popularity with the release of Straight Between the Eyes in 1982 and Bent Out of Shape in 1983, and attendant hits "Stone Cold" and "Street of Dreams," respectively.

Rainbow Concert Films

  • Live in Munich 1977


    Year: 1976

    Runtime: 1 hr 53 min

    Rainbow was formed by Ritchie Blackmore in 1975 after he left Deep Purple at the height of their fame. They were instantly successful and released a string of hit albums, with an ever changing line-up, between 1975 and 1983 when Blackmore broke up the group to join the reformed Deep Purple. This concert from their European tour in 1977 features the line-up responsible for the Long Live RocknRoll album released later that year, including vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Cozy Powell. Blackmore had to be smuggled out of Austria after a trouble with the police at a gig two nights earlier and was very late arriving in Munich, all of which seemed to inspire both the band and the audience to create a truly remarkable gig.

Rainbow Top Tracks

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