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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #112 : Long Live Rock 'n' Roll : Rainbow


Every time I see this record's artwork, that I now hold in my hands, I can't help humming or singing the songs. Admittedly, I haven't spun this record for a number of years and I'm sad to admit that to you all. It's not because I don't enjoy listening to the mighty Ronnie James Dio crushing vocals, but more a matter of replacing countless hours of spin time with other life moments. The reason I started doing this on a weekly basis is so I can dedicate a moment in time with a particular album. We also have two little rascals of our own now and I get to see their faces light up, as they hear some great music for the very first time. Imagine hearing this album from 1978 for the very first time in 2024! Well, if you're not familiar with 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' by Rainbow, I guess you will join in on that experience today. If you are familiar with this band and already know what to expect lyrically and musically, then I hope you enjoy it again.

Even though the line-up of Rainbow changed a number of times over the years, I really enjoy their albums. Ritchie Blackmore started this band, after leaving Deep Purple - citing that he wasn't a fan of the funky direction the band was heading in after 'Stormbringer'. Personally, I love that album but it was the catalyst for Blackmore to create his own band. A band that is pure Rock 'n' Roll and a band that is still around to this very day. Sadly, the vocals of Dio would be replaced after this album and I feel it was a big loss for the band. Dio would go on to replace Ozzy in Black Sabbath and later form his own band, DIO. Did Rainbow ever get bigger than this? Did they go in a more commercial direction as Blackmore intended? It would have been interesting to see what the future of Black Sabbath without Dio ever joining them would have been like, and the future of Rainbow if he stayed.

I don't remember if I thought about it or wrote about it a couple of Spins ago, but on our way home from Kingscliff, we saw the BIGGEST rainbow. Our kids were amazed by the brightness and size of this particular rainbow. I think Night Kat Kiz and I agreed that it was also the best one that we recall seeing in our lifetime too. Somehow I forgot to write that down over the last few Spins, but couldn't this week because the name of the band is Rainbow! The sunshine was finally out after what seemed like 100 years of rain and you should have seen everyone out mowing their lawns and tending to their gardens. I hope that it hangs around for a while and the winds keep down too. Our children are craving outdoor time, but I have to admit, they have done well coming up with lots of games using their imaginations.

This album, as a whole is a 10/10 for me. Every song is as memorable as the track that precedes it and dropping the stylus on this original pressing seems like I'm stepping into a time machine. The condition of this 2nd hand record is M-. This means, basically played once or twice and remained untouched since 1978. The texture of the gatefold reminds me of old parchment and definitely adds to the themes or dragons and sorcery. Opening up the gatefold, you can see a photo of the masses and masses of Rush fans. Yes, a photo from a Rush concert was picked and made to look like they were holding up a banner - 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll'. The front cover sketch by Debbie Hall and designed by Maxi Chan is also iconic. The members of Rainbow woven together in the tangle of their hair - Blackmore, Powell, Dio, Daisley and Stone. Why do Keyboardists have the coolest names? Stone and also the keyboardist from Deep Purple - Lord. I don't know when this album last had a repress and I was very lucky to find this copy back in 2016 at Utopia Records in Sydney. If you are travelling through the city, duck into their store - highly recommend it.

If you held an Atlantean sword to my neck and said choose a song from this album or perish, it would have to be 'THE SHED (SUBTLE)'. The song has an awesome introduction, catchy bass line that gets you up and about and when Dio sings, "I'm like a freight train, Feelin' no pain. I never turn back one track, better step aside" or "I'm street walking". The track that brings everything to a stand still would be the penultimate song, 'RAINBOW EYES'. Sadness in the vocals and the farewell to a legend. I mention this because the song uses a string quartet and reminds me of Led Zeppelin. Our almost 3 year old daughter wanted to sit with me for Side B and I don't blame her. We drummed along and danced to 'KILL THE KING' and just hugged as this final song played. She understood the energy required as a listener for this track, or maybe she took a quick cat nap. They say that kids don't really remember much before the age of 5-6, so I'll just keep hold of this memory for me, as it was lovely.

Our son has had some more days at after school care this week and he is really enjoying the extra play and homework time. It gives him a chance to mingle with some slightly older kids too and they have been really kind to our little chap. Some weekends seem to go by too quickly and I felt like this one should have stuck around just a little longer. On 5th of June I will be taking part in a Push-Up Challenge to raise funds for Headspace in Wollongong. If you are able to donate, all funds go towards Youth Mental Health and I will be attempting to complete a push-up for every single life lost to suicide in Australia last year. I'll give it a really good go, considering it will be over 3000 push ups and I appreciate your support. Follow the link here.

I didn't mention the tracks on Side A, my apologies. I got caught up in the drumming with our daughter. Honestly, looking at the track-list, I don't think I can choose. Title track, 'LADY OF THE LAKE', 'L.A CONNECTION' and 'GATES OF BABYLON'. Maybe leaning towards the last track on Side A because it reminds me of this song (in title only). Click the link to hear what I mean and look out for the funky shapes being cut. If you can follow along with the lyrics on the album, 'GATES OF BABYLON' has a chorus that hits you and then ramps up again to another level. "The power of what has been before, Rises to trap you within. A magic carpet ride a genie maybe more, A city of heavenly sin. Sleep with the devil and then you must pay. Sleep with the devil, the devil will take you away. Black Gates of Babylon".

'Rivers of Babylon - Boney M.'

If you are able to find yourself a copy of this album, grab it. You wont even feel guilty about it. I have the first three Rainbow albums on wax, but I will need to eventually add a few of the Dio-less albums to the R'nR collection. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, pockets of it anyway, and rug up. Maybe we can make a R'nR with Rylo Oodie for when you are sitting on the lounge and spinning records. I'm going to give Night Kat Kiz a kiss, play cafe with the kids and make a nice hot cup of coffee. Make sure you do more of the things you love and include people who love you in your interests. Nothing better than seeing someone passionate about something and being invited along for the ride. Although, I can't really bring Night Kat Kiz with me into my Polyjamorous playlists - too much heavy or angry songs. Give your loved ones a hug, do some push-ups (if you are able) and spin records.

Until our next Spin......

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