SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #68
I've been lucky enough, over the course of my life so far, to work with so many different people who loved music. When I think of Ronnie James Dio there is also someone that springs to mind straight away, the person who introduced me to all things Elf, Rainbow and Dio led-Black Sabbath. I have to say thank you to my friend Theo who I worked with at Eastgardens back when I was 18 years old. He was fascinated with Dio and I could see the passion he had every time he spoke about his music. Because I was the young kid in the factory, everyone wanted to give me their favourite music to get stuck into and this was a part of my life where I was a sponge for all types of music. He said to me that I should really give the early stuff a listen and he mentioned the band called Rainbow. It was then I researched and found out that ex-Deep Purple guitarist started the band and even named the first album, 'Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow'. It was a stroke of genius that he recruited such an iconic singer, who would later go on to lead Black Sabbath when Ozzy Osbourne left the band.
This pressing is from 1976 and is in very good condition considering it has visibly been spun a lot by previous owners. I was lucky enough to find this one whilst browsing Utopia Records in Sydney back in the day and snapped it up straight away. There is a certain mystique to Dio and the music created draws you in to the world of mythical creatures and fables. For this reason, I have decided to play this one on our loungin (children's word for loungeroom) set up - Sherwood turntable and receiver and 4 x bookshelf speakers spaced evenly across the room. If you have read our spins each week, you would remember our 11th Spin - 'Stormbringer' by Deep Purple. That was the album that made Blackmore say enough is enough and lead him to Rainbow. Check out our 11th Spin here if you haven't read it.
ALBUMS OF NOTE (1976): 2112 - Rush, Hotel California - The Eagles, Agents of Fortune - Blue Oyster Cult, Silk Degrees - Boz Scaggs, A Day At The Races - Queen, Ramones - Ramones, I Want You - Marvin Gaye, Wings At The Speed Of Sound - Wings, Sad Wings Of Destiny - Judas Priest, Rock and Roll Over - KISS, High Voltage - AC/DC, Presence - Led Zeppelin, Songs In The Key Of Life - Stevie Wonder, Boston - Boston, Desire - Bob Dylan, Blondie - Blondie,
Image : Cozy Powell (Drums), Jimmy Bain (Bass), Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Tony Carey (Keyboards) and Ritchie Blackmore (Guitar)
If you happen to own a copy of 'Rising' then make sure you place it on your turntable and get ready to #dropthestylus
I know that Blackmore left Deep Purple because he didn't like the direction they were going in musically. I am so glad that he decided to leave and start his own vision of a band - rock, metal and storytelling. I remember hearing 'TAROT WOMAN' for the first time through the headphones and was hooked. The front cover is something that would look awesome in a frame on your wall because of the giant hand coming out of the water grabbing at the rainbow and an onlooker staring in disbelief. It's a shame that there aren't any lyrics included for this record other than that for 'Stargazer' in the middle of the gatefold. There is so much to like on this first song, down to each musician shining as they cohesively command your attention throughout the almost 6 minute running time. The drumming by Powell is heavy and powerful which keeps my right foot tapping a long. "Beware of a place, A smile on a bright shiny face. I'll never return, how do you know? Tarot woman. I don't know, I don't know".
The song fades out and we have the grand entrance of Blackmore's guitar and Powell's drums as 'RUN WITH THE WOLF' starts playing. I can't imagine this song without Dio on vocals as he has so much passion when he sings, "There's a hole in the sky, Something evil is passing by. What's to come? When the siren calls you go, yeah. To run with the wolf. Run with the wolf". It makes it difficult to choose a favourite song so far because they are so so good. The sounds that are coming through the speakers are unbelievable and it's easy to forget just how good the '70s were for music and production.
Probably the catchiest start for me in terms of songs so far is the intro on 'STARSTRUCK' and the country style vocals by Dio. He had a little bit of county filter into his earlier band ELF and the influences are coming through here. I love the chorus and I've included it below as my favourite lyrics. Martin Birch has produced the goods here with his level of detail and it shows all these years later. Have you looked at some of the other '76 albums that I listed above? Maybe you'll find an album that you haven't heard of in that list and keep exploring. I try to find 1-2 new bands per week in order to feed my musical hunger. There is something about this song that makes it so accessible and dare you to listen to this one and fight the urge to rock out. It can't be done.
Watching the stylus move across to the last song on Side A called, 'DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES' and it makes me think of something. It's a great song that our children choose not to do every night as soon as they hear that It's bedtime. Bluey ends and the goodnight song comes on the television which somehow tells them, "hey it's party time now and you need to do everything that you can to not go to bed. Or if you do have to go to bed, do everything as slow as you can". Our son decides to crawl to bed slowly, then get into bed and decide that he needs to go to the toilet. Then has to have a sip of water as soon as he gets into bed again. Our daughter chooses the moment that our son goes to sleep to start her routine. I swear that they are the non-bedtime tag team champions of the world right now.
I was very spoilt on Friday for my birthday and was gifted a few records to add to the Rylo collection. I had been chasing some Blue Note records for a while and they came back into press recently, so my wife and family managed to get me a those - thank you. i also received a very cool birthday card from my sister that you made a self turning player for a 7" record that plays Happy Birthday if you get the speed right. Took a few goes but was very cool. I'll enjoy spinning them but tomorrow I will be flying out for work again and getting through a jammed packed week away from Night Kat Kiz and our children. It is always tough leaving them, but I'm slowly getting more and more on top of what is required at work which will mean more time at home in future.
Hopefully, we find that balance soon for all of us. The song ends and I did forget just how good this album was. That's why I like doing this every week because it gives me a chance to focus and appreciate the album that I've selected for that week. It's time to flip the LP over for Side B and absorb the two songs that are ready to fill the room. The only song that has lyrics printed in the gatefold is up first with, 'STARGAZER'. Coming in at over 8 minutes long is the grandstand filling sound of Dio taking us on a journey vocally, "High noon, oh I'd sell my soul for water. Nine years worth of breakin' my back, there's no sun in the shadow of the wizard. See how he glides, why he's lighter than air, Oh I see his face!" I could listen to this one if it didn't have vocals too, because that power hitting by Powell on the kit makes me air drum along. Even though it's a long song, it doesn't feel like it is. Some of the musicianship on this one has no rival and Blackmore surley was happy with how it turned out. I did hear that he wasn't happy with the band and wanted to hit reset again on the band lineup. I think majority of the band lasted another album before the changes came through, but I don't know what happened behind the scenes. For us, this record sounds pretty well balanced and it was a shame that he saw it that way.
I don't know exactly when Dio came up with the devil horns but he was the first to use it and not many people know that. Everyone seems to use devil horns at concerts now and I wonder if they knew Dio was the trendsetter. Last song on the album is called, 'A LIGHT IN THE BLACK'. It starts off with breakneck speed riffing and feels instantly different to the song before. Still coming in at over 8 minutes, this track gets the foot tapping along. I like the bass work and guitar work of Bain and Blackmore, working well together in tandem. The song feels like it doesn't let up with Dio singing, "What to do now, I don't know. Something's calling me back,
there's a light in the black, Am I ready to go?, I'm coming home". Even Carey on the keyboards finds his time to shine and increase the tempo if anything. I love how when I'm driving and our Son is in the car, he asks for Daddy's music. Like he knows that the rock, the metal, the drums is what he is craving. Can't wait to show him the record collection as he grows up and understands more. By then, my dream is to have a music room - posters of concerts on the walls, records, sound system, drums, guitars, lounges, books - all ready to go. What has been your favourite track on the album? The stylus starts to move towards the dead wax and lets us know that we have reached the end of 'Rising' by Rainbow. If you like this album, keep a look out for future Rainbow spins as we might just have a couple more of their albums.
Tomorrow is the start of another week and another journey. It would be lovely to take my family with me for the week but it will go quick. If you enjoyed 'Rising' by Rainbow, please check out their other albums (fronted by Dio). I think that next week I will have limited time to create the MWSP and write the spin, but that won't stop me trying to keep this thing going. I love chatting music so if you ever want some music banter, just send us a message on instagram. Next week is our 69th Spin from our collection and I am feeling like we need a little bit of hip-hop, what do you all think? I found a good quote by Green Bay Packers legendary coach below:
"The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall." - Vince Lombardi
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people love DIO and be Kind to your Wax!
SPEED PLAYED AT
RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW (1975)
LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL (1978)
HOLY DIVER - DIO (1983)
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X BLACK LP, GATEFOLD WITH PHOTO OF BAND AND LYRIC FOR ONLY ONE SONG PRINTED
"She's creeping like a hungry cat, I've seen it before, I know it can mean that. The Lady starstruck, she's nothing but bad luck. The lady starstruck, running after me"~ Starstruck - Side A
LP / SIDE
RUN WITH THE WOLF
DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES
LP / SIDE
A LIGHT IN THE BLACK
RAINBOW performing in '70s