REVIEW: Rainbow – Rising (2011 Deluxe Edition)

“There’s no sun in the shadow of the wizard, See how he glides, Why he’s lighter than air”

RAINBOW RISING_0001RAINBOW – Rising (2011 deluxe edition)

I believe I’m well on record for being a connoisseur of deluxe editions.  I love to collect all the extra music, check out the liner notes, and feast on unreleased tracks.  The problem with Rainbow Rising is that no extra unreleased songs or demos survived. So, what you’ll get is three different and complete versions of Rainbow Rising, plus a tour rehearsal version of the quintessential Rainbow song, “Stargazer”. If you don’t want to hear the whole album three times in a row, plus a fourth version of “Stargazer”, then don’t buy this disc. Just stick with the regular CD.

The three versions of the album inside include a previously unreleased rough mix. This one is especially interesting because a lot of these song versions run slightly longer than the original album versions. Therefore, you will hear some valuable performance stuff that you haven’t heard before. The other two versions of the album include the “LA Mix” and “New York Mix”. The liner notes don’t go into detail here, but the original LP and CD versions of Rising had different mixes, and now they’re both here in one place. The differences are subtle, but those intimate with the album will recognize slightly different keyboard, vocal, and guitar parts. Previous to this, I had only owned the original CD edition, which was the “LA Mix”. Later CD editions had the “New York Mix” which I haven’t heard until now.RAINBOW RISING_0006

Lastly there is a tour rehearsal version of “Stargazer” from Pirate Sound, where Deep Purple rehearsed Come Taste the Band. It is surprisingly lo-fi considering where it was recorded. It sounds like somebody taped it on a hand held cassette deck. Not very listenable unfortunately, and kind of baffling why something this lo-fi would have been included at all. You can barely hear Dio at all at some points.  Still, there was room for it and why waste plastic, right?

This album itself is probably Rainbow’s best. That’s just my opinion. The renowned Martin Popoff ranked Down to Earth higher, but he did rank Rising highest of the Dio-era. I think five of these six songs are incredible. The only one I’m not especially fond of is “Do You Close Your Eyes”, which I just find doesn’t fit the overall darker direction of the album.  It would have sounded better on Blackmore’s Rainbow.  “Tarot Woman”, the album opener, is one of the most incredible songs Dio’s ever done. It’s absolutely a highlight of his storied career.  Cozy’s drum pounding is monumental throughout. “Light In The Black” is just furious jamming throughout. Incredible playing. And of course “Stargazer” is purely epic. The lyrics are cool and the keyboards just take the whole thing to another level. If I could only play one Rainbow song for the rest of my life, it would be “Stargazer”.

RAINBOW RISING_0004

The liner notes don’t the mention any sources or history about the three different mixes at all, and I don’t really know anything about it. There is, however, a great interview with keyboardist Tony Carey, supplemented by an old one with Cozy Powell. The packaging, including cover art from Ken Kelly (Kiss Destroyer), looks amazing in digipack form.

While normally Rainbow Rising would be a 5 star winner, hands down, I left this deluxe edition feeling slightly disappointed. It is what it is, but I think I would have preferred some different bonus material. Maybe some live stuff. If no outtakes or extra songs exist in the vaults, there’s only so much you can include I guess.

5/5 stars for Rising

4/5 stars for Deluxe Edition

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27 comments

  1. Popoff loves Bonnett wasn’t he the singer on Down To Earth???
    Check out MSG Assault Attack for some real good rock Mike!
    Man after reading this review I’m gonna buy the cd(regular one) I have never owned it and well it’s time!!!
    Thanks Mike for once again the early am read with the coffee!
    Ps-also liked the layout of your reviews this one and the Sabbath …

    Good work chap!

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      1. You know Mike I do buy most of my stuff off of iTunes and it’s basically the download and occasionally the booklet etc. So it’s always cool to see you take the time with pics,credits etc to scan it etc so guys like me so I can see the full deal.
        I’m sure when I buy the regular copy of Rising it will be a no frills deal in regards to the packaging…..
        Keep doing it brother!

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        1. Awww thanks man. That makes me happy. And then every once in a while you guys let me post something about Transformers or science fiction and let me get away with it!

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        2. I get what you mean, cool dude! Yeah I always find it frustrating when I’m reading a review and it doesn’t tell me what I wanna know. Does it have liner notes? Are they any good? Is it a basic package or elaborate? I like to know these things ahead of time so I know how much money I’m willing to spend.

          The flipside is it’s also fun to look at the pretty pictures!

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  2. “I believe I’m well on record for being a connoisseur of deluxe editions. ” Haha man, I’ve seen the lengths to which you will go. Deep Purple Montreux 2006 Japanese, anyone? I still often wonder the ratio of deluxe vs regular edition CDs in your collection. It’d be an interesting (and enlightening) scientific study!

    I loved the Rainbow you sent me. Pretty sure, from your description though, that I’d be content with the regular old CD of this. I don’t need all the different versions.

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      1. Must’ve been Peter. You gave me On Stage and Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, both superb records (reviewed recently at the KMA). Hey, tell Peter if he’s still sick of his CDs, I know a warm and loving home for them!

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        1. They’ve had 4 singers. Dio was the first. He was replaced by Graham Bonnet on one album, and then Joe Lynn Turner came in to sing on the last 3.

          In 1995 Blackmore reformed Rainbow with new singer Doogie White.

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  3. This is a masterpiece. This album is like a cornerstone in your record collection. It’s like you really don’t have a real record collection if you don’t own Rainbow Rising. There are a few albums like this, albums you simply must have, in order to call yourself a rock fan.
    Yeah, I know I might be a bit off the rails here, but this is a really important album.

    Liked by 1 person

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