The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world







nominated by Travis Dragani






Side 1

1. "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"
2. "Lady of the Lake"
3. "L.A. Connection"
4. "Gates of Babylon"

Side 2

1. "Kill the King"
2. "The Shed (Subtle)"
3. "Sensitive to Light"
4. "Rainbow Eyes"

Record label - Polydor


Rainbow was quite possibly the best 70's hard rock band few people have ever heard of. Their first three albums could compete with anything and anybody else who was offering during that period and at times totally surpasses them. The band was led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (of Deep Purple), who had a horrible habit of firing out the large majority of people who joined a band with him. It's a shame too, because for awhile they really had something amazing going.


Coming fresh off the back of their strongest album ‘Rising,’
‘Long Live Rock and Roll’ was Rainbow’s third studio album and was an inspiration for most of the new power metal bands in today’s music scene. This was Rainbow's last album with Ronnie James Dio and the last to feature the power trio of Blackmore/Dio/Powell




So here's the lowdown track by track...

"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" is a foot stomping catchy sing along classic track and an impressive opener. The solo sees Blackmore at his best and that is why he is regarded as Britain’s best rock guitarist, an excellent song to start the album.



"Lady of the Lake" can only be described as a atmospheric masterpiece and a bit of a slow down from the opening song. Ronnie’s lyric writing is outstanding on here as is the heavy guitar work this is one of the highlights on the album, some parts of the song can be quite ‘dark.’ but then uplifts when it comes to the chorus.



"L.A. Connection" a change of pace on this one, slow and heavy riffs, and in my opinion, is the weakest track on the album, maybe it was an idea that Ritchie had when he was still in Deep Purple, it has that Deep Purple feel to it.



"Gates of Babylon" is the centrepiece of the album with a haunting synth intro and a middle eastern groove the solo is without doubt Blackmore’s finest work ever. The orchestral arrangement works so well with the guitar riff and Dio’s dark lyrics.



The song builds and builds with each verse and releases the power during the chorus. If you ever need a song to define epic rock, this is the one!



"Kill the King" is a great rock song that just rolls a long with ease and dare I say is a early attempt at speed metal.


Dio's vocals hit the spot, so aggressive without resorting to screaming. Cozy Powell's drumming is so powerful and incredible which is the blueprint for so many drummers today. The solo is very fast, and the ending is perfect with some final drum bangs.



"The Shed (Subtle)" Strange title, as it doesn't mention sheds, at any point in the song? The guitar solo intro is so cool which turns into another great riff from Blackmore, the tempo of the song is much slower but still ‘catchy’ compared to the previous songs on the album.



"Sensitive to Light" has that stick in your head lyrics that you find singing to yourself all-day. A fine song with a great hook, but seems a little familiar to ‘Do You Close Your Eyes’ from the rising album, but then again, that’s not a bad thing.



"Rainbow Eyes" is a stunning ballad. Dio’s softly spoken lyrics about a lost love fit’s perfectly with the melodic guitar, flute and String quartet combination, giving this song a medieval feel to it, it’s a fine song to end to a very heavy album.
Although Bob Daisley and David Stone appear on the cover, they only contributed to a small amount to the album, it was the power trio of Dio /Blackmore/Powell that were the core of the band with Blackmore handling most of the keyboards and bass. It seems a little sad that the only member of the trio left is Ritchie Blackmore the others having passed away, but the legacy of their work will live on in this great album.



Ritchie Blackmoreguitars, bass

Ronnie James Diolead vocals

Cozy Powelldrums, percussion

David Stonekeyboards on "Gates of Babylon", "Kill the King", "The Shed". Piano outro on "L.A. Connection

Bob Daisleybass on "Kill the King", "Sensitive to Light" and "Gates of Babylon"






Reviewed by Paul Hadlington


Dedicated to Travis Dragani for the Rockpit’s Classic Album of the Month.