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Perkins, Jeff
Rainbow Stargazers (Book Review)
February 2017
Released: 2011, Abstract Sounds Books
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m on a bit of a Rainbow kick since they reformed and there are a couple of books about the band I thought I would review. Also check out Greg Prato’s new book, THE OTHER SIDE OF RAINBOW.

I came across a new, sealed copy of this for a nice price so I finally grabbed it. STARGAZERS is quite a unique presentation. It is a hard cover coffee table book with no less than four DVD’s as bonus content, quite the package!

Lifelong Rainbow fan Jeff Perkins has written a brief but detailed history of the band spanning all the eras. After his main section there are six bonus interviews with various members of the band, past and present. It was curious to see that a writer from Circus was referring to the band as ‘metalloid’ as far back as 1976. Could these be one of the earliest examples of a writer using the term ‘Metal’? I’m glad Perkins didn’t discount the under appreciated Doogie White era.

The coffee-table book is very nicely appointed, the DVD’s housed in the front hard cover. There are many photos, scattered through the book, mostly from the earlier phase of the band. STARGAZERS could have used a foreword and maybe a discography but that is not a big deal.

The four DVD’s comprise a documentary called ‘Inside Rainbow’ produced by Classic Rock. The documentary is competent enough, but is certainly is your classic ‘talking heads’ documentary. It seems like a bunch of older British men sat around the pub talking about how great Rainbow is. Well, I have to agree! But in terms of exciting visual presentation this doc is bare bones. Many former members were interviewed as well as fans, producers and more. There are many audio snippets from interviews dating way back, 40 years or more. It is a very enjoyable presentation that runs about two and a half hours.

I decided to review this as a book, (s compared to a movie) that is how it is most often sold, and the DVD’s are a bonus. Even thought STARGAZERS is unofficial and unauthorized it is very well done and has, in my mind, a real sense of legitimacy of authenticity. It may a cliche but this is mandatory for all Rainbow fans and even a great starting point for someone curious about the history of one of the greatest early Metal bands.
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