Released: 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
THE RITCHIE BLACKMORE STORY was recently released on DVD through Eagle Rock Entertainment offering fans the fascinating story of one of rock's most influential and revered, yet mysterious guitarists as told by the man himself. Ritchie recollects his early upbringing and his struggles in school noting that early on all he identified that all he wanted to be remembered as was an exceptional guitar player. He practiced very, very hard at his craft.
It's interesting to hear about the early days of Deep Purple, the shifts in musical direction and personnel (and the reasons for these changes)and finally their rise to fame, breakups and reunions. Though I did find the chapters on Rainbow especially intriguing I was disappointed to see Ritchie so dismissive for the reasons behind sacking Ronnie James Dio on vocals (apparently due to which band members in Rainbow were featured on the cover of Circus magazine). Ritchie is a good story teller and the majority of the interview footage of him featured was filmed in the bar of his castle. This is not only Ritchie the storyteller, but Ritchie your drinking buddy. There is a bit of humor interjected into each recollection.
Aside from Ritchie's first-hand perspective on things, there are also a number of guest appearances from Brian May, Glenn Hughes, Lars Ulrich, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, the late Jon Lord, David Coverdale, Gene Simmons, Joe Lynn Turner, Steve Vai, Graham Bonnet and Ian Anderson. We also hear from Ritchie's longtime collaborator and wife, Candice Night (vocalist of Blackmore's night) who shares how the two met and fell in love and ended up making music together.
Whether you choose the standard edition which only houses the documentary or you'd rather opt for the Deluxe Edition containing the DVD of “THE RITCHIE BLACMORE STORY”, the DVD of “Live In Tokyo” and 2CDs of “Live In Tokyo” all contained in a 60 page 12” x 12” hardback photo-book with a black and silver front cover, you're getting your money's worth. I've already enjoyed this DVD countless times and I'm sure I'll revisit it countless times more. I highly recommend this DVD to all fans of Ritchie Blackmore and the music he made in bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night.