Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Live In Birmingham 2016

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Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, Eagle Records / Universal Music Group
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

It took a very, very long time but at long last after decades of fiddling around with renaissance fair music in Blackmore’s Night; Ritchie Blackmore finally decided to strap on an electric guitar and deliver a hard rocking like only the storied living legend is capable of producing. Ritchie performed a handful of shows in 2016 and this double-disc set captures the Birmingham performace where Ritchie included “Soldier of Fortune” and “Burn” which were not performed at the two shows in Germany where the “Memories In Rock” DVD was filmed.

Recorded at the Genting Arena at the NEC, Birmingham; Ritchie and his backing band comprised of singer Ronnie Romero, bassist Bob Nouveau, drummer David Keith and the master of the keys Jens Johansson open things up with the Deep Purple classic “Highway Star”. The mix is a little strange on the first song as drums and keys are more dominant and in my opinion Ritchie should cut through a lot louder, especially on an aggressive guitar driven number. Luckily the mix does seem to improve as the band plays on or perhaps my ears just adapted to it. Ronnie Romero is a very capable vocalist, he has that soulful, bluesy approach that reminds me a bit of Dimeo era Riot. All era’s of Ritchie’s rock career are represented as fans are treated to all the hits like “Since You Been Gone” “Man On The Silver Mountain” “Perfect Strangers” “Long Live Rock & Roll” “Stargazer” and of course, “Smoke On The Water”.

The accompanying booklet is pretty simple, no lyrics just a few live shots of the band and credits. This was an enjoyable trip down memory lane but much like the excellent “The Ritchie Blackmore Story” DVD released by Eagle Vision a few years back it leaves the listener wanting more. Hopefully Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow will perform a US tour and we can all enjoy the magic of his guitar playing in concert! Until then, this double live album is as close as you’re likely to get! I’d recommend this CD to all fans of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore let alone for it’s historic significance as the return of the axeman.


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Track Listing:
Disc One
1. Highway Star
2. Spotlight Kid
3. Mistreated
4. Since You’ve Been Gone
5. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Soldier Of Fortune
7. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth)
8. Catch The Rainbow

Disc Two
1. Perfect Strangers
2. Long Live Rock N’ Roll
3. Child In Time
4. Stargazer
5. Black Night / Woman From Tokyo
6. Burn
7. Smoke On The Water

Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar
Ronnie Romero – Vocals
David Keith – Drums
Bob Nouveau – Bass
Jens Johansson – Keyboards
Candice Night – Backing Vocals
Lady Lynn – Backing Vocals