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RAINBOW Down To Earth 2-CD Universal (2010)


This is one of the best hard rock albums to come out of the post Deep Purple scene, in fact one of the best by any British rock band. Originally released in 1979, the album balanced the band's hard rock roots with the subsequent commercial direction (just like Slide It In would later do for Whitesnake).

The album was largely recorded by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Don Airey and drummer Cozy Powell before bassist (and ex Deep Purple) Roger Glover and vocalist Graham Bonnet were recruited. On this album, Powell drives a solid rhythm throughout, backing up Blackmore who plays a clean crisp if occasionally chunky riff. Opener 'All Night Long' is a classic if commercial rocker that did well in the charts, as did the Russ Ballard penned 'Since You Been Gone'. Airey and Powell stand out on 'Eyes Of The World', while 'Makin' Love' slows things down somewhat.

There is not one bad track here, I would recommend this album to anyone and everyone. Blackmore, even when this more commercial mode, can both riff and solo better than most.

Disc 1 is augmented by the 7" version of 'All Night Long' and 2 single b-sides.

Disc 2 features several instrumental mixes which are quite different (not just the lack of vocals), some alternate takes and a couple of unreleased tracks. Interesting to hear is the Cozy Powell mix of 'All Night Long' with quite a different drum line.

There is enough bonus material available to make Down To Earth a 4 disc box, but surprise omissions include Graham Bonnet's 'I Surrender', the original 'Difficult To Cure' (it was the first track Airey did with Blackmore when he joined) and 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow'. That's before we get to the Donington show, and the plethora of live material and other alternate mixes I've heard.

But don't let that detract from a superb album that has been given the best treatment it'll ever get and it is really long overdue. Can't wait for the rest of the Rainbow catalogue.


Review by Joe Geesin

Album review (Rising)

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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