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Willow

Title - 'Down to Earth [Deluxe Edition]' (UMe)
Artist - Rainbow

Digitally Remastered and Expanded into a Deluxe Edition 2-disc collection, Down To Earth is the fourth studio album released by Rainbow. Released in 1979 most of the album had been already written and recorded by the time lead singer Graham Bonnet was recruited.

Also recruited were ex-Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Don Airey. Most all the lyrics were by Glover (with Bonnet making several uncredited contributions), with the music (as always) by Richie Blackmore, Don Airey and Cozy Powell.

Funnily enough, much like when vocalist Gary Cherone, formerly of Extreme, became Van Halen's third singer for Van Halen III, this was to be the only Rainbow album on which Bonnet sang - although he was still part of the band when writing for Difficult to Cure began.

Disc 1 kicks off the Rainbow classic, 'All Night Long (Album Version),' before heading into both 'Eyes Of The World' and 'No Time To Lose.' For me, the standout performers are Blackmore and Bonnet here. Don Airey has always been amazing, but the other two really stood out on this album. There are some neat synthesizer moments that were revealed in the bonus tracks, but that (for some strange reason) I had not heard before!

Anyway, moving on and 'Makin' Love' is followed by the albums biggest hit single, 'Since You Been Gone (Album Version).' A monster of a song, and one beloved the world over, Bonnett's vocals are incredible. 'Love's No Friend' and 'Danger Zone' follow, before the frantic 'Lost In Hollywood,' 'Bad Girl' (which was actually, I'll have you know) an outtake from the album sessions, and was actually used as the B-side to the 'Since You Been Gone' single!) and 'Weiss Heim' (similarly, 'Weiss Heim,' an instrumental recorded in Copenhagen in January 1980, was the B-side to 'All Night Long'!) close the first disc neatly.

Disc 2 kicks off with 'All Night Long (Instrumental Outtake),' which is weird to hear as you keep expecting Bonnett's vocals to kick in at any time! Then comes both 'Eyes Of The World (Instrumental Outtake)' and 'Spark Don't Mean A Fire,' which sounds as raw as the day it was created.

'Makin' Love (Instrumental Outtake)' and 'Since You Been Gone (Instrumental Outtake)' (and again, yes, you keep expecting Bonnett's vocals to kick in!) are next, before the sorrowful wail of 'Ain't A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me.' The Instrumental Outtakes of 'Danger Zone,' 'Lost In Hollywood,' and 'Bad Girl' are next, before an Alternative Outtake of 'Ain't A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me' comes forth (and not for any good reason either, as all it is is an instrumental with some far, far, FAR off in the distance lines from the chorus sung!) once again.

Bringing the entire 2-disc collection to a close is 'Eyes Of The World (Instrumental Outtake Take 2)' (which, to be honest, there was no need to include in this set either) and 'All Night Long (Cozy Powell Mix)' - which, as you'd expect, focuses entirely on the drumming of Mr. Powell. Sadly, Bonnett's vocals are muffled, so all this is is the drum track we're listening to!

www.universalmusic.com





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