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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Rainbow - Boston 1981'
Artist - Rainbow

For those not in the know, let's quickly get you up to speed on this incredible, fabled band. Known as Rainbow (all-be-they also known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, or even Blackmore's Rainbow), they were a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997).

They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after the first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979! Three British musicians joined in 1979, singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey, former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single 'Since You Been Gone'.

Over the years, Rainbow went through many line-up changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. Other lead singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White would follow, and the project consisted of numerous backing musicians. The band's early work primarily featured mystical lyrics with a neoclassical metal style, but went in a more streamlined, commercial direction following Dio's departure from the group.

In truth, I'm a HUGE Rainbow fan. HUGE. So I have to tell you, in my humble opinion, that this relative "Pot of Found Gold" simply entitled Boston 1981 is like Christmas come early! Taking it's title from the city and year in which it was recorded, Boston 1981 features crystal clear audio that captures the vibrant energy and emotion pouring through the band as they bring forth quite brilliant live versions of 'Man On The Silver Mountain,''Long Live Rock N' Roll,' and both 'I Surrender' and even a show-ending 'Smoke On The Water.'

1. Spotlight Kid 2. Love's No Friend 3. I Surrender 4. Man On The Silver Mountain 5. Catch The Rainbow 6. Can't Happen Here 7. Lost In Hollywood 8. Difficult To Cure 9. Long Live Rock N' Roll 10. Smoke On The Water

This really superb, previously unreleased (which still amazes me, in this day and age) live concert performance from 1981, showcases, as all the rainbow shows of that era and before, guitar god Ritchie Blackmore at his most determined. Kicking off with the old school cuts of both 'Spotlight Kid' and 'Love's No Friend,' we're soon into the hit single Rainbow era that was my own personal favorite, 'I Surrender.' But old school Blackmore rules here on this ten rack recording, for the epic 'Man On A Silver Mountain' is then backed by the over 14 minutes long 'Catch The Rainbow'.

The frenetic 'Can't Happen Here' is, as always, a live wire song to behold, especially live, and that is followed by both the equally manic 'Lost In Hollywood' (complete with screeching, dug-deep ending guitar sol), the rarely heard live instrumental 'Difficult To Cure,' and then the lost gem of an album is brought to a close with a thunderous 'Long Live Rock N' Roll' and an epic, truly epic cover of Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water.'

Boston 1981 will be released on CD, in a limited edition mini-LP wallet, and on a double vinyl blue, green or red with a stitched-in 20-page booklet. A great addition to any collection, for sure.