Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow launch new version of classic Black Sheep Of The Family

Ritchie Blackmore onstage
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch / Getty Images)

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow have released a new version of their 1975 track Black Sheep Of The Family. The track, which originally appeared on the band's self-titled debit album and was sung by Ronnie James Dio - has been re-recorded with current Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero. 

Black Sheep Of The Family was originally recorded by British progressive rock trio Quatermass in 1970, and was the first song the original Rainbow line-up ever recorded together.

“It started with that song,” Ritchie Blackmore told Classic Rock's Geoff Barton in 1975. “I wanted to do the number with Purple, so I said to them: ‘Hey, look, this is a great song, let’s do it on an album.’ 

"But they weren’t too keen because it wasn’t an original track; it hadn’t been written by one of the band. But I really wanted to get it put down in one way or another, so I went into the studio with some session people and asked Ronnie to sing."

Black Sheep Of The Family is the first recording to emerge from the current Rainbow line-up since the single Waiting For A Sign was released in March 2018. 

The previous year, the band released their first new recordings in over two decades: a re-working of the band’s 1981 hit I Surrender – originally sung by Joe Lynn Turner – and a cover of Edward Elgar’s Land Of Hope And Glory.

Joining Blackmore and Romero in the current lineup of Rainbow are Stratovarius keyboard player Jens Johansson, Blackmore's Night drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau, and singers Lady Lynn and Candice Night. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.