If anyone ever wondered why Rainbow are regarded so highly, this six-disc rarities box set will provide the reasons why.
It spans the band’s glory years, from the Ronnie James Dio-fronted early releases, through the undervalued and brief Graham Bonnet period, and on to the more commercially viable era with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals.
For most, it will be those consummate Dio moments that will capture the imagination, as represented on the first two CDs. The excellence of much from the Turner days comes through on two more CDs, but it’s actually the Bonnet-fronted tracks, all on one CD, that sound best of all. It’s surprising how powerful and edgy the band were on the Down To Earth album and subsequent tour, accentuated by the DVD of highlights from that lineup’s 1980 Monsters Of Rock performance. Naturally, though, it’s Ritchie Blackmore who dominates; his guitar-playing gave Rainbow their drive. Much of the bonus material here is a bit weak, and will only appeal to diehard fans, but overall, this still shines brightly.