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Rainbow: Monsters Of Rock: Live At Donington 1980

Fabled Donington debut, now repackaged on DVD and CD.

Rainbow Monsters Of Rock: Live At Donington 1980 album cover

Even now, more than three decades later, respect is due to Graham Bonnet for headlining the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival at muddy Castle Donington while dressed in a pristine white blazer and eye-watering red trousers. Punk rock.

Marking Cozy Powell’s final appearance drumming for Rainbow, this historic performance has been immortalised on album and video before, but this new DVD and CD package collects together the full live audio for the first time.

Bonnet musters an effortlessly operatic roar on All Night Long and Catch The Rainbow, even nodding to his pop-soul roots on a revved-up cover of the Goffin/King classic Will You Love Me Tomorrow?.

But there’s no doubt that this high-energy show belongs to Ritchie Blackmore, who summons up some Hendrix-level pryotechnics on Eyes Of The World and audacious Beethoven homages on Difficult To Cure before trashing his guitar and setting his amps ablaze. The festival promoters lost money during this debut year, but a legend was born.