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Rainbow: On Stage/Long Live Rock 'n' Roll

Two unearthed classics from the man in black

While Rainbow Rising is often cited as perhaps the greatest of all Rainbow albums, here are two more reasons to celebrate the band.

ON STAGE [9] was released in 1977, and features the band in peerless form during shows in Germany and Japan. One of all-time great hard rock live records, it still sounds stunning. Plus, there’s now a bonus CD with tracks taken from a show in Osaka. Listening to the way they fly through Kill The King, bring Mistreated to life and power up Sixteenth Century Greensleeves is a breathtaking experience.

The following year’s LONG LIVE ROCK’N’ROLL [8] was the last studio album with Ronnie James Dio. It’s endured, with the title track, Gates Of Babylon and Kill The King sounding especially inspired. The bonus CD offers rough mixes, TV shows and live rehearsals of most of the same songs, but it’s an edifying snapshot of the band stuck somewhere in time.

It and the excellent On Stage are reminders of why Rainbow remain among the most essential hard rock bands of the 1970s.