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At the time of recording, this lineup of Rainbow really could hold its own against any other band playing hard rock or metal, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Aerosmith or even Blackmore's ex-bandmates in Deep Purple included. Songs like "Stargazer", "Tarot Woman" and "A Light in the Black" are proof positive that the Blackmore/Dio team was a partnership that seemed to be destined for even better things. The follow-up album was just a hair's breadth lesser than this one, which makes one wish even more that Dio and Blackmore had been able to continue their work together. Much has been made of the continually revolving linups of Rainbow, and in fact only Blackmore, Dio and drummer Cozy Powell lasted from this album to the next. The summary dismissing of Jimmy Bain and Tony Carey should haunt Blackmore to his dying day, as the Rising band truly did boast five musicians who could claim to be at the upper echelons of their crafts. If you're just dipping into Rainbow, this is the best place to start, as Blackmore took the band in an decidedly commercial direction after the Long Live Rock 'n' Roll album. Get this one while you can, while CDs are still available and you can just feast on the image of the fist clenching a rainbow leaping out at you.
This album is exiting. It is full of magic (stargazer, tarot woman, run with the wolf) but it has also sex (do you close your eyes [when you're making love]. Starstruck and Stargazer are popular live tracks!