Albums That Helped Build The Foundation Of Heavy Metal :
Artist : Rainbow
Album : Rising
Released : May 17, 1976
Ritchie Blackmore has never received the respect or recognition for his contribution to Heavy Metal Music like his peer Tony Iommi. In reality though Blackmore is just as much of a pioneer, and overall maybe even more. The two bands he led in the 1970s, Deep Purple, and Rainbow, developed the overall blueprint for what Heavy Metal music is known for today as much as any other band, or single musician. Trouble is his perfectionist personality has made him very difficult to work with. In both Deep Purple, and Rainbow members would end up leaving both bands because of his difficult personality. It’s also hard to believe today that he really wants nothing to do with the music he helped create. He’s now much more interested in Renaissance Music, living a reclusive lifestyle, with really no intentions of getting back to his rocking ways.
Thank goodness for us, that wasn’t the case in the early 1970s. At that point in his life Ritchie was all about Hard Rocking music. He wasn’t happy with the direction new Deep Purple members David Coverdale, and Glenn Hughes were taking the band, which was a much more R&B sound. It would be around this time he met the lead singer of a band called “Elf” named Ronnie James Dio. They both got along quite well personally, and once Ritchie heard Ronnie sing he knew he had to work with him. Ritchie would leave Deep Purple, and would record the first Rainbow album with Ronnie’s band.
It would be the second Rainbow album though known as Rising that would become not only the band’s masterpiece, but one of the greatest and most important Heavy Metal records ever made. Keeping only Ronnie from the first record, Ritchie would recruit drummer Cozy Powell, bass player Jimmy Bain, and keyboard player Tony Carey. This would be the perfect combination of musicians to record six songs that would take Heavy Metal music in a completely different direction. Richie was well into his prime, and Ronnie was beginning his, which would last the next nine or ten years. This album should’ve been bigger, and would’ve been bigger had it come out a decade later, it was way ahead of it’s time.
All six songs are incredible, but one stands out. The song “Stargazer” should be as well known as Stairway To Heaven, one of the greatest Metal songs ever written. This album should’ve been the beginning for what should’ve been one of the greatest Metal bands ever, but once again Ritchie would break it up, only making one more record with Ronnie before parting ways with him too (huge mistake). Thank goodness we got this album when we did. Even though the timing of it’s release may have been off, the creativity of the musicians wasn’t. Everything Ronnie James Dio became in later years was because of this record. That alone makes it essential.