Musings on RJD vs JLT eras
Recently have been ‘reviewing’ JLT-era Rainbow and the Purple album and in light of everything else that’s been happening particularly the sad departure (two years ago) of RJD, the shared-shining light of the Rainbow. Lovingly and excitedly I recalled the Sydney show leafing through the (admittedly these days) sparse but so valuable programme.
It’s interesting to seek, if not quite obtain, perspective – clearly the three RJD albums are the nucleus of anyone’s Rainbow collection and frankly the JLT discs are mere irritants in direct comparison – but a fair and objective hearing is called for (I know I have been biased in the past). There are glimpses of Ritchie magic but there is an overarching sameness to the four or five albums with JLT – but then again it can’t ALL be JLT’s fault – given the same (sameness) to DP’s S&M and then Morse era DP ever since Purpendicular, after which they turned turkey; just listen if you can bear it to Abandon – a mish-mash of riffs and half-directions (the end is the same as the beginning and back again, tuneless and totally forgettable! And why the pointless re-take of a respectable In Rock track! It’s even more sacriligous than Morse’s retake of those Ozzy tracks a while ago – pointless!). I suspect actually it’s Glover who after all seems to have produced most of it – the second series of DP post 1984-albums and the Rainbow lot; “covered in treacle” as I just read in the Rough Guide to Rock who may know something we all suspected. I mean (try) comparing Perfect Stangers or even worse HOBL to Burn – there is no comparison.
Whilst it must be irritating I was (after experimenting driving to work today) trying to see if I could stand keeping S&M and Abandon or gently recycle to the old Red Cross who I keep in good business. Sadly I decided to recycle the latter and keep the former – at least there are some good guitar and keyboard passages and ashamed to say I could easily recall most of it (or was that because it was irritating? I don’t know).
And then I played Quatermass – brilliant! It’s been a revelation to find these vaguely Mark-1-related spinoffs and sound-alikes – including of course Captain Beyond.
So just don’t worry about the present enjoy the past and live it all again but don’t forget the Dio era Rainbow. Cheers from the random Australian. Ian Douglas.
Random indeed Ian but I see where you’re coming from, though if I didn’t have several versions I’d by off up the Red Cross store for Abandon myself. It’s strange how this one gets up some people’s noses but a lot of it hits the spot for me. Though I know what you mean about the irritatingly familiarity of Slaves & Masters which sucks me into playing tracks of it every now and then. And like you say JLT is just the icing on the cake for the last batch of Rainbow albums, the problems were far more fundamental,a search for some sort of AOR nirvana but from the people who wrote Speed King. Like that was going to work.
photo : VintageMelbourne.com