Archive for the ‘Ritchie Blackmore’ Category

Contracturally Obliged

September 4, 2019

contractual_obligation_ian gillan.jpg

You need a spreadsheet to keep up with some new releases these days and Ian Gillan’s Contractual Obligation album/s which came out at the end of July is another example, with a Blu Ray, triple vinyl and double CD being on offer.  Even the label, Ear, got confused. Because each of the three formats is from a different show on the tour, you would need all three if you’re a completist!  Whether the title is a nod to Monty Python’s final studio recording or not I don’t know; I assume IG signed a contract for the tour and knew this was part of it?!  It is quite easy to get a bit cynical over something like this, and the performances are of necessity a little ‘rehearsed’ to keep on track with the backings, but it’s quite impressive to see the full orchestra kicking off, realising how big a deal it is for the crowd, and also how we have come to accept scenes like this compared to (gulp) fifty years ago.  Hang Me Out To Dry even reminded me a bit of PAL chugging along with all the brass.  As Tim points out in his comments below the guitar player has been rumoured as a possible deputy should Steve Morse need to rest up, so it’s interesting to take a listen on those grounds as well, and IG does pretty well on what I’ve listened to for my money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3mGMKhDPc

The tracks are all from the live shows IG did in Europe and cover Warsaw, Moscow and St. Petersburg in late 2016 (Ear calls this ‘recent’ and does not bother to give the recording dates on their site).  Set wise, and backed by Don Airey’s group and a local orchestra each night, IG romps through cover versions from solo albums, a few Purple cuts, and etc.  So decent marks for not churning out the same old same old, though most of the Deep Purple songs are fairly familiar from recent tours. You might have thought with three different release they could have used a different photo on the front of each one but that must have sounded like too much hard work.  The set-list seems to stay the same for each show which is understandable, as follows:

1. Hang Me Out To Dry 2. Pictures Of Home 3. No Lotion For That 4. Strange Kind Of Woman 5. Razzle Dazzle 6. A Day Late ‘N’ A Dollar Short 7. Lazy 8. Rapture Of The Deep 9. When A Blind Man Cries 10. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby (z Grace Gillan) 11. Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos 12. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth) 13. Anya 14. Perfect Strangers 15. Hell To Pay 16. Demon’s Eye 17. Smoke On The Water 18. Hush 19. Black Night

Tim Summers went the full monty and gives us a few thoughts:

I’m enjoying the ‘Contractual Obligation’ releases by Ian Gillan – three different gigs on three different formats is a gimmick which seems to have even confused its instigators (earMUSIC), as they put up a live video for one track on YouTube, labelling it as ‘Live in Warsaw’, when it’s actually from Moscow (like the rest of the Blu-ray release). Nice to hear/see ‘Brazos’ in particular again – Ian seems better suited to singing it these days, not straining so much to get the ultra-low notes in the middle (“There’s some in the graveyard…”etc).  Weird to hear IG introducing ‘Difficult to Cure’ by name (“A song by Airey, Beethoven and Blackmore”…).  Some tracks (SKOW/Lazy/SOTW), I’d rather had been substituted for something a little more obscure but the pro-active orchestra (and conductor) lend them a different slant. My one criticism of the Blu-ray is that they seem to have felt that because it was filmed with 28 cameras (or whatever), they had to use all the angles as often as possible – the average length of each shot is less than 4 seconds, which, whilst it holds your attention, can be a bit wearing after a while.  They do calm down a bit for the slower tracks (maybe the editing machine was somehow linked to beats-per-minute…).  Possible-rumoured-Steve-Morse-live-understudy- (if needed) guitarist Simon McBride sounds good anyway – and actually reminds me of Steve (and his take on ‘Lazy’) a bit, the way his guitar cuts across the orchestra at the start of ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’. In keeping with a bit of a history of sleeve cock-ups, the CD says ‘LIVE IN IN WARSAW’ on the front… Oh and the best song Ian Gillan ever wrote* is included of course – ‘Razzle Dazzle’.

* Tim is I trust being sarcastic at this point. Ed!

Vorwärts mit Ritchie

May 22, 2019

Fans moaning about the recent new Rainbow tracks only being issued as downloads can sort of calm down as they now plan to round the iTunes MP3s up on a CD EP called Rainbow Vorwärts.  BUT so far it will only be sold at upcoming Rainbow shows, which rather rules out a large chunk of any potential market. Hopefully they will make some available via mail-order for those who cannot get along, an ebay shop is only $15 a month to set up…  Otherwise you will need to befriend someone who is going and get them to grab you a copy!

The EP will have four tracks so far as we know, Black Sheep of the Family, Waiting For A Sign, I Surrender and The Storm (a beefed up cut which I think Blackmore’s Night did some years ago). Waiting For A Sign was apparently written for Stranger In Us All (apparently a demo with Doogie on exists), but this is also a new version. Although we did think these new tracks being slipped out indicated a new Rainbow CD might be on the horizon, Ritchie has said not as he ‘doesn’t write those sort of songs any more….’

Thanks to all who have been keeping me updated on this.

RainbowVorwarts.jpg

Rare breed

April 16, 2019

I’ve no idea what to make of this, but it’s on the iTunes website as a five minute download available from April 26th, so make sure you have 99pence in your Apple account ready! Though I suspect anyone hoping for an awesome remix off the first album is going to be disappointed.  And why had Ritchie gone all Poirot with his name? Thanks to Tim Summers for sending the link. As for the menace who sent me the sleeve with Ritchie’s face substituted which I saw first, detention beckons!

Rainbow Black Sheep digital single.jpg

Dates

November 9, 2018

We mentioned Rainbow’s tour dates a few weeks ago; these have now been confirmed with just four shows in Europe for 2019. I guess this does mean there might be more in Russia or the Far East. Anyhow, the dates are on our 2019 diary page now.  The flyer for the Finland gig is shown below.

Rainbow Finland 2019

HMV specials

October 17, 2018

HMV have issued a number of special edition vinyl represses this year again (you may recall the marble vinyl In Rock from last time) to mark the BBC supported National Album Day. The one which may be of interest is a coloured vinyl issue of Rainbow Rising in their shops now (not online).  My thanks to Russ Berger for the heads up via Mark Maddock.

Rainbow HMV colour vinyl 2018

Chas Hodges RIP

September 24, 2018

Another Deep Purple connection severed with the news of Chas Hodges’ death. It has been interesting to read the details of his long career, and let’s face it it’s hard not to have enjoyed some of his hits with Chas and Dave which always bring a smile when they’re on the radio, and made him a household name. In the early days of delving into Deep Purple’s history, discovering The Outlaws and tracking down their singles was mandatory, mainly to hear what the fledgling guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore was like rather than Chas’s bass playing I must confess (though he was apparently one of the first in the UK to own an electric bass).

Outlaws.jpg

It was always a red letter day when we found a new picture of the four piece for the collection (that’s Chas on the right in this vintage shot, and Gillan drummer to be Mick Underwood in front of course). The famous clip of him and the band in Live It Up is worth a look if you’ve not seen it, Chas on a twelve string.

https://binged.it/2QOPPOx

Chas would later join a more progressive rock / country outfit in 1970 called Heads Hands & Feet, who actually supported Deep Purple at some shows in the UK in early 1971. Roger wasn’t well one night, and Chas deputised as the show had already begun. He also turned up on that great all-star rock blues jam session Green Bullfrog the same year to cement his place in the Purple family tree.
The Guardian have done a good obituary and I can do worse than link to that.

Joe Lynn Turner

April 17, 2018

joe and graham.jpg

Joe Lynn Turner was taken to hospital late last week having suffered from a myocardial infarction. Needless to say all live engagements are off for now, but JLT should be able to resume live work after a good rest and the right medication. This all happened over in Belarus where he now lives, and he was treated at a hospital in Minsk.

Photo of Joe Lynn Turner on stage with Graham Bonnet by Marko Syrjälä courtesy Easy On The Eye Books

Rainbow over Russia

October 13, 2017

Although Blackmore has made it to Russia a few times with Blackmore’s Night, they’ve never had him in rock mode, so the announcement of two Rainbow shows over there in April 2018 should go down well. Thanks to Mark Maddock and Mike Richards for the info.

Rainbow Russia shows 2018

More Rainbow

April 26, 2017

Rainbow Birmingham 2CD

I don’t think we needed a tarot woman to predict that the audio of Rainbow‘s 2016 NEC show (or whatever they’re called the arena this week!) would appear as a stand alone 2CD release after a suitable window for the set which first turned up as a bonus on the Japanese edition of the 2016 tour set last year. Live In Birmingham 2016 also includes two songs not performed at the German shows, Burn and Soldier Of Fortune.  According to people who did all three gigs (and Ritchie!) the NEC was the best of the lot.
1 Highway Star / Spotlight Kid / Mistreated / Since You Been Gone / Man On The Silver Mountain / Soldier Of Fortune / Difficult To Cure / Catch The Rainbow.  
2 Perfect Strangers / Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll / Child In Time / Stargazer / Medley: Black Night / Woman From Tokyo / Black Night / Burn / Smoke On The Water
This is by way of the build up to this years concerts and is out the second week of June. I’m not sure if this is the finished cover, but it is the image sent out with the press release.

The Man In Black’s due back?

September 16, 2016

Rainbow Blackmore live 2016Lots of chatter suggesting that Blackmore will confirm five more Rainbow shows in Europe during 2017, as was mooted back when the first shows were taking place.  His new singer Ronnie Mk 2 has also been talking about looking forward to this.  Let’s hope they can spend a little more time rehearsing to allow them to develop the potential shown in some of the set.  Blackmore has apparently taken on board, probably not without a little satisfaction, people’s preference for the next set to be more focused on Rainbow’s own catalogue.  Meantime there are rumours that once Coverdale and Paice showed him the door, Blackmore tried to get Hughes on board with similar results.  Looks like he needn’t have bothered!  Still no news at our end on the projected DVD/CD of the 2016 show, has anyone else spotted a release sheet?