Rainbow – Light In The Black 75-84 box set

Rainbow – A Light In The Black – 1975 – 1984
Polydor 5CD / 1DVD box set (Jan 2015)

Rainbow Light In The Black box setThe first ever history of Rainbow according to the label, and a set which can’t really make it’s mind up what it wants to be. It’s got far too many alternate tracks and rough mixes to be of much interest to casual fans, so seems to be aimed at the more committed Rainbow enthusiast. It’s a difficult balance to strike, as I found out when I put that Listen Learn Read On package together for EMI some years ago and got roundly dissed in some quarters for mixing so many rarities amongst a more off the wall album track choice!
As well as regular album tracks, we have a number of ‘rarities’, and on the first few discs these comprise rough mixes of a trio of Rising tracks, live recordings from Japan (which may be from the On Stage reissue), and rehearsal versions from 1977 of Long Live Rock and Roll tracks. Early lists suggested tracks from the Don Kirshner’s show and Osaka but these have been changed for more of the Munich 77 show since then.  From the Down To Earth era there is an instrumental take of one track, some live numbers from November 1979 off the King Biscuit show and Stargazer audio from Castle Donington.
The Turner period is  boosted by audio of the San Antonio set from 1982 and a couple of tracks from Hammersmith in 1981. The set finishes with latter day bits and bobs including a couple of out-takes from the last album, three live cuts from Cardiff in 1983 (great to have the applause back on Stranded!) and another three from the Tokyo show in 1984 on the band’s last tour.
It’s a little difficult to be exact about which of these are new to official CD (collectors will probably have sourced many on bootleg in the past), and which are recycled from the last set of Rainbow album double remasters, and the advance information doesn’t tell us.
The set is rounded off with a DVD from the Donington Monsters of Rock event, but it is just the BBCTV edit, with all the attendant issues (starting the show with the encore, etc.).  As the gig was filmed by manager Bruce Payne’s own company, you might have thought the full show could be sourced.  Apparently white label double vinyl test pressings of the set were sent out, and Graham Bonnet recalls them all being invited to a screening of the film.
The packaging is smart and slick but not very adventurous; most of the pictures and memorabilia seem to be lifted from various concert tour programmes (though I must admit the cover shot which adorned the Japanese programme is one of my favourites).  We are promised a book inside with essays by a fan and photos from Ross Halfin.
Rainbow collectors would probably much rather have had the live shows in full in some sort of box set, and this release could end up not quite meeting anyone’s expectations (beyond Universal’s accountants).  I’ve put the latest track list below for people to see what exactly is included, let me know what you think. Once people here this the origins of some tracks may be more apparent.
No pricing details yet but it looks to be going out for between £40 and £50 and it will be up on the DTB store to pre-order in a few days.  Release is set for the end of January 2015, and gets the new year’s reissues rolling in reasonable form.

Rainbow Light In The Black box set


01 Black Sheep Of The Family 3:19
02 Sixteenth Century Greensleeves  3:35
03 Snake Charmer 4:28
04 The Temple Of The King 4:43
05 Tarot Woman (Rough Mix) 6:06
06 Stargazer (Rough Mix) 9:08
07 Run With The Wolf (Rough Mix) 3:40
08 Mistreated (Live in Osaka, Japan / 1976) 11:10
09 Purple Haze / White Christmas / Lazy / Man On The Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck (Live In Osaka, Japan / 1976) 16:16


01 Sensitive To Light (Rough Mix) 3:03
02 The Shed 4:46
03 Rainbow Eyes (Rough Mix) 7:00
04 Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bob Daisley Rehearsal Tape) 1:40
05 Long Live Rock N Roll (L.A. Rehearsal / 1977) 6:56
06 Do You Close Your Eyes (Bob Daisley Rehearsal Tape) 6:18
07 Still I’m Sad (With Organ Intro / Bob Daisley Rehearsal Tape) 10:06
08 Gates Of Babylon 6:47
09 Catch The Rainbow (Live/1976 / With Applause) 22:03
10 Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (Live In Munich, Germany / 1977) 3:32
11 L.A. Connection (Live In Munich, Germany / 1977) 5:13


01 Eyes Of The World (Instrumental Outtake) 6:50
02 Ain’t A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me 4:58
03 Lost In Hollywood 4:51
04 Danger Zone 4:30
05 Since You Been Gone (Album Version) 3:16
06 Bad Girl 4:48
07 Over The Rainbow / Eyes Of The World (King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Broadcast / Live At Calderone, New York / 1979) 9:23
08 Love’s No Friend (King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Broadcast / Live At Calderone, New York / 1979) 8:11
09 Ode To Joy (King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Broadcast / Live At Calderone, New York / 1979) 5:41
10 All Night Long (Single Remix Version) 3:50
11 Weiss Heim 5:10
12 Stargazer (Live At Donnington/1980) 8:32


01 Midtown Tunnel Vision 4:31
02 I Surrender (Album Version) 4:01
03 Magic 4:05
04 Vielleicht Das Nachster Mal 3:20
05 Jealous Lover 3:09
06 Spotlight Kid (Live At Hammersmith Odeon, London / 1981) 5:07
07 Rule Britannia / Fire (Live At Hammersmith Odeon, London / 1981) 2:49
08 Death Alley Driver 4:36
09 Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser) 4:02
10 Stone Cold (Album Version) 5:17
11 Power (Live In San Antonio, TX/1982) 4:38
12 Miss Mistreated (Live In San Antonio, TX/1982) 4:25
13 Tearin’ Out My Heart (Live In San Antonio, TX/1982) 8:20


01 Can’t Let You Go (Album Version) 4:19
02 Desperate Heart (Album Version) 4:34
03 Anybody There (Outtake / Polar Mix) 2:51
04 Drinking With The Devil (Outtake / Different Guitar Solo) 3:42
05 Make Your Move 5:24
06 Snowman 4:30
07 Street Of Dreams (Album Version) 4:24
08 Stranded (Live At St. David’s Hall, Cardiff/1983 / With Applause) 5:51
09 Power (Live In Cardiff/1983) 4:29
10 Fire Dance (Live In Cardiff/1983) 4:26
11 Fool For the Night (Live At The Tokyo Budokan/1984) 3:59
12 Difficult To Cure (Live At The Tokyo Budokan) 11:13
13 Smoke On The Water (Live At The Tokyo Budokan/1984) 4:42


01 All Night Long (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 7:56
02 Catch The Rainbow (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 5:06
03 Eyes Of The World (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 1:23
04 Lost In Hollywood (Guitar Solo / Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 3:32
05 Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 3:15
06 Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980 / Pt. 1) 2:29
07 Kill The King (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980) 3:29
08 Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (Live At Monsters Of Rock, Donington Park, UK / 1980 / Pt. 2) 2:20

23 Responses to “Rainbow – Light In The Black 75-84 box set”

  1. SF Says:

    Hello Simon.

    Do you maybe have any idea when the Don Kirchner’s stuff was taped? I only know May 1978 in NY, but on which day?

  2. Ramón Arreola Says:

    I am a Rainbow´s fan I am from Mexico, here is very difficult to get rare recordings. I would like to get the Rainbow’s concert from Japan Can I get some of them? Please.

  3. Nutking Says:

    It is now clear why the Osaka show wasn’t on On Stage Deluxe : part of Man on the Silver Mountain is missing. Here they spliced in the reprise part of a bootleg tape to make it complete. Catch the Rainbow is from Japan 1978.

  4. RDX Says:

    Did some one notice that the song which gave its title to this box set, a light in the black, is missing in the list of the tracks? What a shame. It’s my favorite with Stargazer and I never had the chance to hear it live the three times I attended a concert of Rainbow in France. It’s strange how it is difficult to find a live performance of this precised song. I’ve thought that it might be a difficult song to play on stage and Rainbow prefered not to play it rather than to spoil it by a bad performance… ? But to be able to call a box set from the name of a non available song in the CDs… it is “du foutage de gueule” as we say in french (the translation should be “it’s piss-take”!).

    • simon robinson Says:

      I think they dropped it because it made the shows impossibly long, and Cozy Powell’s hands ended up bleeding trying to do side two of Rising end to end!

  5. Jeff Says:

    I cannot believe anyone is satisfied with this? Why on earth do we need anything that’s already been released? I need only to point out one song and that speaks volumes for all the fluff on here…”Power” I do not know anyone who likes that song. The Donnington DVD would be nice to have. Hope it is a quality upgrade. I agree with above, why not the Japanese 84 show that was filmed as a complete show officially on DVD? Where is the Deluxe edition of the first Rainbow album?

  6. Stargazer Says:

    So apparently, track 9 on disc 2 of this box-set is actually a Mr. Peach recording from a January 17th, 1978 show in Osaka at what is now called the Orix Theater.

  7. Rock Voorne Says:

    I never liked POWER. So seeing this track twice (…) on this box makes me wonder… Who is the person that loves this track so much?
    I’m interested in the Bob Daisley rehearsal stuff. Or are they already on the reissue of Long Live Rock and Roll DELUXE?
    Will the rainbow be rising once gain or is the same fantasy by dear old JLT that is making a buzz?

  8. Rob Beck Says:

    There was a Japanese guy called Mr Peach who taped all of the 1976 tour in stunning quality. Every show is complete and the atmosphere created from the tapes blows on-stage out of the water. All the shows were released on the very expensive Japanese boot label Tarantura and the packaging was as good as the recordings with what I presume is photos from the shows. As I say all 10 shows were released including the afternoon show. I personally have 9 of them just missing the show on the 13th!

    • simon robinson Says:

      Come in Mr. Peach your help is wanted. I have heard a couple of these and they do have a nice vibe. Make a great official boot set like King Crimson do.

    • Trevor Stewart Says:

      Rob, I have the Tarantura Fukuoka 13th recording if you would like a copy?

  9. Costas Says:

    I keep complaining for a live version of A Light in the Black, no matter the quality. There are 3 or 4 decent recordings
    of it, just needs some mastering.

  10. Roy Davies Says:

    There’s plenty of decent Rainbow soundboard and radio recording from all eras to simply bypass the studio stuff (out-takes of which are at a premium -unless someone raids either Ritchie or Roger’s garage!).
    Atlanta 1978, Chicago 1979, New York 1979, Essen 1980, various from Japan tour 1980, New York 1981, Boston 1981, London 1981, the soundtrack from 1982 San Antonio video, Cardiff 1983, soundtrack from Tokyo 1984 and Stockholm 1995.
    How’s that for a live box set??

  11. Les Hedger Says:

    I’d just be happy with an in depth interview with RB covering the DP and Rainbow periods. By the way the Listen, Learn, Read on box set was excellent and is one of my most prized DP items. You did a great job Simon!

    • simon robinson Says:

      It’s one of those jobs where I look at it now and wonder how on earth I managed to bring my side of it all together given the tiny budget and deadlines!

  12. SF Says:

    Most of the tracks have previously been released, so the only purpose of their presence is to make box larger and more expensive.
    This was a perfect occasion to release DVD from Japan 1984 currently available as bootleg and as several tracks on Finyl Vnyl, which was ommited from the latest Vinyl box-set.

    My grade: 3/5

  13. Roy Davies Says:

    10 Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (Live In Munich, Germany / 1977) 3:32
    11 L.A. Connection (Live In Munich, Germany / 1977) 5:13″

    – from the timings these are the Don Kirschner TV takes included as extras on the ‘LLR’n’R’ deluxe release.

    The live Osaka stuff is from 9th December 1976, though the tape masters for the whole show were reportedly lost.

    • simon robinson Says:

      The track listing did originally show those two as from Don Kirsher’s show BUT were changed to Munich on a later track listing. I assumed they knew what they were doing so went with that, but given what you say it could just be a mistake.

      • The Demonseye Says:

        It would look that way Simon, given the bootlegs, the set lists show L. A. Connection only made a handful of shows early/middle ’78.

    • Stargazer Says:

      How sad Roy, I wonder if the 5th and 8th December 1976 tape masters are lost too. (Thankfully someone captured those shows even though those are audience recordings and don’t sound the greatest in terms of sound quality). I also wonder if the December 16th 1976 afternoon show tapes are lost as well? Also I want to know if the master tapes for the 29th September 1976 Munich show are still around. That show should be released in its entirety. I have the four other tracks from that show already and they sound alright.

  14. Phil Says:

    Yes, it’s inevitable that “this release could end up not quite meeting anyone’s expectations”, but it’s more than I’d anticipated…but surely the inclusion “Magic” is a piss-take?

  15. Stargazer Says:

    Good thing that parts of the December 9th, 1976 show in Osaka is being released to make up for some of the archived unreleased live concerts of Rainbow. It would of been cool if the entire Osaka show was on disc one. I wonder from which show “Catch the Rainbow” on Disc 2 is from, that one is longer than the final evening 1976 Tokyo gig version!

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