Review of Rainbow’s ‘Live in Germany’ double album

Rainbow
Live in Germany
Eagle (Double CD)
***

By Martin Popoff

“Live In Germany” previously existed as a Spitfire double from 2001, with the original set hailing from ’76. History lesson: The official Rainbow live album “On Stage” is mostly Japan with a touch of Germany, and this is all Germany, but otherwise the same set.

Rainbow Live in GermanyThe material difference is the addition of ersatz party rocker “Do You Close Your Eyes.” Only difference I can see from the original Spitfire release is the fix of all the typos in the short liner essay. In any event, what you get is a frantic, dramatic, mid-range-y live set featuring Rainbow at its alchemical peak — compressed, claustrophobic, with a lot to prove and proving it with every drum punctuation, vocal ad-lib and fiery lick. Highlights are the world-unto-itself “Stargazer,” a biting version of 16th-century “Greensleeves,” and “Kill The King,” in all its proto-thrash glory. But, man, “Live In Germany” is more about performance, and the reason we might/should care about live albums, in particular.

Cozy Powell is driving Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio crazy, to new levels, picking a fight. Final note: this is a double CD with eight songs on it — jammy, stretchy math I never friggin’ liked, but it’s up to you.

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