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Latest Rainbow News
Below is our complete Rainbow news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Since my first “real” news posting had to do with the unfortunate news of Ronnie James Dio's stomach cancer, I thought it might make some karmic sense if my first Sunday Old School posting had something to do with the the remarkable frontman.
I suspect a lot of people my age (36 years young) are like me in that the first time they ever heard of Dio was in seeing the phrase “OZZY RULES! DIO DROOLS!” scrawled on a wooden desk in junior high or high school. That's naturally a reference to the fact that Dio had replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the singer for Black Sabbath, following Ozzy's firing in 1979.
Dio would serve as Sabbath's lead vocalist on the seminal albums “Heaven & Hell,” “Mob Rules” and “Live Evil” before parting ways with Sabbath until 1991 when he rejoined the band for “Dehumanizer.” Another parting of the ways lasted until 2006, when his version of Sabbath reformed under the moniker Heaven & Hell and recorded new tracks for a greatest hits CD, as well as “Live from Radio City Music Hall” in 2007, and a new studio album, “The Devil You Know” in 2009.
Beginning with 1983's “Holy Diver,” he racked up plenty of album sales and accolades with his own band, Dio.
But there's an important chapter of Dio's professional career that seems to get at best a cursory glance among a lot of metalheads I know, which is unfortunate, because it seems to me to be very much a transformative time for one of metal's most powerful vocalists.
I am, of course, talking about his time in Rainbow, the post-Deep Purple band formed by guitar-god Ritchie Blackmore in the mid-1970s.
Blackmore had departed Deep Purple after arguments about the more “funky” direction that singer David Coverdale and bassist Glenn Hughes were taking the band in. In search of a new singer and band, he didn't have to look far.
Elf, which featured Dio on vocals, had been touring as a supporting act for Deep Purple. Blackmore essentially grafted himself into the band, renaming it and collaborating with Dio to write the tracks for the appropriately named “Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.”
The song most everyone remembers from that 1975 album is “Man on the Silver Mountain,” with its son-of-“Smoke on the Water” riff and powerful delivery by Dio declaring himself a medieval metal prophet. It's become such a staple in the Dio arsenal that it's easy to forget how much of a milestone it is for the singer. Compare the supernatural lyrics with the somewhat more pedestrian (if equally well-performed) lyrics of tracks like Elf's “Carolina County Ball,” and you'll see what I mean.
That's hardly the only great one, though. The album also features “16th Century Greensleeves,” which would seem to be a precursor to Blackmore's later career, as well as the superb Quartermass cover “Black Sheep of the Family.”
By Rainbow's next album, 1976's “Rising,” Blackmore had fired everyone but Dio from the band and, if you ask me, the replacement keyboardist, Tony Carey and bassist Jimmy Bain (who'd later play with Dio in the 1980s) aren't completely up to snuff. It's this incarnation of Rainbow's weakest album, though tracks like the opener, “Tarot Woman” and the huge 8-minute closer “Stargazer” still hold up well.
The band had a return to glory with 1978's “Long Live Rock 'n' Roll,” which featured bass contributions from future Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath bassist Bob Daisley. The disc, which does feature some of the medieval and experimental sounds featured on the previous two studio albums (a live album, “On Stage,” was released in 1977), there's a surprising amount of pure blues-rock stomp this go-round, especially on the title track. “L.A. Connection” reminds me a bit of the bluesier side of the Doors, while “Sensitive to Light” is just a good-time rocker of the finest sort. Meanwhile, the darker lyrical themes Dio would go on to explore in Sabbath are on full display in the creepy Middle Eastern-sounding “Gates of Babylon.” The album's finest hour, though, comes with the speedy “Kill the King.”
Dio left the band in 1979 following a dispute with Blackmore over the guitarist's desire to take the band in a more “commercial” direction, which he ultimately did with vocalists like Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet.
If you ask me, though, the Dio era is a golden era for Rainbow, as well as the moment that one of metal's finest discovered his true voice and calling. As I and other metal fans await news of the ailing singer's condition, I take some measure of comfort in his “Man on the Silver Mountain” declaration that “You'll never stop me burning.”
May it be so.
Carolina County Ball (with Elf)
According to an article posted Nov. 25 on Blabbermouth.net, Ronnie James Dio's wife and manager, Wendy Dio issued a statement that said that the legendary Rainbow and Black Sabbath frontman had been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. Here's her full statement:
"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.
"Thanks to all the friends and fans around the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up.
"Long Live Rock and Roll, Long Live Ronnie James Dio"
Dio was forced to cancel his European tour last week when he became ill and was hospitalized.
Dio, who rose to fame as the lead singer of Rainbow in the 1970s, is best known for replacing Ozzy Osbourne as the singer for Black Sabbath, and for his work in the 1980s in his own band, Dio.
His albums include "Heaven & Hell" and "Mob Rules" by Black Sabbath, as well as "Holy Diver" with Dio, and many others. His most recent album is "The Devil You Know" with Heaven & Hell — made up of the members of his incarnation of Black Sabbath.
Dream Theater recently revealed Rainbow's "Stargazer" as the first of the cover songs recorded for their upcoming album "Black Clouds & Silver Linings." The song will be available on the three-disc special edition CD release of the album, and is available on the iTunes Store right now.
Over the coming weeks, until the album's release on June 23rd, five more songs will be announced and made available on the iTunes Store. "To Tame A Land" by Iron Maiden is already understood to be one of the covers, recorded for a Kerrang! magazine tribute to Iron Maiden in 2008. They also just announced three Queen covers and posted a medley of them online.
Roadrunner Records's website features an interview with Mike Portnoy on the selection of "Stargazer" and the idea behind the inclusion of cover songs on the album.
Former BLACK SABBATH singer Tony Martin has issued the following update:
"There is a Cozy Powell [late RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, BLACK SABBATH, WHITESNAKE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN drummer] memorial year coming up. Can you believe it's been 10 years since he died? I've been asked to contribute in various ways. There are various magazines and books being released next year commenting on the life of Cozy to which I was asked to contribute and was glad to participate, and more recently I have hooked up with the guitar player from the days I spent in COZY POWELL'S HAMMER, namely Mario Parga, on a song that is far removed from the rock scene. Actually, Mario is an accomplished Spanish speaker and Spanish-style flamenco player and we've put a track together that should be released soon. It's been fantastic hooking up with Mario again and we may well do more stuff. I'll not say more at this point but I'm looking forward to the posibilities."
Martin's latest solo album, "Scream", was released in November 2005 via MTM Music. The CD features legendary drummer Cozy Powell (BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, WHITESNAKE) on "Raising Hell" as well as songwriting contributions by another SABBATH member, Geoff Nicholls.
Legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, DIO, HEAVEN AND HELL) will be Alice Cooper's special guest on Cooper's radio show "Nights with Alice Cooper" airing Tuesday, October 2. The program is a classic-rock format and is nationally syndicated on the United Stations Radio Networks. Air times differ, so make sure to check out NightsWithAliceCooper.com for more information.
CORNERSTONE, the Danish/British melodic metal band featuring YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/ex-RAINBOW frontman Doogie White and ex-ROYAL HUNT bassist Steen Mogensen, has issued the following update:
"A huge thanks to all of you who came and sang and rawked out with CORNERSTONE [on the recent European tour]. Those of you who were there know just how hard the band kicked from the opening chord to the final drum flurry from Big Al."
"The band are looking to capitalise on the musical success of the tour and are looking at more dates for later in the year."
"Doogie says, 'It was great. So some of the venues were not bursting at the seams but we all had a blast and we have memories that will last a very long time. Everybody was very positive and the feeling in the band is that we must do this again very soon.'"
"In other news CORNERSTONE are very pleased to announce a brand new Japanese deal with a brand new label, Dingwall." More...
Slash of Velvet Revolver, Ronnie James Dio, and Terry Bozzio were inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk on January 17th. You can watch footage from Artisan News and check out pictures from Photorazzi, WENN, FilmMagic, CelebrityPhoto, GlobePhotos, RexFeatures, LFI, and WireImage.
Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) has spoken on radio about rumours of a Black Sabbath reunion:
On the status of the new DIO album:
"I think because we've had to tour so much in the last three years that… I'm the kind of person who who really focuses and hones in on what has to be done. If there's gonna be an album done, I wanna do nothing but that. So I don't write while I'm on the road — that takes that time away. So we do bits and pieces. We've started a few things, and we've learned how to work with each other, because a few of the people in this band have never worked together before as writers — at least one hasn't, and that's Rudy Sarzo, who's our bass player. He's been our bass player for two years, but we've toured for two years, so we haven't had a chance to do any writing. So we're testing the waters here and there, writing a few things. The touring hasn't stopped yet — it won't stop until after October — so when that happens, then I'll focus and we'll write."
On the possibility of DIO/ELF reissues coming our way:
"There's talk of always doing remastered [DIO] things that haven't been remastered yet, and I know that Rhino — through Warner Bros. — will be doing a box set of some kind, and I think they'll all be remastered, so I think you'll some of those. As far as the ELF things go, it was such a long time ago and such a different part of my life, really, that sometimes I think to myself, 'Well, that has nothing to do with what I'm doing now and what I've done for the last 20 years,' but in reflection, I think it's become so much a part of what I am that I think it needs to be addressed at some point. And so, therefore, I will tell you that, having gotten back together with my cousin, who was our guitar player in that band, Rock Feinstein [David 'Rock' Feinstein], we're planning on re-releasing a couple of those albums, remastered, the ELF albums, and doing two or three new tracks. So, yeah, we're gonna do that."
On the possibility of further collaborations with BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi:
"We've already written one [new] song together. The reason for that is that there's a release coming out, it's called 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years' — they've already done one, of course, 'Black Sabbath: The Ozzy Years'; that was the beginning and, really, the best part of it all — but they've decided to do one, again, 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years', and we wanted to make it a little but more special, not just give you things you've not heard from a live perspective. These are two things you'll never hear again — two new songs. We are going to do that. It's been fun already. The one we've done — the one that I've done with Tony has been really wonderful — just great to realize how magnificent a player he was. You forget that after 10 years at a time that you don't work with someone. So we are gonna be doing that. And I hope you'll like it. I think it'll be great."
On the rumors of him possibly rejoining BLACK SABBATH:
"There's always rumors about everything — about a RAINBOW reunion, about a BLACK SABBATH reunion. Our purpose was to do this because we wanted to have this product be a bit more special than anything else — not just, 'Here's a live track you've never heard before.' I mean, that's cool, but I'm sure people have heard that. We wanted to do something a bit more special, so the whole band would write and play these songs, and… They've wanted to hear them long enough, so here they are. But it's not anything that we've talked about leading to anything other than that. No, it's for that project."
On the possibility of a RAINBOW reunion tour:
"I've tried for such a long time… We've all tried, I think — Ritchie [Blackmore] and myself, and Cozy [Powell], when he was alive — to try to do something again that would please the people who have been so loyal to us with RAINBOW after all these years. I think they've deserved that — perhaps we've deserved it for ourselves, I don't know. But we did try. It came to a point where it almost happened. Then, unfortunately, Cozy passed away, and it kind of fell apart. So at this point, I would say, this will never, never happen again. No, there will never be another RAINBOW — not with me in it anymore. I have other things in my life to deal with. Ritchie seems to be very happy with what he's doing. Let's all just remember it for the brilliant, great, groundbreaking band that it was and just be thankful that it was there once."
Billboard.com reports that Ronnie James Dio, has issued a new concert album that focuses on one of his classic works, "Holy Diver: Live." The performance will also arrive on DVD May 30 via Eagle Rock.
After coming to prominence fronting Rainbow and replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, the singer formed his own outfit, Dio. "Holy Diver," his 1983 solo debut, is still held in high regard by headbangers worldwide.
"We had been asked to do the entire presentation of the album by an agent of ours in England," Dio tells Billboard.com. "It was at the Astoria Theater in London. It was a great show, and we wanted to capture it, because I don't think we'll ever do that again."
In addition to such Dio classics as the album's title track and "Rainbow in the Dark," such rarely played selections as Rainbow's "Tarot Woman" and "Gates of Babylon," as well as Sabbath's "Sign of the Southern Cross," were included.
Dio confirms rumors about collaborating once more with Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. "There's a box set that's going to be released, called 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years.' The proposal was to write a couple of songs to be included," he says. "I have gotten together with Tony -- we worked together for about a week in England. It went very well."
Dio will dabble in a new medium in November when he stars in the long-awaited Tenacious D film "The Pick of Destiny." He reveals, "I got to play myself, which was not much of a stretch. It's a tried and true part of a young rebellious rock kid's life, in that his father hates the music that he likes. In the scene, [Jack Black's character] is 10 or 12. His father comes in and rails at him and slams the door. On the back of the door is a big poster of me. He starts singing to the poster: 'Dio, tell me what I should do?' And I come alive off the poster, sing a song and reply to him."
Dio will also begin work on a new studio album this summer. "I'd like to make it a quicker album -- our last album was more medium tempo," he says. "I always hear everybody gripe and moan about that, so I think we'll go for some fast ones this time. That's the plan, but knowing me, I'll probably end up in the doldrums, and you'll have a lot of slow things on it." The yet-to-be-titled set should arrive in early 2007.
Read the full article at Billboard.com.
THE LIZARDS, the hard rock band featuring Bobby Rondinelli (BLUE OYSTER CULT, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH) and Mike DiMeo (RIOT), will be supporting KING'S X on the following dates:
Oct. 28 - The Crazy Donkey - Farmingdale, NY
Oct. 29 - The Chance - Poughkeepsie, NY
Oct. 30 - Stone Pony - Asbury Park, NJ
Nov. 01 - Webster Theatre - Hartford, CT
Nov. 03 - Avalon Club, NYC, NY
Nov. 04 - Jaxx - West Springfield, VA
THE LIZARDS recently completed a "super session" with a rock and roll legend for the band's upcoming CD. Although it's "hush hush" in THE LIZARDS camp as far as who this rock guest star is (which will be disclosed at a future date), he was quoted as saying, "They were the best sessions I've ever done outside my own music!"
In addition to a new studio album, THE LIZARDS are putting the finishing touches on an album of cover tunes as well as a new DVD of live performances culled from their recent tour of Europe. All three releases are expected to surface in early 2006.
In November 2005, Bobby Rondinelli will be doing a drum clinic tour in Europe sponsored by Ludwig and Paiste.
Plans exist for THE LIZARDS to embark on a major world tour to coincide with the release of their new studio album in 2006.
SPV Records has set an Augut 22, 2005 release date for the reissues of the first three BRAZEN ABBOT albums: "Live and Learn" (1995), "Eye of the Storm" (1996) and "Bad Religion" (1997). The albums have been out of print since USG Records went out of business in 1999. No bonus tracks are planned for these re-releases, but they will feature new cover art. You can check out the new artwork at this location.
BRAZEN ABBOT's latest album, "My Resurrection", was released in June via Frontiers Records. The CD features guest appearances by the folliowing singers: Joe Lynn Turner (ex-RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Göran Edman (ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, GLORY), Tony Harnell (TNT, WESTWORLD, STARBREAKER) and Erik Mårtensson.
BRAZEN ABBOT released a live CD/DVD package, entitled "A Decade of Brazen Abbot", last November via Frontiers. The set includes footage from the band's shows in Bulgaria in support of the group's last studio release, "Guilty as Sin".
The lineup featured on the album and the DVD is as follows: Nikolo Kotzev on guitars; Joe Lynn Turner on vocals; Wayne Banks on bass; Lars Pollack on keyboards and Thomas Broman on drums.
Electricbasement.com recently chatted with veteran hard rock drummer BOBBY RONDINELLI (Rainbow, BOC, Sabbath, The Lizards) about his recent work with THE LIZARDS, as well as his thoughts on music. While he was behind the kit for BLACK SABBATH's Cross Purposes album and tour, he doesn't view the band as heavy metal, even if they are indeed 'heavy,' "...I mean they’re heavy, but I always thought of [Judas] Priest as more metal. When I was growing up I used to think certain bands were heavy, but heavy metal to me meant something different, and now it means a lot more than it used to."
His current project, his time time around with The Lizards, finds him promoting the critically acclaimed Cold Blooded Kings album, which alos features ex-RIOT throat MIKE DIMEO.
Read the full article at Electric Basement.
Three demo tracks recorded by Yngwie Malmsteen/ex-Rainbow singer Doogie White with an early 1990s band called SOLE ASYLUM have been posted online at White's official web site. Download them at this location. The demo was recorded in the summer of 1992 at Survival Studios in West London and features Billy and Mark Kulke on bass and guitar, respectively, along with Dave Anderson on drums.
In other news, Doogie's web site has been updated with he following message:
"Doogie has just returned from Tokyo having been the special guest of Yamaha Communications new Japanese artist O-Mura. Yakayashi O-Mura is a guitar graduate of the Tokyo Music Institute. Doogie contributed two vocals to O-Mura's debut album 'Nowhere to Go'. The concert also featured former Malmsteen singer Mark Boals and keyboard player Vitalij Kuprij. The show was filmed for a DVD.
"Doogie also gave a vocal clinic at the MI in Tokyo which overran by a half hour due to the wealth of interest and questions from the audience. Doogie performed three tracks from Cornerstone's 'Once Upon Our Yesterdays' and three from his as yet unfinished solo album. He finished with his version of 'Gethsemane' from 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Due to the success of the clinic it has been suggested that when Doogie returns to Japan he should do a clinic at every MI in the various cities."
An EP, called "The Mold" taken from the first personal album featuring Chris Caffery (main guitarist of Savatage, master of ceremonies & guitarist of Trans-Siberian Orchestra) as the singer besides his guitars duties is released in Europe through Black Lotus Records. Includes two exclusive non-album tracks. The album features Paul Morris (Rainbow, Doro), Dave Z (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ZO2, Jeff Plate (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra).
A world-wide tour will follow with an appearance in Wacken Festival 2005.
"The Mold" tracklisting: More...