Long live Eagle Rock Entertainment. That’s what fans of classic rock group Rainbow will be saying after experiencing the band’s newly re-issued recording, Live in Munich 1977. This classic concert was originally released to DVD in 2006. Now seven years later, it’s available once again for a whole new generation of purist rock and roll fans to enjoy. And it goes without saying that this is quite the performance. It is available now on DVD, 2CD, digital audio and digital video, and even vinyl for older audiences with a certain sense of nostalgia.
The classic lineup of Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio), Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Dio, Uriah Heep) and Cozy Powell (The Jeff Beck Group, Whitesnake, ELP, Black Sabbath, etc.) came together for what is one of the single most epic concerts of this band’s career. It’s also the only full live show ever filmed that featured this lineup. And what a show it was. It is yet more evidence of everything that once was right with rock and roll. This is not just some rock and roll concert. Rainbow Live in Munich 1977 is a rock and roll experience. The show’s shortest song is four minutes and forty-two seconds long. The longest comes in at a whopping twenty-seven minutes and thirty-three seconds. So it is not for those with short attention spans. The songs in between are hardly short, either. And that is perfectly fine. The audio (CD/Digital audio) portion makes for great driving music for classic rock fans, especially with the weather having turned warm. The video portion (DVD/Digital video) is just as enjoyable to pop into one’s DVD/Blu-ray player. Those with home theater systems will especially appreciate the surround sound experience of this show.
Speaking of the overall concert experience one would be remiss to ignore the overall performance presented by Rainbow in this recorded concert. Both Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio showed why they were and are two of the most respected individuals in the music community to this day. RJD no longer being with us, this concert serves as a testament to his vocal abilities, even though his vocals are somewhat overpowered by the rest of the band at times. When he cuts through though, RJD really cuts through and shows why he remains one of the best singers in the rock business today. Blackmore’s chops on the guitar are second to none throughout the show. This is especially the case on the anthem, ‘Love Live Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ He and the rest of the band put on a virtual clinic with this song that was brand new at that point. It’s such a simple song. Yet somehow, Blackmore with his solos and Cozy Powell with his solid time keeping make this one of the show’s highest of highs. On a side note, seeing Cozy Powell playing with the traditional grip is just as incredible. When one thinks of drummers using the traditional grip, the most common association made is with jazz, not so much rock music. There are those that did and do today. But their numbers are few. So for the drumming community, this, along with Powell’s solid time keeping makes the performance even more enjoyable. It’s just one of so many examples that could be pulled from the show that make it such a joy to experience whether one is hearing Rainbow for the first time or fiftieth.
Rainbow showed that it could really bring down the house with a number such as ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ It also showed its versatility on the equally bluesy ‘Man on the Silver Mountain.’ This sixteen-minute plus opus had its own slower jam session moment that is just as incredible as anything that any of today’s blues musicians could churn out. It’s also one of the moments when RJD really got the opportunity to showcase his powerhouse vocals. And did he ever? His vocals soar on this performance. And even after this song ended Dio showed again why he was and is one of rock’s best front men. Here was this larger than life figure. Yet on stage, he seemed so down to Earth and so humble. Seeing the rapport that he had with the audience in comparison to the myth surrounding him is so eye opening and refreshing. He shows that he was a rock star’s rock star. He showed he didn’t have an ego and that he appreciated having the chance to do what he did; even more proof of the importance of RJD as an artist. And the band fed off of that energy, too, making this whole concert such a joy to look back on.
The concert contained on the DVD and double-disc CD are both wonderful additions to the home library of any classic rock fan or any fan of pure, guitar driven rock music. This latest re-issue boasts more than just a concert though. Adding to the overall enjoyment of the performance are bonus interviews with Bob Daisley and Colin Hart, as well as an interesting recording of the band performing in Texas the year prior. The interviews with Daisley and Hart are entertaining to say the least. During his interview, Daisley tells an anecdote about going driving with one of the other band members. This little story is sure to make for some laughs. He also tells his side of how the band came to be and much more. What else is discussed, audiences will have to find out for themselves when they pick up the DVD. Hart’s interview is just as entertaining, and at other times candid. This is especially the case when he is asked to share his thoughts on drummer Cozy Powell. It’s obvious in hearing him talk that this was a difficult topic to touch on. Fans will take away a lot from this and Hart’s other thoughts on fellow band member Ronnie James Dio, as well as his thoughts on the band’s success and other topics.
If the bonus interviews aren’t enough for fans, then maybe the bonus promo videos and the included booklet in the DVD package will impress audiences, too. The booklet included in the DVD outlines the history of Rainbow from its formation to the replacement of Dio, Daisley, and Stone. It’s just one more extra piece that fills this small package with so much to appreciate. The bonus videos included in this recording are actual full performances of the songs ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Gates of Babylon’, and ‘L.A. Connection.’ They aren’t just little snippets of the songs. If all of this set alongside an already impressive full live performance isn’t enough for fans, then fans that don’t appreciate everything included here either don’t have a pulse or aren’t real fans to begin with. Keeping this in mind, this latest re-issue is one more incredibly jam packed live release that is more than worth every watch. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online from the Eagle Rock Entertainment website at http://www.eagle-rock.com/product/EV306049/Live+in+Munich.
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.