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It ain't Made in Japan. - 75%

deadmaker7, September 13th, 2005

This, Rainbow's first live foray onto vinyl, is a mixed bag of sorts. Recorded after Rainbow had released only two albums, On Stage indeed captures some, but not all of the power and majesty that was Rainbow, 1977.

The barnstorming rocker Kill The King first appeared here, before the studio version on Long Live Rock and Roll. The keyboards are a nice touch, and the drums totally kick your ass, but at times there's no guitar! The guitar is buried deep within the mix, only appearing prominently during certain times and during solos. Nevertheless, an essential tune.

Next we have a medley of Man on the Silver Mountain (solid), a "Blues" (okay, kind of pointless), and Starstruck, again not bad but I wish they would have included the other "Star" song, namely Stargazer.

Catch the Rainbow and Mistreated, a Rainbow and Coverdale-era-Purple song respectively, are both long and self-indugent. This can be good or bad, depending on how much you like hearing Ritchie Blackmore play guitar solos. Personally I wish they would have trimmed these down a bit.

Then, from the debut album Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and Still I'm Sad (Yardbirds cover), two songs I always kinda liked, but I mean, come on! A cover tune on a live album, when there's a handful of other killer tunes they could have included? Eh.

Anyway, this really is a fairly decent live platter. However, if you aren't familiar with Rainbow I would recommend the first album or Rising.