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"Down To Earth" = Greatest Rainbow Record - 100%

tannyboy12, February 2nd, 2007

It is 1979. Ronnie James Dio has left Rainbow after 1978's, "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll," a fantastic album in the Rainbow catalogue. Ritchie Blackmore spends three days trying to acquire former Purple singer Ian Gillan to enter the fold, but Gillan declines. So after holding auditions, Blackmore pulls in Graham Bonnet to handle lead vocals.

The album produced by this line-up of the band, "Down to Earth," in my mind, is the greatest album Rainbow ever put out. Each song is carefully planned out and they all have great things about them. The album opener, "All Night Long," is my favorite song of all time. Graham Bonnet was told to sing reminiscent of the old Stone's song, "Out of Time." However, he adds his own style to the track and pounds out every word with passion. Ritchie Blackmore turns out a fantastic solo and the guitar work for the rest of the song, though tuned down a bit, is incredible.

"Eyes of the World," is next on the album and for fans of the Ronnie James Dio era of the group, it will most defiantly give them something to love about this album. Blackmore turns in an awesome solo, as does keyboard player Don Airey. The vocals are fantastic on this track and Bonnet still hands in a terrific performance. "No Time to Lose," the next track, is a straightforward hard rock song typical of the 70's. Blackmore turns in a fantastic riff and his playing holds true throughout the track. The band decides to get a little bluesy on the next track, "Makin' Love," which leads to a great song. The notes the whole band hits gives the song a bluesy feeling to it and in turn makes for a great song.

The radio hit, "Since You Been Gone," is probably my least favorite song on the entire album. Mediocre riff and all right playing by the rest of the band. Bonnet doesn't impress me on this track as much as he does the rest of the album. In my opinion, this is a good filler track and I prefer the other hit off of the album, "All Night Long." The band kicks it into high gear again with another bluesy track, "Love's No Friend of Mine." Great musical structure with Blackmore turning out some great playing as well as Don Airey, who is often forgotten about. The keyboard playing on this whole album is absolutely phenomenal.

The band continues its outrage of material on the next track, "Danger Zone." When I first heard this track, I felt greatly tricked by it. Some of the vocals that I expected that Bonnet would sing in a certain way did not turn out that way. They turn out better than what I had thought of and though some parts could be hit higher, the low octave gives this song a chilling feeling to it and is a straightforward rocker. Blackmore pulls out a great solo and his riff in the song is astonishing. Cozy Powell plays a great drum track on this song as well as the final track, "Lost in Hollywood." Cozy gets a thunderous sound on this track and Blackmore continues to pour out great riffs. Probably one of the best tracks on the album, the solo is great and the entire song is deeply rooted in a classical style.

As you can probably tell, "Down to Earth," is my favorite Rainbow album. It has everything a good hard rock album requires. Great riffs, stunning solos, thunderous drum beats, quality bass work, amazing keyboards, and a great voice. It angers me when people put this album down cause if you really care about the music and it all, you wouldn't judge it on just the vocal work. It doesn't really matter with me though, because I enjoy Bonnet's singing and I think it's a real shame that this line-up of Rainbow didn't stay together for at least one more album. An album with Graham Bonnet, a man who can give an emotion to these songs, is better than any with Joe Lyn Turner, a man who's voice is entirely commercial.