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OSheaman, July 17th, 2003

Shit. I hate it when this happens.

You know that feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and you think it's just going to be another normal day, so you get dressed and gulp down some liquid caffeine (coffee) and you head out the door to over where you work? And then you sit down, ready to do your job, and just as you're about to start concentrating, your asshole sadist co-worker next door starts playing That Song on his computer . . . the one that you can NEVER EVER EVER EVER get out of your head once you hear it? You know, like I Will Survive (and you can never remember any of the verses, just that damn chorus), MacArthur Park ("Someone left the cake out in the rain!") or Enter the Glade (you may not get this one, but Power Metal freaks are nodding their head as they read this)?

You know?

That's what happens to me when I hear this album. Specifically, when I hear the title track. That bitch just grabs you by the ear and rocks your ass off. And GODDAMN it's catchy! "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll! Long Live Rock 'n' Roll! Long Live Rock 'n' Roll!" Just try to listen to this without singing along with the chorus. Go ahead--I dare you.

Anyway, the album. To be short and sweet, it rocks. This is Rainbow at its absolute finest hour, and boy can they do it right. One of the other reviews of this album (I can't be bothered to actually check which one) mentions how the album "bridges the gap between rock and metal," and I could not have put it better myself. What you have here is classic Rock 'n' Roll mixed in with key elements that later flesh out into the styles of metal pioneers like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Rainbow is most certainly a major metal influence, and this album is the corenerstone of that influence.

Obviously, the real standout is the title track, which has thrashed, riffed and ass-kicked its way into metal legend. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll features very nice guitar playing by Ritchie Blackmore with loads of cool riffs and a very well-done solo. The beat provided by Cozy Powell is simple yet timeless and strong, and the vocals by Dio are just unbelievable. Rainbow doesn't get any better than this headbanging, anthem-singing masterpiece right here.

The other anthem song is Kill the King, and there is a huge amount of style here as well. The sound is much more distinctly that of old-school Power Metal, and you can definitely hear some early Iron Maiden sounds in here. The vocals are cool, and the solo work is fantastic, not to mention the very original riffage here.

Nothing is really that weak on here. Gates of Babylon features some of the infamous "Middle-Eastern-sounding riffs," along with some fantastic keyboard work. The Shed is a real headbanger with a very cool opening guitar solo. The most Rock 'n' Roll-sounding song on here is Sensitive to Light, and there's nothing wrong with that; it's still a good song.

This is some fantastic music right here. It's old, but the production is good and the playing is even better. It's definitely worth a purchase. By the way, if you're looking for some good covers, there are two covers of songs on here that are quite well done: Gamma Ray's cover of Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (featured as a bonus track on Powerplant) and Stratovarius's cover of Kill the King (on Intermission). I leave you with this thought:


Hells yeah. Rock 'n' Roll forever, bitch.