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Greatest hits? Wha? - 60%

OlympicSharpshooter, June 8th, 2004

Well, I decided to review all the Rainbow compilations thinking that with the relative difficulty to obtain the Rainbow albums proper people could use reviews of the easier to find hits collections, and that it'd simply be a relatively easy job because many of them are rather similar. Really though, this one is just bizarre.

First of all, this collection virtually ignores the radio hits. "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", "Man on the Silver Mountain", "Catch the Rainbow", "All Night Long", "Street of Dreams", "I Surrender"... although those songs vary wildly in quality, they ARE in point of fact Rainbow's biggest hits. With the exception of "Since You've Been Gone" and "Stone Cold", these aren't even singles! It's like this no name Dutch company just tried to keep the costs down by not licensing the band's most expensive material.

Interesting doesn't begin to describe the track selection here. From Rainbow's self-titled we get closing Yardbirds cover (and instrumental!) "Still I'm Sad". I won't debate that it's one of the coolest songs on the album, but this is the most bizarre choice possible from the band's most accessible Dio album. And, they open the album with it!

"Stargazer" makes sense as a choice from Rising, which is actually incongruous with the rest of the weirdness.

There are three tracks from Long Live Rock'n'Roll, not including (in an astounding move) the title track (doubly so since it's not on the 20th Century Masters disc), which is only slightly balanced by the other three predictable choices. I mean, "Gates of Babylon" is not the most commercial thing they ever released...

"Since You've Been Gone", actually fits. Which upsets me, because allegedly this album has some super strong album cuts I've never heard. Meh.

Of the rest, I can only shake my head in disbelief. Despite the amazing level of whoring that Ritchie did with Rainbow in later years, only "Stone Cold" truly was a hit of the rest of this bunch, the best being accessible 80's melodic hard rock/AOR, generic stuff, most tracks really interchangeable.

Points for being unconventional, but really an incomplete picture of the band.

Stand-Outs: "Stargazer", "Still I'm Sad", "LA Connection"