Song of the Week: Rainbow – I Surrender (Live)

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I know most metal fans prefer the Dio-fronted Rainbow but round these parts Joe Lynn Turner rules. So here’s a superb version of the classic Rainbow track I Surrender. It’s taken from the Live in Japan 1984 double live album that was made available recently as bonus discs with the Ritchie Blackmore Story box set. It’s a bonus extra that outstrips the main feature easily. Listening to Ritchie Blackmore reminiscing about his career is one thing: listening to him play is another entirely. And if you’ve never listened to The Man in Black’s live playing, you’ve never really heard him at all. No criticism of his studio output – it’s adorned with legendary guitar work – but this is a man that likens studio recording to “being at the dentists”. Unshackled from the studio, his playing reaches a transcendent level of inspiration and excitement. The whole band is on great form here, especially Joe Lynn Turner who sings with passion and commitment. But Blackmore grabs this great AOR track by the balls, lifting it to another level with one of his ingeniously messy, improvisational and thrilling solos. There’s a tag I use on this site: The World’s Greatest Guitarist. It’s reserved for The Man in Black and performances like this are why.

[Rainbow – I Surrender (Live)]

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35 thoughts on “Song of the Week: Rainbow – I Surrender (Live)”

  1. Interesting hearing the name ‘The Man in Black’ not being associated with Johnny Cash – but based on the I surrender performance you shared here HMO, the title seems well deserved here too!
    And I agree, if the live performances take it to another level, that’s a special kind of musician

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  2. Listening now, and yup. The track is OK, but that guitar… hot damn! It could be louder in the mix, honestly, but such is the state of live recording.

    Funny, I never thought of it as a Dio vs JLT thing. I always just think RAINBOW!

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    1. I suppose, but the styles are so different. I’m not just gonna go “I’m in a Rainbow mood”. Cause Rising is nothing like Bent Out of Shape. Same with Purple. I prefer to think of it in terms of the Mks cause they’re so different.

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  3. If I were only allowed one, I’d choose Dio Rainbow. But a world in which I have to choose is not a world in which I would choose to dwell. The JLT version of Rainbow is the version I was lucky enough to see live in 1981 — yes, “he” dressed in black that night! — and, of course, they played this one. I do indeed surrender to the rock!

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    1. Aargh I’m incredibly envious you saw that. Awesome. I’m going to see him for the first time in a few months. That’s fairly exciting but I wish I’d seen him back then.

      I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for picking Dio. There have been points where I would have too. And it’s definitely… thankfully… not a case of picking one. But over time I have found the JLT stuff has stuck with me more.

      Could change though, I’ve flip-flopped with my favourite Purple eras so Rainbow might not be any different.

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  4. Dio all the way for me. The only one that was on the same level for me was Freddie Mercury.
    JLT is awesome though. Just not a vocal god, because there were only 2, and I fear we may never see another in our lifetime.

    I am soooo jealous you get to see Rainbow over on your side of the pond.

    But at least we get to see Richie over here at Renaissance Fairs prancing around and wasting his talent. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Overall I much prefer Dio! Much better singer and talent than JLT. But I think Rainbow’s albums were better with Turner. I’m not saying I prefer Turner as a singer.

      And Blackers may well end up out your way. I think he’s just talking things slowly. If the gigs go well I think he’ll keep doing more… If not, it’ll be back to the crumhorns and tights!

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      1. Bizarre, wasn’t it? you could tell in an instant that that man had never touched a guitar before in his life. What was he thinking, mocking a true artist and revolutionary like that?

        Liked by 1 person

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