Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Land Of Hope And Glory/I Surrender (Review)

Ritchie Blackmore’s return to rock action was one of the most welcome surprises of recent years. I’ve got tickets to see him in June. I’m massively excited about it and nothing’s going to change that. Which is probably just as well because Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow have now released their first new studio recordings in 20 years and the results are far from thrilling.

Land Of Hope And Glory is a band version of the classical piece that they’ve been using as the intro tape to their shows. It’s got a nice pastoral, laid-back Hank Marvin vibe going on and some tasteful playing from Ritchie. It’s… nice?

Next up is a new version of I Surrender with Ronnie Romero at the mic. The Joe Lynn Turner-era classic was notable by its absence in the Memories Of Rock: Live In Germany set so it’s interesting to finally hear what Romero does with it. The whole band delivers the song capably enough to imagine it going down well live but it’s not particularly exciting as a listening experience. And Romero is not at his best with the sexier end of Blackmore’s output. His performance here has little of JLT’s seductive bombast.

It’s tentative and disposable stuff from The World’s Greatest Guitarist®. I’m still looking forward to finally seeing The Man In Black live but if Ritchie and Rainbow are planning to put out more new music, it’ll need to be more exciting than this.

HMO Rating: 2 out of 5

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60 thoughts on “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Land Of Hope And Glory/I Surrender (Review)”

      1. It’s hard to be amazing when you’re the fifth singer after guys who have last names like “Dio” or “Lynn Turner”.

        I dig it, I’ll give Ritchie some money for this single, but I’m going to wait and see if a physical edition is coming on anything. If not I’ll (poo!) download.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s hard to be amazing when you’re the fifth singer after guys who have last names like “Dio” or “Lynn Turner”.

        I’m pretty sure that “Lynn” is his middle name. (Well, that is perhaps not well defined, as it is a stage name anyway, for Mr Joseph Arthur Mark Linquito.) Think “Uli Jon Roth” or “Stevie Ray Vaughan”, not “Simon Conway Morris” (who really does have two last names without a hyphen, not uncommon in England).

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  1. I dunno I’m going to avoid….I’ll stick with the Live Japan Rainbow/Boston 1981/Straight Between The Eyes/and my new purchase Rising!
    But good on Ritchie rediscovering Rock and look forward to your review of the live show HMO!

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      1. I was at the gig in Germany, at the Loreley. I believe it was the first. Yes, “hesitant” is a good description. It rained really hard before, and also during the concert. There was a real rainbow, though. 🙂

        I would have liked more Rainbow and less Purple, not just because I prefer Rainbow to Purple (but I’m not a huge fan of either, though I do like Blackmore’s Night as long as they don’t get too close to kitsch), but because it was billed as Rainbow.

        I think it was a good decision to use completely new (to Rainbow) people. The only two who were really part of a band, as opposed to hired hands, were Cozy Powell and Ronnie James Dio, and they are both dead. Choosing any of the other people would slant the new band to that period. With a different lineup on every album, there wasn’t even a “core band” one could have used.

        I think the bassist and drummer were OK. (Some thought Bob Nouveau was “too funky”.) Former and current member of Blackmore’s Night. Jens Johansson should have been a great choice for keyboards, but I was disappointed, especially by his solo.

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      2. That’s amazing you were there… it’s such a stunning setting for a gig!

        I agree on the Rainbow vs. Purple but I don’t mind too much as I still would like the opportunity to hear him play Purple stuff. Especially the lesser-heard Mk III songs. And Rainbow always played Purple songs in the past so… But I do agree and I noticed that for the later shows they had increased the Rainbow quota!

        I think using new people is a good decision too. That was always the way with Blackmore, to use up people and then bring in new blood. I don’t see why that should change now… I prefer a new era to him just doing the retro-style reunion tour. Yawn.

        Thanks for the insight! Much appreciated!

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      3. “That’s amazing you were there… it’s such a stunning setting for a gig!”

        I actually live about an hour away. (Interestingly, Tony Carey lives near the Loreley!) I’ve been there a few times for other concerts. A regular feature is “Night of the Prog”.

        More than 30 years ago, when I didn’t live nearby, a friend and I hitchhiked down for a festival. We went mainly to see Jethro Tull, who re-united with Peter-John Vettese for the occasion (this was when Tull were rather dormant), but it was an interesting lineup (for the festival, not for Tull!): Rory Gallagher, Status Quo, Magnum, Graham Parker and a few others. We didn’t sleep much the night before (due to hitchhiking) and my friend, not a big Quo fan, fell asleep for about 10 minutes then, when he woke up, said “Are they still playing that song?”. Of course, it wasn’t the same song. At another point they played a medley, and he remarked that it was a rather long song for Quo. 🙂

        Afterwards, we were so sleepy we literally fell asleep while walking. And we were very hungry; we had eaten what we had brought with us, and didn’t want to leave our place down at the front. After the end of the show, we each had a pizza. It wasn’t enough. We each wanted one more, but there was only enough dough for one left, so we split it.

        Haven’t heard the tracks yet. Probably tomorrow.

        By the way, saw Foreigner recently. I’m not a big fan, but, like Journey, Boston, Heart, etc, they are a group whom I appreciate more now than in their heyday, when I preferred “serious” music like Pink Floyd and Rush (and Tull). Now, I appreciate them for what they are: certainly much better than pop music today, and good music for driving down the Autobahn. If you like Foreigner at all, check them out; they are in great form. Opening act at our concert were Black Star Riders (who, as Thin Lizzy and with Aerosmith bassist, were also at the Loreley with Rainbow), though Aerosmith (small world) is opening act at other shows.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s cool they got back with Vetesse… did they do stuff from that era? I love Broadsword & The Best. Ace album!

        Cool stories Philip. I’m not a big festival goer myself. I do have a few concert vids at Loreley though… Thin Lizzy and Marillion spring to mind. ZZ Top maybe too?

        I do like the early Foreigner stuff but only followed as far as their fifth album. I heard some recent live tracks though and they did sound impressive.

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      5. Yeah I seen iTunes has it on preorder but they lose me with the 12 minute solo romps and stuff…..I think the Live 84 show that u sent me is the one along with Boston 81…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Absolutely its awesome as is the fella who got me a copy of it!
        I still am listening to it…Street Of Dreams has really won me over on the Live one. JLT and his wig totally step up!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. “That’s cool they got back with Vetesse… did they do stuff from that era? I love Broadsword & The Best. Ace album! “

        Well, this was 1986 or whatever, so it wasn’t that long after he had been in the band. They had been in hiatus; he might have still beeen a member officially. However, I think that Tull were Anderson, Barre, and Pegg back then. Doane Perry was still a new boy, and there was little activity. At a TV show in 1985 in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of J. S. Bach, the reunited with Eddie Jobson.

        The Loreley set was a “best of” set but did feature (then) recent albums a bit more heavily and IIRC a song from Ian’s first solo album (really a duo album with Vettese).

        Fun fact: Catfish Rising from 1991 was in the first half of Tull’s career.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It is strange to think of that album as being in the first half of their career. That’s the one with Rocks on the Road isn’t it? Love that song!

        It’s also strange to think how few studio albums they’ve put out in the second half of their career compared to the first! I think the last one I bought would have been the .com one.

        I only saw them live once. It was the tour where they were playing the whole Aqualung album. They had a violinist in tow as well. Wasn’t very impressed to be honest. I did see an Anderson solo show too though, and that was better. Wish I’d seen Tull in the first half of their career!

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      9. “It is strange to think of that album as being in the first half of their career. That’s the one with Rocks on the Road isn’t it? Love that song!”
        Yes, that’s the one. Time flies! Everything after A is still new Tull for me! It seems strange, of course, since we think of Tull, Floyd, etc as being 1970s bands, which is when most of their work and their best work was done. So, measured in albums, not much has happened since then, but measured in years, much has.

        “It’s also strange to think how few studio albums they’ve put out in the second half of their career compared to the first! I think the last one I bought would have been the .com one.”

        That was actually the last proper Tull studio album. After that was only The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (which is actually quite good), though it features more than just one band, so to speak, and was not recorded with everyone in the studio at the same time.

        Wikipedia sometimes has timelines for bands, i.e. who was playing what when, as a bar chart (showing the time someone was with the band) and with the studio albums indicated by horizontal lines.

        I was at the concert in Mainz in 2004 or whenever when Ian met his current guitarist, Florian Opahle. A singer called Mascha was opening for Tull, and he was her guitarist. (She is the daughter of Frank Elstner, a famous German television personality (though I think he actually hails from Luxemburg).

        “I only saw them live once. It was the tour where they were playing the whole Aqualung album. They had a violinist in tow as well. Wasn’t very impressed to be honest. I did see an Anderson solo show too though, and that was better. Wish I’d seen Tull in the first half of their career!”

        I did see that tour, but without the violinist. They went through a phase with such “special guests”.

        My first concert was on the Broadsword and the Beast tour, with a pirate ship on the stage. This was really the last of the classic Tull albums. I guess I’ve seen them about 20 times over the years. Probably the only group I’ve seen more often is Fairport Convention, though most of those gigs are from their annual festival.

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      1. For that money I want animatronic robots, pyro, dancing chicks, to be able to choose 3 songs in the set and guest appearances from Barbara Streisand and Animal from the Anti-Nowhere League.

        Liked by 1 person

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