Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 36 years ago today, Dio and Ritchie Blackmore released their final Rainbow album, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll together.
This is Dio’s last album with Ritchie Blackmore. It’s also easily my favorite Rainbow album. I feel the songwriting is less focused on jamming, in a sense, than Rising was. It showed that Dio and Blackmore could be an incredibly concise team, as well as experimental one. “Gates of Babylon” has great Middle Eastern influences, and power from everywhere. I especially love Cozy Powell’s drum shuffle on this one, and the orchestration behind it, especially at the end is amazing. “Kill the King” is one of the hardest hitting songs Dio ever made , and the energy is top notch. Dio’s vocals are exceptional on “Lady of the Lake,” be it a little more simple than the rest. The title track remains an anthem to this day, and “Rainbow Eyes” is a really under-appreciated ballad.
The heartbreaker on this album, for me, is “Sensitive to Light.” I just don’t think it fits on the album, and breaks an otherwise fun and energetic album up with campiness and such. It’s by far the weakest track on the album, and it’s probably the only track on the whole album that I ever skip.
Favorite Tracks: “Gates of Babylon,” “Kill the King,” “Lady of the Lake,” “The Shed (Subtle),” “L.A. Connection,” “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Rainbow Eyes.”
This is a really great Rainbow album, and some of Dio’s strongest work. I really think this is one that gets vastly overlooked because of how great Rising is too. It’s got a bit more variety, and energy to spare. If you’re a Dio or Blackmore fan, this one is probably already in your catalog, but it’s totally worth listening to for anyone who might be more casual too!