Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 39 years ago today, then newly departed Deep Purple guitarist recruited a then mostly unknown vocalist to record a solo effort he had been working on. The vocalist became a legend with the name Ronnie James Dio.
This was the album that was originally just a Ritchie Blackmore side project after leaving Deep Purple. It’s also the first album that many people would notice Ronnie James Dio for the very first time. The album is basically just Ronnie’s old band Elf with Ritchie on guitar. The whole reason this band came to be was because Ritchie wanted to record a cover of “Black Sheep of the Family” with Deep Purple, and was denied. “Man on the Silver Mountain” is a staple track if you’re interested at all in Dio, and Dio often stated that it was his favorite track of his entire career. “Catch the Rainbow” is a beautiful, almost sad sounding ballad that Ronnie really shows off his impressive voice on. “The Temple of the King” is the other Rainbow track on this album that is almost a bit of an acoustic track, but the melodies are just addicting as hell.
For me, this is EASILY the worst Rainbow album Dio was on. It was clear that this was originally a bit experimental, and was almost just a side project by the way the songs were written. The folk and blues influence on this album are just too strong for my taste. Compared with both Rising and Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, which both have some AMAZINGLY kick-ass Dio tracks, this one is just too tame to hold a candle, in my opinion. It’s a good album, especially if you like lighter, or heavily folk influenced music, but the next two Rainbow albums just pull no punches compared to this one.
Favorite Tracks: “Man on the Silver Mountain,” “The Temple of the King,” “Catch the Rainbow,” “Black Sheep of the Family,” “Snake Charmer.”
This is the album that really got people to notice who Ronnie James Dio was, and forever springboarded his career. It’s another album that you should have listened to without question. I especially recommend this album to people who love folk and blues music, as the influence on this album is WAY stronger than the two Dio-era Rainbow albums that would follow this one. It’s not a perfect album, and said next two albums far outshine this one in my opinion, but this is still a great release. Give this album a listen, and see why Ronnie will forever be the “Man on the Silver Mountain.”