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RAINBOW Live In Koln/Deutcshland Tournee 1976
AFM T2CD0105 (56:05) (44:02) (2006)

This double live set is the first of three from the German 1976 tour, that comprise a 6 CD box already released in Japan.

With the classic Rainbow Rising just released, this was the bandís first European tour, with Blackmore proving heíd left his old Deep Purple bandmates behind a long time before.

For those who already have the Munich 1977 set (just released officially but a heavily bootlegged TV broadcast) the set list will be of no surprise, but the mix will be, and this is further evidence of Blackmoreís nightly improvisation on arrangements.

Tony Carey, a flamboyant pianist, is much higher in the mix than the following yearís more intricate playing of David Stone, making the opener Kill The King a real pleasure. And in contrast to the studio album bassist Jimmy Bain can really be heard on occasions.

The arrangements of Mistreated (the only Purple number in the set), Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and Catch The Rainbow all lengthy (some over 15 minutes) and crowd pleaser Man On The Silver Mountain kicks off with a few bars of Lazy.

Disc 2 opens with the epic 16 minute Stargazer and a keyboard solo to boot. Often mooted as a classic, the evidence is here, a superb mix, arrangement, recording and performance.

Still Iím Sad and Do You Close Your Eyes finish the set, the former featuring keyboard and drum solos and a fine performance from singer Dio too.

Some of these tracks have appeared before, but here is the full concert, unedited, and pretty much essential listening. Not just Rainbow but British hard rock at its very best.

*****

Review by Joe Geesin

Related>> DVD review

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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