Posts Tagged ‘Rainbow’
HOLY DIVER/LAST IN LINE/SACRED HEART – Dio
The last time I saw Ronnie James Dio he had just come off stage after performing a visceral show with Heaven and Hell at the Gods of Metal Milan. ”Makowski, you WANKAH!!”, he bounded over and gave me a huge hug. Full of energy, eyes beaming, there was nothing there to suggest his tragic demise less than a year later.
Larger than life itself with a voice that launched a thousand fantasy themed melodic rock bands; Dio was an artist who carried his heart and convictions on his sleeve, which is why even when some of his songs and lyrics went beyond the realm of musical parody his fans (including myself) would salute his efforts with ‘devils horns’ two prong salute.
I have followed Ronnie’s career first hand since watching him supporting Deep Purple with Elf. Already you could see his talents and ambitions were bigger and bolder than his bandmates and I was not all suprised when the uber talented axe genius Ritchie Blackmore gazumped for his solo project Rainbow. A classic band with a classic line up with three classic albums and one classic live album-they could have reached heady Zeppelin-esque heights but unfortunately imploded.
I have to admit with the exception of the rather marvellous Heaven & Hell my dalliance with RJD became patchy and felt that his solo efforts were overshadowed by Rainbow and H&H. How wrong could I be. These three remastered/expanded with bells, cloven hoofs and whistles reissues demonstrate while both Rainbow and Sabbath seemed to lose direction in the mid Eighties Dio remained solid and focussed throughout producing a body in music that still sounds potent and vital (let’s forget about the visuals). While a lot of this has to do with to do with Dio’s instantly recognisable gargantuan vocal range, it’s also his choice of musicians which include former Ozzy cohort Jake E Lee and up and coming emerald guitar slinger Vivian Campbell.
Endorsed by Ronnie’s Widow, Wendy, each album features a bonus CD and booklets annotated by the very ‘eavy, very ‘umble Malcolm Dome.
Apart from the three classic albums highlights include King Biscuit sessions featuring a rather robust rendition of Children of the Sea, a searing slice of Stargazer from the Pink Pop Festival and a lacerating lashing of Long Live Rock’n'Roll. Not forgetting the meaty mega morsel known as Man of the Silver Mountain.
Altogether an excellent tribute to one of Heavy Rocks premier vocalists and all round nice guys.
God Bless Ronnie James Dio……
Peter Makowski says….
For more info on these releases click HERE.
Dio’s ‘Holy Diver / Last In Line / Sacred Heart’ Deluxe Editions coming 12th March 2012
In May 2010 the world of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal lost one of its most gifted and fervent ambassadors, with the passing of Ronnie James Dio. In his position as lead vocalist for Rock giants such as Rainbow and Black Sabbath, as well as fronting his own eponymous band for nearly three decades, Dio created some of the genres most defining and respected works. Albums such as ‘Holy Diver’, ‘Sacred Heart’ and ‘Last in Line’ all stand as towering monuments of sheer class and brilliance in the Rock pantheon. Dio was also to pave the way in regards to performing live, as few equaled him. With his incredible vocal range, Dio was to preside over countless memorable rock shows, enthralling his millions of fans worldwide.
As well as the original CD being re-mastered, these reissues each feature a bonus CD containing an expanded booklet with notes from Malcolm Dome and has been endorsed by Ronnie’s widow Wendy Dio.
‘Holy Diver’ was the debut album from Dio, released 25th May, 1983. It was hailed by critics as some of his best work and in January 1986 it was awarded Silver certification. The upbeat sounding ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ was to catch MTV’s attention, with the title track also standing out.
‘The Last in Line’ was the second Dio studio album. It was released on 13th July, 1984 and was the first album from Dio to reach Platinum status as well as number 4 in the UK charts. This new album showcased the anthemic tracks ‘We Rock’ and ‘I Speed at Night’ as well as the seven-minute epic, ‘Egypt ( The Chains are On)’.
Released in October 1985 ‘Sacred Heart’ was released as the third studio album from Dio. The album reached number 4 in the UK charts and was to go on to be certified Gold. This was to become Dio’s most well known album and contained the tracks ‘Rock N’ Roll Children’ and ‘Hungry for Heaven’. The stage show that was to accompany this album was hailed as a spectacle, involving a mechanised dragon as well as laser’s. Ronnie and his band were to refer to the dragon as Denzil. This was the last studio album to be released by Dio that included guitarist Vivian Campbell.
· Stand Up And Shout
· Holy Diver
· Caught In The Middle
· Don’t Talk To Strangers
· Straight Through The Heart
· Rainbow In The Dark
· Shame On The Night
· Evil Eyes
· Stand Up And Shout
· Straight Through The Heart
· Stand Up And Shout
· Shame On The Night
· Children Of The Sea
· Holy Diver
· Rainbow In The Dark
· Man On The Silver Mountain
Last In Line
· We Rock
· The Last In Line
· I Speed at Night
· One Night In The City
· Evil Eyes
· Eat Your Heart Out
· Egypt (The Chains Are On)
· Stand Up And Shout – Live – B-Side Last In Line
· Straight Through The Heart – Live – B-Side Last In Line
· Eat Your Heart Out – Live – Mystery
· Don’t Talk To Strangers – Live – Mystery
· Holy Diver – Live – B-Side We Rock
· Rainbow In The Dark – Live – B-Side We Rock
· One Night In The City – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· We Rock – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Holy Diver – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Stargazer – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Heaven And Hell – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Rainbow In The Dark – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Man On The Silver Mountain – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· Don’t Talk To Strangers – Pinkpop Festival, Geleen
· King Of Rock N Roll
· Sacred Heart
· Another Lie
· Rock N Roll Children
· Hungry For Heaven
· Like the Beat Of A Heart
· Just Another Day
· Fallen Angels
· Shoot Shoot
· Hide In The Rainbow – Dio EP
· We Rock – Live – B-Side Rock N Roll Children
· Last In Line – Live – B-Side Rock N Roll Children
· Like the Beat Of A Heart – Live – B-Side Hungry For Heaven
· King Of Rock N Roll – Intermission
· Rainbow In The Dark – Intermission
· Sacred Heart – Intermission
· Time To Burn – Intermission
· Rock N Roll Children – Intermission
· Long Live Rock N Roll – Intermission
· Man On The Silver Mountain – Intermission
· We Rock – Intermission
As bass player and songwriter with rock icons Deep Purple as well as being part of Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow in the early 80s, Roger Glover can rightfully claim to have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to all things rock.
Bassist, songwriter, keyboardist, producer… you get the idea, Roger has an impressive CV to show for his 40 years in the music industry and 2011 has seen the release of his fifth solo album ‘If Life Was Easy’, to much critical acclaim.
Pete Makowski recently caught up with the man himself to find out how The Scorpions got the drop on Deep Purple and why changing your set list in China may not be the best idea…..
1) Having played all over the World for many years and in many different guises, how do audiences differ? Do any countries take more work to get the crowds going?
That’s more difficult to answer than one might think because it’s not just countries and cultures that make the difference; a big factor is whether an audience is seated or standing. The former usually results in a more sedate reaction because they are still individuals whereas a crowd of people all standing, crushed together at the front of the stage, becomes more of a singular entity, giving rise to a kind of ‘mob sensibility’ – in the nicest possible way, of course. Therefore, the differences could be equally down to the promoter, the venue, the acoustics, etc. Cultures that traditionally suppress emotion in public, in Asia for example, will not usually be as boisterous as people who have no qualms about expressing their emotions, like the Latin countries – South America, Italy, Spain, even France (which has been particularly enthusiastic for us over the last seven or eight years). The eastern European countries are also eager to let us know how they feel. You are correct in suggesting that quieter crowds result in us tending to work harder in an attempt to ignite them – and working harder usually means that you play too intensely and therefore not as well as when you’re relaxed. To sum up, it is difficult to generalise.
2) You played China in 2004 making Deep Purple one of the first big bands to perform there, how did it come about and what was it like?
I believe it came about through our South Korean promoter at the time (2004). It was an exciting but daunting prospect; set lists and lyrics had to be approved beforehand and we were informed that any deviation would result in a lot of trouble. Prison was mentioned! Anyway, we landed in Beijing and checked into a luxurious Western style hotel. We were supplied with two or three young female translators who were polite but uptight. We suspected that they were reporting everything we said and did back to some higher authority. Visits to restaurants and the Great Wall took place and then we played the first gig, in the Worker’s Stadium. It was quite bizarre; the venue was a stadium but nobody was allowed on the main floor except for press, officials, photographers, and a disturbing amount of police and army security, with dogs! We were told that we weren’t allowed to reach out or touch anyone in the audience. There was no chance of that anyway because they were so far away, confined to the surrounding seats. I can’t imagine what they were so worried about; maybe they thought that we would foment a revolution or something. The following shows, Shanghai and Guangzhou, were far more relaxed.
3) You have played alongside so many greats, but have there been any collaborations you just couldn’t make work, either because of timings or personalities?
I can’t think of any at the moment.
4) Do you feel less pressure when stepping outside of Deep Purple and doing your own thing or does it come with more expectation as you are ‘the guy from Deep Purple’?
Maybe years ago I might have felt that, but that was when I cared about what others thought of me or if I felt that I had some kind of obligation to live up to people’s expectations. I have reached the stage in my life where that isn’t a factor any more. Luckily, the first project I did outside of DP was The Butterfly Ball and by its very nature it was nothing like Purple.
Learning to just be yourself takes years; at least it did for me. Believe it or not I learned a lot from an old acquaintance of mine called Simon Jeffes. He was someone I knew in the 60s who was rather eccentric and wrote little ditties that seemed to have no purpose. I rather cruelly dismissed him as a musician who would never make it. Many years later he became a very successful musician under the guise of the Penguin Café Orchestra. Those ditties I once dismissed I now revere as coming from the mind of a man who didn’t care what people thought; he just wanted to express his true personality. He was a true original. Sadly, he passed away before I could ever tell him how much he changed my life.
5) How has it been working with your daughter? Did you always want her to follow in your footsteps and make a career in music or would you have preferred she had a ‘proper job’?
Working with Gillian is a privilege not many fathers experience and she makes it easy. We have a wonderful working relationship based on honesty and respect. I never wanted to push her in any direction, I don’t think that is a father’s responsibility, I merely wanted her to discover her own passion, whatever it might be, and then encourage her to follow it. It has very little to do with me that she has developed a gorgeous voice and is a wonderfully sensitive writer.
6) You must hear your/Deep Purple’s influence in a lot of rock bands today, is it flattering to think you have had such an impact on music or do you just think ‘that’s my riff!’
Certainly, I hear echoes of what Deep Purple brought to the table but I always remind myself that we also are the product of our early heroes and influences. Everything comes from somewhere else.
7) How do you find your song writing has changed over the years has you have got older? Do you feel you still have as much to say as you did when you were younger?
Actually, I think I have more to say now. When I started writing songs in the early 60s, the lyrics were pretty shallow. It was pop music and meanings of songs were secondary to the sound and feel of the overall piece – as long as it rhymed and touched on one of only a few emotions (boy meets girl, girl leaves boy, they make up, run away, have fun with cars, etc.) it seemed good enough. Bob Dylan was, and still is, my hero as a songwriter, although there are others, and I learned a lot listening to his songs. It’s challenging to write in a fresh way about things that have been explored many times before.
8) You have described your current album (If Life Was Easy) as a ‘hodgepodge collection’ about the highs and lows of your last few years. Do you find it more therapeutic to write about the bad times and purge them or the good times and celebrate them?
Good question. I find that it is much harder to write a positive song than it is to write a negative one. In much the same way it is more difficult to write a fast song than a slow one. Maybe it’s a form of therapy to release emotions through song, which is why the blues has such power. Despite its difficulties, the last decade has been a great source of inspiration to me as far as lyrics go.
9) When I interviewed Ian Hunter he told me that I knew you from the days of working at Francis, Day & Hunter as a songwriter. Any memories you wish to share? Care to mention any classic compositions you wrote at the time?
Ha, yes, I remember him well but he had a different name then. We would meet about once a month in Shaftsbury Avenue to collect our £10, which gave Donna Music (Les Reed’s company through Francis, Day & Hunter) first refusal on all my songs, at least that was what my deal was. Other than Episode Six I only had one cover, a song called Have You Ever Been There, recorded by a band called Three People. Nothing happened to it but I am still proud of the sheet music, framed on my studio wall.
10) When I interviewed the Scorpions when they announced their retirement, they told me that Purple were thinking of announcing their retirement at the same time and they pipped you to the post. Any truth in these rumours?
I can’t precisely remember the conversation, in a bar somewhere in Germany, but it went nothing like that. They were more in the way of giving us advice should we ever decide to retire, very considerate of them. No we are not planning anything like that.
11) If the answer to the question above is a resounding NO! Could you tell me any future plans and are there any chances of a reunion with original members or a one off Rainbow show?
There are no plans for any kind of reunion. Why would we? There is a new DP album somewhere in the new year but I have no concrete information right now.
12) Will you be taking your solo album on the road and any chance of some shows in the UK?
Chance would be a fine thing, but that chance would depend on my continuing activities with DP. Yes, at some point I would love to try some of those songs on stage but time is the problem. If there were some interest (or even sales!) then that would go a long way towards realising that ambition.
As told to Pete Makowski.