Friday, 4 May 2018

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow “Memories In Rock 2” Review


Basic rules of commodity, if there is lots of something its value decreases, however when something is rare, it holds far superior value. The same can be said for nostalgia. 

Now, nostalgia can be a powerful tool in raking in the big bucks, yet when overused, it becomes like most things, becoming worthless. This works in all life and certainly applies to the music industry. 

You think of all the bands that have made a “Comeback”. Yet how many of those bands can truly say they did it because they wanted too and money wasn’t the defining factor of the equation? However, we as fans are also equally to blame. The promoters and managers clearly wouldn’t put these “Remembrance” tours if it wasn’t for the demand of fans. 

Anyway, that’s probably a little rant at the nostalgia acts of the modern age, doing it purely for the cash and to the fans not realising that they will not see the young guys or gals that graced their bedroom walls, the bands have got older and guess what so have you! 

So it’s incredibly refreshing to find a couple of the old school guys showing the industry how to put on some nostalgic shows and not milk it for all it’s worth. One of those is Ritchie Blackmore; yes the famous Ritchie of Deep Purple and Rainbow. 

Ritchie is now 72 or was at the time of recording this live effort as a resurgence of the classic tunes of `Rainbow` which was lovingly entitled “Memories in Rock”. 

Having been around for nearly 50 years, Ritchie knows that less is more and certainly details a lot of his feelings regarding doing too much in the over 30 minimum interview that he has on the DVD. He and his band go into detail regarding the immense importance that Rainbow and indeed, Deep Purple, held on so many of the modern rock and metal bands today. 

Certainly some of the past members of Rainbow cannot be accounted for, one in particular the late great, Ronnie James Dio. However, sustaining the notion that no one can be replaced especially when consider how revered Dio was and still is, yet when a car gets old; you get a new one so you can’t expect a singer no matter how brilliant to last forever. 

Enter Ronnie Romero, now, just listen through the tracks, from `Man on the Silver Mountain’ through to `Smoke on the Water`, he truly seems to understand the importance of his role in the band especially towards the fans. He acknowledges all of the past great singers from Ritchie’s Deep Purple and Rainbow eras in his voice, he’s vocals on songs like `Soldier of Fortune` is incredible, honestly you may think it’s Dio back from the dead yet with youth on his side, albeit with an X Factor styled approach.  

What else more needs be said about Ritchie Blackmore? He’s guitar playing is still sizzling; he uses the guitar to not just dazzle the crowd but ultimately to tell a story. With the rise of a lot of technically gifted guitar players, one element that’s been lost in amongst the new age players is the element of feel. Songs like `Child In Time` or `Temple of the King` really do show why Ritchie was so important to the development of the modern rock guitar sound and indeed along with the lyrics of from his love of the medieval, it’s no wonder that an entire musical sub-genre was born from the voice of Dio and the guitar playing of Ritchie. 

`Memories of Rock 2` is in its essence the nostalgic heart and it’s given a enormous adrenaline injection. With a new line up with some fresh youngsters added in for good measure. Now, some of the tracks are certainly quite long and maybe a little too self-indulgent for simply sticking on the CD player to listen to, yet being there surrounded by 1000’s of Purple and Rainbow fans, in sheer awe of Ritchie and co is another matter. 

8.5/10 – Ritchie Blackmore once a legend, always a legend, encapsulated here on “Memories of Rock 2” 

Stand out tracks: 
`Man on the Silver Mountain`, Soldier of Fortune` and `Temple of the King’ 

Track Listing: 
1. Over the Rainbow 
2. Spotlight Kid 
3. I Surrender 
4. Mistreated 
5. Since You’ve Been Gone 
6. Man On The Silver Mountain 
7. Woman From Tokyo 
8. 16th Century Greensleeves 
9. Soldier Of Fortune 
10. Perfect Strangers 
11. Difficult To Cure 
12. All Night Long 
13. Child In Time 
14. Stargazer 
15. Long Live Rock’ n’Roll/ Lazy 
16. Catch The Rainbow 
17. Black Night 
18. Carry On Jon 
19. Temple Of The King 
20. Smoke On The Water 
21. Waiting For A Sign 

Rainbow online: