Album review: RAINBOW – Monsters Of Rock Live At Donington 1980

RAINBOW - Monsters Of Rock Live At Donington 1980

Eagle Rock [Release date 22.04.16] CD/DVD

Is it me or are Rainbow – 35 years on – viewed through rose-tinted spectacles?  The studio albums are worthy but – live – there is excess, there is indulgence, and there’s a lot of flab.  Having seen them in their heyday, I only really remember the impressive light show.

‘Monsters Of Rock’, recorded in 1980, is a good example.  From the opening bombast of ‘Eyes Of The World’ via a dragging mid-section including the ubiquitous ‘guitar solo’, ‘keyboard solo’ and ‘drum solo’, taking up a full 25 minutes of playing time.

It does allow Messrs. Blackmore, Don Airey and Cozy Powell to flex their collective muscles  (Roger Glover is on bass in this line-up of the band) but can only serve as a historical document because in truth it’s not really that listenable.  And Graham Bonnet must have been able to flick through TV channels behind the stage a lot of the time.

The extended ‘call and response’ of ‘All Night Long’ (with Bonnet doing his best “Percy Edwards” impression) doesn’t make for the easiest of listening.  Throw in a very brief snatch of Deep Purple’s ‘Lazy’ and the even briefer  ‘Blues’ and a shouty almost punk cover of the Goffin-King song ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ and you could feel short changed.  Even liner note king Malcolm Dome struggles to say anything enlightening.  I suppose you just had to be there.

In this respect, the gig is better seen and heard and the DVD in this CD/DVD package includes the surviving footage and enables listeners to see Ritchie trashing his guitar at the end, a la Hendrix.

Let’s hope that his Rainbow revival this summer will focus as much on the songs as the showmanship.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Power Plays w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)

WARM RAIN Here Comes The Rain Again (Rain Recordings)
DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND Love & Beyond (Frontiers)
MARQUIS DRIVE Shine On (indie)
YOUR LIFE & MINE Remind To Remember (indie)
EMERALD SUN What becomes Of You (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JIM PETERIK WORLD STAGE Winds Of Change (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BUFORD POPE The Waiting Game (Unchained Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

NEVER THE BRIDE Surprise (2005)



Email This Page
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply