Rainbow is a name of, at least, three bands: 1) A UK hard rock band. 2) A k-pop group (????) releasing in Japan. 3) A USA psychedelic rock band. 1) A defunct UK hard rock band formed by "Deep Purple" founder and former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in 1975. In addition to Blackmore, the band originally consisted of former "Elf" lead singer Ronnie James Dio, bassist Craig Gruber, drummer Gary Driscoll, and keyboardist Micky Lee Soule. Over the years Rainbow went through many lineup changes. The Dio Years
1) A defunct UK hard rock band formed by "Deep Purple" founder and former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in 1975. In addition to Blackmore, the band originally consisted of former "Elf" lead singer Ronnie James Dio, bassist Craig Gruber, drummer Gary Driscoll, and keyboardist Micky Lee Soule. Over the years Rainbow went through many lineup changes.
The Dio Years
The name of the band Rainbow was inspired by the "Rainbow Bar and Grill" that catered to rock stars, groupies and rock enthusiasts. It was here that Ritchie spent some of his off time from Deep Purple and met Dio, whose band Elf had toured regularly as an opening act for Deep Purple. Songfacts explains that Blackmore originally got together with Dio to record "Black Sheep Of The Family" as a single, and it turned out so well they needed a B Side, but when the B Side was recorded, it turned out to be even better. This led to them recording an album, and to the formation of Rainbow.
Rainbow's debut album, "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow", was released in 1975 and featured the minor hit "Man on the Silver Mountain".
Rainbow's music was different from Deep Purple's. The music was more directly inspired by classical music and Dio wrote lyrics about medieval themes. Dio possessed a versatile vocal range capable to sing both hard rock and lighter ballads. Although Dio never played a musical instrument on any Rainbow album, he is credited with writing and arranging the music with Blackmore in addition to writing all the lyrics himself.
Blackmore fired everybody except Dio shortly after the album was recorded and recruited drummer Cozy Powell (formerly of the "Jeff Beck Group"), bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboard player Tony Carey. This lineup went on to record the album "Rising".
For the next album, "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", Blackmore kept Powell and Dio and replaced the rest of the band. Blackmore had difficulty finding a bass player for this record so he played bass himself on all but three songs on this album ("Gates of Babylon", "Kill the King" and "Sensitive To Light"). After the release and supporting tour, Ronnie James Dio left Rainbow. He would go on to replace Ozzy Osbourne as the lead singer in "Black Sabbath" and later form his own band "Dio".
Blackmore continued with Rainbow, replacing Dio with ex-"Marbles" vocalist Graham Bonnet. Powell stayed and was joined by former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Don Airey. The first album from the new lineup, "Down To Earth", featured the bands first chart successes, "All Night Long" and "Since You Been Gone". On stage Bonnet possessed a powerful voice, but struggled with the band's quieter numbers and lacked Dio's range. In 1980, the band headlined the inaugural "Monsters of Rock" festival at Castle Donington in England. This would be Powell's final performance with Rainbow. He would go on to play for Michael Schenker, "Whitesnake" and "Black Sabbath".
The next album saw yet another line-up change as Bonnet and Powell were replaced by Joe Lynn Turner, and bobby rondinelli respectively. The title track from the album, "Difficult To Cure", was a version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The album also contained the guitar piece, "Maybe Next Time". The Difficult to Cure tour was the first tour in which Rainbow headlined in the US.
Rainbow's next studio album was "Straight Between The Eyes". The band added a new keyboardist, David Rosenthal. The album was more cohesive than "Difficult to Cure" and had more success in the US. The band, however, was alienating some of its earlier fans with its more aor sound. The single "Stone Cold" was a ballad and had some chart success. The successful supporting tour skipped the UK completely and focused on the American market.
"Bent Out Of Shape" saw drummer Rondinelli fired in favor of Chuck Burgi. The album featured the single "Street of Dreams". The song's video was banned by MTV for its supposedly controversial hypnotic video clip. The resulting tour saw Rainbow return to UK and also to Japan where the band performed with a full orchestra.
Hiatus and regroup
By the mid-1980s, Blackmore and Glover had reformed the Deep Purple "Mark II" lineup and Rainbow was disbanded in 1984. A final Rainbow album, "Finyl Vinyl", was patched together from live tracks and "b" sides of singles. The album contained the instrumental "Weiss Heim" widely available for the first time.
After Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple for the final time in 1993, he put together a new version of Rainbow in 1994, this time named "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow".
This incarnation of the band included Doogie White (vocals), Paul Morris (keyboards), Greg Smith (bass) and John O'Reilly (drums).
The new band released "Stranger in Us All" in 1995 and embarked on an extensive world tour to promote it from late 1995 to late 1997. For the tour John O'Reilly was replaced by Chuck Burgi and then by John Micelli for the US leg of the tour (as well as their final show in Esbjerg, Denmark).
The tour proved very successful and a show in Germany was professionally filmed by "Rockpalast". It has never officially been released, but has been heavily bootleged (and considered by many collectors to be the best Rainbow bootleg of the era). The live shows featured frequent changes in set lists and musical improvisations that proved popular with bootleggers and many shows are still traded over a decade later.
However, fed up with stadium rock, Blackmore turned his attention to Rennaisance and medieval music, a lifelong interest of his. Rainbow was put on hold once again and played its final concert in Denmark in 1997. Blackmore, together with his partner Candice Night as vocalist, then formed the renaissance-influenced "Blackmore's Night".
2) RAINBOW, the tag for all Japanese releases by the k-pop group ????, responsible for tracks: "A", "Gossip Girl", "Mach" & about a dozen more. Currently promoting their debut Japanese single, "A", under the name "RAINBOW".
3) One of any number of LA, USA groups of their time (1968) & place. Rainbow's best known LP was "After the Storm" - they put together plenty, that was in the air around them, from Love's amazing confections to the Byrds' transmogrifications to Iron Butterfly's keyboard-heavy explorations (perhaps no surprise given that bandleader/chief songwriter W. David Mohr played both organ and piano) to all sorts of electric blues - the album's one cover is a take with saxophone of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You." Lineup: Darrell Devlin (drums), Bob Gay (bass)
W David Mohr (keyboards) & Harry Vavela (guitars).