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Rainbow Biography

Home > Music > R > Rainbow > Biography

Birth Place: England
Years Active: 1975–1984, 1993–1997
Genres: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Rainbow were an English rock band formed by former Deep Purple member, Ritchie Blackmore in 1975, however the band went through numerous line-up changes over their duration with each album featuring a different line-up. In addition, the band has featured numerous lead singers, such as Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White. Blackmore became disenchanted with the musical direction of Deep Purple and set out to record a solo album as a side project while still in the band. He released the album “Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow” in 1975 and left Deep Purple to officially form Rainbow. Rainbow's music, while primarily rock music, had classical influences due to Blackmore's passion for classical music and his ability to play the cello. For the band's second offering “Rising,” Blackmore recruited drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Jimmy Bain, and keyboard player, Tony Carey. This line-up embarked on a U.S. tour in late 1975.

Blackmore and Dio were the sole creative driving force behind the band, with Blackmore earning a notorious reputation for being a perfectionist and firing band mates continuously. Despite the constant revolving band members, Rainbow quickly became an established act with an enormous fan base that continued to grow. The band's fourth studio offering, “Long Live Rock 'n' Roll,” appeared in 1976 followed by a world tour. By 1978, Blackmore wanted to move the band's music into another direction that Dio did not agree, which resulted in his departure from the band. Dio was replaced by Graham Bonnet, and the new line-up released, “Down to Earth,” which spawned the hit singles, “All Night Long” and “Since You Been Gone.” 1980 saw the band headlined the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in England. However, Bonnet was fired after the concert due to a poor performance and his level of intoxication while on stage. Bonnet was replaced by Joe Lynn Turner and the band put out the album, “Difficult to Cure,” which spawned their most successful U.K. single, “I Surrender,” which peaked at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart.

Rainbow's seventh studio album, “Straight Between the Eyes” was released in 1982, however, two years later Rainbow had disbanded. Blackmore went on to rejoin the newly formed Deep Purple and left almost a decade later in 1993 to form a new Rainbow line-up with Doogie White at the helm. “Stranger in Us All” appeared two years later in 1995, followed by a world tour. This album would sever as the last Rainbow album as Blackmore moved on to solo projects. In 2009, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, Greg Smith, and Tony Carey formed a Rainbow tribute band, Over The Rainbow, with Blackmore's son as the guitarist. The band went on to be extremely successful touring all over the world until they disbanded at the end of 2010.