RITCHIE BLACKMORE's RAINBOW - Black Masquerade [2CD] (2013)
Eagle Rock is releasing "Black Masquerade" by RITCHIE BLACKMORE's RAINBOW, a previously unreleased show and the only live concert by this line-up to get an official release.
After his departure from Deep Purple in 1993, Ritchie Blackmore reformed Rainbow with a new personnel and went into the studio to record the underrated Stranger In Us All album. The band then took
to the road for an extensive tour which included this 1995 live concert
in Dusseldorf, filmed & recorded for Germany’s famous Rockpalast TV series.
Blackmore’s incomparable guitar gymnastics are on proud display here, and he’s buoyed by a top-notch set of
musicians. The line-up consists of Blackmore (guitar), Doogie White
(vocals), Candice Night (add. vocals), Paul Morris (keyboards), Greg
Smith (bass) and long time friend Chuck Burgi on drums.
The set features several tracks from the Stranger In Us All album alongside classic Rainbow and Deep Purple tracks, including “Spotlight Kid”, “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Black Masquerade”, “Man On The Silver Mountain”, “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “Perfect Strangers”, “Sixteenth
Century Greensleeves”, “Burn”, “Temple Of The King” and “Smoke On The
The show begins with a ferocious "Spotlight Kid" version with Blackmore
offering up lightning-fast guitar leads and White doing his best to
match Turner's original vocal. The song is a fine opening cut and leads
nicely into the riff-heavy "Too Late For Tears" from Stranger In Us All.
There's an inspired "Man On The Silver Mountain" performance. The band plays the song faster than its studio counterpart and, while not Dio (who is?) Doogie White delivers a strong vocal all the same.
The new material fits in well with the classics; "Wolf To The Moon" is
Blackmore at his neo-classical best, combining the song with Beethoven
as well as his own instrumental masterpiece "Difficult To Cure". He and the band drive this track with class, and make it a true highlight of the show.
Less blistering, but no less intense, is "Hunting Humans," a haunting track with eerie guitars and vocals.
Closing the show is the Deep Purple all time classic "Smoke On The
Water". Blackmore offers up some bluesy licks as an intro to this old
favorite while bassist Greg Smith tackles the vocals on the song's
second verse. Blackmore breathes new life into the song with his melodic
lead playing that expands on the themes of the studio version.
Not long after this show, Blackmore and Candice formed Blackmore's Night
(which I didn't dig at all) and Ritchie effectively gave up the Hard
Rock world for Renaissance music.
Whether he will make another rock album remains to be seen, but "Black Masquerade" is an excellent reminder of what a powerful force Ritchie Blackmore is in Classic Hard Rock history when he chooses to be.
An absolute gem for both Rainbow fans and those who follow the Rockpalast series.
2. Spotlight Kid
3. Too Late For Tears
4. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll / Black Night
5. Hunting Humans
6. Wolf To The Moon / Difficult To Cure
7. Keyboard Solo
8. Still I'm Sad
9. Man On The Silver Mountain
1. Temple Of The King
2. Black Masquerade
4. Since You've Been Gone
5. Perfect Strangers
6. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
7. Hall Of The Mountain King
9. Smoke On The Water
Ritchie Blackmore - Guitars
Doogie White - Vocals
Candice Night - Vocals (on 'Ariel')
Paul Morris - Keyboards
Greg Smith - Bass, Vocals
Chuck Burgi - Drums, Percussion