RAINBOW – Boston 1981
The mighty Rainbow need no introduction. Every album of theirs more or less speaks for itself. This particular release, which contains a previously unreleased live show from the 1981 "Difficult to Cure" tour, is downright awesome in every sense of the word. From the opening riff to "Spotlight Kid" and further on to the last note of Rainbow’s rendition of the Deep Purple staple "Smoke on the Water", we are treated to a truly mesmerizing inferno of hard rock brilliance. Vocalist Joe Lynn Turner covers the Dio- and Bonnet-eras perfectly. The way Turner handles "Man on the Silver Mountain" and the emotionally charged "Catch the Rainbow" is simply superb, and I love the variety of this disc. "Catch the Rainbow" is obviously quite different to, for instance, "Can’t Happen Here", but both of them embody everything that made Rainbow such a great and ever-evolving outfit in the 70s and early 80s. While the performance as a whole is extremely tight, there is a lot of intuitive playing scattered throughout, and I dare say that the unpredictability of Ritchie Blackmore in terms of what he played and how he played it back then is what makes the majority of Rainbow live albums interesting to listen to. You were never treated to the exact same thing twice. It is also a treat to listen to Roger Glover’s bass-lines, as he is quite upfront in the mix.
"Boston 1981" may not be an essential release to the casual fan of Rainbow, but those of you who worship this band damn well know that this album belongs in your collection. A great live album for sure, and way better than the 1979 live releases in my humble opinion.