Rainbow is one of those hard rock/heavy metal mammoths whose line-up read a bit like a who’s who of 70’s heavy rock music. The two most known members are of course band leader, lead guitar player and all-around heavy rock legend Ritchie Blackmore, and legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio, but other members such as Roger Glover and Don Airey have CV’s that are no less impressive, including names such as Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne, Saxon and so on.
I know many will disagree with me here, but I think that in all honesty, Rainbow is much less than the sum of its parts. Considering the musicians involved and how talented they are, the contents of this compilation are frankly a bit underwhelming. Even Ronnie James Dio sounds somehow subdued, not at his best; he would reach his true pinnacle some years after his stint with Rainbow, when he released his two first albums with Black Sabbath and his first solo albums. And as for Blackmore; from a guitar player of his stature, one would expect more than the rather forgettable riffs presented on this compilation of tracks.
The liner notes say that Rainbow was, back in the day, perceived as something of a final home for hard rock has-beens, where mammoths go to die, and listening to Pot Of Gold, that doesn’t sound too far off. Decent hard rock by-the-numbers is not what you’d expect from musicians who’ve created the long list of classics in their discography.