Jealous Lover EP
Rainbow was formed in 1975 by Deep Purple guitarist Richie Blackmore. He had become disenchanted with the direction Deep Purple had taken in the David Coverdale era; in the meantime, he was impressed by Ronnie James Dio, the lead singer for Elf, Deep Purple’s support band during recent U.S. tours. Blackmore and Dio had such a rapport that soon after joining forces, they had composed an album’s worth of material. Mickey Lee Soule (keyboards), Craig Gruber (bass) and Gary Driscoll (drums) were added to the lineup. The name of the band was inspired by the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood, and the new band was dubbed Rainbow.
“Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow” (1975) was the debut album by the band and featured such songs as the minor hit “Man on the Silver Mountain”, “Catch the Rainbow”, and “Black Sheep of the Family” (which Blackmore had wanted to record with Deep Purple). After the album was recorded, Gruber and Driscoll were fired and Mickey Lee Soule quit, leading to the formation of a new lineup with Blackmore and Dio returning, and Tony Carey (keyboards), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Cozy Powell (drums) replacing Soule, Gruber and Driscoll. This would become the first of many lineup changes. The new lineup would record Rainbow’s second album, “Rising” (1976), featuring such highlights as “Tarot Woman” and “Stargazer”. Both Carey and Bain were fired in early 1977. Blackmore recruited David Stone as keyboardist. He initially chose Mark Clarke as new bassist, but he disliked Clake’s playing so much that he fired him and Blackmore himself played bass on all but four of the tracks on Rainbow’s third LP, “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1978). Blackmore ultimately settled on Bob Daisley as the new bass player. After this album, Blackmore decided to take the band in a more commercial direction, leading to the departure of Dio. Graham Bonnet, who would later be the lead singer of Alcatrazz, was recruited as the new lead vocalist, and both Stone and Daisley were sacked, to be replaced by Don Airey and Roger Glover (a former band mate of Blackmore’s in Deep Purple) respectively. The next album, “Down To Earth” (1979), yielded the hit singles “Since You’ve Been Gone” (a Russ Ballard composition) and “All Night Long”. In 1980, Rainbow headlined the inaugural “Monsters of Rock” festival at Castle Donington in England. It would be Cozy Powell’s last gig with the band, as he had already given Blackmore his notice, and it would also be Bonnet’s last gig – he would be fired due to a drunken performance. Powell was replaced by Bobby Rondinelli and Bonnet was replaced by Joe Lynn Turner. The first album recorded with this new lineup, “Difficult to Cure” (1981), would yield the single “Can’t Happen Here” b/w “Jealous Lover”. This is today’s featured single.
Ronnie James Dio derided this period in the band’s history as “Foreigner Junior.” “Can’t Happen Here” shows that in spite of the band’s new direction (which certainly was more radio-friendly than the Dio-era albums and represented a move towards arena rock), Rainbow still had something to say. And although the song was released in 1981, the lyrics were in some ways eerily prescient with respect to the world of today: “Contaminated fish and micro chips/Huge supertankers on Arabian trips/Oily propaganda from the leaders’ lips/All about the future”. The song has a distinctive melody and a rollicking piano, and overall was one of their more memorable songs. The guitar tab for this song is not simple, so this is not something for beginners. Nevertheless, this is definitely a more popish, less intricate song than one was apt to find in the Dio era.
But turn over the record and we get a bonus: a non-album track called “Jealous Lover”. This song is a catchy boogie with lyrics that you might expect from a track called “Jealous Lover”. They have a somewhat spartan appeal: “Lost and lonely/Clouds hide the sun/Out on the highway/It’s all hit and run”. This song has become somewhat of a fan favorite and both sides have become staples of FM radio. “Jealous Lover” even made it to #13 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart (which tracks AOR airplay). The song would also become the title track to an EP which included “Can’t Happen Here”, “I Surrender” (another track from “Difficult to Cure”) and “Weiss Heim” (a non-album track previously unreleased). “Jealous Lover” would make it’s first appearance on a full-length album with the release of “Finyl Vinyl” (1986).
Rainbow would carry on for two more albums before Blackmore rejoined Deep Purple and Rainbow was put on hiatus indefinitely. Blackmore quit Deep Purple again in 1993 and formed a new Rainbow lineup which released one album, “Stranger in Us All” (1995), before Blackmore decided he wanted to change musical directions again and formed the Renaissance-influenced Blackmore’s Night. A planned tour with the “Rising”-era lineup was cancelled as a result of the death of Cozy Powell in April 1998 in a car accident. In 2009, four former members of Rainbow – Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, Tony Carey and Greg Smith – teamed up with Jurgen Blackmore (Richie Blackmore’s son) to form Over The Rainbow. A tour of Eastern Europe and Russia is planned.