Rainbow Rising (the album) was released in 1976. Largely written by Ritchie Blackmore (guitar) and Ronnie James Dio (vocals). The drummer was Cozy Powell making for a creative trio often labelled ‘Ritchie, Ronnie and Cozy’.
It’s astoundingly good throughout, without a duff moment anywhere. It includes the epic Stargazer – 8 minutes 26 seconds – which begins ‘High noon – oh I’d sell my soul my water…’. There are wizards, towers of stone, whips and chains, a rainbow rising. Rock’s finest moment – in my humble opinion.
In 2013 it’s possible to see this track performed – live – by a tribute band. The fact that Rainbow Rising even attempt it earns considerable respect. They do much better than that – and Stargazer is a well-established component of a very strong two-hour set that includes much Dio-era Rainbow. The band don’t play that many dates (can’t help wondering what they do the rest of the time) but they do seem to turn up at The Diamond every six months or so.
The clip combines the original studio version (audio) with stage-show material from the 1970s (video). Picture quality’s not that great but provides a good opportunity to see Dio and Rainbow in their prime