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Released in 2003, this exceptional two-CD Rainbow collection Catch the Rainbow: The Anthology provides a deeper understanding of how the band influenced the direction of hard rock and heavy metal. Between 1975 and 1984, 1993 and 1997 former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore guided his new band (which had dizzying revolving-door lineup changes) through visions of mystical heavy metal and polished, radio-friendly hard rock. Blackmore's employment of vocalists Ronnie James Dio , Graham Bonnet , and Joe Lynn Turner created three distinct periods, all of which Catch the Rainbow: The Anthology covers perfectly. Indispensable songs such as "Man on the Silver Mountain," "Catch the Rainbow," "Stargazer," "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll," "Since You Been Gone," "Stone Cold," and "Street of Dreams" are included, of course. Other tracks that will enlighten Rainbow neophytes are "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves," "A Light in the Black," "Gates of Babylon," "Rainbow Eyes," "Eyes of the World," "Spotlight Kid," and "Jealous Lover." All the previously mentioned songs are excellent, but the two that fully showcase Blackmore's technical prowess are live epics – the 13-minute, blues-oriented Deep Purple holdover "Mistreated" and the 11-minute "Difficult to Cure," based on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and featuring the Japanese Symphony Orchestra. Although die-hard fans might suggest substitutions, it's hard to quibble too much about the song selection on a comprehensive two-CD, 28-track compilation like Catch the Rainbow: The Anthology.

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