"Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" (1975) is the first album released by "Rainbow".
"Elf" had supported Deep Purple on the previous year's tour promoting the band's "Burn" album. This album marked the first collaboration between Dio and Blackmore, and it is essentially the lineup of Elf, Dio's previous band, with Blackmore instead of Steve Edwards. Blackmore would dismiss all the other Elf musicians and recruit new players for subsequent Rainbow albums.
Several songs on the album were cover versions. "Black Sheep of the Family", a song that Deep Purple had refused to record for their album "Stormbringer", was a cover of a song recorded by "Quatermass", and "Still I'm Sad" was an instrumental cover of a "Yardbirds" track.
The original vinyl release had a gatefold sleeve, although later reissues on the budget arms of Polydor reduced this to a single sleeve. This line-up never performed live and the live-shots used in the album art are of Blackmore in his Deep Purple days and of Elf playing live. The album's songs, however, have been performed by subsequent Rainbow lineups.
"Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" was re-issued on CD in remastered form, in the US in April 1999. The European release followed later in the year.
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