Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow are quite simply one of the most iconic rock bands ever to have rocked. Doogie was their vocalist from 1994 until Ritchie disbanded them in 1997 possibly for ever.
Rainbow's Final Album - Stranger In Us All
1. WOLF TO THE MOON - [4.16].
A medium up-tempo opening track that sounds like latter day tracks such as 'Death Alley Driver' but with a more medieval feel. Doogie Whites' voice is strong and comes across as a nice mix of Dio and Joe Lynn Turner, but managing to still sound original. The lyrics tell of someone who lives on the road trying to find a home - 'Chasing the sun as it sets in the sky, Swear that I'll catch it someday. Lights of the city behind are fading away'. Ritchie's solo is melodic before changing gears and hitting you in the face with wah wah licks and a smouldering vibrato.
2. COLD HEARTED WOMAN - [4.31]
Quite a radio-friendly rocker that is home to a latter day Deep Purple bluesy riff, which although is very simple sounds very powerful. The lyrics are similar to those on 'Lady Of The Lake' and '16th Century Greensleeves' in that they tell of becoming infatuated by a 'Cold Hearted Woman'- 'She came from across the water, A devils daughter was in disguise, I cried for mercy, She bound and chained me, And then she played me - I was mesmerised'. The solo sees a nice key change for more of Blackmore's blues licks before hitting the outro; which sees a more ethereal quality take over with some well suited keyboard stabs. Doogie closes with some R J Dio inspired ad libbing which is a pleasant throw back to those magical early albums.
3. HUNTING HUMANS [INSATIABLE] - [5.45]
A slow tempo track that is very scary yet potentially anthemic. The track is spartan in structure with only some crisp sounding drums, a haunting bass and guitar riff for the most part. Doogie sounds excellent here and the lyrics are nicely doubled by Blackmore with some great call and response playing. The track builds nicely for the chorus which is very original, in fact I can't really relate this track to anything else: 'Closer still, Lose your will, See my world, It's insatiable'. A track that still manages to say a lot and is one of the best on the album.
4. STAND AND FIGHT - [5.22]
Another radio friendly rocker, this tracks reminds some people of 'Can't Happen Here'. The lyrics tell of being trapped in a relationship that isn't working and being determined to be the one not to leave: 'Can't say something if the words ain't there, What you trying to do. Money can't buy me out of the trouble I'm in, I've been messing with the likes of you'. There is some harmonica work which is unusual on a Rainbow album and gives it more of a bluesy vibe.
5. ARIEL [5.39]
Another of the highlights of the album. A haunting riff with a slight eastern tinge to it opens the song. Doogie's voice compliments the lyrics extremely well - 'I search for her in the dead of night, A silhouette lit by candlelight. In a whispered word she is gone, Familiar stranger without a name.'. Ritchie throws in a superb slide solo, a style of his playing which is greatly overlooked and deserves so much more recognition, simply beautiful. The track takes a turn into a more major uplifting sound before breaking back down to a dark outro. A great track.
6. TOO LATE FOR TEARS [4.56]
Another bluesy rocker. The groove of the song is irresistible with Ritchie throwing all kinds of guitar hooks and licks all over the place. The chorus has a superb sing along quality that sticks in your head hours later: 'What are we fighting for? Dontcha know that no one wins, What are we fighting for? Just give up and I'll give in, Its too late for tears'. The solo sees yet more Blackmore excellence with some great wah wah work.
7. BLACK MASQUERADE [5.35]
'Black Masquerade' is much more aggressive and rocky than most of the other tracks on the album. The lyrics are once again pretty dark and mystical. The track flies along with a crushing bounce that made this a killer live number. The solo sees a superb acoustic interlude that shows off Ritchie's virtuosity to great effect before a keyboard solo. A truly outstanding, complex piece of music that surprises and delights every time you hear it.
8. SILENCE [4.04]
Another bluesy rocker marking a return to Rainbow's roots.
9. HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING [5.34]
Yes this is a full blown version of Grieg's classical piece of the same name. This gets the full Rainbow treatment, grandiose lyrics, the main hook and riffs pumped up to ten etc. Doogie sounds positively demonic here and make the lyrics sound more dark - 'Mysteries of ages told, stories now will unfold. Tales of mystic days of old are hidden in these walls. Hear the witches play their tunes, sing their songs to the moon. As they play the night will move, in the hall of the mountain king.'. Ritchie's build the main hook into a overblown frenzy and it sounds simply superb.
10. STILL I'M SAD [5.22]
Yes this is the same track that appeared in an instrumental guise on the first Rainbow album and the vocal version that appears on 'On Stage'. The first minute is taken up with some restraint guitar noodlings that set the scene perfectly before that main riff enters and blows anything near the speakers away. The melody line of the vocals is deliriously swooping and infectious. This track was just made for Rainbow [it is originally a 'Yardbirds' number]. Doogie surpasses Ronnie Dio's vocal delivery [yes its that good] and adds more magic to this great track. Ritchie throws in yet more exceptional solo's with that Strat sound that is to die for. This album is worth getting for this tack alone!! A magnificent way to end the album.
** Album review abstratcted from an online review by Andy Craven.
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