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Steve Peake

This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Rainbow's "Stone Cold"

By November 2, 2006

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rainbowstraight.jpg I've always thought that Ritchie Blackmore's post-Deep Purple work with Rainbow in the late '70s and early '80s never quite found an appropriate niche to appeal to rock listeners. After all, it's certainly not heavy metal (but then again, neither was Deep Purple, really, what with its hippie, psychedelic origins and overdose of keyboards), but at the same time the pop/rock sound of Rainbow was always singular and exhilarating.

This just-barely-Top-40 prime power ballad from 1982 certainly exemplifies the strange but evocative blend that was latter-day Rainbow. Without the commanding presence of Ronnie James Dio as frontman, the band had a revolving door of vocalists during the '80s, culminating with one of rock's most underrated singers of all time in Joe Lynn Turner. Turner's smooth, silky yet powerful approach to rock vocals has been often imitated but never equaled by hair metal crooners and retro long-haired rockers ever since, but the man's pipes are simply lined with gold. While "Stone Cold" features some great atmospheric organ and leaves plenty of room for Blackmore's improvisational, meandering style, the main attraction lies squarely in Turner's raw, tormented and convincingly passionate singing. This is what hair metal should have sounded like, if the talent pool had been deeper.

Comments

November 3, 2006 at 1:13 pm
(1) Kevin Alex says:

That Rainbow album, “Straight Between The Eyes” was a classic in my household. I especially love the power tune called..simple enough…”Power”. I was never a big Deep Purple or Ritchie Blackmore fan but i dig this record. Dig the cover too.

Keep it up!

April 15, 2007 at 2:20 pm
(2) JOE LYNN TURNER says:

HI STEVE…
MY PUBLICIST ALERETED ME TO THIS ARTICLE!
I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR KIND WORDS!A NEW CD,AVAILABLE ON MY WEBSITE,HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED.IT’S MY 10TH SOLO CD!!
SO I’M STILL ROCKING!!ALL THE BEST! JLT

May 19, 2010 at 11:39 am
(3) Paul Black says:

That is a forgotten gem and foolish me for having forgotten it. Now you’ve gone and made Amazon a few dollars richer.

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