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.