It's been nearly three years since Ronnie James Dio passed away but the legendary vocalist's memory lives on stronger than ever and now we have Rainbow's 'Live in Munich 1977' show reissued on DVD, CD and 180g vinyl (it was originally released on CD and DVD in 2006). The audio from the gig has been previously made available on vinyl in a truncated version but it's now unleashed in its remastered entirety on said format so for those with a proclivity for the analogue medium, here's your chance to snap it up. And with this show being the only complete one ever filmed with the classic Blackmore/Dio/Powell lineup, it's something of a rarity for fans of Rainbow and an audio/visual document of a band in their prime. It's the audio side that's up for scrutiny here, a smartly packaged double CD with concomitant, extensive liner notes detailing both the history of the band and this particular show. It's revealed that the Munich gig never actually took place after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was "held in jail overnight in Vienna after an altercation with one of the bouncers" at a show the day before. Apparently, he was displeased with the way this particular security guy was treating fans so "showered him in beer". Details of the incident are vague in the notes but a £5,000 fine for "breaking the guard's jaw" implies more of a violent fracas than mere alcohol slinging! The Munich show was delayed by a day (fortunately, the band had an off-day in their tour schedule) so the gig and filming could still go ahead which also bought Blackmore's solicitors time to get him out of jail and over to Germany. Rock 'n' roll! Or, it could be said, 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' as Rainbow's lineup during this time was responsible for recording their third album, released the following year and notably the last to feature Dio. Aptly, its title track features in their Munich setlist and, with between-song monologues present on the CD, this is preceded by Dio informing the crowd that it's "kind of the message that we're trying to give to the world... except for Austria!" This marks the end of the first disc, and one that is full of Rainbow gems as well as a number from Blackmore's Deep Purple days, 'Mistreated'. The second disc contains just three tracks; lengthy versions of their recorded counterparts with 'Still I'm Sad' clocking in at a whopping twenty seven and a half minutes. Sound-wise, it's been remastered but, at the same time, hasn't been polished with too many modern dynamics so remains very much a product of its time. And all the songs have a genuinely live feel with reverb-tinged sonics that are associated with arena shows - this lends an immediate authenticity to the recordings. Overall, 'Live in Munich 1977' not only serves as a reminder of the live majesty and continued influence of Rainbow in contemporary progressive and heavy music, but also as to why Ronnie James was, and still is, held in such great esteem as one of the most exceptional vocalists to ever have lived.
Eagle Rock Entertainment
LIVE IN MUNICH 1977
Review by Mark Holmes
53:32 & 59:32
29th April 2013
DISC ONE: 1) Introduction; 2) Kill the King; 3) Mistreated; 4) Sixteenth Century Greensleeves; 5) Catch the Rainbow; 6) Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
DISC TWO: 1) Man on the Silver Mountain; 2) Still I'm Sad; 3) Do You Close Your Eyes
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...'Live in Munich 1977' not only serves as a reminder of the live majesty and continued influence of Rainbow in contemporary progressive and heavy music, but also as to why Ronnie James was, and still is, held in such great esteem as one of the most exceptional vocalists to ever have lived."