Even though this is a reissue of the DVD originally released in 2006, it has been an absolute joy to review because I think I must be one of the few that has never actually seen this before. I was lucky enough to see Rainbow in concert but it was the Joe Lynn Turner fronted version (in 1983) and, by then, the band were literally on its last legs. This, of course, is what I call 'proper Rainbow' and consists of the classic Dio, Blackmore and Powell line-up (the only time a concert was recorded fully with these three) as well as, at the time, new recruits Bob Daisley on bass and David Stone on keyboards. This is the line-up that would go on to release the album 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll some months later.
To start with, the soundtrack has been tweaked from the original release, but only a small amount, so there is still a very authentic feel to proceedings. The gig was originally filmed for the German TV show 'Rockpalast' so, for the time, the picture wasn't bad but, by today's standards, it does look pretty dated. That doesn't matter though because Rainbow are on scintillating form. And considering the gig very nearly didn't take place thanks to Blackmore being arrested and jailed for an altercation at the previous date (only arriving at the Munich Olympiahalle minutes before it would have been too late to play), they’re also a band very much ready to 'jam' to the crowd that had patiently waited for them to go on stage.
This is a gig of very nearly two hours that only includes 'eight' songs, but damn are they good. After a short intro, 'Kill The King' kicks things off and it is by far the shortest track here, then it's straight into a near twelve minute version of 'Mistreated'. Ronnie James Dio is at his absolute best on this recording, easily demonstrating why he will continue to be regarded in such high esteem. Blackmore too is on top form with 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves', 'Catch The Rainbow' and a twenty seven minute version of 'Still I'm Sad' captivating the audience (and me too). What stands out for me though is the stunning drumming of Cozy Powell. He was an absolute powerhouse performer and another taken far too soon. His magnificent '1812 Overture' drum solo is almost unequalled. 'Do You Close Your Eyes' completes the main set before Blackmore trashes his faithful Strat and very nearly takes several audience members heads off in the process!
Extras are almost identical to the 2006 release although the thirteen minute 'Rainbow Over Texas '76' mini documentary has been added. You get interviews with Bob Daisley and tour manager Colin Hart, both of which are adequate, if not essential, three live promo videos of 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll', 'L.A. Connection' and 'Gates Of Babylon' which are worth the price of admission alone, a fairly short photogallery, a pretty interesting slide show with audio commentary lasting thirty nine minutes that gives a heap of information about the band, tour and Munich gig, including how the giant rainbow over the stage was constructed and a six page booklet with story and liner notes. A double CD and vinyl version of the gig are also being released.
Do I have any gripes? Well, it wouldn't be me if I didn't, would it? Even though the main set is spellbinding, just think of all the songs from 'Rising' that could have been added to make the gig even better and, considering we have just had the third anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's passing, it might have been nice to update the extras to take that into account, with a small tribute to the great man. About a year after this was filmed, Dio, Daisley and Stone were gone, Bonnet and Glover were in and a whole new commercial era of Rainbow was about to begin so if, like me, you have been without this rare performance in your collection, now is the time to buy and witness one of the greatest bands and line-ups in action.
Eagle Rock Entertainment
LIVE IN MUNICH 1977
Review by Rick Tilley
29th April 2013
1) Introduction; 2) Kill the King
3) Mistreated; 4) Sixteenth Century Greensleeves; 5) Catch the Rainbow; 6) Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; 7) Man on the Silver Mountain; 8) Still I'm Sad; 9) Do You Close Your Eyes
Bonus Features: Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; Gates of Babylon; L.A. Connection; Bob Daisley Interview; Colin Hart Interview; Rainbow Over Texas '76; Photogallery; Slide Show with Audio Commentary
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"About a year after this was filmed, Dio, Daisley and Stone were gone, Bonnet and Glover were in and a whole new commercial era of Rainbow was about to begin so if...you have been without this rare performance in your collection, now is the time to buy and witness one of the greatest bands and line-ups in action."