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Blackmore on Tracks

Ritchie Blackmore was featured in the French/German TV program Tracks that aired on Arte TV Germany on September 28. The show is posted online and, as far as we know, will be available there for 7 days:

If you don’t see video above, go to arte.tv and click on VOD-Streaming – Windows Media. You’ll need Javascript and a video player with Windows Media codec for this to work in either case.

The show is almost an hour long and is mildly entertaining even if you don’t understand a word of German. Unfortunately, all the interviews are with a voice over, so you can barely hear what people are saying. It does not appear to be dedicated entirely to Blackmore, but he is extensively featured throughout.

The show will be repeated on October 1 at 1:40 CEST.

Thanks to Mike Garrett for the info.

22 Comments to “Blackmore on Tracks”:

  1. 1
    richard legris (elprupdeep@) says:

    nice to see ritchie with jerry lee lewis or gene vincent . what a big man (in black) for what he brought to the music and still does but never recognised as it should be……………..

  2. 2
    Frank W. says:

    Oh nein! Ich ertrage einfach nicht wie sich RB der Lächerlichkeit preis gibt. Der Mann, der das größte Rockriff geschaffen hat, vergeudet sein Talent an solch einen Bullshit. Es schockt mich jedes mal von Neuem, wenn ich diesen lächerlichen Quatsch namens Blackmore’s Night sehe. Hey Ritchie, merkst Du nicht wie peinlich das ist? Du degradierst Dich zu einem Hampelmann.

    Das ist einfach nur schade.

  3. 3
    Martin says:

    Nice show, Ritchie finally seems to get the reputation he deserves. People respect him for his music – who cares about hair implants & spantex trousers?

  4. 4
    The Hawk says:

    The real surprise for me was Ritchie telling how he create the riff of SOTW,
    it’s from Beethoven the 5th Symphony, – he said, take the first bars and play ’em backwards and so you have the riff – god damn; haven’t knew this before; he owes so much credits to Ludwig van , he explains and
    s m i l e s!!!

  5. 5
    Tim says:

    Great, finally he get some serious Respect! He is the head of a one hour long documentary about Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Guitarheroes. He deserves it, after more than 40 years of finest Guitar Work. Long live Ritchie!

  6. 6
    Rascal says:

    And dont forget 10 years of fabulous mandlin work…………..magnificent!!

  7. 7
    T says:

    I will say it again: Blackmore’s guitar work as never been better from a technical perspective. Playing acoustically requires a touch much finer than on any electric, especially when the electric plays a style with so much distortion and volume than any mistake sounds like it is a part of the improvisation. You simply cannot make a mistake on an acoustic. Ritchie has gone from the Blitzkrieg in-your-face style to a quasi classical style that requires a great deal more discipline, consistency and technique. It’s very close to being a symphonic orchestra musician–or a classical guitarist.

    That some people do not like Blackmore’s Night is perfectly fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. In fact, I like reading these opinions and wish these same people would indicate WHY they do not like it–being specific from a musical standpoint. But to continue to be sarcastic and degrading against the man is pointless. We get it. Some people do not like Blackmore’s Night. Cool.

    However, I wonder how many of those same people have all the albums–or are they making a blanket assertion based on a single listen of a single album–or even a single song?

    Certainly, even Blackmore’s harshest critics can hear the promise of the song “Fires at Midnight” which contains one of his best guitar solos–bar none! Although many other examples exist, “Fires” demonstrates that this band can work even in an electrical format, and that the man can still bend some strings on a Stratocaster–when he wants to.

    Blackmore got tired of the rock scene–the noise, the violence, the idiocy, the politics, the egos, the huge crowds–and elected to “retire” from it. That’s his right. I wish him well. But Jon Lord did it and does not get anywhere near the criticism–in fact, Lord gets practically NO criticism and receives tremendous praise (for his OUTSTANDING work) and what he does is as far from rock music as you can get–way beyond what Blackmore is doing. I wish Jon well in his endeavors as well. He’s doing what he wants to do. (Personally, I think Jon and Ritchie need to get together and collaborate. This should have happened in Rainbow. Instead, Jon wasted his time in Whitesnake).

    ON THE OTHER HAND, without a major change, Blackmore’s Night may have run its course. The last couple of albums have been very similar after following several albums that had an original sound–“Shadow of a Moon,” “Under a Violet Moon” and “Fires at Midnight” each had a different sound to them.

    The big question: Will Blackmore take another approach with Blackmore’s Night (More electric? More traditional?), will he go back to hard rock, or will he opt for more of the same?

    Whatever he chooses, it’s up to him.

    As a musician and music student, I can appreciate Blackmore’s Night perhaps in a way an 18 year-old headbanger cannot. I am a big fan. If something does not impress me technically, it’s hard for me to listen to it.

    BUT…having said that, I sure wish Blackmore would put something out–something stunning–just to shut people up.

  8. 8
    Sami says:

    Well said T, you’ve got the point as always!!

  9. 9
    Charbel Scoulou says:

    I would love to see Ritchie do something similar to what Carlos Santana did.Play his brilliant melodies with contemporary singers as guests on his album.

  10. 10
    LIBERATO says:

    very very greatest guitarplayer of all time !
    and too actually IS amazing !

    incredible songwritter !

    ritchie is a model !
    very great honestly

  11. 11
    Scratchplate1 says:

    Interesting reading T. I think the issue with Ritchie (in terms of respect) is more to do with the Renaisance Garb and lyrical content of BK’s music. In terms of song construction, it’s all very similar to Rainbow (as you know) And jon is working in a field of music that commands respect in every walk of life.

  12. 12
    vmfireball says:

    Richie said: “My mother was a gypsy…” Does it have a symbolical meaning, or his mother mother was gypsy ethnically?

  13. 13
    Reinder says:

    Well, I’m game.
    My main issue with Blackmore’s Night is that it’s so watery. If you watered down the dance music and songs of the Renaissance, added some watered-down pop music, then took the end result and added lots of water, the end result would be the style that Blackmore’s Night chose on their first few albums (on the basis of which, I’ve passed on listening to the later ones) – but only if you recorded it with personality-free backing players and a bland, sterile production. I like pop and I like Renaissance music, and if Blackmore and Knight had picked one of the two as their direction and pursued it wholeheartedly, I’d probably have become one of their biggest fans. What we got, on SOTM and UaVM, was very thin gruel, albums with no sense of direction.

    The fact that on the playing side of things, Blackmore is putting in some of his best work ever, doesn’t help much actually. It only adds to the frustration. Finally, possibly for the first time since Rainbow Rising, Blackmore is fully engaged in his music, and in the service of what? There are the glimmerings of a workable musical concept, both in instrumentals like Memmingen and in the ABBA-esque treatment of “Writing on the Wall”, but they aren’t sustained.

    The twee, clumsy lyrics (Candice Knight won a Japanese award for her lyrics, confirming the worst stereotypes about the Japanese’ taste and their ability to fully grasp the English language) and silly outfits are minor issues compared to that.

    Back in 1998, one of my other favourite musicians, Richard Thompson, teamed up with Renaissance music scholar and conductor Phil Picket and some of their long-term musical collaborators, most notably the Fairport Convention rhythm section. Together, they recorded an album of Renaissance dance tunes which has become one of my favourite instrumental albums. Thompson, while a fine guitarist, doesn’t have that precision that Blackmore has now – he’s rather more like the old Blackmore, raw-edged and flirting with disaster. But he and Pickett did everything right that I think Blackmore is doing wrong. They picked a single direction, stuck to it, put their musical personalities and those of the backing musicians into the procedures and allowed producer Joe Boyd to give it a production that is full of life and character. The contrast couldn’t be greater.

  14. 14
    Reinder says:

    …I’ll never get the hang of closing tags.

  15. 15
    Scratchplate1 says:

    Well said Reindeer!!

  16. 16
    T says:

    What, if anything, do you *like* about Blackmore’s Night? The impression I get is that you would prefer “authentic” Celtic or mediaeval music–not a hybrid of Renaissance and rock or pop? The genre magazines made the same reference to “purism”. You mentioned “Memmingen”. Certainly the acoustic instrumentals are the high mark of Blackmore’s Night. Is that the direction you would like to see BN take?

    Is a female singer the problem? I’ve always thought Candice fit in quite well, given the genre. I *don’t*, however, think BN should be doing a whole lot of DP songs. Some of the Rainbow–“Self Portrait” for example–work well. The Purple ones–not so well.

    Odd that you’d mention “The Writing on the Wall” as “promising”. I always thought that was one of the lowest quality of the songs on the first album and thought it wouldn’t be well received by longtime fans. The arrangement could have done without the mechanical drums. It needs a re-do.

    I can’t agree with the criticism of the lyrics when Night is writing songs like “Hanging Tree” and many, many others… On the other hand, certain ones are not so great…a little sappy perhaps. I think the good ones outnumber the not-so-good.

    Can you give more specific examples of which songs you *DO* like? I have mentioned many times that the title track “Fires at Midnight” is the way to go–along with longer acoustic instrumentals. “Written in the Stars” works well, too, along with “Under a Violet Moon” with that much-too-short organ solo.

    The costumes don’t bother me. It’s part of the image. What would you have them do?

    It’s interesting that many Blackmore’s Night fans are not even familiar with Deep Purple–or Rainbow! So much time has gone by that another generation of fans are shocked with Blackmore’s past, and I’d wager than a lot of those fans hear DP or Rainbow and think, What the heck is *that*? in the same way many old-time fans listen to BN and think, What the heck is *that*?

  17. 17
    Corn Dog says:

    It’s interesting that many Blackmore’s Night fans are not even familiar with Deep Purple–or Rainbow!

    Just as interesting that many Deep Purple-or Rainbow fans dont want to be too familiar with Blackmore’s Night.

    Seems to me that Blackmore crazy fans will follow his work no-matter what he does. I think Lemmings do the same.

  18. 18
    Reinder says:

    What do I like about BN? I haven’t listened to SOTM in years and can’t even find my copy [Update: While writing this, I located it, and I’m ripping the tracks to my computer right now]; and I only ever borrowed Under A Violent Moon. But based on my memories, I enjoyed the acoustic instrumentals, I thought the opening track to SOTM had its moments, and I think things seemed to come together, almost, on Writing on the Wall. That was one of the pop moments, and the one tune that would just occasionally pop up in my heads years later. It’s far stronger than people give it credit for, even if the production could have been better. Looking at the CD box now, I am reminded of the album’s other pop moment, the cover of Rednex’ Wish You Were Here. That one’s terrible, so perhaps a pop direction wouldn’t have worked out for them long-term. Apart from that, there were a few moments. The thing seemed to come alive a bit with Ian Anderson’s flute solo, for instance.
    But, apart from Blackmore’s playing, that’s really it. Instrumental genius in the service of what I see as second-rate songwriting and bland ensemble performances doesn’t cut it for me, I’m afraid. But let’s not repeat myself.

    Lyrically, Candice Night lost me on the third line of “Shadow of the Moon” and never got me back. I normally try not to do the line-by-line style of lyrics criticism in which one awkward rhyme or cliche phrase invalidates an entire song, but if you have to say that a tune is haunting, right there in the first verse of your opening song, the best thing to do is go back to your bedsit and not come out again until you’ve written something less vapid. I recall, though not all that clearly, checking out Ghost of a Rose at the store a few years ago, and upon hearing “Three Black Crows”, thinking “Wow, she still writes terrible lyrics.”

    I’m not bothered by the costumes myself. I thought I’d communicated that clearly. The idea of performing at castles, in costumes, is a bit corny but I can see the appeal. In the context of the last DP tour he was in, the tights with the bells made him look a bit of a pillock though.

    What would I have them do? Replace producer Pat Regan with someone who put a little more zap into the production (as per my previous post, Joe Boyd would be a great choise if he’s still working). Get a decent rhythm section if they haven’t already got one. Those would fix a lot of problems. Get some new influences in, maybe get them to have a word with Phil Pickett or Maddy Prior so they can suggest some new repertoire – people who know half as much about renaissance music as Blackmore thinks he knows. And, considering that there is no way Candice Night is going to leave the band, concentrate on instrumentals.

  19. 19
    T says:

    I will have to admit that it took a couple of listens to get “used” to “Shadow of the Moon”. We have an expectation of Blackmore that is hard to get over–and I think that is a part of the problem…especially after “Stranger in Us All.” I think Rainbow *could* have worked for his concept (“Ariel,” “Hall of the Mountain King,” etc.).

    I agree about the instrumentals comments. Well said. The instrumentals tend to be short–almost “fillers”.

    Your points are very well taken.

    You seem to have the most experience with “Shadow of the Moon” which (I thought) was the weaker-sounding between the first two. “Under a Violet Moon” deserves another listen. I will concede that not every song is a classic. Like most albums–by anyone–some songs I could do without. I also concede that some of the lyrics could be better–although some are brilliant.

    Have you heard “Fires at Midnight”? At this point, the sound changed a bit. I think you will find some songs corny (drinking songs) but like the previous albums, some standouts remain–including in the lyrics department. The guitar in “Written in the Stars” and the title track are more what a lot of us are looking for. Songs like these are less “tinny” that a lot of others that sound a little thin. I also think that more solid keyboards are in order. Keyboards worked very well with the title track “Under a Violet Moon.” Where’s Jon?

    Very good comments–very well thought out and honest. You back up what you say instead of the usual “Blackmore’s Night sucks”.

    Have a great week-end!

  20. 20
    S72ven says:

    The main thing is that, since the 2007 tour of BN, is obviously UNINSPIRED. Most of the solo work was done by the keyboard player on the show, I attended this year. It was a complete difference to the BN shows of 2006.
    With former bands (DP, Rainbow) and in former time with BN, he was able to enchant people by his playing! This year, his mood and his style was completely uninspired, he seemed sooo bored!

  21. 21
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Hi Reinder. ………

    Wink wink

  22. 22
    pb says:

    Reinder 18, Could have not been said any better.

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