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Converting them one person at a time

Elizabeth introduces her Aussie colleague to the joys of stargazing. Que the happy giggles. Brush up on your staccatos and legatos for the technical analysis.

35 Comments to “Converting them one person at a time”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    The mighty Stargazer. It would be in my top 3 favourite songs of Blackmore associated rock music. Don’t ask me what the other two are as I then would have to put them in an order & I probably should not have mentioned a top ten etc. Impossible really to create a top 10 or 20 or more. Some serious magic there & only RB & RJ Dio with wonderful help from Cozy, Jimmy Bain & Tony Carey could have conjured up this leviathan of a song. Superb song & it is in a sphere of it’s own. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Max says:

    Would have deserved a proper ending though …

  3. 3
    nupsi59 says:

    Hi everyone! Some roots to “Stargazer”: Mk I: the solo in “Why didn’t Rosemary”, the live-version of “Wring that Neck” from the 69′ Concerto, the ending solo in “April”. Mk II: solo in “Child in Time” (studio-version), the superb guitar(s) in “Lazy”. Mk III: Guitar solo in “You fool no one”. Feel free to add this list…

    Have a nice Day!

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    Love “Stargazer,” but I think “A Light in the Black” is the true masterpiece from Rising. Apparently they only played it a few times live because it was just too intense for some of them (prob Cozy) to keep up the pace.

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I know this will get me hung, drawn and quartered here, but I never thought Stargazer that amazing a composition. It’s better than ok, but it kind of overstays its welcome with me because harmonically it’s rather limited; it’s musical minimalism blown up to sound grand, a bit like Mistreated which also wouldn’t have found its way on Sgt Pepper if you know what I mean.

    I like my rock to be harmonically a bit more varied, that’s why I actually prefer Man On The Silver Mountain (nifty chord changes) or Never Before (elegant pop) to a somewhat static song behemoth like Stargazer which lumbers along on the same two or three musical motifs endlessly. It’s as samey as Kashmir by you-know-who, eg, the-ones-who-shall-not-be-named-here.

    Oh dear, what have I just done. Spare my children, please. I can’t help it that I like some harmony movement in my music!


    Are the two music critics/professional gushers actually aware that the video has nothing whatsoever to do with the audio, but is a cut and paste job from other Rainbow performances and vids?

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Now you can all scurry to reassemble the emperor’s clothes!

    : – )

  7. 7
    Tetragrammatony says:

    Reaction videos are the most boring thing on the face of the earth…

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I saw them playing A Light In The Black in 1976! Long keyboard solo by TC IIRC.

  9. 9
    Marcus says:

    I thought the big problem was trying to play Stargazer and Light in the Black back to back.

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    @ 5 – Drawn & quartered & head on a spike somewhere. You should be able to hear the mob sometime soon Uwe. Cheers.

  11. 11
    Gregster says:

    Ha ha ha ! IMO, the tune is a great-one, but it hasn’t aged as well as others over the years, probably because the ending is too l o n g, & peoples mindsets were corrupted(?) years ago about the repetitiveness, since by now, we’ve heard it so many times…But for the first 100-times listening, it’s likely that we couldn’t get enough of it…

    Should Uwe go through the pain of re-listening to the first 3-minutes or so, it actually is quite melodic, & has those Bach-like chord sequences happening, that are essentially built around the “harmonic-minor-scale”…

    The girls seemed to like it too, & as for the Australian friend, she’s been State-side for a while, & the accent is nearly washed-away ! But still, the music draws them in, & perhaps the only regret is that if it is a first listening, they should play it all the way through the first time, for maximum impact, & then film the 2nd-time through & comment. Just sayin’.

    Peace !

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    I haven’t ever noticed A Light in The Black on a setlist from that era. Not that that means it wasn’t played a few times here & there. The one thing I have noticed with bootleg or other live recorded Rainbow gigs from that era is that Stargazer is played too fast, it ruins the drama of it all, big time. That happens with some live renditions of studio classics & trying to get use to the ‘feel’ of a different version can be a problem for me so I stick to the studio version. Cheers.

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Inmate MacGregor, you always revert to those harsh prison island disciplinary actions for even the lightest transgressions!

    From that Rainbow gig almost 50 years ago I do remember that Jimmy Bain enjoyed himself immensely playing A Light In The Black. He was a bit of a punk at heart.

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Did Cozy live ever play anything not too fast?


    And as if it’s not enough already, he speeds up hilariously further after Moody’s solo at 03:17!

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Gregster, I’m not saying it’s a bad song, the core ideas were good, but the execution is somewhat undercooked, no doubt because there was so much pressure on writing, recording, producing and mixing Rising quickly. But I imagine that a band like, say, Kansas or Yes would have turned it into something even grander.

    If you listen to the rough mixes and takes of Stargazer, they really don’t sound so much different to what was finally released. They had no time to develop it further. And live without the orchestra parts and no really sophisticated keyboard arrangements to replicate them, it didn’t transfer all that well to stage which had Ritchie grow tired of it quickly.

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Herr Mac Gregor, what would you do without me, seriously?! Voilà, this is only a few weeks after the gig I heard it at, they went from Germany pretty much straight to Japan …


    It went down a storm at the Frankfurt gig – it was when the bouncers allowed people to leave their seats at Jahrhunderthalle (in Hiroshima it was the showstopper, it might have been in Frankfurt too). It was my first rock gig ever (followed by Status Quo a few months later), my dad waited outside in the Opel!

  17. 17
    Georgivs says:


    It’s curious that A Light in the Black was included in the soundtrack to a punkish comedy movie:

    In the scene where it is played, the characters (American teens from the 1990s) are dancing wildly to it. I thought it was funny to show the grunge era teens dance to a piece of proggish heavy rock. But then if you listen to it out of its cultural context, it does sound like punk rock: hard, heavy and fast, not unlike Sex Pistols or something.

  18. 18
    stoffer says:

    Stargazer is a song I need to to be in the mood for but still a classic song from Rainbow. A Light in the Black however …play it anytime/anywhere and play it loud!

  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Jimmy Bain had a decidedly punkish attitude in his playing, he preferred an abrasive sound and really hit the strings hard. It also showed in his musical tastes, the little Scot was the one to introduce Tony Carey to Status Quo at the time (who posts to this day on the Status Quo Board as ‘Blue Highway’) and was impressed by AC/DC’s energy and attitude when they opened for Rainbow in Europe in 1976, he would watch them from the side of the stage every night while Ritchie feigned disinterest.

    I believe that is what got him the job with Rainbow too: After the experiences with Glenn Hughes and Craig Gruber, Ritchie wanted a basher on bass who was neither funky nor groovy nor subtle. Jimmy fitted the mold.

    Of course, Ritchie being Ritchie, he not much later woke up one morning to decide that what he really needed was a more refined and technical bass player and all of the sudden people like Clive Chaman (ex-Jeff Beck Group like Cozy) and Mark Clarke (ex-Colosseum, Tempest and a short spell with Uriah Heep) were auditioning with Rainbow, even John Glascock (ex-Chicken Shack, Toe Fat, Carmen, Jethro Tull) was approached, but wisely preferred staying with Jethro Tull, until Bob Daisley (ex-Mungo Jerry, Chicken Shack and Widowmaker) made it – none of them a gung-ho bassist like Jimmy, but rather more on the sophisticated playing side.

    Anyway, what the Hiroshima recording I posted above certainly shows is that Rainbow were deft enough to present A Light In The Black convincingly on stage, no complaints there. And Jimmy plays some nice runs in the verses that always lead back to the main riff. One of the few songs with independent bass runs he actually does on the whole Rising album (which also speaks for how rushed the recording process was, he probably simply didn’t have the time to work out a little more elaborate bass parts).

    I once read a comment by Ritchie where he belittled the song (it’s mostly only three chords, four if you include the”Something’s calling me back”-part) as a composition (just as he generally tends to be dismissive about Rising today and inexplicably sees “Street of Dreams” as the be-and-end-all of Rainbow compositional art because it is so ABBAesque he believes), so that might have been a reason why it didn’t become a stage standard. Dio didn’t like it that much either, stating at one point (after having founded Dio) that it was “just a fast riff with too long a guitar and a keyboard solo attached”.

    Personally, I think the number is good fun (if hardly memorable) and the band sounds enthusiastic doing it. It became the blueprint for songs like Lost In Hollywood, Spotlight Kid and Death Alley Driver.

  20. 20
    Gregster says:

    @15…Thanks Uwe. “Rising” is quite a short album too imo, it’s come gone in no time. I’d suggest that they stretched-it-out (Stargazer) so as to fill-in time, & fill in the remaining play-time on the record, as possibly there was no more new material to add, or enough available time to squeeze another full tune in…

    I’ve always liked bands that can transfer their material over into the live arena that sounds quite like the studio versions, where you’re not missing too much, or no big holes exist in the music.

    Queen did surprisingly well in this respect too, which is amazing considering the studio wizardry they incorporated on their albums. Possibly the only song that unwrapped a tightly performed show was Bohemian Rhapsody, where they leave the stage for the taped operatic section. All the other tunes sound fine ! ( Yes, in the 1980’s they added a few different ( A sometimes hidden ) keyboard players ) but that’s OK by-me, as it’s not artificially added music to save the tune.

    Peace !

  21. 21
    Henrik H says:

    These two women acting like teenagers, are no experts
    Taking their nonsense talk serious is laughable.
    I have heard her: sing on YT.
    She is no opera singer.

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Henrik: Ouch! ; – )

  23. 23
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Funny how everything that RJD has done is now sitting at the top of all the rest.
    The three Rainbow albums and the two BS albums and his first 4 solo albums should be national treasure.
    Peace ✌️

  24. 24
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @21: Who said they were experts? Relax, it’s all about a little bit of fun.

  25. 25
    Rock Voorne says:

    “But I imagine that a band like, say, Kansas or Yes would have turned it into something even grander.”

    Maybe Romero could do a coverversion of it?
    I heard his version of the Shining (Black Sabbath)and kinda liked it. But then again, his studiovoice is so much different…..

  26. 26
    MacGregor says:

    We take no prisoners out here in Oz Uwe, which is ironic isn’t it. I am typing on a borrowed phone, this small screen & keyboard is too much, currently off line with home setup as modem is faulty & i am starting to go through withdrawal symptoms. Jimmy Bain did well in his musical life all things considered, he is a Scot after all. Tough as nails & not to be messed with. Enjoy the peace & quiet, i should be back mid week waffling on as per usual. Cheers

  27. 27
    Max says:


    Don’t Break my Heart Again was always butchered live … the version with Tommy Aldridge is even worse. That says a lot.

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Aldridge is technically proficient, but his drumming never did anything for me, he’s like a meticulously programmed drum machine. His drumming never had the swagger of Aynsley Dunbar on 1987 (even though that was reportedly very much a drawing by numbers recording job and he was largely told what to drum).

  29. 29
    Dr. Bob says:

    @1, my 3 favourites from Ritchie would include Child in Time & Stargazer. I’m not sure what the 3rd one would be.

  30. 30
    Dr. Bob says:

    I enjoyed that emmensely. This is the 1st time seeing Elizabeth doing a 2nd reaction and my introduction to Julia. I loved her breakdown of the guitar solo. The 1st time that I realized that the guitar told the story of the song blew me away and made every listening after that even more riveting.

    Julia has a few other reaction videos that caught my eye, but she hasn’t done any Deep Purple yet. I am anticipating that Elizabeth is going to talk her into hearing Gillan sing Child in Time before too long.

  31. 31
    Marcus says:

    Uwe, Dio obviously liked Jimmy Bain’s playing.

  32. 32
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Not so sure about the “obvious”, Marcus. Dio wanted Bob Daisley to be the bassist for his solo outing; Daisley waited and waited, but Dio never called, then joined Sabbath and Daisley eventually worked with Ozzy.

    And Dio did not want Jimmy to be his bass player initially, he says so in his bio. He actually thought it a bit preposterous that Jimmy simply ASSUMED he would be the bassist – he was initially only there to help Dio get a band together. But then he made himself indispensable, inter alia with his very catchy, if a bit twee keyboard hook idea for Rainbow in the Dark.

    Dio was a bass player himself, he must have been aware of the differences between Craig Gruber (very groovy and subtle), Jimmy Bain (very wham-bam-thank-you, M’am!) and Bob Daisley (very precise and commanding).

    Anyway, within Dio, Jimmy’s bass playing blossomed much more than it ever did during his comparatively short stint with Rainbow. It sounded a bit heavy-handed to me at times, but that went well with the Sabbath-inspired music and Vinnie Appice’s heavy drumming.

    Interesting to note: Jimmy auditioned with the Stones in the early 90ies after Bill Wyman stopped touring with them – Darryl Jones got the job as everyone knows, but Jimmy was always immensely proud to have been invited (though I would assume he was perhaps a bit too rock for what the Stones wanted; that said, Darryl Jones plays a lot more conventional too than the very idiosyncratic Wyman who would leave out notes or play at the strangest places).

    And another thing: Did you guys know that he had a very, quintessentially British pop voice, the kind of voice you could have well imagined in the Alan Parsons Project, Pilot or 10cc?


    I really would have loved a solo album from him in that vein – with not a rainbow or dragon in sight.

  33. 33
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And in case you wondered why that Jimmy Bain tune sounds so darn catchy and uncannily familiar … Well D Major, B minor, E minor and A Major have a habit of doing that, especially if you then lift off the vocal melody from the chorus and verses of what can by now be rightfully called a Christmas Season standard.


    Which just goes to show: heavy rockers can have a gentle side too. Now sing it!

    “Down in the dungeon
    Beats a sacred heart
    Of my very first dragon
    Yeah, I nicked that part

    Thi-i-i-is time …
    I won’t be last in line
    It will be my holy diver”

    PS: Have I yet mentioned that I liked Wham! a lot?

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    No you haven’t mentioned Wham as yet Uwe, not to my knowledge at least. I suppose that could get you drawn & quartered here, however I am still alive after mentioning & few non ‘rock’ bands over time, so you may live a little longer. Cheers.

  35. 35
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    My tupence worth to all the revisionists above. If you heard Stargazer when it was first released and, like me, you then heard it back to back, with A light in the black (Edinburgh 76) you wouldn’t be so underwhelmed 48 years later. How did it suddenly become a turd fit for polishing … or for cutting the epic ending because your attention span is shot. I was at Rainbow’s first indoor show in the U.K. for decades (Birmingham 2016) A real occasion and Ritchie/the band pulled out all the stops on Stargazer. Ritchie even shredded during his solo … as on the record. It felt like 1976 again. I don’t think he ever played it with that energy again, from what I’ve seen subsequently in YouTube.I now would much prefer to see Blackmore’s night live but I’m sure if Rainbow do Japan one last time as has been hinted … they will be appreciated.

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