Down to Earth (Rainbow album)

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Down to Earth
Cover art by Ron Walotsky
Studio album by Rainbow
Released 28 July 1979
Recorded Château Pelly de Cornfeld, South France, with the Maison Rouge Mobile Studio,
Kingdom Sound Studios, Long Island, New York (vocals),
April–July 1979,
Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark ("Weiss Heim"), January 1980
Genre Hard rock
Length 36:05
Label Polydor
Producer Roger Glover
Rainbow chronology
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
(1978)
Down to Earth
(1979)
Difficult to Cure
(1981)
Singles from Down to Earth
  1. "Since You Been Gone" / "Bad Girl"
    Released: August 1979
  2. "All Night Long" / "Weiss Heim"
    Released: February 1980

Down to Earth is the fourth studio album by the British hard rock band Rainbow, released in 1979. It contains Rainbow's first hit single "Since You Been Gone",[1] marking a more commercial direction of the band's sound.

Writing and recording[edit]

The writing of Down to Earth began at Ritchie Blackmore's house in Connecticut in December 1978.[2] By that time, the band leader had dismissed both bassist Bob Daisley and keyboard player David Stone soon after singer Ronnie James Dio quit the band.[3] Blackmore had already recruited his old Deep Purple band mate Roger Glover as producer and started auditioning musicians for the vacant slots in the band, while songwriting progressed with the line-up of Blackmore, Cozy Powell and session musician Clive Chaman on bass.[2] Almost all instrumental backing tracks were written by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. By the end of 1978, Blackmore had recruited keyboardist Don Airey, under suggestion from Powell, and also considered Ian Gillan and Peter Goalby of Trapeze as replacements for Dio.[4] In April 1979, Jack Green of The Pretty Things was hired as new bass player for the recording sessions at Château Pelly de Cornfeld, in the countryside of Southern France, but he did not stay for long.[4] Producer Glover ended up playing bass on the album and provided lyrics for all songs. While auditions for the new singer proceeded, Glover tracked down ex-The Marbles singer Graham Bonnet, who auditioned in France and was immediately hired.[2]

During song composition, Bonnet made his vocal melodies though his contributions remained uncredited.[5] His vocals were not recorded with the other tracks in France, but later at Kingdom Sound Studios in Long Island, when all other recording sessions were completed.[2] Down to Earth is the only Rainbow album to feature Bonnet, though he was still part of the band when writing for Difficult to Cure began.

Also recorded for the proposed next single, but unreleased due to Bonnet's departure, was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". Bonnet had previously recorded this song for his first, eponymously titled, solo album in 1977. Rainbow's version was recorded in the studio in May 1980, during rehearsals for the Japanese leg of the Down to Earth tour. It was subsequently played live throughout that tour.

Tour[edit]

In 1980, Blackmore's Rainbow headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in England.[6]

Songs from Down to Earth have been performed by Graham Bonnet at his solo shows, as well as at concerts performed with Don Airey (2001) and Joe Lynn Turner (2007).

Release[edit]

In the UK there was a limited edition clear vinyl LP release.

"Bad Girl", an outtake from the album sessions, was used as the B-side to the "Since You Been Gone" single. Similarly, "Weiss Heim", an instrumental recorded in Copenhagen in January 1980, was the B-side to "All Night Long".

A remastered CD reissue was released in May 1999, with packaging duplicating the original vinyl.

In 2011, a Deluxe Edition of the album was released, featuring a bonus disc with previously unreleased songs and instrumental versions of the basic tracks.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[8]
Record Collector 3/5 stars[9]

Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine defines the album "a fine hard rock platter", which "might not offer anything unique, but it delivers the goods." He criticizes mostly Bonnet's vocals, but praises "the guitar artistry and mystical sensibility of Ritchie Blackmore", who "sounds invigorated on the album".[7] PopMatters' Adrien Begrand, reviewing the 2011 Deluxe Edition, remarks how Down to Earth "is somewhat underrated compared to the towering Dio discography, but it remains a strong outing 31 years later", even with "the new material sounding so much more stripped-down compared to the overtly epic heavy metal arrangements of Dio-era Rainbow". The songs are "eight searing, hooky hard rockers", remarkably rendered by Bonnet's performance and energy.[8] The album "is perhaps the most divisive record in Rainbow’s catalogue" according to Record Collector reviewer, because of "Blackmore's single-minded pursuit of mainstream success" and the departure from the sound of preceding albums. He adds that this is a "strong" album with many "classic radio" staples, but the second disc of the Deluxe Edition do not add anything essential to the listening experience.[9]

In 2005, Down to Earth was ranked number 431 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[10]

Track listings[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "All Night Long"   3:53
2. "Eyes of the World"   6:42
3. "No Time to Lose"   3:45
4. "Makin' Love"   4:38
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Since You Been Gone"   Russ Ballard 3:25
6. "Love's No Friend"     4:55
7. "Danger Zone"     4:31
8. "Lost in Hollywood"   Blackmore, Glover, Cozy Powell 4:51

2011 deluxe edition track listing[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "All Night Long"     3:53
2. "Eyes of the World"     6:42
3. "No Time to Lose"     3:45
4. "Makin' Love"     4:38
5. "Since You Been Gone"   Russ Ballard 3:25
6. "Love's No Friend"     4:55
7. "Danger Zone"     4:31
8. "Lost in Hollywood"   Blackmore, Glover, Cozy Powell 4:51
9. "Bad Girl" (B-side of "Since You Been Gone", 1979)   4:51
10. "Weiss Heim" (B-side of "All Night Long", 1980) Blackmore 5:15
Disc two
No. Title Length
1. "All Night Long" (instrumental outtake) 4:43
2. "Eyes of the World" (instrumental outtake) 6:52
3. "Spark Don't Mean a Fire"   3:52
4. "Makin' Love" (instrumental outtake) 4:46
5. "Since You Been Gone" (instrumental outtake) 4:02
6. "Ain't a Lot of Love in the Heart of Me"   5:00
7. "Danger Zone" (instrumental outtake) 5:31
8. "Lost in Hollywood" (instrumental outtake) 4:03
9. "Bad Girl" (instrumental outtake) 5:04
10. "Ain't a Lot of Love in the Heart of Me" (alternative outtake) 5:23
11. "Eyes of the World" (instrumental outtake) 6:11
12. "All Night Long" (Cozy Powell mix) 3:54

Personnel[edit]

Rainbow
Production
  • Gary Edwards - engineer
  • Michael Palmer, Leigh Mantle - assistant engineers
  • Greg Calbi - mastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
UK BPI 1979 Gold (+ 100,000)[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Rainbow Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bloom, Jerry (2011). Down to Earth (Deluxe Edition) (CD booklet). Rainbow. London, UK: Polydor Records. 
  3. ^ Cavuoto, Robert. "Roger Glover Talks About Deep Purple, Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore". Guitar International.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  4. ^ a b Bloom, Jerry (2006). Black Knight – The Ritchie Blackmore Story. Omnibus Press. pp. 227–229. ISBN 978-1846097577. 
  5. ^ "GRAHAM BONNET Talks RAINBOW, MSG And ALCATRAZZ in New Interview". Blabbermouth.net. 19 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Monsters of Rock" (November 2009). UK Rock Festivals.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rainbow Down to Earth review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  8. ^ a b Begrand, Adrien (28 April 2011). "Rainbow: Down to Earth (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  9. ^ a b Pinfold, William (March 2011). "Rainbow - Down to Earth: Deluxe Edition". Record Collector (386). Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  10. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 36. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  11. ^ "Rainbow – Down to Earth (album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  12. ^ "Album – Rainbow, Down to Earth". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  13. ^ "Down to Earth Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  14. ^ "レインボー レインボーのアルバム売り上げランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  15. ^ "Rainbow – Since You Been Gone (nummer)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  16. ^ "Down to Earth Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  17. ^ "Search for Artist Rainbow". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2013-11-26.