Bent Out of Shape is the seventh studio album released by the British hard rock band Rainbow. It was originally released in August 1983 as an LP and cassette. The cassette featured several longer edits compared to the vinyl version. It was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen in about 7 weeks.
A remastered CD reissue was released in May 1999, which restored the artwork of the original release. This has two tracks of a longer duration than on the first US CD issue.
This album is generally referred to by critics and fans as a commercial effort, with the band attempting to repeat the success of the song "Stone Cold" and the album Straight Between the Eyes. As a result, some of the songs, like the first single released from this album, "Street of Dreams", are usually considered to be more in the album-oriented rock style, instead of the hard rock sound of earlier Rainbow albums. The album was particularly aimed at the US market: the title is an American idiom rather than a British one, although it received positive reviews in the U.K. Howard Johnson of "Kerrang!" magazine (No.51 – Sept 22-Oct 5, 1983) praised the album as "possibly Rainbow's most complete work to date" and called "Desperate Heart" and "Street of Dreams" "two of this year's finest tunes".
The music video for "Can't Let You Go", directed by Dominic Orlando, was filmed in New York City (1984) and inspired by the 1920 silent b/w film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Along with "Street of Dreams", directed by Storm Thorgerson, it became a part of Rainbow's home video collection The Final Cut (1985). The music video for "Street of Dreams" was banned by MTV for its supposedly controversial hypnotic clip.
The song "Street of Dreams" has been re-recorded in two versions by Blackmore's Night in 2006 for their fifth studio album, The Village Lanterne. The version featured on a regular album was sung by Candice Night. The other version, a bonus track on a special edition of the album, was performed in a duet by Night and former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner.
In 1984 "Anybody There" was nominated to Grammy Award as the Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
The LP has "Desperate Heart" at 4:00, whilst cassette and remastered CD have this track at 4:36, repeating the verse after the guitar solo. Similarly, "Make Your Move" is 3:56 on the LP, yet 5:25 on cassette and remastered CD, on account of a reprise of a bridge section and a much longer playout. The first US CD edition (Polydor - 815 305-2) uses the LP version.