Long Live Rock 'n' Roll

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Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
Studio album by
Released9 April 1978
RecordedMay–July and December 1977
StudioThe Strawberry Studio, Château d'Hérouville, France
GenreHeavy metal
ProducerMartin Birch
Rainbow chronology
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
Down to Earth
Singles from Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
  1. "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" / "Sensitive to Light"
    Released: March 1978
  2. "L.A. Connection" / "Lady of the Lake"
    Released: September 1978

Long Live Rock 'n' Roll is the third studio album by the British hard rock band Rainbow, released in 1978 and the last to feature original lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio.


Recording of the album commenced in April 1977 at a studio in Château d'Hérouville, France, featuring Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell. Keyboards were initially played on a session basis by former Rainbow member Tony Carey, while bass parts were started by Mark Clarke.[1] Clarke was soon dismissed, however, and the bass parts were recorded by Blackmore himself. By July 1977 seven tracks that ended on the album were in demo form. Recording was suspended while the band recruited Bob Daisley and David Stone and thereafter commenced extensive touring of Europe in the summer and fall of 1977. A return to the Château d'Hérouville studio in December saw the band finish the album and also yielded a final track, "Gates of Babylon".

Although Daisley and Stone are listed on the album credits for their contributions, they joined the band partway through the recording sessions and only appear on three and four songs, respectively. Stone wrote parts of "Gates of Babylon" but was never credited.[citation needed]

"Kill the King" was already a staple part of the tour setlists, opening Rainbow concerts since mid-1976. It first appeared on the live album On Stage in 1977. In the 1977–78 concerts the title track and "Kill the King" were the only songs performed, although "L.A. Connection" did get a few airings on the US tour before being dropped from the set. From 2004 to his death in 2010, Dio's solo shows featured a live version of "Kill the King", "Gates of Babylon", and the title track.


The original vinyl release was in a gatefold-sleeve cover illustrated by Debbie Hall, with a lyric-sheet insert. The crowd picture is actually from a Rush concert, with the wording on the banner the fans were actually holding replaced by the Rainbow album title and the visible Rush T-shirts airbrushed to black.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]

Geoff Ginsberg of AllMusic wrote that Long Live Rock 'n' Roll "would turn out to be the last great album Rainbow would ever make, although they did enjoy a great deal of chart success in the post-Dio era."[3]

The album, among other Rainbow releases, is often cited as a strong influence on formation of the power metal genre, especially on its fantasy-themed lyrics and aesthetics.[4]


  • Long Live Rock 'n' Roll was remastered on CD for the US market in April 1999, with the European version following later. The US version had a matte booklet/insert, which matched the original vinyl sleeve for all markets, whereas the European issue was the standard glossy type.
  • Long Live Rock 'n' Roll Story, an album and a book about the making of the LP was released in June 2009 in the "Rock Landmarks" series. The inlay story was written by Jerry Bloom, author of Black Knight, a Ritchie Blackmore's biography.
  • On 12 April 2012 a picture disc album version of Long Live Rock 'n' Roll was released in the US as part of Record Store Day 2012.
  • A deluxe edition version was released on 13 November in Europe, featuring rough mixes of the album tracks from July 1977, with the exception of "Gates of Babylon" which was written later.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio except where noted. All lyrics by Dio.[5]

Side one
1."Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"4:21
2."Lady of the Lake"3:39
3."L.A. Connection"5:02
4."Gates of Babylon"6:49
Total length:19:51
Side two
5."Kill the King"Blackmore, Dio, Cozy Powell4:29
6."The Shed (Subtle)"Blackmore, Dio, Powell4:47
7."Sensitive to Light" 3:07
8."Rainbow Eyes" 7:11
Total length:19:34

2012 Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc one contains the original album with no bonus tracks

Disc two
No.TitleOriginal sourceLength
1."Lady of the Lake"Rough mix, 4 July 19773:50
2."Sensitive to Light"Rough mix, 4 July 19773:03
3."L.A. Connection"Rough mix, 4 July 19775:33
4."Kill the King"Rough mix, 4 July 19774:27
5."The Shed (Subtle)"Rough mix, 4 July 19773:36
6."Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"Rough mix, 4 July 19774:19
7."Rainbow Eyes"Rough mix, 4 July 19776:55
8."Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"Shepperton Film Studios rehearsal, August 19776:56
9."Kill the King"Shepperton Film Studios rehearsal, August 19774:42
10."Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"Live on the Don Kirschner Show, May 19783:31
11."L.A. Connection"Live on the Don Kirschner Show, May 19785:10
12."Gates of Babylon"Live on the Don Kirschner Show, May 19786:35
13."L.A. Connection"Outtake from the Don Kirschner Show, May 19785:11
14."Gates of Babylon"Outtake from the Don Kirschner Show, May 19786:43
Total length:1:10:31


  • Ronnie James Dio – lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – guitars, bass on tracks 1-3, 6, 8 (also bass on rough mix tracks 1–6, 2012 Deluxe Edition)
  • Cozy Powell – drums, percussion
  • Bob Daisley – bass on "Gates of Babylon", "Kill the King", and "Sensitive to Light"
  • David Stone – keyboards on "Gates of Babylon", "Kill the King", "The Shed". Piano outro on "L.A. Connection"
  • Tony Carey – keyboards on "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", "Lady of the Lake", and "Rainbow Eyes"
Additional musicians
  • Bavarian String Ensemble conducted by Rainer Pietsch on "Gates of Babylon"
  • Ferenc Kiss, Nico Nicolic – violins on "Rainbow Eyes"
  • Ottmar Machan - viola on "Rainbow Eyes"
  • Karl Heinz Feit – cello on "Rainbow Eyes"
  • Rudi Risavy – flute on "Rainbow Eyes"
  • Martin Birch - producer and engineer
  • Max Hecker - classical instruments recording engineer
  • Bruce Payne - direction
  • Recorded at The Strawberry Studio at Château d'Hérouville, France, May–July and December 1977


  • 1978 – "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll / Sensitive to Light"
  • 1978 – "L.A. Connection / Lady of the Lake"

These two singles were also re-released in the UK in July 1981. "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" was also used for many years as a jingle by the British radio DJ Alan Freeman.



Country Organization Year Sales
UK BPI 1978 Silver (+ 60,000)[14]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Dream Theater when known as Majesty played "Gates of Babylon" in their earliest live shows in 1986.
  • American band Heathen covered "Kill the King" on their album Victims of Deception (1991).
  • Finnish band Tarot covered "Kill the King" on their first live album To Live Again (1994).
  • Swedish band Tad Morose covered "Gates of Babylon" on their album Sender of Thoughts (1995).
  • Yngwie J. Malmsteen covered "Gates of Babylon" on his album Inspiration (1996).
  • Serbian heavy metal band Kraljevski Apartman recorded a cover version of the song "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" with lyrics in Serbian on their 1997 debut album Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1997).
  • Serbian band Osvajači recorded a cover version of the song "Rainbow Eyes" entitled "Tragovi" on their 1999 album Vrelina.
  • Fictitious band Steel Dragon also covered the song "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" for the 2001 movie Rock Star.
  • Finnish band Stratovarius did a cover of "Kill the King" as a B-Side to the "Father Time" single/EP, as well as being released on their compilation album Intermission (2001).
  • German band Gamma Ray did a cover of "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" on the 2002 reissue of their album Power Plant.
  • Spanish folk metal band Mägo de Oz recorded a cover version of "Rainbow Eyes" on their album Finisterra (2000) entitled "Es hora de marchar" ("It's Time to Go") with lyrics in Spanish, as well as "Gates of Babylon" on their album Gaia II: La Voz Dormida (2005) entitled "En Nombre de Dios" ("In God's Name").
  • Blackmore's Night did a folk rock arrangement of "Rainbow Eyes" for their 2008 album Secret Voyage.[15]
  • American band Twisted Sister covered "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" during their 2010 summer concerts in memory of Ronnie James Dio.
  • Swedish doom metal band Candlemass performed a cover of "Kill the King" at recent shows and on live album Ashes to Ashes (2010).
  • Adrenaline Mob covered "Kill the King" on their 2013 release Covertà.
  • United States Heavy Metal Band Liege Lord recorded a cover of "Kill the King" on their 1988 release Master Control.
  • American thrash Metal band Metallica covered the song "Kill the King", along with the other Rainbow songs "Tarot Woman" and "Stargazer" under the name "Ronnie Rising" for the Ronnie James Dio Tribute album, This Is Your Life. It was later featured as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Metallica's album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct.[16]
  • In 2016 "Lady of the Lake" was recorded by a metal band Lords of Black fronted by Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero. The song was released as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of their album II.
  • German band Primal Fear recorded a cover version of Kill the King.


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Record Collector United Kingdom "Classic Albums from 21 Genres for the 21st Century"[17] 2000 No order
Classic Rock United Kingdom "The 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Times"[18] 2001 29
Rock Hard Germany "Top 300 Albums"[18] 2001 105


  1. ^ Saulnier, Jason (1 June 2010). "Tony Carey Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  2. ^ Classic Rock magazine, September 2002
  3. ^ a b Ginsberg, Geoff. "Rainbow Long Live Rock 'n' Roll review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  4. ^ Dunn, Sam. "Metal Evolution, Episode 110: Power metal". VH1. Archived from the original on 20 September 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ Ritchie Blackmore Book Review
  6. ^ a b "Rainbow Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Rainbow – Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (album)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Rainbow – Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (album)". Norwegiancharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Rainbow – Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Album – Rainbow, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Top LPs & Tape" (PDF). Billboard. 90 (25): 114. 24 June 1978.
  12. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 29, No. 16, July 15, 1978". Library and Archives Canada. 15 July 1978. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  13. ^ 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 3 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Search for Artist Rainbow". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  15. ^ Secret Voyage @ SPV Archived 25 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ https://metallica.com/songs/34741/ronnie-rising-medley
  17. ^ "Classic Albums from 21 Genres for the 21st Century". Record Collector (245). January 2000. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'n' Roll". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.