Monsters Of Rock: Live At Downingtown 1980 (CD + DVD)
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2016
Review by David Bowling
Ritchie Blackmore has had three distinct periods to his career. First he was the lead guitarist for Deep Purple, which made him a member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Since 1997, he has found peace and happiness as part of the renaissance rock outfit Blackmore’s Night with partner Candace Night. In between he was the lead guitarist extraordinaire and front man for his own band Rainbow, with one pit stop when he reunited with Deep Purple for a short time.
During its existence Rainbow went through a number of personnel changes. When they performed at Donington, August 16, 1980, Blackmore was joined by vocalist Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey, bassist Roger Glover, and drummer Cozy Powell.
Vocalist Bonnet was only with the band for a short time and was in the unenviable position of replacing Ronnie James Dio. The rest of the band, in retrospect, is more like a hard rock all-star band.
The music from their Donington performance has been around in bits and pieces for a number of years. Now all the available music and footage from the concert has been issued as a CD + DVD set under the title Monsters Of Rock: Live At Donington 1980. This is the first time the concert has been released as a full length CD. The DVD is shorter, which probably means there is video footage that is lost.
Blackmore steals the show as he has rarely played better, which is quite a statement. The solos contained in “Catch The Rainbow” and “Stargazer” are rediscovered classics.
The concert is a combination of the band’s songs of the day, two covers including their hit “Since You Been Gone” and a surprisingly creative “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” plus a couple of Rainbow staples, including a crunching “Ling Live Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
Live At Donington: 1980 fills a hole in the Rainbow legacy with a document of a short-lived line-up. A nice addition for fans of the band, Blackmore, and Deep Purple.