Back In June 2016 legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore made many long held dreams come true for his fans as Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow played three concerts in Europe, two in Germany and one in England. The two German shows at Loreley and Bietigheim were recorded to produce this live double cd “Memories In Rock”.
I was lucky enough to be at the Birmingham gig and it was indeed a magical moment.
Many doubts and accusations had been thrown around in the build up to these gigs, Joe Lynn Turner shouted the loudest about how he should be the singer, and not some unknown, Blackmore however stuck to his guns and delivered a blinding set with relatively unknown singer Ronnie Romero, maybe Blackmore just wanted the easy life.
The band (Ritchie Blackmore on Guitar; Ronnie Romero on Vocals; David Keith on Drums; Bob Nouveau on Bass; Jens Johansson on Keyboards; and Candice Night and Lady Lynn on Backing Vocals ) open with the classic ‘Highway Star’, a thumping way to start any set, never my favourite track ‘Spotlight Kid’ follows before the mighty ‘Mistreated’ gets an airing, many online forums had wrote Ronnie off from even attempting to sing this Coverdale era Deep Purple classic, yet Ronnie James Dio did a more than admirable job, so I wasn’t sure were all this hate was coming from, after all the doubters hadn’t even heard him sing it, yet.
Needless to say he does an exceedingly good job, as he does with the rest of the set list. However good the rest of the band where on that short tour, there was only one man people had come to see, Ritchie.
Ritchie’s playing on this cd is captured beautifully, especially during ‘16th Century Greensleeves’ and ‘Catch The Rainbow’ where he plays a more subtle solo rather than go for speed.
The magic continues as we are treated to ‘Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and the Graham Bonnet era ‘Since You Been Gone’ and the top 50 uk smash hit ‘Perfect Strangers’.
The biggest cheer of the night so far, goes rightfully so to Stargazer, simply one of the best rock songs ever, it is a spellbinding piece of music, and while Ronnie Romero does sing his heart out, you can’t help but wish Ronnie James Dio was up on that stage with Ritchie.
A ‘Child In Time / Woman From Tokyo’ medley keeps things ticking along nicely before the concert is drawn to a close with ‘Black Night’ and the song with THE most famous riff in history, ‘Smoke On The Water’.
This double cd also contains four tracks recorded on an alternative night: Namely: Spotlight Kid, Man On The Silver Mountain, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll and Stargazer. There are subtle differences in Ritchie’s playing, as always, during the solos of these songs, but they are hard to pick out.
All in all a superb reminder of just how great these gigs where.
(CD Disc 1) 1) Highway Star 2) Spotlight Kid 3) Mistreated 4) 16th Century Greensleeves 5) Since You Been Gone 6) Man On The Silver Mountain 7) Catch The Rainbow 8) Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth) 9) Perfect Strangers 10) Stargazer (CD Disc 2) 11) Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll 12) Child In Time / Woman From Tokyo 13) Black Night 14) Smoke On The Water
Some people said that the time would never come, but “Memories In Rock – Live In Germany” is the tangible proof! The band played superbly and Ritchie Blackmore proved that he remains one of the finest guitarists of all time.
Check out & share promo track “Black Night”.