Rainbow (also known as Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow or Blackmore’s Rainbow) is a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 to 1984, from 1993 to 1997, and from 2015 to the present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio’s American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single “Since You Been Gone”. Over the years Rainbow went through many line-up changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. Other lead singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White would follow, and the project consisted of numerous backing musicians. A pioneer to power metal, the band’s early work primarily featured mystical lyrics with a neoclassical metal style, but went in a more streamlined, commercial direction following Dio’s departure from the group.
Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million records worldwide, with 820,000 copies in the UK.
- Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1975)
- Rising (1976)
- Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (1978)
- Down to Earth (1979)
- Difficult to Cure (1981)
- Straight Between the Eyes (1982)
- Bent Out of Shape (1983)
- Stranger in Us All (1995)