Rainbow – Down to Earth, 1979

Down to Earth is the fourth studio album by Rainbow. It is the last album to feature drummer Cozy Powell and the only album with vocalist Graham Bonnet. By 1978 Ritchie Blackmore had dismissed Bob Daisley and David Stone soon after Ronnie James Dio quit the band. Blackmore recruited former Deep Purple band mate Roger Glover as the producer.

The album opens up with the pop-rock track, “All Night Long”. This really sets the theme for most of the songs that follows. It’s a groovy “love” song with a great hook that I find myself revisiting the most on this album. We’re then given the “experimental” track “Eyes of the World”, which has a very interesting solo(sounds nothing like Blackmore) that leads right into a synth solo. Much like his trade offs with Jon Lord of Deep Purple. Following this is “No Time To Lose”. This sounds like it belongs on a movie soundtrack and quite possibly the weakest effort on here. The vocal harmonies are great and it has a riff reminiscent of other Blackmore works. “Makin’ Love” starts off with acoustic guitar with a nice classical guitar lick before becoming straight rock, which is quite disappointing. For the most part a good song that doesn’t sound to far off from what Bad Company were putting out.

side b,

This side opens with their first hit single “Since You’ve Been song kicks off with a nice “pop” riff which welcomes the powerful vocals of Bonnet. It’s a shame the other tracks aren’t as great as this one, because I can have this on repeat. Features one of Blackmore’s most interesting solos, more melodic than his usual rapid fired licks. “Love’s No Friend” instrumentally is the only track reminiscent of the previous Rainbow albums. This is another one that sounds similar to what Bad Company was putting out. “Danger Zone” is a good rock piece. No different than anything else here, so it doesn’t really stand out. “Lost in Hollywood” kicks off with Powell’s heavy drumming and a nice uptempo guitar riff. Great vocals by Bonnet but the vocals leave something to be desired. This has another guitar lead that turns to synth and right back to Blackmore’s guitar soloing. Cozy Powell hammering drums in the back really carry this track.

The production of this album is quite better than the previous three. If you’re a fan of Bad Company, Free, and Whitesnake then this album should be in your collection. It’s great but not quite up to par with what they were doing with Dio. If you were expecting the medieval-fantasy theme the previous albums set I’d probably skip this. Despite that it is a great band effort with no bad song.

Recommend tracks: “All Night Long, “Eyes of the World”, “Makin’ Love”, “Since You’ve Been Gone”, and “Lost in Hollywood”.

Tracks:

1. “All Night Long” 3:53

2. “Eyes of the World” 6:42

3. “No Time to Lose” 3:45

4. “Makin’ Love” 4:38

side b,

5. “Since You’ve Been Gone” 3:25

6. “Love’s No Friend” 4:55

7. “Danger Zone” 4:31

8. “Lost in Hollywood” 4:51

Rating: 8/10

Genres: Hard Rock, Pop Rock, Power Metal

Personnel:
Graham Bonnet – vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Don Airey- keyboards
Roger Glover – bass
Cozy Powell – drums

Run Time: 36:05

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