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The best Rainbow vocalist according to Ritchie Blackmore

Ritchie Blackmore


The best Rainbow vocalist according to Ritchie Blackmore

Rainbow was formed in 1975 by the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore after he decided to leave Deep Purple. The band became one of the most influential Hard Rock groups from the late 70s and early 80s. It had a heavier era with Ronnie James Dio during the first 3 studio albums and then the group changed to a more commercial Rock and Roll approach with the singers Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White.


Over the decades Blackmore talked about all the singers that the group had and revealed which one he thinks it was the best they ever had.

The best Rainbow vocalist according to Ritchie Blackmore

Talking with Classic Rock in 1995, the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore recalled Rainbow’s legacy and talked about Joe Lynn Turner that in his opinion was the best vocalist Rainbow ever had. “Joe was the best singer we had in Rainbow, without a doubt. Him singing things like: ‘Can’t Let You Go’, ‘Street Of Dreams’, he was brilliant. On his ballads no one could touch him. (So) he was the voice I was looking for.”

“(Then) when we broke up and I had to do the Purple thing, I shouldn’t have really done that. But I did it because it was basically easy money. The money was dangled in front of me and I thought, well, the Rainbow thing’s going well but, shit, okay.”

“Gillan came along and talked us into it. I thought we’d do maybe one LP. But then it got to be more than one. But looking back, I probably should have stayed with Rainbow, because Joe was singing really well.”

“He pissed me off on stage because he was like Judy Garland, I could not stop his little twee movements. ‘Joe! Don’t do that crap!’ I threatened him backstage at Leeds. I grabbed him and said: ‘If you do any more of those pansy movements I’m gonna fucking nail you!” Ritchie Blackmore said.

For Blackmore, the best Rainbow line-up was the one with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals

Joe Lynn Turner was Rainbow’s vocalist from 1980 to 1984 and recorded with the group three successful studio albums: “Difficult To Cure” (1981), Straight Between The Eyes” (1982) and “Bent Out Of Shape” (1983).

In an interview for the documentary “Ritchie Blackmore Story” (2015), the Rainbow founder and guitarist chose the song from the band that he considered the best.

(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “I think I wrote with Joe. One of my favorite tunes which is ‘Street Of Dreams’. That to me was the ultimate Rainbow song. I love that song. Come on the jukebox and I go: ‘I’m proud of that’.”

“Because it was exactly where I wanted to go. The fact that I could kind of write something that was poppy was something new for me. I like that groove. I just don’t wanna play ‘Crash, crash, crash’ for the sake of it. (So) I’ve got a hear a melody, (the) melody was always at the bottom of, for me muscially, where I was going,” Ritchie Blackmore said.

The song was written by Blackmore and Turner and it was of Rainbow’s biggest hits. It peaked at number 52 at the UK Singles chart. Also number 60 at the US Billboard Hot 100. After Rainbow came to an end in the early 80s when Blackmore reunited with Deep Purple, Joe Lynn Turner started his solo career and recorded with artists like Yngwie Malmsteen. Curiously, he joined Deep Purple in 1989, making the album “Slaves and Masters” (1990). But in 1992 he left the band and the classic vocalist Ian Gillan returned.

Blackmore’s favorite Rainbow line-ups

Since Rainbow was formed int he mid-70s, the band had more than 10 line-ups that are loved by most part of the fans. Even though Blackmore thinks Joe Lynn Turner was the best vocalist Rainbow had, he also thinks that the line-up that had Ronnie James Dio was also one of the best.

In an interview with The Quietus, he said: “I liked right in the beginning, with Ronnie Dio and myself for the first year. I also liked the American era [in the 1980s] of songs like ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘Street of Dreams’. Around the Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll era [in 1978], it was getting very tense,” Ritchie Blackmore said.

With Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Rainbow released three studio albums. They are: “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow” (1975), “Rising” (1976) and “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1978). In 1979 the singer joined Black Sabbath before creating his own band Dio in 1983.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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