8 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rainbow’s final album with frontman Ronnie James Dio is nowhere near as grandiose as Rainbow Rising, but its ferocious attitude reflected impending changes in heavy metal. “Long Live Rock ‘n Roll,” “Kill the King” and “Sensitive to Light” are built on positively skull-crushing riffs. At the time, no other band — except for AC/DC — could match Rainbow’s blistering attack. While Rainbow’s whiplash rhythms had already inspired Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, the boneyard strut of “L.A. Connection” foretells the predominant rhythm of ‘80s hair metal. Long Live Rock ‘n Roll is tighter and tougher than their previous albums, but the band still managed to create some of its grandest songs. “Lady of the Lake” and “Rainbow Eyes” defined the band’s (and metal’s) taste in occultism and medieval reverie, but “Gates of Babylon” is the perfect denouement for the band that basically created the heavy metal epic. Dio exits the song, and Rainbow, with a final immortal proclamation: “The devil is me / And I'm holding the key / To the gates of sweet hell / Babylon!”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rainbow’s final album with frontman Ronnie James Dio is nowhere near as grandiose as Rainbow Rising, but its ferocious attitude reflected impending changes in heavy metal. “Long Live Rock ‘n Roll,” “Kill the King” and “Sensitive to Light” are built on positively skull-crushing riffs. At the time, no other band — except for AC/DC — could match Rainbow’s blistering attack. While Rainbow’s whiplash rhythms had already inspired Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, the boneyard strut of “L.A. Connection” foretells the predominant rhythm of ‘80s hair metal. Long Live Rock ‘n Roll is tighter and tougher than their previous albums, but the band still managed to create some of its grandest songs. “Lady of the Lake” and “Rainbow Eyes” defined the band’s (and metal’s) taste in occultism and medieval reverie, but “Gates of Babylon” is the perfect denouement for the band that basically created the heavy metal epic. Dio exits the song, and Rainbow, with a final immortal proclamation: “The devil is me / And I'm holding the key / To the gates of sweet hell / Babylon!”

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