As a guy who used to play the infamous Dungeons & Dragons board game, the album Rising by (Ritchie Blackmore’s) Rainbow was a huge inspiration, both musically and lyrically. This was the first time that I ever heard Ronnie James Dio sing, and it was exciting hearing that powerful voice singing about all these medieval themes. From the opening of Tarot Woman which faded up from silence to this crushing riff from Blackmore and bombastic drums courtesy of Cozy Powell, Dio made his imprint in a big way. Blackmore had left Deep Purple to form this band the previous year and it was a bold move to exit one of the biggest groups in the world to play with some unknown band from Georgia (Elf). After the first album, the rest of Elf were fired and a new band was assembled around Blackmore and Dio. Aside from Powell, who had played with Jeff Beck, Rainbow now included bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboards were handled by Tony Carey. Blackmore’s gamble worked well, as Rainbow became a major contender due to their great live shows. Rising only had 6 songs on it, but they were all hard rocking classics, full of fire and brimstone. The album holds up quite well, and has impressive cover art, which always helps!
Written By Braddon S. Williams