Finyl Vinyl

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Ritchie Blackmore decided to pull the plug on Rainbow following the supporting tour for 1983's Bent Out of Shape. To commemorate the end of the band, he released the appropriately-titled, Finyl Vinyl. A double-record set of live recordings and a handful of studio outtakes, primarily culled from the Joe Lynn Turner era but also featuring selections with Ronnie James Dio and Graham Bonnet, Finyl Vinyl offers a haphazard alternate history designed for hardcore fans (by 1986, that's pretty much all Blackmore had left). For those fans, the album is actually quite a treat. Rainbow always sounded better on stage than they did on the studio -- rawer, harder, alive -- and songs that sounded half-baked in the studio, such as selections from Difficult to Cure, sound right here. That's not to say that it's a perfect album -- the outtakes are interesting, but not particularly remarkable, the sequencing doesn't make sense and Blackmore's classical pretentions become even harder to stomach when married with a full-fledged orchestra -- but it rocks harder and more convincingly than many latter-day Rainbow releases. That doesn't mean that it's preferable to the studio albums, but for the devoted, it's a welcome addition to the band's canon and it's a nice way to close a career.

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