Blackmore's Night featuring Ritchie Blackmore on guitar & Candice Night on vocals
O.K, was it Deep Purple that was once labeled "world's loudest band," and Ritchie Blackmore its guitarist? Remember those monstrous riffs from "Smoke on the Water," "Black Night," and such metal classics? The same Blackmore has gone as far away as possible from metal and made a totally unexpected, diametrically-opposite move in this album: with his wife-to-be, Candice Night, on vocals, and Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) playing flute on a few tracks, RB has composed some serious Renaissance music for this new effort, Shadow of the Moon. Since RB has been constantly identified by his metal-guitar playing, this album might not be received well by his fans. But if you could set aside that image, you would find this album to be very much listenable and enjoyable.
Almost the entire album is performed on acoustic instruments. (Exceptions: "Writing on the Wall" has a Deep Purple-sque, hot lead guitar/solo. The "real" side of Blackmore surfaces shortly in "Wish You Were Here.") Blackmore soaks up the album with Elizabethan style of music, covering a good range of Renaissance variety, from minstrel to folklore. A consort of trumpet, French horns, cello, viola, and violins adds more grace to the album. Ian Anderson, as usual, is impressive on flute in "Play, Minstrel Play"!
The resulting collection is just about the best you could expect from Ritchie Blackmore! --George Jegadesh
RITCHIE BLACKMORE A MUSICAL HISTORY
1967 - RITCHIE BLACKMORE (4/14/45) - who has previously played with such bands as the Outlaws, Screaming Lord Sutch, and Neil Christian & The Crusaders - is invited by ex-Artwoods/The Flowerpot Men keybordist Jon Lord (who was invited by The Searchers ex-drummer, Chris Curtis) to form a new band. Other musician's would be auditioned from a Melody Maker ad in Deeves Hall in Hertfordshire.
1968- In February, the group would form as Roundabout, consisting of the three (with Chris Curtis on vocals) along with Dave Curtis on bass and Bobby Woodman on drums. After only a month of uncompromising rehearsals, BLACKMORE and LORD would be the only two remaining, bringing in vocalist Rod Evans (formally of the groups M15 and Maze), bassist Nick Simper (ex-Johnny Kidd & the Pirates) and drummer Ian Paice. In April, the band would change its name to DEEP PURPLE, and forego the name Concrete God. Using Vanilla Fudge as its model, the group records an album and is signed to EMI in the United Kingdom and Tetragrammation (Bill Cosby's label) in the United States. A few months later, the band performs its first major UK performance at the Sunbury Festival. In September, the band would release the first single from the album, "Hush", which reaches #4 on the US charts. The album, itself, Shades of Deep Purple, would reach the Top 25. In December, the band would release their rendition of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman" a single which would also experience considerable chart success.
1969 - Early in the year, the band would release The Book to Taliesyn which would feature a revival of Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." In July, the band would release their self-titled album, Deep Purple. Shortly thereafter, their record label would go under and Rod Evans and Nick Simper would both leave the band. They would be replaced by singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, who were both previously members of the group, Episode Six. The two would add a dynamic chemistry to the band, complimenting BLACKMORE, who was quickly rising as one of most omnipotent British lead guitarists around. In September, the band would perform what many believed to be their most adventurous album to date, Concerto For Group And Orchestra, which featured The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1970 - By August, the band's newest album, Deep Purple In Rock, would stay on the UK charts for over a year, and hit #4. To this day, the album remains a landmark of sorts in heavy rock, with Gillan's screeching vocals pitted against BLACKMORE'S fierce guitar playing. Such Deep Purple classics as "Black Night," "Strange Kind of Woman," and " Child in Time" were featured on the album which mainly generated interest in the UK.
1971 - In July, Deep Purple would tour the United States with The Faces. Two months later, the band would release, Fireball, an album that would also go Top 40 in the United States and be their first chart-topping album in the UK. The band would form their own label, Purple (distributed by EMI) in October before heading to Montreux to record. On December 3rd, the band is recording in the Montreux Casino in Switzerland when it burns down during a set by Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. The rest is history, as RITCHIE BLACKMORE and the group immortalize the incident in the song, "Smoke on The Water," which would appear on the bands next album.
1972 - Deep Purple release Machine Head, which would also top the UK charts (and go to #7 in the U.S. charts) and feature such worldwide rock classics as "Smoke on the Water," "Space Truckin'," "Lazy," and "Highway Star." The band - who now had a monstrous live set only second to Led Zeppelin - would remain on the road for 44 weeks of the year mainly in support of Machine Head (as well as a compilation album on Warner Bros. Titled Purple Passages). Twenty five years later, Machine Head is still considered one of rock's all-time greatest albums.
1973 - Made In Japan - an album that would result from live recordings of their summer tour in '72 - is released in January and reaches #6 in the United States. However, prior to its release, it would sell huge quantities as an import. Another album, Who Do You Think We Are, is released virtually simultaneously and reaches #15 in the U.S. charts. In the middle of the year, Gillan and Glover quit the band just prior to "Smoke on the Water" reaching #4 on the singles charts and selling over a million copies. In September, David Coverdale (who would be performing as the vocalist for a band called The Fabuloser Brothers and would later go on to form Whitesnake five years later) and bassist Glenn Hughes (ex-Trapeze) would both answer an ad placed by Purple.
1974 - In March, the band releases Burn, which features the new line-up consisting of Coverdale and Hughes. The change wouldn't affect the band's stride as the album reaches the Top 10 in the U.S. charts. Deep Purple would release another album toward the end of the year titled, Stormbringer, that would make the Top 20. Also in November, an impostor posing as BLACKMORE borrows a Porsche in Iowa City, IA, and wrecks it, having already conned food and shelter from several Deep Purple fans, BLACKMORE is actually with the band in San Francisco. The impostor is arrested and charged with misrepresentation.
1975 - In April, RITCHIE BLACKMORE would depart Deep Purple to form a new band, RAINBOW. He teams up with the core of the American band Elf, which contains Ronnie James Dio on vocals (who along with BLACKMORE, would become one of the main songwriters), Mickey Lee Soule on keyboards, Craig Gruber on bass, and Gary Driscoll on drums. Prior to this formation, BLACKMORE recorded "Black Sheep Of The Family" with Elf (on Purple Records) which had toured as the support band for Deep Purple. In May, the band would record Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany. As the album escalates up the charts (reaching #30 in U.S.), Soule, Gruber, and Driscoll would depart the band, and BLACKMORE would recruit ex-Hariot bassist Jimmy Bain, ex-Blessings keyboardist Tony Carey, and ex-Jeff Beck Group drummer Cozy Powell.
1976 - In July, the band would release their first album with the new line-up, Rainbow Rising. Beginning in August, the band would tour the U.S. , Japan, Europe, and Canada for the remainder of the year.
1977 - Early in the year, ex-Uriah Heep bassist Mark Clarke would replace Jimmy Bain in the group. In May, shortly after the band begins to record a new album Tony Carey and Mark Clarke would depart, and BLACKMORE would concentrate instead on a live album. Their replacements would be David Stone and Bob Daisley, respectively. On Stage - the double-live album that BLACKMORE has been concentrating on - is released. It would feature the line-up of BLACKMORE, Dio, Carey, Bain, and Powell. A single from the album, "Kill The King," would be RAINBOW'S first charting single. Later in the year, the band would begin recording at Paris Studios to complete their third studio album.
1978 - Beginning in January, the band would tour both the U.S. and Japan throughout most of the year. Long Live Rock'n'Roll would be released in May, and enter the Top100. In November, after ten months of touring, BLACKMORE becomes disillusioned with the current line-up, keeping only Cozy Powell in the fold (Dio would become a member of Black Sabbath). A month later, he plays at London's Marquee club with ex-Deep Purple colleague Ian Gillan, and recruits keyboardist Don Alrey to RAINBOW.
1979 - RITCHIE BLACKMORE adds singer Graham Bonnet (who had formerly recorded with The Marbles) and one-time Deep Purple bandmate Roger Glover, completing the line-up. The Glover-produced Down To Earth is released in September, and the first single "Since You've Been Gone" (written by ex-Argent singer Russ Ballard) would reach considerable success before the end of the year.
1980 - In March, a single written by BLACKMORE and Glover, "All Night Long," is released, reaching #5 in the UK charts. In August, the band would headline the first annual Monsters Of Rock festival in Castle Donnington. Powell and Bonnet depart for solo careers shortly thereafter. Vocalist Joe Lynn Turner and drummer Bob Rondinelli would join band. In the mean time, original Deep Purple vocalist puts together a bogus line-up and tours as Deep Purple. BLACKMORE and Glover need to take legal action to preserve credibility of band and keep Evans from using name. Deepest Purple / The Very Best of Deep Purple would be released. Toward the end of the year, a Deep Purple live album, In Concert, would be released featuring tracks recorded between 1970-72.
1981 - In February, RAINBOW would release Difficult To Cure, which would spawn their highest charting UK single to date, "I Surrender," also written by Ballard. Polydor UK recognizes buzz and reissues the band's first hit single, "Kill The King," as well as its parent album, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. In December, the band releases a compilation album, The Best Of Rainbow.
1982 - In April, the band would release Straight Between The Eyes. The first single from the effort, "Stone Cold," goes Top 40, while the album, itself, goes Top 30. The band goes on an extensive world tour (excluding the UK) to promote the album. Deep Purple Live in London - originally recorded for BBC Radio in 1974 - would be released in the UK.
1983 - Bent Out of Shape - which would feature the line-up of BLACKMORE, Glover, Turner, and newest additions, keyboardist Dave Rosenthal and drummer Chuck Burgi (formally of Brand X). The video for the single, "Street of Dreams," would be banned from the newly-formed MTV as it visually demonstrates hypnosis. In October, the band tours UK for the first time since 1981, mostly in support of the recent album. A month later, the album would generate interest in the States, subsequently reaching #34 in the album charts. Despite MTV banning the single, it does well without their exposure.
1984 - RITCHIE BLACKMORE decides to put the band on hold as both he and Roger Glover are approached to join the most successful line-up of Deep Purple (with Gillan on vocals, Lord on keyboards, and Paice on drums). Each of the members are reportedly offered $2 million to re-form, and the band begins a world tour. Prior to the trek, RAINBOW performs its final tour in Japan with its final live show accompanied by a Japanese symphony orchestra. The set includes BLACKMORE'S adaptation of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony." In November, Deep Purple signs to Mercury Records in the States, and releases Perfect Strangers. It would go to #17 on the U.S. charts.
1985 - In January, Deep Purple would release the first single from the album, "Knocking At Your Back Door," following it up with the title track, "Perfect Strangers." In July, a Deep Purple double compilation, The Anthology is released in UK.
1986 - A double compilation album, Finyl Vinyl, is remixed for release by Roger Glover, containing may unheard live tracks by RAINBOW, in addition to scarce tracks previously only on singles B-sides. The release is considered a successful coda to the band's career.
1987 - The Deep Purple album, The House of The Blue Light, is released in February and reaches Top 10 U.K. and Top 40 U.S.. The band tours Europe extensively.
1988 - Nobody's Perfect - recorded live during the band's 1987 tour - is released in July, and Deep Purple would embark on a two-month "Nobody's Perfect " U.S. tour.
1989 - In July, Ian Gillan quits the group citing "musical differences."
1990 - Deep Purple - now compromised of BLACKMORE, Glover, Lord, Paice, and former RAINBOW vocalist, Joe Lynn, Turner - would sign with RCA Records. The resulting album, Slaves & Masters, would be released in November.
1991 - Deep Purple will tour in support of Slaves & Masters, encompassing the United States, S.America, Europe, England, Japan, Greece, Israel, Hungary, and the Pacific Rim.
1992 - Upon RCA Record's request, Ian Gillan replaces Joe Lynn Turner prior to the band entering the studio again. The result is an album called The Battle Rages On, which is produced by Roger Glover and Tom Panunzio.
1993 - Deep Purple - now with Gillan at the helm - tours Europe. In the midst of the tour, BLACKMORE makes it known that he's not pleased with the performance of Gillan thus far, and plans to depart at the end of the European leg. The band would complete the tour in Japan with guitarist Joe Satriani. Once BLACKMORE returned to the States, he would begin recruiting musicians for the formation of RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW.
1994 - BLACKMORE holds auditions for the new incarnation in upstate New York. by the end of the year, the new band would consist of Scottish singer Doogle White (ex-Praying Mantis) on vocals, keyboardist Paul Morris (ex-Doro Pesch), bassist Greg Smith (Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner), drummer John O'Reilly (Ritchie Havens, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) and singer Candice Night ( who would go on to co-write the first single, "Ariel," ) on background vocals.
1995 - The band would begin recording songs earlier in the year, and by September, the new album, Stranger in Us All, would be complete. BMG International releases the album, and within the first week of its availability would sell over 100,000 copies in Japan. This remarkable sales feat would be assisted by Burrn! magazine heralding RITCHIE with no less than seven reader's poll awards. Including "Best Guitarist," "Best Songwriter," "Best Live Show," and "Best Song of the Year" for "Black Masquerade." Similar accolades for RITCHIE would occur in Germany as he's named "Best Guitarist" in a magazine poll. Shortly after the release of Stranger in Us All, the video for the single, "Ariel," would be played heavily on MTV Europe, further promoting album sales. Toward the end of the year, RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW would tour Europe. Chuck Burgi - who originally joined RAINBOW in 1983 - would replace John O' Reilly to tour with RAINBOW as John sustained a soccer injury just after completing the album.
1996 - RAINBOW will play sold-out shows in such locations as Chile, Curittiba, Argentina, and Brazil. After that successful solo tour of South America, the band would perform in front of hundreds of thousands during a European festival tour in support of such bands as ZZ Top, Little Feat, and Deep Blue Something. The largest crowd of the tour would be 40,000 fans. After one of the RAINBOW concerts in Germany, Pat Boone - best known for his white shoes - would call RITCHIE to ask if he'll contribute some guitar work on his upcoming album of metal covers, Pat Boone : In A Metal Mind. Amused and flattered at the same time by the project, RITCHIE provides the guitar licks for Boone's rendition of "Smoke On The Water." In addition to this tribute, RITCHIE records the song "Apache," for the Hank Marvin and The Shadows tribute album. Although destined but not eligible for induction yet, BLACKMORE gets a display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. He also makes "his impression" by being inducted to Rock Walk in Hollywood, California. Devoted fans of BLACKMORE point out that he appears in the blockbuster movie, "Twister" (RITCHIE is performing on TV during one of the tornado chases). In October, BLACKMORE begins to record his acoustic Renaissance album titled, Shadow Of The Moon which will not be a RAINBOW project... Instead, the new band will be called "BLACKMORE'S NIGHT," incorporating the imagery of the two main participants - BLACKMORE and vocalist/lyricist Candice Night. The album will feature four songs taken from authentic Renaissance music, with new lyrics and brought into a more contemporary sound. Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson guests on one of the songs, "Play, Minstrel, Play." In December, BMG Japan records a "making of " documentary video as well as three performance videos for various proposed singles.
1997 - RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW tours the United States in support of Stranger In Us All beginning on February 20th. The Rainbow U.S. tour coincides with the release of the debut BLACKMORE'S NIGHT CD, Shadow Of The Moon, featuring lyricist ad lead singer Candice Night. The album is released in Japan in late April, and would go on to sell an overwhelming 100,000 copies in just a matter of weeks. It would debut at #14 on the Billboard Album Charts in Japan. On May 31, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow would headline the Esbjerg Rock Festival in Denmark, performing to over 30,000 fans. In early June, SHADOW OF THE MOON is released in Europe and would immediately chart. It remained on the charts for 17 weeks in Germany.
July 1997, Deepest Purple goes gold and silver simultaneously in the U.S.
1997 - Ritchie takes his new Blackmore's Night band on his first acoustic/electric SHADOW OF THE MOON TOUR. They play to sold out venues in Japan and Europe.
February 17, 1998 SHADOW OF THE MOON is released in the U.S.
March 1998 - 'NO SECOND CHANCE 'a radio single from Shadow of the Moon is released in Brazil, and spends three weeks at chart position 5 on Brazil Radio.
May 8, 1998 'WISH YOU WERE HERE' the first radio single release
May 1998 Shadow of the Moon is awarded Gold Record status for Japan. In the U.S. from Shadow of the Moon reaches number 1 on the Gavin Up and Coming AC charts.
June 1998 Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore return to the studio for the recording of the next Blackmore's Night album.
September 25, 1998 - Blackmore's Night headlines the International Rock Award Ceremony in Athens, Greece.
September - October 1998 - Blackmore's Night returns to Europe to play in Churches, Synagogues, Castles and Theaters for enchanted evenings of musical concerts.
November 1998 - Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night film a special show for Chrysalis TV in London
December 14-20, 1998 - Blackmore is guest speaker on Kevin Bacon's radio show Guitar Legends
January 1999 - Back to the studio to finish recording Blackmore's Night newest project - "Under A Violet Moon" due for Spring 1999 release.
Spring 1999 - Rhino Records will be releasing the complete Deep Purple box set..