HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Rainbow - Live In Munich 1977
(Eagle Vision)

Red alert - Rainbow on fire, as the crack lineup of Ritchie, Ronnie, Cozy, Bob Daisley and the disappearing David Stone level Germany in promotion of the On Stage live album, issued a few months previous. As well, the band were in the throes of working up Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, so that title track is here, along with a show-exploding 'Kill The King'. The two hour concert is expertly shot for the day, more than adequate sound, Ronnie looking relaxed in a fringed white "chemise" and hippie jeans, a traditional grip Powell predicting the NWOBHM with his studded wristbands, the big lit-up Rainbow doing things I didn't know it could do. Highlight is a show-closing 'Do You Close Your Eyes', played very fast and groovy. Onto the bonuses, and the best is actually a chunk of tree, a reproduction of the detailed, text-, photo- and advertisement-rich tour program. Then there's ample documentation through the smart liners of Simon Robinson in a separate six panel booklet. Back to the vid, unfortunately the three promo videos are mere live run-throughs, i.e. no silly storyboards with swords. The interview segments with Bob Daisley and all-seeing tour manager Colin Hart (previously with Purple) provide a wealth of background, and they're entertaining to watch as well, 'cos they are interspersed with live and memorabilia shots... bloody good stuff if you're a fan. Nice package all told, but to reiterate, the show is king, these guys sparking with Zeppelin-like chemistry o'er songs set to sprawl and stun and solo as was expected from a grand band in this grandest of rock eras.
Rating 7.5

Black Label Society - The European Invasion Doom Troopin' Live
(Eagle Vision)

Oh man, these songs sound so much heavier and groovier live. I mean, if he'd a' played 'Stoned And Drunk' and then left the stage stoned and drunk, I'd be a happy Parisian or resident of London, the two types of Chapter members at the shows comprising disc one. Zakk begins with his polka-dot randy Rhoads guitar, moving on to his bullseye, all the while drinking those lined-up beers, while his band shoves these AiC-weighty songs down our throats. The sound roars and rumbles, and all manner of interest-keeping film tricks are used, but not to the point of any distraction. Paris is 16 tracks, with the London material adding four more, all repeats. The real fun, of course, comes with the backstage and on the road footage, including working out at home with Hendrix, a Swedish ferry trip, knocking over monitors, throwing guitars, a revealing look at the map, buying booze and wieners, trying Plopp, Craig being hungover, Zakk soloing in a Munich dressing room, Zakk telling London about Dime, Nick channeling Dime for 'Stranglehold', all the while Zakk quipping about the chaos. And all of it is well segued, spiffy graphics everywhere, not a dull moment... one big malt-sipping society, even in London, which seems weird for such an American band, but hey, it's spread like an infection.
Rating 8

Hard Reviews Page 4