I absolutely adored this album when I was a teenager and now, at the ripe age of 35, I still like it, though not as much. I think that I may have listened to it a few many times...or maybe I see the silliness behind some of the songs now.
Anyhow, Rainbow's first album with singer JOE LYNN TURNER is still one of their best albums. Rainbow delved back into progressive hard rock on this, especially on cuts like "Maybe Next Time" and the title track.
" I Surrender" gets the album off to a very powerful and upbeat
and slightly poppy start. It's their second cover of a RUSS BALLARD song( artists like RAINBOW, SANTANA and AMERICA all had hitswith RUSS BALLARD songs, tho RUSS himself never did.) I think JOELYNN TURNER sounds terrific on this song and on the entire album!
Nice sad, emotional guitar playing by BLACKMORE on this track.
"Spotlight Kid" is probably my favorite song here! It's a fast paced, heavy metal song with some great lyrics and an amazing instrumental section; BLACKMORE's guitar solo is superb and I really love that little irish jig part( or russian jig, i dunno, george!) Very emotional vocal from TURNER!
"No Release" is a slightly soulful/bluesy hard rock song> I like it!
"Magic" is a progressive pop song, with a very melodic guitar line, which Turner sings along with.
"Maybe Next Time" has BLACKMORE'S saddest ever guitar playing on it; the song is melodic, pretty and depresssing at the same time. BLACKMORE makes his guitar gently weep on this and it will make YOU weep if you don't watch out!
"Cant Happen Here" starts out with a little rock-n-roll guitar lick from BLACKMORE, then the rest of the band joins in and the song turns into another emotional, but heavy prog rock song. This song has another outstanding vocal from TURNER, as does the next track, " Freedom Fighters", which is another highlight ofthis album. "Freedom" is another fast paced hard rocker, with some very intelligent lyrics. I'm not a big fan of the last two songs, "MIDTOWN TUNNEL VISION" and "DIFFICULT TO CURE". I know alot of people think very highly of this last track, but I always found it rather pretenscious( did I spell that word right?)
Other than the last two songs, this is a great progressive hard rock album. I also think RITCHIE BLACKMORE hit his peak as a songwriter AND a guitarist on this. After this album, BLACKMORE seemed to keep borrowing riffs amd licks from earlier DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW songs. He also began to overplay as a soloist after this, at least on the next two RAINBOW albums and the DEEP PURPLE album PERFECT STRANGERS. Many fine songs were still to come, though not THAT many; indeed, my favorite song off the nexttwo RAINBOW albums, SNOWMAN, wasn't even written by BLACKMORE.
I hated RAINBOW'S next album, the very commercial STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES, but DIFFICULT TO CURE is a great album!