Last updated: 03/24/2012 12:00:00 PM
Right after the split-up of Elf, four members of Elf and ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed band called Rainbow. The name supposedly came from the Rainbow bar located in Los Angeles, where Elf and Ritchie Blackmore used to spend their free time.
This band is also known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, as it appears under that name on their first album, but that name was used only to get people to notice the band. Generally, everyone except Blackmore himself felt bad about the name, so on the later albums the band was called simply Rainbow. The band moved from the East Coast of USA to California, USA.
The band went to the Musicland Studios, in Munich, Germany on February 20th and finished the album recording on March 14th. The album was produced by Ritchie Blackmore, Martin Birch and Ronnie James Dio. The album didn't have any special name, it was just called Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.
After Gruber was fired, it took about a month to find a new bassist for the band. The departure of the original bassist started the original Rainbow's line-up fall-apart
Ritchie Blackmore fired the rest of the Elf remains except Ronnie James Dio in September 1975, because they didn't fulfill his requirements. Blackmore had seen the drummer Cozy Powell on stage at the last Jeff Beck Group concert in 1972 and remembered him at the time he wanted to change Rainbow's drummer. After getting him in the band, the band kept on searching for a new keyboardist.
After several changes in the band during a relatively short time, the band started touring in November 1975. On this tour the band had only a couple of dates in North America and then went to record a new album. There is some confusion about the first Rainbow show - some claim it was in Heampsted, NY, USA, others claim it was in Montreal, Canada. The Canada date seems to be the correct one. Supposedly band called Argent was supporting them.
The band stayed the same for quite a long time, especially when it is compared to Rainbow's first couple months. They toured in USA, Europe, Japan and Australia. Their stage show featured a huge computer operated rainbow, which supposedly caused lots of problems as it couldn't fit in many concert halls and it broke up every now and then. On their Canadian tour in 1976 Max Webster's band warmed them up, other warming up artists are not known.
One track Rainbow had already on their second album, appeared almost twenty years later in 1995 in a movie called SFW, although the movie's soundtrack doesn't feature it. About 30 seconds of it gets played in the movie itself, and it appeared also on commercials and trailers of the movie.
The band went into the Le Chateau Studio in Paris in May 1977, but couldn't finish the forthcoming album. Firings of those two members, Tony Carey and Matt Clark, caused the recordings to be postponed in to the future.
After finding a new keyboardist, Rainbow finished their forthcoming album and did a tour in Japan before releasing it. After touring, Ritchie Blackmore moved the band from California back to East Coast, more exactly to New York. The band started to write the forthcoming album, already titled as Down To Earth. At this time, Bob Daisley had left the band and got replaced by Roger Glover - the exact dates are unknown.
Ronnie James Dio was asked to leave wizards and witches and medieval times in general out of the album and write more love songs. In the evening of the day Glover joined the band, in November 1978, Ritchie Blackmore decided to fire everyone except Cozy Powell from the band. The reasons behind this are not known for sure, as quite many different stories exist. Ronnie James Dio continued to Black Sabbath, although he considered solo career before joining them.
The most common story tells that Ritchie wanted to change Rainbow's musical direction to more commercial than what it used to be and as the other band members, especially Dio, did not want to do that, he splitted up the band. The reason why Blackmore wanted to commercialize Rainbow was the USA; Rainbow did well, but not extremely well in States and he wanted to change it.
Other stories tell about monetary problems, some ex Rainbow members claim that Blackmore didn't give them their money, or gave too small proportion of the money.