Sound — 9
Rainbow was an early metal band that formed in the mid '70s after Ritchie Blackmore had enough of Deep Purple (for the time being). Looking at the rest of the bands of the time period, there was nothing that came close to matching what Rainbow had. Legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio got his start here and this is his last album with Rainbow before going on to replace Ozzy in Sabbath. It's also the last album before the Man in Black decided Rainbow would become more commercialized, which is not really appreciated by most fans though some respect the switch. I myself don't like the following albums nearly as much as the first 3, but they are still worth a spin or 2. Onto the songs, the album starts out with the title track, Long Live Rock N Roll. Good riff in this song, fun to play, and the whole track is just extremely solid. Great song to open with. Lady of the Lake and LA Connection follow. Both these songs are quite decent, but neither of the 2 really stand out anything special to me. The next 2 songs, in my opinion, make this album what it is. Gates of Babylon kind of has an eastern theme kind of thing going on, solid riff throughout the song, wicked solo section, it's got everything. So does Kill the King, IMO with an even better riff. I really like Dio in this song as well. Again, the album drops just slightly with The Shed (Subtle) and Senstive to Light, but then comes the drum-less ballad Rainbow Eyes, one of the softest, most beatifully sung ballads I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Dio puts on this soft falsetto-y voice that works well with Blackmore's arpeggios behind it, and the whole song just slowly takes you on this unexplainable journey, must be experienced to realize it.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics on this album, mostly written by RJD. After this album Blackmore told Dio to stop with the "Dungeons And Dragons" (as some like to put it) and write about other stuff. This is one of the reasons Dio left after this album. Most of the lyrics are fantasy based, as is the resulting power metal genre influenced by Rainbow. The lyrics can sometimes get annoying or comedic, but it goes with the music, and Dio's amazing vocalist skills more than make up for any shabby lyrical sections.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is probably the 2nd best album Rainbow put out. In my mind, the best will always be Rising. Title track, Gates Of Babylon, Kill the King and Rainbow Eyes are the highlights of the album for me, the last song just amazingly beatiful, behond comprehension. I see no reason why any lover of hard rock/'70s metal or even anyone would not want to get such an underrated, overlooked album from the of the best guitar/vocal combinations of all time. Get this album now. And while you're at it, get Rising. You will regret you've wasted the previous years of your life with Rainbow. I know I did.