Monday, May 21, 2007


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This is the cover of Rainbow's Rising which was the band's second album and it came out in 1976. It was done by Ken Kelly who has also done covers for KISS, Manowar and he has done a lot of fantasy book covers. Fantasy and heavy metal have always gone together. I think this album makes good use of colors, perspectives and the background. I have it on vinyl, CD and cassette and have spent quite a bit of time staring at all of the detail contained in this picture. Rainbow's debut also had a fantasy cover as well. Interesting that as the band became more AOR/mainstream rock their covers would no longer have the same fantasy elements that the earlier ones had.


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I'm not a particular fan of the fantasy themes, but I like this one, because the bright cartoonish rainbow is so anti-rock while the music is some of the better hard rock ever made.

May 20, 2007 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

The covers alright and has become something of a classic but that's mainly down to what's in the grooves.

One of the finest examples of quality hard rock music - quite fantastic and right up my street!!!


May 20, 2007 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

I was so stoked when Amulet told me you guys had started doing a blog like this. I used to LOVE the snippets I'd get from The Record Room! GREAT idea...I'll be around more...

May 21, 2007 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

bob-It's also very fitting for the 70's. In the 80's it may have been more a dime a dozen.

rock of ages-The music is great too, but the cover pulled me in first.

curare-Hope you enjoy the blog. Our plan is to update it three times a week so keep stopping by.

May 22, 2007 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I think this was the best of the Rianbow covers!

-- david

May 22, 2007 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, I always wondered why the covers grew more stale as the albums progressed (or degressed, upon your view). This one's a heavy metal classic for sound and visual. Ken Kelly is probably the closest thing to Boris Vallejo, though the Hildebrandts can't be discounted either

May 22, 2007 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

And Curare, good to see ya...someone give David a referral pittance!

May 22, 2007 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Without doubt a 5/5 album and this cover is absolutely the dogs danglies. How is it anti-rock Bob? I see the fist holding the Rainbow as something powerful, which the music certainly is. You have to remember this was 1976, way before demons and devils infiltrated metal. My favourite album cover of all time and the best album by a long way that Ritchie Blackmore made outside of Deep Purple!

March 28, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early in his career Ken Kelly was an apprentice to Frank Frazetta, his style has a definite Frazetta look. One of the reasons that after Gene Simmons couldn't great Frazetta to sign over rights to a painting, they went with Kelly to do the Destroyer cover.

- Mike E.

May 16, 2008 at 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Darran Messem said...

As an artist, my view is that this painting is genius, both in concept and execution. Does anyone know where the original is now?

October 10, 2008 at 4:26 AM  
Anonymous IamStone said...

Dio always said the first Rainbow album was his favorite...probably cause most of the ELF band played on it...But Rainbow only was the best line up of the band...but...Rocketed Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore into the anals of history...NeoClassical was Ritchie Blackmore...even Malmstein acknowledges the cover me there is none any better..not only is it a concept of a Rainbow Rising but being held down at the same have the man on the cliff wittnessing this and adapted from the first album cover the castle...Imagine what Rainbow could have done if Ritchie Blackmore stuck with Dio...Bob Daisly who played on Long Live Rock n Roll...Tony Carey...and Cozy (RIP) would have stuck it out cause he liked what was going on till Ritchie sold out and did the song Since You Been Gone...Just think..what Dio did with Sabbath...Daisly wrote almost every song for Ozzy...Cozy hot damn drummer..and Tony Carey had some minor sucsess with Planet P and his solo career...Ritchie really blew it being a butthead...

December 16, 2008 at 6:55 AM  

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