In June 2016, legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore made many long-held dreams come true for his fans as RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW played three concerts in Europe, two in Germany and one in England. The two German shows at Loreley and Bietigheim were caught on camera to produce "Memories In Rock - Live In Germany", which was released via Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD+2CD, Blu-ray+2CD, and digital formats on November 18. A deluxe version (DVD, Blu-ray and 2CD in a 48-page hardback photobook), along with a 3LP version (180-gram vinyl), will be available as an import on December 2.
This film captures the long-awaited return to rock music for Ritchie Blackmore. The setlist, combining classic tracks from both DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW, was exactly what the fans had wished for. Filmed in high definition, this jaw-dropping set includes "Catch The Rainbow", "Mistreated", "Since You Been Gone", "Black Night", "Spotlight Kid", "Smoke On The Water", "Stargazer", "Perfect Strangers", and more! As a bonus all formats (barring the 3LP) also boast a quartet of tracks recorded on an alternative night: "Spotlight Kid", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Long Live Rock ‘N' Roll", and "Stargazer".
The band line-up for this incredible show featured Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Ronnie Romero (vocals); David Keith (drums); Bob Nouveau (bass); Jens Johansson (keyboards); Candice Night (backing vocals); Lady Lynn (backing vocals).
"Memories In Rock - Live In Germany" track listing:
CD Disc 1
01. Highway Star
02. Spotlight Kid
04. 16th Century Greensleeves
05. Since You Been Gone
06. Man On The Silver Mountain
07. Catch The Rainbow
08. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven's Ninth)
09. Perfect Strangers
CD Disc 2
11. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
12. Child In Time / Woman From Tokyo
13. Black Night
14. Smoke On The Water
Performance clips of "Spotlight Kid" and "Black Night", taken from "Memories In Rock - Live In Germany", can be seen below.
Blackmore spoke to the Dutch radio station Radio Veronica about what made him decide to play the recent RAINBOW comeback shows. He said: "Besides money, I heard the [new RAINBOW] singer, Ronnie [Romero, who is originally from Chile but now settled in Madrid, Spain], singing on YouTube. Candy [Ritchie's wife, Candice Night] had played it to me. She said, 'What to do you think of this guy?' And I don't go on the computer very much; I'm too old for that stuff. And Candy is often going on YouTube or whatever, and she said, 'He's singing some of your old songs, the RAINBOW songs.' And I heard them, and I went, 'Wow! This guy is really good. He's exciting.' And there had been some talk about reforming RAINBOW with David Coverdale and a few others — Glenn Hughes… Although they are friends of mine, I wasn't urgently involved in it. I was hesitating for probably a good part of a year before I kind of decided I wasn't gonna do it — until I heard this singer. As soon as I heard the singer, he had such a good voice, so much vitality, and that excited me. I thought, 'Wow! He's singing all the old songs, but he's doing it so well — old hard rock.' It was exciting to hear."
Asked if he enjoyed the three RAINBOW comeback shows so far, Ritchie said: "I enjoyed especially the last one in England. The first two were a little bit intense, because we hadn't played together… we hadn't done a lot of rehearsing, so the first two shows were a bit hectic and chaotic. But the last one in Birmingham was… obviously, we'd played two shows at that point, and that seemed to work, to me. And it was great to see all the old people… I mean, it was so weird how… I think it was twenty thousand people… It sold out in fifteen minutes. And I kind of wondered who they thought was playing, 'cause when I got to the auditorium, it was so vast that I thought, 'Maybe somebody else is playing this show tonight.'"
Regarding whether it was difficult for him to put together a setlist for the first three RAINBOW comeback shows, Ritchie said: "No. [It was] very easy, in a way. We had about fifteen songs that were very obvious songs to play, like 'Catch The Rainbow'. And we incorporated a few DEEP PURPLE songs — 'Black Night', 'Smoke [On The Water]', 'Highway Star' — of which some of the fans said, 'Why did you do those DEEP PURPLE songs?' And I would say, 'Why not?' And they said, 'Well, we thought it was just gonna be RAINBOW. We would prefer to hear [more] RAINBOW songs.' Which I thought was kind of ironic again. I'm thinking, 'Wow! We just threw three songs in by DEEP PURPLE when they wanted more [RAINBOW].' And I noticed when they clapped, they weren't clapping so hard for DEEP PURPLE [songs]. They said, 'We hear that every year,' 'cause [the current lineup of] PURPLE goes around [on tour]. So the next time, if we go out and we do anything, I would do probably ninety-five percent RAINBOW songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."