This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  Clash of titans. Clash of styles. DIO vs. JLT. Gothic/Neo-Classical hard rock vs. slick and radio friendly stuff. Do we have a winner? Well... since we all decided to have a go at Ritchie Blackmore's post-Deep Purple project and band. We do have's opinion and result. Originally formed in early 75 by the guitarist and from the ashes of U.S. band ELF, who supported Purple in 74. On the first three albums, the voice of Ronnie James Dio (RIP) shined like all the colours of the... ehem... Rainbow? .

The Dio fronted line-up lasted for approx: 42 months. Looking back in the restrospective view, merely a footnote in the long and vast history of hard rock and metal. However, they managed to cut some excellent tracks and especially Rising from 1976 is something that every serious collector should have in their collection. Blackmore sacked each and every or rather all band members between the years of 75 to 78' with the exception of Cozy Powell and Dio (both gone by 1979 though). The latter actually quit for Black Sabbath and another short stint with a class(ic) act. The post Dio years (1979-84) took a more commerical turn and produced several radio hits such as Since You Been Gone. First up to bat behind the mic, ex-Marbles singer Graham Bonnett (the one album: Down To Earth, 1979).

After the riot at Wembley-80, when Blackmore's notorious mood led him to believe that the crowd was not worthy of an encore, it was time for another rethink. Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Fandango) spent time as lead vocalist for the final vinyl years (81-84). The 1983 album, Bent Out Of Shape, the strongest of the JLT fronted efforts and in my opinion a very underrated album. The AOR/FM sound had little in common with early material and sounds more like the natural predecessor to the Deep Rainbow... ehh, Deep Purple album, "Slaves and Masters". Rainbow folded in 84 as Blackmore and Gillan decided to reform Deep Purple. The brief mid-90's reunion feat. Doogie White, not the best of timing or material for that matter. Any chance for a brand new Rainbow album? Here's the Big 10 for now...

10. I Surrender
9. Stone Cold
8. Man On The Silver Mountain
7. Stranded
6. Kill The King

5. Desperate Heart
The Rock vs. disco beat of the song, the kitchy keyboard sound, the lame thunder effect, it's more than enough to have hard rock/metal fans running for/to the hills. To be honest. I can't start to explain why it's such a winner in my books? I believe it's strongly connected to childhood memories and that's a force stronger than most music factors. Classy solo and just a catchy tune with bits and pieces of everything in the mix. It's Bent Out Of Shape...

4. Gates Of Babylon
"Look away from the sea. I can take you anywhere. Spend a vision with me. A chase with the wind". Excellent neo-classical work from the album Long Live Rock N Roll (1978) including a mystical sound (almost Egyptian?), the bavarian string ensemble, and stunning guitar work, the devil will take you away on a roller coaster ride to Babylon. Yngwie J Malmsteen continued to build on the sound with several albums of the 80s.

3. Can't Let You Go
The 'welcome to our Church' intro by Rosenthal, kicks off a song perfectly suited to Joe Lynn Turner's (at least at the time) flawless vocal abilities. Ready and able to hit all those high notes with ease, it's the (soft) hard rock soprano at his prime. Fans of this should immediately check out JLT's first solo album (Rescue You - 1985) since it's shock full with similar tracks and numbers. And I can't let you go even though it's over...

2. Stargazer
"All eyes see the figure of the Wizard. As he climbs to the top of the world. No sound, as he falls instead of rising". Epic track that clocks in at +8 minute. Replace Wizard with Rainbow and you have the story of the band. Atmospheric keyboards by Tony Carey. Demonic vocals by Dio. And on top of everything, the Neo-classical work by Blackmore. Dark, heavy, yet melodic hard rock.

1. Street Of Dreams
Tell me have you always been on the Street of Dreams? Will we ever meet again my friend? Do you remember me? Elegant, sophisticated, pop rock or just too polished? Heavily inspired by Foreigner and their massive success of "4", Blackmore & Co. gave it all in their search for gold on the other side of the pond. Catchy AOR with dut-dut keyboards that sadly never quite managed to hit home over there (USA). MTV decided to not play the video as they thought of it as R-rated or whatever? I don't know? The first song I ever heard with the band and it's still a winner...

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. Man On The Silver Mountain
9. All Night Long
8. Spotlight Kid
7. Bring On The Night
6. Stranded
5. Since You Been Gone
4. Stone Cold
3. Street Of Dreams
2. Can't Let You Go
1. I Surrender

Martien Koolen:

10. I Surrender
9. Man On The Silver Mountain
8. Since You Been Gone
7. Starstruck
6. All Night Long
5. Long Live Rock And Roll
4. Kill The King
3. Catch The Rainbow
2. Gates Of Babylon
1. Stargazer

Alan Holloway:

10. Street Of Dreams
9. Long Live Rock & Roll
8. A Light In The Black
7. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Kill The King
5. Stone Cold
4. Lost In Hollywood
3. Difficult To Cure (live)
2. Hall of The Mountain King
1. Stargazer


(c) 2015 RockUnited.Com



9. Since You Been Gone
8. Man On The Silver Mountain
7. I Surrender
6. Stone Cold
5. Can't Let You Go
4 .Gates Of Babylon
3. Kill The King
2. Street Of Dreams
1. Stargazer