One of my recent finds in a Baltimore record store was Rainbow’s 1983 release Bent Out of Shape. If you are not familiar with Bent Out of Shape, this is the last Rainbow CD to feature Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, and Roger Glover on bass. This disc produced a couple of the band’s bigger songs, “Street of Dreams” and “Can’t Let You Go”. The initial release only came out on LP and cassette, and was released on CD years later. I have never seen this CD in any of my local stores before, so I was pretty excited to find this disc while in Maryland for the M3 Rock festival. “Street of Dreams” has been one of my favorite Rainbow songs for years. I have had the song on The Very Best of Rainbow CD, for a while, but never had the original release with the song until now.
“Can’t Let You Go” is another killer tune, with its creepy 70′s horror movie pipe organ intro. The album intro “Stranded” is another notable track, with a superb vocal from Joe Lynn Turner.
“Fool For the Night” sounds a lot like a Loverboy tune. I don’t know if Ritchie Blackmore was taking a smoke break when this song was recorded. The guitar work could have easily have been a session player for most of this one. There is a brief guitar solo which is pretty cool, but over all the guitar work blends so much with the keyboards that it sounds more like an 80′s pop/rock tune. This one isn’t one of my favorites, but it is an ok tune.
After hearing “Fire Dance” I wondered if the band was pissed about having to do “Fool For the Night”. On “Fire Dance” it seems that everyone cuts loose. David Rosenthal is no slouch on the keyboards. His playing is superb on “Fire Dance”. Roger Glover shows why his is one of the bass players in the business, and Blackmore’s guitar work is pure magic. I absolutely love this song.
Rainbow gives Joe Lynn Turner a break with the instrumental song “Anybody There”. This is another unappreciated gem that needs to be heard at maximum volume.
I guess it is a sign of the times when Bent Out of Shape was released. “Desperate Heart” kind of sounds like a Survivor tune. Joe Lynn Turner is such an amazing singer, he can an average song, and turn into something great, which he does here. This song sounds like Rainbow as trying to find some mainstream appeal on the radio, but it didn’t work out for them. It is too bad, this song had some potential.
“Street of Dreams” is easily one of the best Rainbow songs ever. This song is as close to perfection as it gets. It is absolute classic! (Check it out in the video below!).
“Drinking With the Devil” should have been another big song for Rainbow. This is a fast tempo rocker that sees Blackmore strut his stuff. I wish I could have seen Rainbow perform this live. This is such a fun tune.
“Snowman” is another instrumental. I must admit, I am not a big fan of instrumental tracks, and two on a ten track CD seems a little excessive to me. Bent Out of Shape could have used another rocker, instead of this song. The CD does end in fine fashion with rockin’ album closer “Make Your Move”.
Although Bent Out of Shape, isn’t the best disc in the Rainbow catalog, the outstanding vocals of Joe Lynn Turner alone make this a disc worth seeking out. “Street of Dreams” is worth the price of admission in my opinion. Chances are you won’t find this in a retail store, but you can get it dirt cheap at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Can’t Let You Go
3. Fool for the Night
4. Fire Dance
5. Anybody There
6. Desperate Heart
7. Street of Dreams
8. Drinking With the Devil
10. Make Your Move
Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
Roger Glover – Bass, Percussion
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals
David Rosenthal – Keyboards
Chuck Burgi – Drums