Portraits of Rainbow – The Dio Years book is a photographic celebration of Ritchie Blackmore’s supergroup, formed in 1975 by the guitarist as he left Deep Purple and recruited four members of the band Elf, including singer Ronnie James Dio. However, the band really took off when Blackmore recruited Cozy Powell, Jimmy Bain and Tony Carey and recorded the seminal album “Rising” in 1976. Sounds writer Geoff Barton remembers: “I marvelled at the fist-thunderin’ maelstrom depicted on the cover, a pulse-poundin’ paintin’ by Ken (Kiss, Manowar) Kelly. I also offered the following description of the album’s musical content: THERMO-NUCLEAR ROCK’N’ROLL!”
Rainbow were underway and although this less commercial variant of the band that went on to conquer the rock world in the 1980s was relatively short-lived it remains, for most fans, the definitive sound and image of Rainbow with the combination of Blackmore, Dio and Powell creating a powerful, progressive rock band. It all came to an end in 1979 when Ritchie decided to take the band in a new, more commercial direction.
The book features hundreds of classic and unseen, carefully restored, black and white images of Rainbow at play and playing live at a series of stunning, unforgettable shows. Wendy Dio has also supplied a range of personal, candid shots from this time. Legendary writer and journalist Geoff Barton has written an introductory text based on his professional experience with Ritchie and the band in the 1970s.
The book is 230mm square, case-bound, 240 pages, printed on luxury 170gsm matt-coated paper. The book comes with a fold out poster and is presented in a black slipcase with a gold foil logo. The main edition comes in 666 numbered copies and sells for £55 plus shipping.
The first two hundred orders ship with a FREE WHITE STRAT GEEPIN BADGE worth £6.95.
In addition to this, a much larger, ultra-limited Leather and Metal Edition measuring 375mm square and presented in recycled leather and a hand welded aluminium metal slipcase with a screen printed logo in a run of 50 numbered copies. This will sell for £500 and includes a FREE replica of The Pirate Sound T-shirt worn by band members at the time. The books will go on sale on Friday June 23rd at 3pm UK time and will feature a 10% pre-order discount if ordered before July 31st 2023. The books will ship worldwide in September 2023.