Jimmy Bain, a Scottish bass player who was right in the thick of the entire hard rock/heavy metal scene of the 1970s and 80s, collaborating in an early version of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and with Ronnie James Dio‘s 1980s lineup, has died at the age of 68 of undisclosed causes, although some reports have stated that Bain had been suffering from pneumonia the last few months.
Alcatrazz was designed to be a vehicle for showcasing former Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet. Instead it ended up being famous for being a springboard for some of shred guitar’s biggest superstars. The band’s first guitarist was a 19-year-old Swedish upstart by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen. With the support of MTV, who played both singles from the band’s 1983 debut album No Parole From Rock N Roll in fairly heavy rotation, Malmsteen would become a superstar and forever revolutionize what it meant to be a guitar hero. Unfortunately, Malmsteen and Bonnet did not see eye to eye for very long and the guitarist would exit the band before the end of the first album’s tour cycle. He would go on to form his own band, Rising Force, and within the span of a year record two of the greatest neo-classical heavy metal guitar records to ever exist.
Rising, the bone crunching, sonic molten lava of a record by Rainbow, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00, as part of Amazon’s massive Browse over 2000 albums on sale this month for only MP3 Album Sale (2,000 albums for only $5 each).
This album, the second by the hard rock/heavy metal quintet, is arguably one of their best. Comprised of ex-Deep Purple pyrotechnical wizard on the guitar and man in black Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Carey on keyboards, the taut bang your head against the wall rhythm section of Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell on bass and drums respectively, and the late, champion of the high notes vocally Ronnie James Dio, Rising is an album which is a cornerstone and A-list achievement of the entire heavy metal spectrum. Starting off with “Tarot Woman,” the record has a kind of second generational Deep Purple feel to it, and colored by a lot of the hard sounds of that era (the mid 1970s), but those soaring vocals of Dio make Rainbow a band all its own.
Today is the celebration of the birthday of the late Ronnie James Dio, the heavy metal and hard rock singer and songwriter who carved his own niche in those aforementioned genres to become a figure as beloved as Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) or Rob Halford (Judas Priest). But in many ways, Dio’s sound, fan base, versatility, flawless vocals, which metaphorically could move mountains with its rich high and low registers, makes him stand alone as arguably the greatest heavy metal front man of all time.
He was born Ronald James Padavona on July 10th, 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Italian parents. Music ran through his veins early on in his life, learning brass instruments first such as the trumpet and French horn.
From Fandango to Purple, from Rainbow to Yngwie – the king of AOR lead vocalists Joe Lynn Turner has done it all. But he never chooses the easy route.
I grabbed the great man for an extensive chat about projects past and present including his time spent with notorious guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow and Deep Purple, his history with current blues master Joe Bonamassa, and “˜crazy’ six-string virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen.
Tuner’s most recent album, Emotional Fire, with his Sunstorm project has been on the receiving end of some extremely positive reviews. This seemed like a good place to start.
Geeks of Doom: First of all, you’ve had so much great feedback for the Emotional Fire album you must be really pleased.
Joe Lynn Turner: Well not only am I pleased, I’m very surprised. I’d like to preface this by saying I didn’t have any chance to put any of my old material on it. Usually [on albums with] Sunstorm I’ve got three to five songs on it of old material that has never been recorded. I was in Turkey at the time for like a month down in Antalya and I had no hard drive with me, I just had this little mini computer so I told Serafino [Perugino, album executive producer] “˜I really can’t get to any of my material.’…He went around in search of material [and] came up with the two Michael Bolton’s and the Cher [songs], which I sang backgrounds on [originally], God only knows how long ago that was.