Rainbow, 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' (1978)
Ronnie James Dio is – make that was, unfortunately – such a great singer. I never saw him with Rainbow, but when I saw him with Black Sabbath he was just a natural. It was just like listening to the record. He was that good. And I've been going through a big Ritchie Blackmore renaissance recently. He wrote some great stuff and doesn't get the credit he deserves. I love Rising and "Stargazer," but to me Long Live Rock 'n' Roll has the most bang for your buck, song for song. There's great stuff on there. The shit is just heavy.
There are, like, six or seven songs on there, and the only one I really don't listen to is the last one. So "Kill the King," "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll," "The Shed," "Gates of Babylon" ... Jesus Christ, that's one of the coolest songs ever.
As for Blackmore, I love Deep Purple and I love Rainbow until Dio left and he really started trying to go the pop route with Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner – there are some great songs there, but it's not what I like about Rainbow. I would credit his work in Deep Purple as an influence on thrash. It was hard not to pick a Deep Purple album for this; if I did, I probably would have gone with Machine Head. On "Highway Star," it seemed like Ritchie was more interested in playing faster rhythms than Sabbath. It took Sabbath quite a while to get anywhere remotely fast, I think. I would say that happened probably in the Dio era with like "Neon Knights" and stuff like that; that's thrashy to me, but Blackmore was way before that. And we covered "Highway Star." That's probably the only one historically we did at most shows, 'cause it's a great song.
But in that context of picking a Blackmore album, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, to me, has the most good songs on it.