Rainbow (also known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow or Blackmore's Rainbow) are a British rock band, formed in 1975 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their self-titled debut album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio. Rainbow recorded two more studio albums with Dio—Rising (1976) and Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1978)—before he left the band to join Black Sabbath in 1979.
Rainbow's early work primarily featured mystical lyrics with a neoclassical metal style, then went in a more pop-rock oriented direction following Dio's departure from the group.Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone" from their fourth studio album Down to Earth. The band continued their success in the early 1980s with their next three albums Difficult to Cure (1981), Straight Between the Eyes (1982) and Bent Out of Shape (1983). After breaking up in 1984, Blackmore reformed Rainbow in 1993 with a new lineup, which recorded their eighth and last studio album to date Stranger in Us All (1995). Blackmore's change in direction, from rock to Renaissance and medieval-influenced music, led to Rainbow's second dissolution in 1997. He revived the band once again in 2015, and they still perform live occasionally.
Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.
Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band have sold over 28 million records worldwide.