Volume 2 of Connoisseur Collection's 2 part series on Ritchie Blackmore's overall career. Where Volume 1 focused largely on Blackmore's '60s sessions and his Purple work from 1968 to 1974, Volume 2 is more of a grab bag which has a lot of variety. Originally intended mostly to cover the period from 1975 (Rainbow's formation) onwards, it actually covers from 1965 to 1984 with several memorable pit-stops in between. This great CD is bolstered by great liner notes and great pictures, including some magazine covers quite rare to find anywhere else. Anyone remotely interested in the heights to which Blackmore can reach will be rewarded here.
It's a long way from the simple and rather forgotten days of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's early dabbling in English skiffle to belting out some of the most memorable leads and riffs in hard rock. This well-researched collection traces the roots of a young "Man In Black" fingering the fretboard to nothing sounding that spectacularly different from his peers in the beginning to smoking the rest of the pack while fronting the multi-million-selling Deep Purple. Unearthed are four previously unreleased Deep Purple tracks, lost treasures that are worth the price alone, particularly the earliest recorded live version of "Highway Star," still in its infancy before being solidified in the studio on Machine Head.