Despite its fame and impressive sales, Down To Earth is perhaps the most divisive record in Rainbow’s catalogue. Ritchie Blackmore’s single-minded pursuit of mainstream success paid off commercially, but the replacement of Ronnie James Dio with the controversially (at the time) short-haired Graham Bonnet – an interesting parallel with David Coverdale’s replacing of Ian Gillan in Deep Purple a few years earlier – marked a significant move away from the band’s preoccupation with fantasy imagery and themes.
The album is a strong one though. The likes of All Night Long, Lost In Hollywood and, of course, Since You’ve Been Gone will always have a place on classic rock radio. The bonus disc is at times fascinating but definitely has a narrower appeal – mainly to obsessive Rainbow fans. Two B-sides from the singles appear on Disc One, so the second disc mainly consists of instrumental outtakes or different recordings of album tracks – very interesting for the light they cast on the album’s genesis, but hardly essential. The Cozy Powell mix of All Night Long (louder drums) completes a set that’s for aficionados only.