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Culprit Rainbow
Title Since You've Been Gone
Year 1979
Written by Russ Ballard
Submitted by Siegfried Baboon

A pub rock classic all the way from its solid opening riff to the fade-out solo, taking in an epic gear change along the way. Sure, the song needs a short sharp shock to recover from the rather weedy middle section and get back into some serious ROCK – but isn't this a bit over the top? The vocalist (who I assume is Graham Bonnet) certainly seems to think so, and audibly groans as if he's been punched in the stomach. It doesn't recover much after the gear change, either: some of the unnecessary "diminished-style" chords during the final repeats of the chorus are equally sick-inducing.

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Related stuff

Although made famous by Rainbow (or technically, "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow"), this is in fact a cover version of the original by Russ Ballard, of Argent fame. Needless to say, I was very familiar with Rainbow's version before I heard Russ Ballard's, and I cannot describe my shock at hearing the opening chords played on an instrument which is not a guitar. In fact, the original version is just wrong. It sounds like the sick love-child of Supertramp and Paul McCartney, and is a classic case of someone not knowing how to realise the potential of their own song. (File alongside "Without You" by Badfinger, "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince and "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton.) I find it so extraordinary that I've included it here for your listening pleasure, if you've not encountered if before, even though it doesn't contain a truck driver's gear change. In fact, if you're used to the Rainbow version, the very absence of the gear change is humorously anticlimactic.