He may have resurrected Rainbow, but Ritchie Blackmore is still dedicated to Blackmore's Night, the Renaissance-styled group he leads with his wife, Candice Night.
The group has announced a Friday (August 11) release for To The Moon And Back: 20 Years And Beyond..., a two-CD compilation featuring material from the group's 10 studio albums, including re-recorded versions of four songs and three new tracks -- including a version of Rainbow's "I Surrender" and "Ghost Of John," which features vocals by Blackmore and Night's six-year-old daughter, August.
In a statement, Blackmore and Night call the collection a "musical journey down memory lane. From 'Shadow Of The Moon'...our first release...throughout brand new 2017 versions of old favorites and a new surprise song. Twenty years of memorable music and beyond."
Blackmore tells us that Blackmore's Night has given him the freedom to expand his music beyond the standard conventions of rock:
"I just like the audacity that we can approach anything we want to. We're not locked into a box unlike the old days where that would be talked down. People say, 'We're not gonna play 'I Got You Babe.' that just doesn't work in a hard rock band,' so in those days it was very limiting got play certain songs. But in this band we can do anything we want, which kind of puzzles a lot of people. They think, 'What are they, a renaissance band? A pop band? A folk band? No, we like to be everything."
Most recently, however, Blackmore has been concentrating on his return to rock with Rainbow, including some shows and the release of two new songs earlier this year. He hasn't announced plans for either group currently.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.