Listen: New music from re-formed Rainbow

Ritchie Blackmore’s latest incarnation of Rainbow have released their first two songs in more than 20 years.

One is a cover of Edward Elgar’s 1902 composition “Pomp and Circumstance March Number-One,” the instrumental played at most graduation ceremonies. Blackmore and Rainbow have titled their version “Land of Hope and Glory.”

The second song is a re-recording of their 1981 song “I Surrender,” which was written by Russ Ballard, this time with new singer Ronnie Romero. The ’81 version featured Joe Lynn Turner, who last year voiced his displeasure with Blackmore for not including him in the new lineup.

Preview both songs below.

Now that Ritchie Blackmore has returned to playing rock music with a new version of Rainbow, he says he would be open to reuniting with Deep Purple.

Speaking to the Guardian, the guitarist says he “bears no malice” to his former bandmates, but admits that a reunion is “probably not probable.”

Purple, especially singer Ian Gillan, has made no secret about his lack of desire to bring Blackmore back. In the same Guardian article, Blackmore says he tries “not to have fun. I work very hard at not having fun…”I just don’t fit into the ‘fun’ area. A lot of musicians go: ‘Oh, that was fun.’ Well, I like to think that music is very serious, and it’s not fun. I’m not one of these guys that likes jamming with people and having fun; music is too serious, and I don’t feel like I can relate if I’m having fun. It’s hard work and it’s really gratifying to do, but fun? Fun is something where someone tells a joke and they laugh for 10 seconds. Music’s much deeper than that.”

Blackmore quit Purple for the last time in 1993. His new version of Rainbow has a handful of UK dates in June.