On This Day (January 19)…Weiss Heim in the Studio

Rainbow recorded “Weiss Heim” on this day in 1980 at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Rainbow were at this time on their Down to Earth Tour, supporting the album of the same name. They had had a concert the night before in Stockholm, and would perform in Copenhagen the day after.

The main tune from “Weiss Heim” apparently came from guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, and the whole song was written in a couple of hours by the group. The title also came from Blackmore, who had been calling his home on Long Island by the name. In English, “weiss heim” means White Home. The song is entirely instrumental, mostly consisting of guitar-keyboard interplay, with a very minimal drum track.

At the end of the piece, keyboardist Don Airey adds in a classical quote: a portion of the Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria”. During his first tour with Deep Purple, Airey brought the same quote back as a flourish on “Woman From Tokyo”; it would become a standard addition to the song when he performed it live with the group.

Rainbow released “Weiss Heim” as a B-side for “All Night Long” a few weeks later. To my knowledge, the group never performed the song live. Don Airey has performed it live in solo shows, however.

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