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Black Sheep Of The Family by Rainbow
Album: Ritchie Blackmore's RainbowReleased: 1975
In a 1975 radio interview with Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio, Ritchie explained how this came to be recorded. It was suggested, he said, the song was autobiographical because he was the black sheep of the family in Deep Purple - of which he was both a founder member and the time serving lead guitarist. While he was indeed the black sheep of the band, he dismissed this explanation. He got together with Dio - who at that time was with Elf - to record it as a single, and it turned out so well they needed a B Side, but when the B Side was recorded, it turned out to be even better. This led to them recording an album, and to the formation of Rainbow.
In fact, "Black Sheep Of The Family" also known simply as "Black Sheep" was written by Steve Hammond, and was recorded originally by Quatermass. Whether or not it is autobiographical, many families have one. It was never released as a single by Rainbow, although the B Side was originally intended to be "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves". Running to 3 minutes 22 seconds, it was recorded along with the rest of the album at Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany - in Blackmore's favourite country - although the concept dates to December 1974 in Tampa Bay, Florida.