Ritchie Blackmore has released the first songs credited to Rainbow in 22 years. You can listen to "I Surrender" (above) and "Land of Hope and Glory" (below).

The former track was originally recorded by Rainbow as the lead track on 1981's Difficult to Cure album. The new version features current band singer Ronnie Romero. "Land of Hope and Glory," an instrumental, reworks a traditional song from more than 100 years ago.

The instrumental, which clocks in at less than three minutes, doesn't sound much like the hard-rock band the guitarist formed in 1975 as a side project from his regular gig with Deep Purple. If anything, the strings-embellished piece sounds more like something from Blackmore's Night, the folk group Blackmore has busied himself with over the past two decades.

Blackmore reformed Rainbow a couple years ago after the band's split in 1997. Their last album was 1995's Stranger in Us All. Last year, the band played its first concerts -- and Blackmore's first rock-related ones -- in years. The shows arrive on DVD and CD on June 9. A week later, the group has a handful of new dates scheduled.

The guitarist was recently asked about getting back together with his other former band, which recently released a new album and is also hitting the road. While relations with other members of Deep Purple haven't been so smooth over the years, Blackmore said he'd consider playing with them again.

Still, fans shouldn't hold their breath. While Blackmore said he “bears no malice” toward his old bandmates, he noted if they asked him to join them for a performance, he "probably" would – but it's "not probable, though.”

After reviving Rainbow, Blackmore said he hadn't planned on any new music by the group, just a few concerts. But these two new tracks hint that a larger project may be on the way.



More From 103.7 The Loon