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Boston vs. Rainbow – Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame, Round One

The newest Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame battle finds a pair of guitar gods in Tom Scholz and Ritchie Blackmore squaring off, as Boston and Rainbow battle for this 100 percent fan-voted honor.

Every month, our readers decide which of eight legendary artists or bands will be honored for their contributions to the genre. Rush defeated Kansas in the most recent competition, after readers helped us select Heart as the grand champions of the first-ever March Riff Madness poll.

Scholz has led Boston since its 17 million-selling 1976 Grammy-winning debut, which remained on the Billboard charts for an astounding 132 weeks. Since then, he’s added fiery licks and sparkling production values to successive Platinum triumphs like 1978’s ‘Don’t Look Back,’ 1986’s ‘Third Stage’ and 1994’s ‘Walk On’ — which, combined, sold another 12 million copies. Brad Delp, the voice of their biggest songs, passed in 2007, but Scholz rebuilt the band for a well-received comeback with 2013’s ‘Life, Love and Hope.’

Blackmore, meanwhile, founded Rainbow after initially splitting with Deep Purple in 1975, and ultimately led the group through stints that lasted through 1984 and then again from 1994-97. Over that period, the group’s sound evolved from hard-edged neoclassicism to more polished pop-rock — a shift personified by Rainbow’s frontmen. Blackmore started with a pre-Black Sabbath Ronnie James Dio, then later collaborated with Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White. Rainbow ended up boasting other Deep Purple connections along the way, with lineups that included Roger Glover and Don Airey.

So who moves onto the semi-finals? You can vote once an hour between now and Sunday, June 15 at 11:59 PM EST. The next inductee into the Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame will be announced on July 1. Be sure to read our official rules.

Next: 38 Special Vs. Tom Petty


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