Hard-rock was in a transitional phase, punk was taking no prisoners, tastes were shifting, new metal bands were emerging.
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow was in flux too, and session cat / ex-Jeff Beck Group bassist Clive Chaman was in consideration for a new line-up. Eventually ex-Purple bassist / producer Roger Glover assumed the position – however his master stroke was to bring veteran short haired shouter Graham Bonnet into the fold for Down to Earth (1979).
Though the material is average at best; Blackmore, Don Airey, Cozy Powell, Glover, and Bonnett knock it out of the park. Roger works the pocket with his usual expertise and oft doubles Ritchie’s prog-rockish riffage - pity this band couldn’t pull it together and hire a decent album illustrator, and habersdasher!