The first album I purchased was Deep Purple's Stormbringer this was Blackmores last album with Deep Purple in the 70's. The second Ritchie Blackmore album I purchased was Blackmore's Rainbow, with Dio as the singer.
Since Ritchie Blackmore was the first guitarist I’ve listen to he will be our first featured guitarist
Ritchie Blackmore was a session guitarist in England before co-finding Deep Purple in 1968. He left Deep Purple in 1975 and created his own band Rainbow (formerly Elf). In my opinion I think his lead guitar playing for Rainbow was better than Deep Purple, this was the time that he was playing more in a neo-classical style. He did not have the lighting speed that Malmsteem possesses but was a flashy guitarist. Between him and Uli Roth I consider them the “Godfathers of Neoclassical”. One of his downfalls is not getting along band members, large ego, and numerous changes of line-ups. In 1984 he disbanded Rainbow and to rejoin Deep Purple. I did see Deep Purple in concert in Germany in 1986; during live shows he puts his showmanship ahead of his playing abilities making him at times sloppy. I think the only person that could get away with it while throwing Kung-Fu kicks and spinning his guitar around his back without missing a note is Malmsteem. In 1997 he formed Blackmore’s Night a Rock-Folk band. I have to say his acoustic playing ability really shines with this band.