Jimmy Bain, a Scottish bass player who was right in the thick of the entire hard rock/heavy metal scene of the 1970s and 80s, collaborating in an early version of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and with Ronnie James Dio’s 1980s lineup, has died at the age of 68 of undisclosed causes, although some reports have stated that Bain had been suffering from pneumonia the last few months.
Whether with Rainbow (laying down the bottom end with the late Cozy Powell on drums) or Thin Lizzy’s front man and bass player in his own right, Phil Lynott, or luminaries of the genre like Ronnie James Dio and Gary Moore (who were also with Rainbow and Thin Lizzy respectively), Bain was an integral part of whatever project he was a part of. As much as Ritchie Blackmore’s dazzling guitar and Dio’s majestic vocals brang Rainbow to heights untold in the hard rock/heavy metal genre, the backbeat jackhammer in action of Cozy Powell with the booming low-end high energy of Bain, created a synergistic sound that is still both loved and highly influential to this day.
Bain found even greater success in Dio’s group, formed after both left Rainbow, even co-writing that band’s most well known song “Holy Diver” and “Rainbow in the Dark,” songs that remain highlights of the entire metal scene of the 1980s. Some of his other projects included solo ventures and stints with drummer Vinny Appice, Mike Montgomery, and a band called Wild Horses, which consisted of members from some of the aforementioned bands and of that sonic ilk, and collaborations with Roger Chapman and cult favorite Kate Bush.
His latest project had been on Def Leppard’s “Hysteria on the High Seas Cruise,” performing with his band Last in Line, which included Appice.