Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” — the original version, from Ozzy’s 1980 solo debut album, Blizzard Of Ozz — is just about as close to perfection as rock music can get. And the version on Tribute — the 1987 live album dedicated to Ozzy’s guitarist and songwriting partner Randy Rhoads, who died in 1982 — actually might improve upon the original by like 5% … but that might be sentiment talking. Later this year, UDR Music will release Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute, featuring a bunch of different musicians covering songs co-penned by Rhoads — songs originally recorded with either Ozzy or Rhoads’ pre-Ozzy group, Quiet Riot — and they entrusted the catalog’s crown jewel, “Crazy Train,” to a pretty unlikely one-off “supergroup”: guitarist Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine) and vocalist Serj Tankian (of System Of A Down) alongside an era-appropriate rhythm section featuring bassist Rudy Sarzo (who played with Rhoads in both Quiet Riot and Ozzy’s band) and drummer Vinny Appice (who actually played with Black Sabbath after Ozzy’s departure from that band, during the Dio period). The updated version is a weird one: For the most part, it’s deeply faithful to the source material, except for the generous infusion of signature tics and tricks from both Morello and Tankian. Of course it’s inferior to the original, but it’s hard to be overly critical when you read this quote from Morello to Rolling Stone re: his abiding love for Randy Rhoads:
Randy Rhoads is my favorite guitar player of all time. It was his poster on my wall when I was practicing eight hours a day, and I named my firstborn son, Rhoads, after him.
That is literally the HIGHEST praise, coming from a guy whose own poster has been on a lot of young guitarists’ walls. Check out their version, and below that, listen to Ozzy and Randy burning it the fuck down in ’82.
(Via Rolling Stone)
Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute is out 3/3 via UDR.