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Classic Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Randy Rhoads Tribute
Ozzy Osbourne
Randy Rhoads Tribute

Label: Sony
Year released: 1987
Duration: 73:35
Tracks: 14
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 27, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.88/5 (97.6%) (25 Votes)

Ozzy Osbourne is a name that nowadays reminds people of commercials and reality TV. But during his heydays, he was one of the most prominent and menacing figures in metal. Beginning with Black Sabbath and finishing with his solo career, he always put on a show that fans would appreciate. Recorded during the Diary of a Madman tour, Randy Rhoads Tribute represents the pinnacle of Osbourne’s career. The ingredients of a great live album are here: amazing set list, great atmosphere and unbelievable performance. But I want to analyze these points a little bit more.

First the set list: basically is the entire Blizzard of Ozz album, which is the best of his career, two songs from Diary of a Madman and three Black Sabbath covers. Osbourne nailed this aspect perfectly as I can’t imagine a better representation of his songs at the time. Second, the live atmosphere; sure the sound is maybe too good for a live album, but you can feel the energy prevailing at the concert and that's what I want from a live album. Third the performances: they are legendary in every aspect. Beginning with the Prince of Darkness himself, he has never sounded better than this. True, he doesn’t have the immaculate voice and range of a Halford or Dio, but for what it's worth his delivery and stage presence are outstanding. The rhythm session is great as well; starting with Rudy Sarzo his playing is superb as you can hear his bass very well. This is a rarity for a live album as it highlights his performance as much as possible; for a good example of this listen to "Believer" and "Steal Away (The Night)". The Drumming provided by Tommy Aldridge is very strong as well, although his drum solo is too damned long, he keeps every song tight and doesn’t overdo things too much.

This leads me to the star of the show: Randy Rhoads. Easily the best guitarist that Osbourne has ever had, he delivers a performance worthy of Guitar God status. His playing elevates every song to another plateau making them a massive improvement over the studio versions. Just listen to the guitar solos in "Suicide Solution" and "Children of the Grave" for a sample of this. Fuck, the whole album is a highlight as your jaw will drop when listening to Rhoads shred, easily one of the top 5 guitarists ever.

In conclusion, Randy Rhoads Tribute is in my mind one of the best, if not the best live album ever. As it is executed by extremely skilled musicians, this record is a fitting tribute to Randy Rhoads whose end came way too soon.

More about Ozzy Osbourne...
Review: Bark at the Moon (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Black Rain (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Blizzard of Ozz (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Diary of a Madman (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Down To Earth (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Live and Loud (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Live in Quebec City (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Ordinary Man (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Scream (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Speak of the Devil (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
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