Ozzy Osbourne - Randy Rhoads - Tribute
Epic Records
Heavy Metal!
14 songs (73.10)
Release year: 1987
Epic Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Archive review
If there has been a cultural act in the history of releasing records, this in without question one of them. It has been said that Ozzy had the intention of releasing a live album after the tour supporting Diary Of A Madman had ended, but due to Rhoads´ horrible accident the plans were but on hold for several years. But eventually, five years after Randys death, the live tapes were compiled and released as Tribute, a ongoing testament of excellent heavy metal, the talent of this young player, and simultaneously, one of the greatest live records in history.

As the name predicts and as it should be justified, this disc is all about Randy. As unbelievable as it sounds, Id say Rhoads is an even better player live than in the studio. As Ozzys touring band has always been “single-guitared”, Randy pulled all the complex combinations of riffs, licks, boggling solos and improvised fills he had recorded right then and there, with only the (skilled) backline pumping the beat. And does he ever pull them off. The furious notestorm of a solospot that follows Suicide Solution is absolutely stunning, with one great detail. When Randy soloed, no matter how fast and technical he got, he didn’t lose the memorability, a big factor in good solos to me. As Ozzy once said: “You could actually hum along to his solos”. The mark of a true guitar prodidgy. And God DAMN Randys guitar tone is still so tasty and cutting. My ears split with joy.

Ozzy himself is in fine vocal form on the record and sounds great. All in all Ozzy has been stronger live through the years, be it Sabbath or solo stuff, as he has been able to patch up the limitations that his vocal range has with his larger-than-life persona and showmanship. The setlist is almost pure beauty, as they tear through the entirety of the marvellous Blizzard Of Ozz, and the best cuts off Diary, Flying High Again and Believer. The only addition I would have liked would have been the title track off Diary, and it would have been perfect. If you want to know how great these tunes are, read the corresponding reviews or buy the record. I recommend the latter. And of course, if you were wondering, some “mandatory” Black Sabbath cuts are also included and played marvellously, namely a medley of the classics Iron Man/Children Of The Grave and Paranoid. Randys altered solo in the latter is pure sizzling beauty. My only complaints would be that they didn’t play Iron Man in its entirety and that the audience is a bit low in the mix, which isn’t a good thing for a live record. Touch it up in the studio if you must, dammit, but a live record needs roaring, maniacal crowdchants in my books:)

To wrap up the album is a song of studio out-takes of Randy recording the instrumental Dee for Blizzard. Hes trying out different passages and melodies for it and jokes around with the soundman every here and there, laughing gently. Seems the perfect tribute for a humongous guitar hero, as is this whole disc. If we quoted live albums, this one would score extremely high. Rest in peace, Randy - Your legacy will carry on forever!

Killing Songs :
All of´ Em!
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