Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads Tribute – Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums

Artist : Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads
Album : Tribute
Released : March 19, 1987
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Greatest Live Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Records Ever Made ! )

“Why should we waste our time recording a live album of Black Sabbath covers ? We have tons of great original live material already recorded.” That was a statement the late great Randy Rhoads made shortly before his death protesting the album that would eventually become known as “Speak Of The Devil”. By March of 1982, in the last days of his life Randy had pretty much had enough of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Broken promise after broken promise he was just counting the days left in his original contract as Ozzy’s guitarist. Contrary to the story that Ozzy and Sharon tell now the Speak Of The Devil album was not thought of out of the blue over the shock of Randy’s death. Both Ozzy and Sharon wanted revenge on both Black Sabbath, and Sharon’s father Don Arden. Knowing Sabbath was in the process of recording shows for a live album, later to be known as “Live Evil” Sharon came up with the plan to do an all Sabbath covers album to rain on Sabbath’s parade. When Randy learned of this plan he became furious, protesting and refusing to do it.

After being threatened with a lawsuit from Sharon and Ozzy, Randy had no choice but to do the record. Just another reason along with losing the original band name the “Blizzard Of Ozz” being changed to an Ozzy solo album without his consent or permission, to losing his bandmates Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake the same way, to being sick of Ozzy’s constant partying, and lack of trust of Sharon. Randy was ready to go back to school, and study classical music, along with continuing to learn about music theory. All of that would end though on March 19, 1982 when Rhoads tragically died in a plane crash. Ozzy would still end up making the live album Randy protested against with Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis, confusing many fans in the process who expected a live album with Rhoads.

Finally on the sad 5th anniversary of Randy’s death fans got what they had been waiting for. The double live album titled “Tribute” proves exactly why Randy was so against a Sabbath Covers record. Taken from three shows, the majority from Cleveland Ohio on March 11, 1981, and Randy’s incredible solo on the song “Suicide Solution” which was spliced in from the Montreal show on July 28, 1981 with Rudy Sarzo, and Tommy Aldridge. The final two live songs Goodbye To Romance, and No Bone Movies, were taken from a show with the original “Blizzard Of Ozz” band with Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake sometime in 1980. Also included is a studio session of Randy recording the song that became a tribute to his mother the instrumental “Dee”. That alone is worth the price of the record. Listening to both Randy’s musical intelligence, plus his perfectionist style, but also not taking himself too seriously gives us all a small but vital look into Randy’s mind.

This is the record that Randy most likely wanted us to have. Granted, as with most live albums you can always find some things to complain about. The omission of the song “Over The Mountain, and the setlist taken out of sequence would probably be the two biggest complaints. When the album was released in 1987 many fans felt it was the first of many live records featuring Randy to come. Sadly that hasn’t been the case even though there are many good soundboard recordings of shows both of the original Blizzard Of Ozz band, and with Sarzo and Aldridge. Randy’s former bandmate Bob Daisley even has up to four hours of material of Randy’s playing that has never been heard. But as with everything having anything to do with Ozzy it’s become all about control and money. So as fans we just have to wait, which could be a very long one. Thankfully we at least have this excellent example of what Randy sounded like live. A sonic document that’s a “Must Have” for any Metal, Hard Rock, or even Rock And Roll fan to have.

–JV

Track listing

All tracks written by Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley, except where indicated:

Side one

1.”I Don’t Know”
Blizzard of Ozz (1980)

2.”Crazy Train”
Blizzard of Ozz

3.”Believer”
Diary of a Madman(1981)

4.”Mr. Crowley”
Blizzard of Ozz (1980)

Side two

5.”Flying High Again”
Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Lee Kerslake
Diary of a Madman

6.”Revelation (Mother Earth)”
Blizzard of Ozz

7.”Steal Away (The Night)” (with drum solo)
Blizzard of Ozz

Side three

1.”Suicide Solution” (with guitar solo)
Blizzard of Ozz

2.”Iron Man”
Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
Paranoid(1970)

3.”Children of the Grave”
Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward
Master of Reality(1971)

4.”Paranoid”
Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, Ward
Paranoid

Side four

5.”Goodbye to Romance”
Blizzard of Ozz

6.”No Bone Movies”
Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
Blizzard of Ozz

7.”Dee” (Randy Rhoads studio out-takes)

 

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