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 Post subject: Article - Ozzy and Randy fly high (2 Tribute reviews)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:10 pm 
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Ozzy & Randy Fly Again
"Tribute" review by Joseph Bosso
Source: Guitar World June 1987

Posthumous releases, or so-called "commemorative" re-issues, often smack so much of grave-robbing hidden under a guise of phony respect that the best advice a record-buyer could heed is to stick with the original work and dig what the artist intended. Tribute, credited to Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads, is altogether different. Coming as it does five years after Rhoads' tragic death, the album's stark title is heartfelt, believable and sobering. Not what you'd normally expect from Mr. Osbourne. Little information was readily available on the double-lp at press time, other than an advance cassette of three sides worth of unmixed material. Even during a recent interview for this issue, Osbourne himself couldn't specify the exact time and location of the live concert's recording, other than the fact that it occurred in late 1981. That matter aside, it is certain that a lot was riding on young Randy Rhoads' shoulders at the time. He was already being touted as "The Next Big Thing" in various guitar circles, and with good reason - plays his heart out'! Listening to Tribute is a bitter, sweet thrill; for once, you can actually believe that all the hype was true, that Randy was that good; of course, the shame of it all is the sweeping realization that he's no longer here, and that he could have taken himself, and the guitar, further indeed. It's been said that Randy relied quite heavily on double- and triple-tracking his solos in the studio. One listen to his unadulterated playing on Tribute is evidence enough that all Rhoads ever needed to utilize was his bare hands and raw talent. The set begins with a sizzling rendition of "I Don't Know," during which Randy peels off the kind of squeals and mind-warping runs that were, in their day, on the very cutting edge of guitar playing. Dexterity aside, what sets Rhoads apart from other fast-fretters (then and now) is the very large issue of emotion. The man felt every note he played. It's funny how, in retrospect, "Crazy Train" and "Flying High Again" seem almost like hard-pop gems now; but Randy probably didn't have a name for the music he was making, he just played it, and Tribute is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration for the young guitarist. Picking a particular cut is almost useless, because the man burns through every single one of them, but if one number stands apart from the rest, "Mr. Crowley," with its "Dark Shadows" chord progressions, majestic trills, and grand-scale runs, is the topper. Randy Rhoads made the material come alive. If Tribute has a weak spot, it's the senseless inclusion of the drum solo, a showmanship device I had hoped we were long-since past. Yes, I know it gives the rest of the band a chance to freshen up backstage, but do we really need it on a record intended for home listening, and especially one issued to highlight Randy? Drum solos aside, Tribute, deserves the attention and respect of guitarists and music fans alike. We'll never get another Randy Rhoads, so all we can really do is listen to what we did get in the brief time he was here. Thanks, Oz.

Ozzy and Randy Rhoads: a live LP?
Source: Circus - April 1986

It's no secret that somewhere in the dark recesses of Ozzy Osbourne's private tape collection lies a complete live album that features his royal Ozzness and one-time protégé Randy Rhoads. What the legion of the world's rivetheads want to know is when it will be released. Don't hold your breath, Ozzy is in no hurry. "I'm sure they will be released some day," hints the elusive screamer. "But I can't really say when. I'd guess it has a lot to do with public demand. I wouldn't let the record company release them when we [originally] intended to; it was too soon after Randy's death and I couldn't think of anything more morbid. Quite frankly, the quality of those tapes isn't the greatest, either. When the tapes are eventually released, I'd like to see that justice is done to Randy's playing. I'd hate to have his last recording sound like it was recorded in a garage."

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