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OZZY OSBOURNE - Tribute cover
4.56 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews
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Live album · 1987

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. I Don't Know (5:43)
2. Crazy Train (5:22)
3. Believer (5:06)
4. Mr. Crowley (5:54)
5. Flying High Again (4:19)
6. Revelation (Mother Earth) (5:50)
7. Steal Away (The Night) (3:22)
8. Drum Solo (5:04)
9. Suicide Solution (4:50)
10. Guitar Solo (2:49)
11. Iron Man (2:52)
12. Children Of The Grave (5:21)
13. Paranoid (3:04)
14. Goodbye To Romance (5:30)
15. No Bone Movies (4:02)
16. Dee (4:23)

Total Time 73:36


- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Randy Rhoads / guitar
- Rudy Sarzo / bass
- Bob Daisley / bass
- Tommy Aldridge / drums
- Lee Kerslake / drums
- Don Airey / keyboards

About this release

19 March 1987
Epic, CBS

Recorded in 1981.

Thanks to Vehemency, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
OZZY OSBOURNE hit the ground running after leaving Black Sabbath mostly due to his amazing luck of finding the extraordinary talented guitarist Randy Rhoads to join his ranks. Together the two would even share a flat together where they crafted two classic albums in the form of “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman” which would catapult the Madman’s solo career to the ranks of success that he enjoyed with his former band. Rhoads had practically reinvented metal when he formulated a new style of neoclassical metal fusion that built on the classics of Ritchie Blackmore but fused it with the doom metal side of Sabbath’s metal sound along with the pyrotechnic flair of what Eddie Van Halen was famous for. The result was a blueprint for the neoclassical guitar shredding to come as well as the first steps for progressive metal artists to work off of. The duo seemed poised to dominate the entire 80s as nobody could match the songwriting skills and technical wizardry of Rhoads’ virtuosic skills. But that all came to an end on 19 March 1982 when Rhoads died in a senseless plane crash while on the “Diary Of A Madman” tour.

While a live album was planned after the tour was completed, Randy’s sudden death scrapped the whole idea and the project was pushed down the road indefinitely. Because of contractual obligations, OZZY opted to go on a short tour with Brad Gillis of Night Ranger on guitar and cover Black Sabbath songs which resulted in the release of the live album “Speak Of The Devil” (“Talk Of The Devil” in the UK) instead. While the show carried on with a new guitarist Jake E. Lee taking on the impossible task of carrying on in the slot, the project was never scrapped but merely delayed. Finally five years to the day after Randy’s untimely passing, TRIBUTE was released in 1987 in honor of the great talent who left us too soon thus memorializing him for eternity complete with an equal billing on the title credits. The album was comprised of different live performances from different venues, mostly on the “Diary Of A Madman” tour with the lion’s share recorded in Cleveland, Ohio on 11 May 1981 but a few were recorded in other venues and “Goodbye To Romance” and “No Bone Movies” were actually recorded on the “Blizzard Of Ozz” tour and are the only two tracks to feature bassist Bob Paisley and drummer Lee Kerslake.

The album was an instant hit and entered the top 10 on Billboard’s album chart and even saw a re-release of “Crazy Train” as a single. The album features Randy Rhoads strutting his stuff in a live setting and thus proving to the world that he was more than a mere studio hack. After a brief classical intro featuring snippets of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” the album showcases OZZY OSBOURNE’s reign of musical power of the early 80s with Randy Rhoads as the band’s highlight. Rhoads was not only a highly disciplined songwriter and guitar teacher but on TRIBUTE he demonstrates how he painstakingly would rewrite guitar segments that were designed for two guitar as heard on the studio albums and rework them so that he could capture the spirit of both parts woven into one. He also showed his spontaneous improvisation skills as heard on the outstanding extended soloing at the end of “Suicide Solution.” While much of the album very much echoes the authenticity of the solo albums, it’s the small fills and deviations from the norm that offer glimpses into Rhoads’ meticulous compositional skills.

TRIBUTE is one of those rare live albums that actually exceeds the studio albums from where the tracks were taken. The entire band performed extraordinarily well together and made the already strong tracks seem even stronger. The extra touches of improvised soloing and live energy was the icing on the cake. While i’m personally not the biggest fan of most live albums as i find most bands carry out their best work in the studio, TRIBUTE proves that the commanding power duo of OZZY OSBOURNE and Randy Rhoads were creating some of the most influential heavy metal of the era. While this live TRIBUTE album to Randy Rhoads was quite well received, it was the final straw for Jake E. Lee who had already been forced to sell his songwriting contributions away to join the band. After the release of TRIBUTE, Lee would jump ship and OZZY would be back to the drawing board of finding yet another guitarist and would eventually settle on Zakk Wylde. For live TRIBUTE albums, it doesn’t get any better than this solid series of performances that shows OZZY at the top of his game with one of the most deserving of guitarists who truly deserved the overused “god” status. This one is a must for anyone interested in the highlights of live heavy metal action of the early 80s.
Say what you like about Ozzy's treatment of certain other bandmates from the Blizzard of Ozz/Diary of a Madman years - remember the debacle with the 2002 remasters? - but to his credit he's always been extremely respectful of the legacy of Randy Rhoads, the prodigiously talented guitarist whose shredding skills helped his solo career kick off with a bang. It's only appropriate, then, that Ozzy gives equal billing to Randy on the cover of Tribute, the definitive live document of the Blizzard and Diary tours which is assembled with a particular eye to showcasing Randy's abilities.

Those who've listened to Past Lives or Live At Last know that Ozzy was always an energetic and enthusiastic frontman, and that's true on Tribute as well, which sees him and the band investing the song selection - pretty much everything from Blizzard, plus the best tracks from Diary of a Madman and some well-chosen Sabbath classics - with an infectious vitality. The solo tracks are greatly improved in this live context, the extra energy and drive resulting in a heavier and more urgent performance than on the studio albums in question, whilst the band prove themselves more than capable of doing justice to the Sabbath tracks - in particular, Randy's riffing on Children of the Grave give Tony Iommi's performance on the original a run for its money.

It's often said that had he lived Rhodes could have been the next Malmsteen, and whilst we'll never know for sure whether or not that was the case it's certainly true that his performances elevate this album from being a decent Ozzy live set to being a top-flight live metal album. Capping off Suicide Solution with a blisteringly fast solo, Rhodes shows off his technical skills without milking the spotlight too much, delivering a solo which is long enough that you feel you got your money's worth whilst being short enough to avoid becoming redundant or tedious. Key to his talent was, of course, his parallel interest in classical guitar; the album closes with a collection of studio out-takes from the recording of Dee, the short classical guitar instrumental Rhodes provided for Blizzard of Ozz, and whilst it might make repetitive listening for those not particularly interested in behind-the-scenes outtakes and studio chatter it nonetheless provides an intriguing snapshot of the man at work.

Any solo career runs the risk of simply becoming a vehicle for the main artist's ego. Ozzy's certainly not alone in being accused of that, but Tribute is the perfect counterpoint to that - an acknowledgement that there were two key talents in making Ozzy a solo megastar, and unfortunately one of them died far, far too young. It's also a really great live album, and a strong contender for being Ozzy's best solo release; certainly, I'd recommend it over Blizzard of Ozz, since the content of that is presented here in a greatly enhanced form. The band are even able to make Goodbye to Romance sound like it isn't completely sappy and saccharine - now that's what I call talent.
The Best Ozzy Album, The Best Randy Album, Best Live, Maybe Best HM

Virtually every musician goes through a clone phase. Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie, they've all had so many imitators. For awhile, I was a Randy clone. And this album was my textbook. I think I've played every note on this album, most of them during live gigs. This is one of the key heavy metal guitarists, finally recorded at his peak. Finally we get to hear him at full power.

One of the things that really drew me in on this album was Randy's tone. Randy's multitracked guitars on the studio records seemed a bit cheezy to me even in the 80's but here it's just Randy full power on. It's hard to say how much was done post-production, but when this album came out the tone was just huge. The Suicide Solution solo was simply the most amazing thing I'd heard since Eruption. But throughout, Randy is heard just wailing. Despite his small stature and shy personality, on this record Ozzy actually allows the guitars to equal his voice and the result is amazing.

The big classics are here: "Crazy Train," "I Don't Know," and "Mr. Crowley" all just amazing. The studio out-takes from the "Dee" recording are very nice, showing just how delicate a human Randy was but also how meticulous. "Crowley" is probably Randy's masterpiece and here it sounds just great.

My biggest beef with this album is the inclusion of "No Bone Movies" and "Goodbye To Romance" and the exclusion of "Over the Mountain,"S.A.T.O", or "You Can't Kill Rock n' Roll." I'm not sure exactly what the set lists were in those days, but "Over the Mountain" was certainly in there at many points and there are great recordings of this circulating. Of course, it makes the second album a bit more essential.

In any case, this is a metal guitar player guide to how it's done. Absolutely essential.

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  • angel3mil
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