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Desert Island Thursday • Randy Rhoads

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There is no such day as Randy Rhoads Appreciation Thursday, although there damn well should be! I just happen to be listening to the two Rhoadsian-lead Ozzy Osbourne albums, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, and whereas today people will try to downplay the awesomeness that was Randy Rhoads, I call foul. Randy Rhoads’ guitar was an extension of the man himself. One cannot exist without the other. A bold statement to some, but the fact of the matter is this: who would Randy Rhoads have been if not for his guitar? He would probably be alive for one, but would we care? No. Not really. His name would be known to no one because in the realm that is pop culture he simply would not have mattered. Lucky for us, Randy Rhoads did exist for an all too brief period to produce guitar licks that are not only masterful, but timeless in that, when you hear one of his songs, your mind wouldn’t go anywhere else but to Randy.
http://youtu.be/ZcoweoZ6jpM

Randy Rhoads’ guitar was an extension of the man himself. One cannot exist without the other.

There’s been countless music that’s come out since Randy’s last official recording (1981’s Diary) and I’m not even counting Ozzy’s 1987 live album Tribute . Many people have picked up guitars and formed bands, whole new genres of music have been born, so why should we care about a guitarist that was in a band with a madman? That’s easy. Randy Rhoads was such an accomplished guitarist that since his passing, the Ozzman has had 7 different guitarists to fill that hole left by Randy. Do you know what that means? That means 7 guitar players have come and gone since 1982. Now in the grand scheme of things, that’s 31 years and 7 different guitarists to have come and gone doesn’t seem so bad, but the fact remains, Ozzy Osbourne (and this is just my opinion after all) has never been as good as he was with his first two initial solo releases. Sure there have been in those 31 years a spattering of singles that have been issued off of his releases over the years, but if you’re an Ozzy Osbourne fan and you happen to be reading this now, tell me, which was the last Ozzy Osbourne album that you’ve been able to tolerate listening to all the way through to the end? Go on. I’m waiting…..EXACTLY! The 1987 Tribute album. And why? Randy fuckin’ Rhoads, that’s why. Randy Rhoads made Ozzy better and Ozzy knows this.

…which was the last Ozzy Osbourne album that you’ve been able to tolerate listening to all the way through to the end? Go on. I’m waiting…..EXACTLY! The 1987 Tribute album. And why? Randy fuckin’ Rhoads, that’s why.

There is nothing new that you’re going to read about Randy Rhoads here, I promise you. Everything that could have possibly been said, has at this point been said to death (no pun intended), and as you’ve all surely read over and over again through the years, Randy wanted to leave Osbourne and venture off on his own to create his own mind blowing music. Sadly, that was not to be. On March 19, 1982 Randy left this world when he tragically died in a plane crash that was piloted by the band’s coke fueled bus driver. The world wept, Ozzy continued the Diary tour days later. Ozzy Osbourne has since become a parody of himself (i.e: In 2002, Ozzy and his family were featured in their very own reality TV show, MTV’s The Osbournes) and although I feel that Ozzy genuinely loved Randy Rhoads at one point, and I’m sure still does but it’s been 31 years. I have to ask, and this is only my opinion of course, but at what point does the love and loss stop being genuine and start being profiteering? But then again, I could be wrong, but then again, am I?

As for Randy Rhoads, he’s gone but not forgotten. As long as there are websites dedicated to his memory, Ozzy Osbourne re-issued albums (see: Diary Of A Madman Legacy Edition. The 2nd disc features live cuts from The Blizzard Of Ozz tour), and lest we forget, from 1973 to 1979, Randy Rhoads was the lead guitarist for Quiet Riot, so you could also pick up Quiet Riot: The Randy Rhoads Years, but really, unless you’re that much of a Randy Rhoads fan, just youtube the entire album. It’s really not worth your hard earned cash. Nope. The record company released that hunk of trash to what folks? That’s right. Make money off the bones of Randy Rhoads. Randy Rhoads left us a small catalog to remember him by, but what he did leave behind is worth a listen or a million. He was a legend in his own time, a legend in death, quite simply a Legend with a capital ‘L’, so feel free to throw on any of the Randy Rhoads-led Ozzy albums and air guitar with me, won’t you?

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