Randy Rhoads Remembered CD review

There is simply no denying the impact guitarist Randy Rhoads has had on music as we know it, best known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot, Rhoads’ musical journey started at the age of 16 when he formed a band that would go on to become Quiet Riot. Rhoads was thrust into the world spotlight in 1979 when he was announced as the new guitarist for singer Ozzy Osbourne’s debut solo album Blizzard of Oz, after his acrimonious split with Black Sabbath. A lover of classical music, Rhoads’ impact can still be felt today and the number of guitarist who site him as an influence or regard him as a God among mortal men is as infinite as his talent. Rhoads’ life was tragically cut short in a plane crash in 1982, but his legend and music will live on forever in the hearts of his many loyal fans. To this day his legacy is one of the most respected in music history, which is why UDR Music is releasing Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute. The album was produced by Bob Kulick at his home studio and features a veritable who’s who of guest musicians including Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali, Chuck Billy, George Lynch, Vinny Appice and Doug Aldrich just to name a few. The album gets off to a little bit of a rocky start with Tom Morello, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice and Serj Tankian”s version of “Crazy Train” that somehow goes off the rails indeed, but is quickly redeemed and put back on track by Tim “Ripper” Owens, Rudy Sarzos, Jon Donais and Frankie Banali’s stunning take on “Over The Mountain.” Elsewhere, “Mr. Crowley” sticks very close to the original, but at the same time is somehow so much heavier, perhaps it is Chuck Billy’s rumbling vocals that give it that extra degree of power. While Rudy Sarzo, Brad Gillis, Brett Chassen and Tim Owens stunning rendition of “Suicide Solution” flashes back to Gillis and Sarzo’s Speak of the Devil performance with Ozzy in 82’ after Rhoads’ untimely passing. Other highlights include “I Don’t Know” and “Believer” as well as blistering versions of the Quiet Riot classics “Killer Girls” and “Back To the Coast,” which is brilliantly recreated and brought to life with the help of Rhoads’ brother Kelle. Meanwhile “S.A.T.O.” finds “Ripper” digging deep into his innermost Ozzy, to become one of the finest selections on the album, closing the album out in a way that would have made Randy proud. Here’s the bottom line. While these songs have been beautifully redone for your listening pleasure, Randy’s raw talent and spirit will never be duplicated. Long may the king reign. Rating: 8 out of 10 -Eric Hunker