Under The Influence #77: Empyreal Sorrow on “Tribute To Randy Rhoads” by Ozzy Osbourne!

Released on 19th March 1987, five years after the tragic death of Randy Rhoads in a plane crash in Florida, “Tribute” is a live album that celebrates the life of the Ozzy Osbourne guitarist who was in the band between 1979 and 1982, writing “Blizzard of Ozz” in 1981 and the follow up “Diary of a Madman“. While his work in previous band Quiet Riot had been considered not note worthy by some critics, his neo-classical guitar work on the pair of Ozzy Osbourne albums were the polar opposite with both Guitar World and Rolling Stone Magazine giving high praise for “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” in particular. The album itself was recorded in Cleveland Ohio on 11th May 1981 with the extended solo that appears mid may through “Suicide Solution” replaced by one recorded at Théâtre Saint-Denis in Montreal on 28 July 1981, in what has to go down as an early example of how Pro Tools would go on to work.

Empyreal Sorrow comment: “When it comes to the question of influence for a musician it’s often about the obvious – bands that sound similar to the music you are playing yourself. But for me it’s more – it’s about the attitude towards music. And when I think about attitude there is one man coming to my mind instantly – Ozzy Osbourne. His famous live recording „Tribute To Randy Rhoads“ with which he honoured his sadly passed away guitar player, was the real first Heavy Metal record I owned. At the age of 14 I had already listened to acts like Aerosmith or ZZ Top, as my parents had music like that at home. But this record was the first time that I really felt some sort of connection with the artist. Maybe because there was a real story connected to it. As I listened to the album, reading the liner notes from Ozzy himself, the songs became so much bigger and had so much more impact on me. Maybe it also helped that my father – although Rock Music was not a problem to him – constantly complained about the volume at which I played this album. It „clicked“ and since then it’s especially those albums I connect to that transport a larger image than just plain music. Be it with the story behind it or simply because the music really moves you because of its intensity. And that’s another thing that I always root back to „Tribute“ – Ozzy’s performance was so gripping, it almost felt as if I were at that concert. When I get to write music I always aim for that „gripping“ moment, constructing an arrangement that is taking the listener from start to beginning, without losing his attention. And it does not matter if it’s Death Metal, Black Metal or whatever – just like those killer tracks from „Tribute“ I always want to create something memorable.

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