Immortal Randy Rhoads - The Ultimate Tribute

by Kevin Wierzbicki

There are lots of rock stars now plying their trade in the great beyond but some of them, like Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell, remain so beloved that their spiritual presence is as palpable as their music. Also in this category is guitarist Randy Rhoads and it's really saying something about his life and legacy that this all-star tribute is coming out more than 30-years after his death, a span of time that is longer than Randy lived.

Having first gained notoriety with Quiet Riot, Rhoads is mostly remembered for his work with Blizzard of Oz, Ozzy Osbourne's backing band during his most fertile period.

To that end there are only two Quiet Riot cuts here; "Back to the Coast" featuring Quiet Riot's rhythm section of Rudy Sarzo and Frankie Banali, ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and vocals from Randy's brother Kelle, and the glam-tinged "Killer Girls" with Tim "Ripper" Owens behind the microphone.

The rest are Ozzy songs and with the exception of a Serj Tankian powered "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" featuring singer Chuck Billy (Testament) it is otherwise Owens handling vocals on all songs.

It is of course the guitarists though who are in the spotlight here, some of whom you might not expect on a project like this, like Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom ("Mr. Crowley".) It might be fun for those who can differentiate guitarists by their tone and style of playing to try and guess who's handling the six-string chores as the album plays; a good set of ears will no doubt pick out Tom Morello, George Lynch, Gus G and Dweezil Zappa.

A bit tougher to name but playing just as hot nevertheless are Bernie Torme, Brad Gillis, Joel Hoekstra, Doug Aldrich and Jon Donais. A fun listen all the way through and you'll want to blast Diary of a Madman and Blizzard of Oz afterwards.

You can preorder the CD and vinyl here.

Immortal Randy Rhoads - The Ultimate Tribute

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