ZXT 40714 Tribute
Produced by Max Norman
Released on May 1987
UK CHART POSITION #13 . . . US CHART POSITION #6 . . .
PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
ZXT 40714 cover  

T here were so many things that a tribute to Randy Rhoads, the greatest heavy metal guitarist of his generation, could have been. Electric. Inspirational. Salving. Sad. Any one of those would adequately describe Tribute at a given moment, for my money the classiest tribute album of all time. And yet Tribute is first and foremost a live Ozzy album, everything that Speak of the Devil should have been and, then, couldn’t be. There’s no need to shift the attention away from Ozzy, since Randy Rhoads had a remarkable way of shining that only reflected well on his friend. It was never just about Ozzy, or about Randy (or any one member of the band), but about the music. Yeah, I know that sounds trite, but it’s true. There’s something liberating about Ozzy’s music, breaking taboos that needed breaking every now and then, from a fear of the occult to a fear of drugs and alcohol. But none of that was more liberating than Randy’s guitar, flying high through the air and summoning all manner of sound, from sublime squalls of distortion to smooth melodies, so effortlessly that it seemed Rhoads had already left the realm of mere mortals altogether. This concert, recorded in 1981, captures all of his essential contributions to Ozzy’s canon: “I Don’t Know,” “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley,” “Flying High Again,” “Suicide Solution,” “Goodbye To Romance.” The performance is eerily prescient in spots, from Ozzy’s exhortation during the encore that “You can’t kill rock and roll,” to a sweetly sad “Goodbye To Romance” that soon follows. In a touching final gesture, a studio tape of Randy recording "Dee" appears at the end, an unfinished sketch that shows Randy in the unguarded act of living. While the moment contains some sadness for us, it’s this glimpse of Randy at peace in life, doing what he loved, that’s truly inspirational, reminding us that life is for the living. Why the labels chose to delete this track for the CD release and not the unnecessary “No Bone Movies” is beyond me, though subtle things like reverence and inspiration are apparently lost on major record labels. For a number of reasons, not least of which is the music itself, Tribute remains one of my favorite live albums.

TRACK LISTING

  1. I DON'T KNOW
  2. CRAZY TRAIN
  3. BELIEVER
  4. MR. CROWLEY
  5. FLYING HIGH AGAIN
  6. REVELATION (MOTHER EARTH)
  7. STEAL AWAY (THE NIGHT)
  8. SUICIDE SOLUTION
  9. IRON MAN
  10. CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE
  11. PARANOID
  12. GOODBYE TO ROMANCE
  13. NO BONE MOVIES
  14. (Double elpee/Cassette bonus track:) DEE

CREDITS

OZZY OSBOURNE -- vocals, executive producer
RANDY RHOADS -- guitar
TOMMY ALDRIDGE -- drums
RUSY SARZO -- bass
Max Norman -- engineer
Josephine DiDonato -- design
Ross Halfin -- inside spread and sleves photography
Paul Natkin -- front cover photography
Neal Preston -- back cover, inside spread and sleeves photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 1987 Epic 2LP/CD/CS 450475 inner sleeve, poster
US May 1987 CBS 2LP/CD/CS ZXT 40714  
JPN 1987 CBS 2LP 35AP-3344/5 booklet, lyric insert
US April 1993 CBS CD/CS ZGK/ZGT 40714  
EEC   Sony CD 502045  
JPN   Sony CD SRCS-8479 22-bit digital remaster
US November 1995 Epic CD/CS EK 67240 24-bit digital remaster
NET   Sony 2CD 509428 repackaged w. DIARY OF A MADMAN

 

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