Ozzy Osbourne

Crazy Train

Composed by Randy Castillo / Bob Daisley / Ozzy Osbourne

Song Review by

When Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath, many observers had doubts about his viability as a solo act. However, Osbourne proved himself a capable bandleader and an excellent judge of talent, discovering neo-classically influenced guitarist Randy Rhoads. Thanks to his accomplished technique and compositional skill, Rhoads quickly became the centerpiece of Osbourne's band, co-writing every song in the band's repertoire until his untimely death in 1982. A number of those songs were eventually acknowledged as metal classics, first and foremost among them "Crazy Train," the second song on Osbourne's solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz. Beginning with a shout of "All aboard!" and some psychedelic effects over bass and drums, the song quickly becomes a showcase for Rhoads' technique and elegant melodicism. His first riff is a classic, making use of the full minor scale in a way not seen since Ritchie Blackmore's heyday with Deep Purple. Moving into the verse figure, Rhoads switches to the relative major key for a brighter, more anthemic feel. His chord voicings are economical yet fully harmonized -- a rarity in the metal world, where most guitarists were content to employ simple, two-note power chords (which never establish a major or minor tonality). Rhoads also had considerable chops as a soloist, melding Eddie Van Halen's speed-demon innovations with classical (as opposed to blues) scales and arpeggios. His lead fills in between Osbourne's vocal lines in the chorus are sometimes simple, sometimes busy, but always striking; his extended solo section is a virtuosic display of flashy technique combined with melodicism. All of this is not to overlook Osbourne himself, one of metal's defining vocalists for his ability to sound evil even when pleading for sanity in a destructive world (which is what he does here). It's one of the greatest performances of his solo career, and an enduring metal classic.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Blizzard of Ozz 1980 Epic / Jet Records 4:50
Wicked Videos 1988 Sony Music Distribution
Twisted Metal 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:51
The Ozzman Cometh: Greatest Hits 2002 Epic 4:50
The Essential Ozzy Osbourne 2003 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 4:50
Prince of Darkness 2005 Epic 4:49
Memoirs of a Madman 2014 Epic / Legacy / Sony Music 4:50