Today (March 19) marks the anniversary of the tragic death of Randy Rhoads and the release date of ‘Tribute’.
‘Tribute’ is a live album by Ozzy Osbourne, featuring his work with the late great Randy Rhoads. It was released on 19 March 1987, five years after the death of Rhoads, then it was reissued on 22 August 1995, and again remastered and reissued in 2002.
Released in honor of Randy, guitarist for Ozzy’s band between 1979 and 1982 who sadly died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida in 1982. The album also includes studio outtakes of Rhoads’ recording the classical-influenced acoustic guitar piece “Dee”, which Randy wrote for his mother Delores and which was originally included on Ozzy’s debut solo album Blizzard of Ozz.
The album was originally to be released in 1982, but was shelved indefinitely upon Rhoads’ death early that year. Instead, another live album, ‘Speak of the Devil’, was recorded and released later that same year, consisting entirely of Black Sabbath songs and featuring future Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis.
The recording of “Crazy Train” that appears on this album was also released as the album’s only single on 10 February 1987, along with an accompanying music video. The album’s icinic cover photo was taken at a performance in Rosemont, Illinois on 24 January 1982, by photographer Paul Natkin.
The majority of the album from “I Don’t Know” through to “Paranoid” was recorded live in Cleveland, Ohio on 11 May 1981, with the exception of an extended guitar solo in the song “Suicide Solution” which was recorded in Montreal on 28 July 1981, and inserted into the song. Osbourne stated upon the album’s release in 1987 that the entire album had been recorded “somewhere in Canada”, though he may have been confusing it with that Montreal recording from which the guitar solo was taken.