Given Ozzy Osbourne's stature, – even after his departure from the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath – and the fact that it was the early '80s, high-quality videos of Ozzy performing with his first electric guitar sideman, the legendary Randy Rhoads, are surprisingly hard to come by.
That's part of what makes this footage of Osbourne and his band – featuring at that time Rhoads, Rudy Sarzo on bass, Tommy Aldridge on drums, and Lindsay Bridgewater on keys – tearing through "Mr. Crowley" for American TV audiences in April 1981 so special. You can check it out below.
Written about the prominent English occultist Aleister Crowley, "Mr. Crowley" was the second single from Osbourne's 1980 debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz.
Though not as perhaps instantly identifiable as the single that proceeded it, "Crazy Train," "Mr. Crowley" remains decades later one of Osbourne's most beloved solo tunes, and a fixture (opens in new tab) of his live shows.
Containing what many (opens in new tab) regard to be the greatest guitar solo that Rhoads recorded before he was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 25 on March 19, 1982, "Mr. Crowley" is a shining example of the Osbourne/Rhoads partnership at its finest – the former's charismatic vocals over the latter's stinging combination of attitude-filled, hard-rock riffing and classically-influenced, virtuosic leads.
"Randy Rhoads was quite possibly the best composer and musician that I have ever met in my life," reads (opens in new tab) a comment on the above video from Osbourne's official account.
"He came into my life like a bolt of lightning and as such he was gone again. I consider myself one of the luckiest men alive to have not only met him but also I had the great honor of being able to work with him.
"I will cherish the time I spent with him 'till the day I die. Long live Randy Rhoads. Long live rock 'n' roll. I love you all."
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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