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Revolutionary, end of story. - 85%

hells_unicorn, May 24th, 2009

Although most point to “Crazy Train” as being the single most consequential thing to ever come out of Ozzy’s solo career, particularly as it pertains to Rhandy Rhodes’ accomplishments as a short lived guitar god, I beg to differ. From a songwriting standpoint, the epic though slower “Mr. Crowley” has the edge with it’s haunting atmosphere and melancholic melodies, coming much closer in spirit to that Black Sabbath had been moving towards in the later part of their tenure with Ozzy, and did indeed come to realize during their time with Dio, though not in the same way. Likewise, if you look at the sheer number of memorable passages and revolutionary devices at play in this song guitar wise, particularly the multiple volleys of lead guitar brilliance, it eclipses everything not only on “Blizzard Of Ozz”, but on “Diary Of A Madman” as well.

The accompanying b-side “You Said It All” is essentially a standard rock song in somewhat the same vain as “I Don’t Know”, but with a quiet intro and a little bit slower in tempo. This song would pop up later with the less renowned though very good guitarist Jake E. Lee at the guitar around the time of “The Ultimate Sin”, but it is even more apparent to those who hear the song in that era without knowing about it’s existence here that it is very uncharacteristic of that time period. For a live song it is very well accomplished, be it Rhandy’s traveling riffs and frequent lead fills, the solid as a rock rhythm section, or even the above average performance out of Ozzy himself. I’m not sure that the title really speaks much for the song as it hardly says it all in comparison to other works, but it definitely says enough and rocks hard doing so.

From a historical perspective the title song of this single was revolutionary, it essentially opened the flood gates for a whole new river of possibilities for guitarists out there looking to further break outside of the blues/rock box that they’d been under since the founding of rock and roll. There was already some ruptures in the dam provided by Ritchie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth, but I’d argue that this was the strike upon the dam that finally broke it all loose. There’s a reason why Rhandy Rhodes gets so much worship in guitar magazines, and you’ll understand it completely when you hear this song, assuming that you haven’t already.