Our buddy Ryan Adams — guitarist for Connecticut black metal outfit Ipsissimus, who is perhaps better known to metalheads up and down the East Coast as The Goat — has dusted off his laptop to bring us his genius prose once again. He decided to take on the challenge of naming “Five Albums That Will Change You,” but ended up writing about one album that will change you more than enough. Enjoy.
Sitting down to write my “five albums that will change your life” contribution, I started chronologically and just kept fucking going. Before I got lazy and unmotivated, I would occasionally write here about various “obsessions.” This album has been a lifelong obsession, ever since going to the mall with my best friend and current Crossfit mentor, Bubba, on that fateful day back in 1988 when I bought my …And Justice For All cassette and he bought Ozzy’s No Rest for the Wicked and Tribute.
Having been playing guitar for a little over a year at that point, Tribute made an impact that only resonates deeper with age…
Maybe I’ll continue with lengthy pieces on the other four albums that changed me and could potentially change the way you hear (and in my case, play) music.
And so… my favorite album of all time…
Ozzy Osbourne’s Tribute.
If you’re one of those try-hards who dismisses pre-”please stop” Ozzy, you’re an asshole and nobody’s impressed. Tribute is more than an album — it is a holy document of some of THE finest guitar playing you could ever be blessed to hear.
This was one of an elite few cassettes I actually wore out and had to replace as a kid; you could barely read the print on the tape shell. Looking back, it’s easy to see why. Here you have some of Ozzy’s finest jams kicked up a notch by the inclusion of heavy metal bass demigod Rudy Sarzo and powerhouse drummer Tommy Aldridge, who — no disrespect to Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake — I believe to be the greatest heavy metal rhythm section ever assembled and if you disagree, you’re wrong and it don’t make a fuck.
The band’s deviations from their recorded counterparts render these versions a thousand times more vital than the shit you’ve heard on the radio ad infinitum and Randy expanding on his signature riffs and song-within-a-song solos is holy communion for any metal guitarist worth shit. His fill at 1:53 in “Mr. Crowley” still sends shivers up my back and motivates me as a player.
And then there’s Randy’s interpretation of Tony Iommi’s riffs, which is perhaps my favorite thing about this album. It makes sense to me now why I held early Danzig bootlegs in such regard, where I would freak the fuck out over hearing John Christ get inside old Misfits and Samhain songs and just fuck the shit out of them with his B.C. Rich Bich. It’s fair to say this is also the album that gave me a profound love of live albums.
When done right, they’re gold. And when there’s between-song banter like Ozzy’s raving endorsement of drugsmoking… what’s a hessian to do? As soon as I get my time machine up and running, my second order of business (once my fortnight in Christina Applegate, July 1990′s hamper is over) will be putting a gun to Sharon’s head to facilitate the inclusion of “S.A.T.O.”
Check out this video of the Tribute lineup lighting up some cable-access show from Texas… the playing (and Rudy’s outfit) must be SEEN (and heard) to be believed!
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