"Crazy Train" is the debut solo single by English heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and was released in 1980 from his debut album as a solo artist, Blizzard of Ozz (1980). The song was written by Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, and Bob Daisley. The lyrics deal with the subject of the Cold War and the fear of annihilation that existed during this period.[4]

"Crazy Train"
Single by Ozzy Osbourne
from the album Blizzard of Ozz
B-side"You Lookin' at Me Lookin' at You"
Released29 August 1980 (UK)
  • February 1981 (US)[1]
Recorded22 March 1980
Lyricist(s)Bob Daisley
Ozzy Osbourne singles chronology
"Crazy Train"
"Mr Crowley"
Music video
"Crazy Train" on YouTube
Animated music video
"Crazy Train" on YouTube
"Crazy Train (Live)"
Single by Ozzy Osbourne
from the album Tribute
  • "Crazy Train"
  • "I Don't Know"
Lyricist(s)Bob Daisley
Producer(s)Max Norman
Ozzy Osbourne singles chronology
"The Ultimate Sin"
"Crazy Train (Live)"
"Miracle Man"

Production and reception edit

Guitarist Greg Leon, who initially took Randy Rhoads's place in Quiet Riot, has claimed that he helped Rhoads write what would become the iconic "Crazy Train" riff. "We were hanging out, and I showed him the riff to Steve Miller's 'Swingtown'. I said: 'Look what happens when you speed this riff up.' We messed around, and the next thing I know he took it to a whole other level and end up writing the 'Crazy Train' riff."[5] Guitarist William Weaver has also claimed to have written the signature riff and then presented the music to Rhoads in a studio session.[citation needed]

AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey described the main guitar riff as "a classic, making use of the full minor scale in a way not seen since Ritchie Blackmore's heyday with Deep Purple."[6]

The song is one of Osbourne's best known and recognizable as a solo performer.[7] It was rated 9th-greatest guitar solo ever by readers of Guitar World magazine.[8] The song was also ranked ninth by VH1 on the list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs[9] and in 2009 it was named the 23rd-greatest hard rock song of all time also by VH1,[10] the highest placement by a solo artist on the list. In 2021, it topped Metal Hammer's readers' poll of the Top 50 Ozzy Osbourne songs, with the magazine informing that it is Osbourne's most played song, with over 1150 live performances, over 18 million plays on YouTube, and more than 500 million on Spotify (as of March 2023).[11] In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked the song number six on their list of the 100 greatest heavy metal songs.[12]

The single reached No. 49 on the United Kingdom singles chart in 1980.[13] In the United States, the song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart and the single peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart in 1981.[14] The master ringtone was certified double platinum and had by September 2010 sold 1,750,000 downloads.[15] The Tribute re-release was accompanied by a music video.

Personnel edit

1980 studio version

1987 version (originally recorded live in 1981)

2002 re-issue

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 400,000
United States (RIAA)[17] 4× Platinum 4,000,000
United States (RIAA)[17]
2× Platinum 2,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (1995). The Great Rock Discography. p. 610. ISBN 9780862415419.
  2. ^ "The Best Heavy Metal Songs: 16 Undeniable Classics". www.udiscovermusic.com. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  3. ^ Dave Tompkins. "VH1 - 40 Greatest Metal Songs". cs.uwaterloo.ca. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  4. ^ Kajzer, Jackie; Lotring, Roger (2010). Full Metal Jackie Certified: The 50 Most Influential Metal Songs of the '80s. Course Technology. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4354-5441-5.
  5. ^ Wall, Mick (1 February 2012). "Randy Rhoads: The Guitarist Who Changed The World". Classic Rock.
  6. ^ Huey, Steve. "Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  8. ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Solos - Tablature for the greatest guitar solos of all time". Guitar.about.com. 2 November 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Original TV Shows, Reality TV Shows". VH1. 30 September 2016. Archived from the original on 13 September 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". spreadit.org music. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  11. ^ Hobson, Rich (18 December 2021). "The 50 best Ozzy Osbourne songs of all time". Metal Hammer. Future plc. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  12. ^ "The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  13. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne". www.officialcharts.com. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Rock Tracks. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 103. ISBN 0-89820-153-5.
  15. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: Songs From The Last Century". new.music.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  17. ^ a b "American single certifications – Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2 September 2020.

External links edit