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Why Randy Rhodes?


picker

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I was in my car today and heard "Crazy Train" on the radio. It really got me wondering something. Rhodes was a fine guitarist, no doubt about it. But with all the guitarists that were doing that same schtick(not a pejorative, just a word to encapsule the neo-classical shred thing that so many players were doing in the wake of EVH), why was he considered so important? I don't think he was doing anything all that much different from a bunch of the dudes back then.

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Actually, circa 1979, Randy Rhoads led the charge of Neo-classical stylings in metal/rock lead, and paved the way for guys like Yngwie to gain acceptance. Granted, Yngwie will never acknowledge anyone but Richie Blackmore, but that doesn't mean Randy wasn't trendsetting.

 

EVH was still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy when Randy hit the scene. Hell, EVH is still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy. Randy really made the flamenco style a central part of his metal lead playing, which set him apart from everyone during his tragically brief career.

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Actually, circa 1979, Randy Rhoads led the charge of Neo-classical stylings in metal/rock lead, and paved the way for guys like Yngwie to gain acceptance. Granted, Yngwie will never acknowledge anyone but Richie Blackmore, but that doesn't mean Randy wasn't trendsetting.

 

EVH was still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy when Randy hit the scene. Hell, EVH is still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy. Randy really made the flamenco style a central part of his metal lead playing, which set him apart from everyone during his tragically brief career.

 

+1

 

There was nothing like Randy back in the day.... Certainly not on commercial radio.

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We need a shred time line here.

 

Eddie recorded the first record in 78

Randy recorded Blizzard of Oz 79

YJM recorded Steeler 83, it wasn't widely heard. 83/84 Alcatraz was his commercial launch

PG with Racer X in 85 and "shred" had become a standard

 

This was middle school and high school for me. What an exciting time to be a guitar player!

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He was a talented individual who was at the right place at the time. If he had never met Ozzy, he probably wouldn't have been a star and would probably still be alive. On a related note, why was Sabbath considered the forefathers of heavy metal? because they did it first.

 

It's not necessarily a case of true merit, but rather the people who took advantage of an opportunity. And unfortunately, his career was regarded as legend only after he died, much like Hendrix.

Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

 

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IDK, Zeph - I'd venture that Randy had quite a following before he died - Blizzard was met with critical acclaim (actually outsold Sabbath's Heaven and Hell by a wide margin - quadruple platinum in 1981, while it took Sab until 1982 to be certified gold)

 

He did, but I'm pointing out that he gained even more popularity after he died, same with Jimi, Kurt, Jim Morrison, etc.

Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

 

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http://www.myspace.com/dandelavega

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IDK, Zeph - I'd venture that Randy had quite a following before he died - Blizzard was met with critical acclaim (actually outsold Sabbath's Heaven and Hell by a wide margin - quadruple platinum in 1981, while it took Sab until 1982 to be certified gold)

 

He did, but I'm pointing out that he gained even more popularity after he died, same with Jimi, Kurt, Jim Morrison, etc.

 

I guess I wanted to make the distinction that, as opposed to Morrison (who was as much hated as loved when he was alive), Randy made a huge splash when he arrived. It was 5 years later, when Ozzy released Tribute, that another wave of folks who missed his first coming had their eyes opened to this budding superstar guitarist.

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IDK, Zeph - I'd venture that Randy had quite a following before he died - Blizzard was met with critical acclaim (actually outsold Sabbath's Heaven and Hell by a wide margin - quadruple platinum in 1981, while it took Sab until 1982 to be certified gold)

 

He did, but I'm pointing out that he gained even more popularity after he died, same with Jimi, Kurt, Jim Morrison, etc.

 

I guess I wanted to make the distinction that, as opposed to Morrison (who was as much hated as loved when he was alive), Randy made a huge splash when he arrived. It was 5 years later, when Ozzy released Tribute, that another wave of folks who missed his first coming had their eyes opened to this budding superstar guitarist.

 

I had actually recorded the "King Biscuit Flower Hour" of the the Live Ozzy show with the extended guitar solo on cassette. I truly treasured it and would meditate to it several times a week. Then one day, it was eaten by the Sony Walkman. I cried...

 

There was nothing that compared to his style at the time!

 

Luckily they came out with Tribute which was a cut version of the tape I once had.

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Actually, circa 1979, Randy Rhoads led the charge of Neo-classical stylings in metal/rock lead, and paved the way for guys like Yngwie to gain acceptance. Granted, Yngwie will never acknowledge anyone but Richie Blackmore, but that doesn't mean Randy wasn't trendsetting.

 

EVH was still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy when Randy hit the scene. Hell, EVH is still very much pop-styled, pentatonic-heavy. Randy really made the flamenco style a central part of his metal lead playing, which set him apart from everyone during his tragically brief career.

 

Yep... EVH was/is blues at 78rpm. RR was classical at 78 rpm.

 

 

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I think Randy was very unique. Perhaps his approach wasn't as groundbreaking as EVH, but he really had his own sound.

 

When I listen to Randy Rhoads I always think his sound is PERFECT for the style of music OZZIE was playing. It is like a match made in Heaven. I also really dig his riffs. Very cool. He also has some very nice soloing. I think my favorite is his middle solo in Diary of a Madman when he throws in that melodic minor scale (I think that is what it is).

 

Like his tone is TOTALLY a tone I would hate to have. But for him it is PERFECT. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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He did, but I'm pointing out that he gained even more popularity after he died, same with Jimi, Kurt, Jim Morrison, etc.

 

Well, having been around at that time, & seen them in concerts, I can say that both Hendrix & Morrison were pretty damn big deals when they were alive. They were hugely popular, & not just within an underground scene of hipsters.

Scott Fraser
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I think he also had a pretty big hand in writing the songs on those two Ozzy records. So he didn't just "play guitar" - he was heavily involved in Ozzy's comeback.

 

Also, he wasn't really "in the wake" of EVH. He was a contemporary who came up playing in the same clubs in LA. His band Quiet Riot was popular on the Sunset Strip at the same time Van Halen was. They were both known as hotshot players before they made any records.

"You never can vouch for your own consciousness." - Norman Mailer
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I think he also had a pretty big hand in writing the songs on those two Ozzy records. So he didn't just "play guitar" - he was heavily involved in Ozzy's comeback.

 

Also, he wasn't really "in the wake" of EVH. He was a contemporary who came up playing in the same clubs in LA. His band Quiet Riot was popular on the Sunset Strip at the same time Van Halen was. They were both known as hotshot players before they made any records.

 

An excellent point, one I completely forgot about.

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the solo in Revelation Mother Earth is killer. YJM may shred fast but he hasn't written anything that kicks ass like that.

Randy used his technique and compositional skills to actually write cool stuff as opposed to shred over boring back up.

that is what made him special.

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Randy's classical training made it possible for him to play with such precision that he could triple track his solos. One track hard left, one hard right and one dead center. So he was playing the identical piece three separate times. That's a feat that not a lot of rock players could do and was one of the reason's his tone was so amazing.

 

What Rhoads did was put the Ozzy solo material up against VH for comparison and opened up all the old Sabbath material to a new bunch of curious kids who weren't around back then. (I was one of them)

 

So it was the classical influence but also the fact that he was teamed up with Ozzy and not making records for Mike Varney that put him on a different level from the get go.

 

 

Rob Robitaille

 

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the solo in Revelation Mother Earth is killer. YJM may shred fast but he hasn't written anything that kicks ass like that.

Randy used his technique and compositional skills to actually write cool stuff as opposed to shred over boring back up.

that is what made him special.

 

Hell, that song as a whole was incredible. None of the shredders were writing ballads with that level of intricacy front to back. The opening riff was just gorgeous, and the modulation in the "second verse" was perfect.

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He was constantly learning, skip, learning more about the classical and flamenco styles, every chance he got. Rumor has it that he intended to quit rock and go into classical fusion after that tour.

 

I read an interview with him right near his untimely demise and he stated that he only played rock when he was on stage or rehearsing with Ozzy and the volume levels were getting to him, he stated that music should be played at such volumes and only listened to music at low volumes at home. He also said in the interview that this is why he was gravitating more and more to the acoustic (I assume nylon string but he didn't specify). He was living in Britain at the time with Ozzy and missing his family in California.

 

It's really interesting to wonder what he would have done if he continued. One could only speculate.

 

Crap I was just looking at his wikipedia page and he was only 25 when he died, which is two years younger than Hendrix.

Rob Robitaille

 

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RR is the reason I picked up the guitar... I heard the Tribute album and the sound of the guitar just hooked me.

 

I remember reading in a magazine back in the 80's that his solos on Diary of a Madman were rough cuts and he wanted to go back and make them better but the record got released before that could happen. It would be pretty cool if my final cuts could sound like Randy's rough cuts.

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Yes, RR did come into music stores and ask for lessons when on tour. RR was totally musically unique at that time. NOBODY was doing what he did at the level that he did it. I remember those years quite well. I'd been playing things with strings for about 8 years and was working at a music store in Albuquerque NM when Ozzy's bus pulled up in our parking lot before their show supporting the Blizzard of Oz tour. Met Ozzy, Randy, and everybody else, really cool. RR was a really nice guy, very polite, and we were all in awe of him.

 

Once a musician has done something it becomes something that we can all do. But until someone has done it or changed it to something that becomes widely heard (radio-tv-etc) most of us think within the box and only do what's within our comfort zone. RR expanded the zone!

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I've had similar conversations about Jimi Hendrix with "younger" kids. Comparing Hendrix to Petrucci it is obvious one has more accomplished technical skills but the thing that gets lost over time is the fact that someone had to START. When Randy came along, much like when Jimi came along, nobody (or at least very few) was doing what they were doing. Using classical music stylings in rock and double or triple tracking solos were things people were not exposed to until Randy did it on his two Ozzy releases. Almost thirty years later it is fairly common place but Randy helped kick it off.
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