Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

‘Crazy Train’ is the debut solo single by English heavy metal vocalist 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.

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." Guitarist William Weaver has also claimed to have written the signature riff and then presented the music to Rhoads in a studio session.

Ozzy Osbourne

While many believe that this is yet another Ozzy song about insanity, it's actually about the Cold War. Evidence in the lyrics: "Millions of people living as foes," "One person conditioned to rule and control; The media sells it and you live the role," "Heirs of a cold war, that's what we've become. Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb." The relevant acronym was "M.A.D." (Mutually Assured Destruction), a doctrine which basically amounts to "if they shoot their nukes at us, we'll shoot ours right back, and that would be the end of the world that nobody wants, so it won't happen... as long as we keep pointing nukes at each other." Hence, "crazy" is another word for "mad."

The single reached No. 49 on the United Kingdom singles chart in 1980. 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.

The song is one of Osbourne's best known and recognizable as a solo performer. It was rated 9th-greatest guitar solo ever by readers of Guitar World magazine. The song was also ranked ninth by VH1 on the list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs and in 2009 it was named the 23rd-greatest hard rock song of all time also by VH1, 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. 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). In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked the song number six on their list of the 100 greatest heavy metal songs.

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Labels – Jet, Epic
Songwriters – Bob Daisley, Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads,
Producers – Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake, Randy Rhoads


All aboard, hahahahahaha
[Verse 1]
Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it's not too late
To learn how to love and forget how to hate
Mental wounds not healing, life's a bitter shame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
(Let's go)
[Verse 2]
I've listened to preachers, I've listened to fools
I've watched all the dropouts, who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you live the role
Mental wounds still screaming, driving me insane
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words, yeah, yeah
[Guitar Solo]
[Verse 3]
Heirs of a cold war, that's what we've become
Inheriting troubles, I'm mentally numb
Crazy, I just cannot bear
I'm living with something that just isn't fair
Mental wounds not healing, who and what's to blame?
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
[Instrumental Break]
The ledge, haha, the edge, edge
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