Various Artists: Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute

Uninspired covers don’t do justice to the guitar legend.

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If a tribute album is meant to remind the listener of the genius of its subject, then Immortal Randy Rhoads succeeds.

Breaking with tradition, however, this collection does so not by revealing previously unheralded nuance and depth in long-familiar classics, but by featuring a selection of plodding covers so inferior you can’t help but hanker for the originals.

Even Serj Tankian, a man with a voice every bit as original as Randy Rhoads was a guitarist, is incapable of lifting Crazy Train out of the murk, and only Children Of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho and Gus G – on Mr Crowley and Goodbye To Romance – offer solos that come close to matching Rhoads’s imagination and deftness of touch.

Elsewhere, it’s bleak: Testament’s Chuck Billy bellows like a harpooned wookie, Tom Morello plays a solo that sounds like it was performed underwater and Ripper Owens fronts eight tracks, surely suggesting that other willing participants were hard to find./o:p

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.