In this song, Ozzy asks when we can all learn to love in a world gone mad. Ozzy wrote the song with guitarist Randy Rhoads and bass player Bob Daisley. In our interview with Daisley, he explained how it came together:
"Randy had the basic riff, the signature riff. Then we worked on music together. He needed something to solo on so I came up with a chord pattern and the section for him to solo over.
Before it was called 'Crazy Train,' before we even had a title, Randy and I were working on the music. He had his effects pedals, and coming through his amp was a weird kind of chugging sound. It was a phase-y kind of psychedelic effect, this chugging sound that was coming through his amp from his effects pedal.
Randy was into trains - he used to collect model trains and so did I. I've always been a train buff and so was Randy. So I said, 'Randy, that sounds like a train. But it sounds nuts.' And I said, 'A crazy train.'
Well, that's when the title first was born. And then Ozzy was singing melodies and he was phrasing exactly how it ended up. And I started writing lyrics to it."
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 M.A.D. logic actually extends from "Nash equilibrium", a concept of zero-sum strategy first theorized by game theory mathematician John Nash. You'll remember him as a character from the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. The acronym M.A.D. was formulated by computer science pioneer John von Neumann, who had a taste for satirical humor. In fact, this concept, and the "Doomsday Device" idea behind it (coined by war strategist Herman Kahn), forms the entire basis for Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The real-life version of the device is the "Dead Hand" control system deployed by the Soviets. Cold-War paranoia extended from the 1950s until the famous end to it in 1991. By the way, the actual term "Cold War" was coined by one George Orwell, in his essay "You and the Atomic Bomb."
Randy Rhoads was Ozzy's guitarist on this song - he was in Quiet Riot before joining Osbourne. Like most of the guitar solos he recorded with Ozzy, Rhoads had to "double" all his guitar parts. This means he had to play every note of this very difficult solo exactly the same way, twice. This is one reason why the solo on the recording sounds so unique. Rhoads was a very proficient and influential guitar player.
Suggestion credit: Dave - Marieta, GA
This was the first single Ozzy Osbourne released after leaving Black Sabbath in 1978. He left the band after a particularly heated dispute with guitarist Tony Iommi, at which time Ozzy was painted as a substance-abusing layabout by his former bandmates. "Crazy Train" was a triumph for Ozzy in that he proved that he could succeed outside of the Sabbath shelter, albeit with lots of help.
Osbourne got his riffs from Randy Rhoads and his lyrics from Bob Daisley on Blizzard of Ozz, which was formed as a band, not a solo effort. The trio wrote the songs together, later adding drummer Lee Kerslake to complete the band. Their label, Jet Records (owned by Don Arden, Ozzy's future father-in-law), made the project look like a solo effort by putting Ozzy alone on the album cover and his name in big letters on top of the words "Blizzard of Ozz." The "Crazy Train" single had the band name in large print with Ozzy's name above it. This was as close as they would get to being billed as a band on their releases, even though promotional photos and reviews from the time show that Blizzard of Ozz was supposed to be the band name.
This appropriation was a sticking point for Rhoads, Daisley and Kerslake, but they stayed with Ozzy for his next album, Diary of a Madman, which when issued in 1981 was not just listed as an Ozzy solo album, but listed Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge on bass and drums instead of Daisley and Kerslake. Legal entanglement followed, and Rhoads died in 1982. In the end, Osbourne's post-Sabbath output was disproportionately attributed to Ozzy, and "Crazy Train" is generally considered his first solo single.
The 1987 live double-album Tribute contains a version of this which is a tribute to Randy Rhoads. Rhoads played on Ozzy's first two solo albums before he died in a plane crash while the band was touring in Florida in 1982. He was 25.
The sound at the end is a studio engineer saying "An Egg" through an oscillator. Ozzy had asked him what he had for breakfast that morning.
In America, "Crazy Train" bubbled under on the Hot 100, spending one week at #106. It's influence is far greater than its chart showing, as it became one of Ozzy's signature songs and helped the Blizzard of Ozz album sell over one million copies in the US over the next two years. It eventually would sell over 3 million in the US and launch Ozzy toward media domination in America, where with the help of his wife, Sharon, he would start a successful festival (Ozzfest) and get his own reality show on MTV. Not bad for a British Heavy Metal singer.
This was covered by Pat Boone, former gospel singer and Ozzy's old neighbor, for the album In a Metal Mood. His cover used a whistle and backup singers cooing "Choo, choo" as he sang it in a lazy, Las Vegas style.
A similar cover recorded by Lewis Lamedica was used as the theme song for MTV's smash hit reality show The Osbournes; Boone's version was included on The Osbourne Family Album with a recording of Jack describing what a great neighbor Pat was. According to Jack, he dealt with everything you see on the show and more - logs flying through the window, constant yelling from the next house, etc.- and never complained once. Pictures exist showing Ozzy at Pat's house, in his garden, by his pool, etc.
Suggestion credit: Brett - Edmonton, Canada
The instrumental of this song provided the beat to the Trick Daddy w/ Twista & Lil Jon track "Let's Go," which made #7 US in 2004. It was also interpolated on the Hollywood Undead song "Undead," which made #104 in 2009.
Jodie from XxBob Daisley said "The title was mine and he wrote 99% of the lyrics. I think a word or two came from Ozzy".
Seth from Ingleside, Txbest song ever by ozzy never gets old
Harold from University Park, PaALL ABOARD!!! HA HA HA HA HA...I I I I I I I... XD such a cool song. I love the distorted laugh at the end too. "Ha ha ha ha ha. An egg..."
Joe from El Paso, Txmany ppl dont know this but the reason zakk wylde plays today and not rhandy rhodes is because rhandy died in a plane accident... anyways, this song is about making this terrible world a better place
Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaBlack Sabbath & Ozzy paired may have implied Satanic, but they were pure Music Heaven! The best!
Chase from Miami, FlI just heard the rap song all it is: the intro of one of the greatest songs ever put to the words "lets go" and assorted curse words.
Chase from Miami, FlRandy Rhoads was one of the best and will live in my heart forever. Although I wish he died after 96 so I could have been born and my have beenn able to see him. Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde are both good but not as good as Randy. Whoever said that thing about driving 15-yearold chiks home from sckooll and the whole 9 yards is right.
Madman from Drugyville,i have a couple things to say. 1- to dj, who said that Randy Rhodes wasnt in Quiet Riot; ive been to a Quiet Riot concert once, and guess who the guitarist was? thats right, Randy Rhodes. he was one of the reasons (Ozzy being the other, having been a big Black Sabbath fan) i became a big Ozzy Osbourne fan. 2- great vocalls, great guitars, great bass (original bass is better than the rerecorded crap), and great percussion (once again, original is better); great song. 3- the song is NOT bout heroin addiction
Joaquin from Juarez, Mexicothe guitar solo for this song has everything: fast hand tapping, bends, wide vibrato, scales and awesome effects.
Kayla from Oklahoma City, OkThis song was featured on "Ghost Rider". 'Tis a good song.
Bill from Waco, TxBest rock song ever...greatest intro but not quite sure of the meaning... lol
Joseph from Chicago, IlRandall William Rhoads ~ Dec 6, 1956 Mar 19, 1982
Amanda from New York City, Nyok, now- randy rhodes was a co-former of Quiet Riot with best friend Kelli Garni. Rhodes was playing his last show when he got a call from Ozzy, asking for an audition. He hardly even played and landed the job, leaving Quiet Riot in 1979. He recomended Greg Leon to replace him in Quiet Riot. Blizzard of Ozz left for the Uk to write and record in November that year. In the 1980 tour Sharon Osborne fired Bob Daisly and Lee Kerslake, replacing them with Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo. Randy Rhodes wanted to put a pause on rock and go get his classical music degree at UCLA, but died before he had the chance. Duh!
Alyssa from Oxford, PaCrazy Train is one of my favorite songs by Ozzy!
James from Boston, MaNot that many of you will care, "Let's Go" is by Trick Daddy. Lil John was just featured in the song.
Vic from Melbourne, AustraliaI can't believe how many of you have got it so completely wrong. If you are a true fan then do some research. FACT: Ozzy WAS fired from Black Sabbath. Randy Rhoads WAS in Quiet Riot. Ozzy never wrote any lyrics on the first two albums, Bob Daisley wrote them all (and more) and he and Randy wrote the music.
Syton from Colorado Springs, CoI have a pretty good amount of music, and my rock ranges from classic rock to death metal. There're two things I want to say. First, you can't beat the classics, I love Ozzy. And second, in all of my music, Randy Rhoads is still the best and my favorite guitarist I've heard. He will not be forgotten. And this is still my favorite song of all time. Rock forever my people m/
Andrew from Mackinaw, Ilactually when i was a kid i was an ozzy freak an in an magazine based on his early life after the strangling of sharon osborne when they got back together.this song is about randy rhoads and it was his way of coping with his death
Josh from Detroit, Mi"Randy Rhoads wasn't EVER in Quiet Riot." Uh... Randy Rhoads STARTED Quiet Riot. In fact, he was kind of disturbed that Kevin DeBrow used the name Quiet Riot when he got a record deal, since it wasn't Quiet Riot without Randy. As for the lyrics, they were written by Bob Daisley(Ozzy is responsible for almost none of the lyrics in his songs). It's about the state of the world at the time. It's about seeing all this crazy stuff going on and trying to make sense of it. While the chorus does admittedly sound like heroin addiction, it's doubtful if that was Daisley's intention.
Taco from Salem, NhWhen was Ozzy better? With Black Sabbath or with his own band?
Michael from Toledo, OhThe song that dominates over all metal songs, it is the Angel (or should I say demon?) of Metal. A true song.
Brian from Richmond , VaWhat can I say about this song? Man, it is my second favorite song of all time after "The Boys Are Back In Town." I remember being about 11 when this came out and being awestruck at how amazing Randy Rhoads (R.I.P)was as a guitarist.
I still play this one at work and at home all the time. It is a true classic. The guitar riff is unbelievable.
I love the Oz. I love the high pitched vocals and his manic behavior. Ozzy is a true rock God along with Randy Rhoads.
I won't hate on Trick Daddy because I actually like the rap song "Let's Go." I am guessing Ozzy gave it his blessing and I thought it was cool for a rapper to even know this song and be willing to use it in a rap.
Jw from Lockport, NyTo the statement that Ozzy was fired by Sabbath, he is a hit and they suck...it was a great move for both. He is better w/out them, but they, in no way, suck. Heaven & Hell (w/out Oz) is a must have for any rock collection, especially metal.
Shane from Destin, FlMr. DJ of 9 years is very wrong indeed!! Randy Rhodes actually formed Quiet Riot in 1973 and left to join Ozzy in 1979. You can go to youtube and type in Quiet Riot and see some video from "The Randy Rhodes years" (that by the way was the name of an album released by Kevin Dubrow in 1993) songs and solos. Rudy Sarzo Joined Quiet Riot in 1979 left to join Ozzy from 1981-1982. Rejoined Quiet Riot in 1982 quit in 1985, joined Whitesnake in 1987 rejoined Quiet Riot in 1997 and Joined Ronnie James Dio in 2004.
Robbie from Nashville, TnEasily the best Ozzy song.
Dylan from Newport, Vtbest ozzy song ever made
Shelby from The Other Side , United StatesRandy Rhoads really is an angel. Wow. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Steven from Anaheim, Cathe rudy sarzo part is right
Steven from Anaheim, CaWhoever that DJ fellow is he's definately freakin crazy. Randy was for sure with Quiet Riot before he was with Ozzy. Mike from denver is right.
Steven from Arizona, United StatesTo whomever the "DJ" that worked at a rock station is......YOU are wrong. Mike from Denver is right. I own a copy of "Quiet Riot, The Randy Rhodes Years". He was most certainly in QR.
AnonymousACTUALLY, Mike from Denver is WRONG!!!! Randy Rhoads wasn't EVER in Quiet Riot. It was Rudy Sarzo (the bass player) who played in Ozzy's band before he joined Quiet Riot. Sarzo also later played in Whitesnake. I know this cuz I was a disc jockey for 9 years at a rock station, and saw all the albums, pictures, etc.
Brandon from Sterling, Vayea the heroin part is false it is about the unique mental experience he is going through and his tough times while preaching about unity it has nothing to do with heroin
Kara from Cadillac, MiI love this song! Randy Rhoads was one of the most awesome guitarists of all time. He was a master of the pentatonic scales and classical guitar. He took heavy metal and mixed classical guitar with it and created as sound like no other. (for all you guitarists out there you probably know what I'm talking about) But I do have to say that Jake was a good short term guitarist but, I think Zakk Wyld is just as good if not better than Jake E. Lee. Zakk Wyld is an awesome guitarist and I think the next best guitarist for Ozzy next to Randy Rhoads. Of course there are not that many people who can do what Randy did and do it well. I think Jake E. Lee tried to hard to sound exactly like Randy Rhoads and it didn't work out the way he wanted it to because he wasn't the player that Randy was. However I really enjoyed the song Bark At The Moon. It has a great rhythm and sweet lead. Jake definatly has talent but I think he would have been better with someone else but, he got the opportunity to get his playing heard faster by playing for Ozzy. This song is definatly one of the greatest rock songs around. But if you really want to hear a good lead by Randy you should listen to Over the Mountain, Diary of a Madman, Revelation(Mother Earth), I Don't Know, Goodbye To Romance, Believer, & Mr.Crowley. -Rob Cook
Surya from Chesapeake, VaThis song features one of the best guitar players of all time. Randy Rhoads, Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, and Angus Young of AC/DC are all gods.
Ryan H. Harris from Bellevue, NeThis was this biggest landmark for ozzy not knowing if he could go on without BlackSabbath most of the references to mental wounds, life's a bitter shame, etc is the feelings he had bitter at Black Sabbath and the world thinking it was against him, Ryan Omaha, NE
Brandon from Peoria, IlI was driving my little brother home from the movie theater with his friends one day. I pushed play on my CD player and Crazy Train started. One of the 15 year old girls in the back seat squeaked with joy saying i love this song...when she realized it was "Crazy Train" NOT "Let's Go" she stopped and said "this isn't the REAL song." I wanted to jump in the backseat and beat the piss out of her...well not to that extent...i simply informed her that she was a stupid bitch.
Ryan from Columbus, OhOn the subject of "Trick Daddy". I think he should rot in hell, not only for dragging Crazy Train's beginning riff (BEST EVER!) through the dirt, but also for not giving credit to Ozzy and Rhoads for one of the most genious metal tracks ever created.
It's not that I don't like rap, I love old Snoop, but I think that bastard should be shot, and whoever let him get away with it.
Max from Brooklyn, NyBlack Sabbath fired Ozzy Osbourne because they thought he was holding the band down. Then Ozzy becomes a hit and Black Sabbath sucks. Irony?
Ryan from New Orleans, LaOzzy's Crazy Train is definitley his greatest masterpiece of all time. He was also awsome in Black Sabbath
Scott from Pekin, IlCrazy Train is the coolest song ever written.Randy Rhoads' awsome skill of song writting and just flat out ripping amazing solos out of his trick bag.This song has a really cool solo that represents his style of metal and classical hybrid with some awsome techniques.
Devon from Westerville, Ohthis is my favorite Ozzy song. It's a shame that Randy died so young. He was a phenominal player.
Alex from St Louis, Moone of, if not, the best solos ever
Mike from Denver, CoOne of the greatest metal riffs of all time no doubt. The song is really hard to play correctly--Randy was a phenomenal guitarist. Re: lyric "metal wounds etc." it's MENTAL wounds--it's quite obvious. The song is NOT ABOUT HEROINE. Considering this song is really about Peace it's ironic how many evangelists pick this song/Ozzy as an example of how 'evil' metal music is. Just goes to show what morons they are. Re: taking the song from Quiet Riot--Randy WAS IN Quiet Riot before joining Ozzy. If he 'stole' the riff, it was his anyways. This song really shows the lyric/singing talent of Ozzy, and the playing of Randy.
Jim Waverly from Kansas City, KsThis song is about the Cold War. Can't believe someone hasn't mentioned this yet.
Mark from Los Angeles, CaGreat SOng. But, written by Bob Daisley, form what I hear.
Derek from Brampton, CanadaAnyone that thinks that Jake E Lee and Zakk Wydle even come close to the talent of Randy has not played an instrument in their lifes. That is just a rediculous statement.
Rap = Barney for teenage wannabe gangsters! It is nothing but the rhyming you did while in kindergarten with a few curse words and shootings thrown in to make it interesting to the urban youth.
Ricky from Los Angeles, CaHas anyone seen the music video to this song? It's so weird.
Tucker from Temple , Txthis song is about heroin use, "Metal wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm going off the rails of a crazy train
Eighteen from Marysville, MiOzzy performed "Crazy Train" on the NFL 2005 Kickoff Show in New England.
Brandon from Morristown, TnWhy is it that new artist have to defile songs like this,great songs fall one by one-Crazy Train,Back In Black,American Woman,Behind Blue Eyes.When will it stop?Stick to your music,please.And this song is great,it shows the pro Rhandy was.Id like to seen what he would have produced if hed lived,but then jake e lee and zakk wydle may have never surfaced.I guess all things happen for a reason.
Lyzette from Moorpark, Cae|-------------------------------------- B|-------------------------------------- G|-------------------------------------- D|-------------------------------------- A|----4---5---4---2-------2------------- E|2-2---2---2---2---4-5-4---5-4-0-------
lol, just HAD to put the tab for the intro there....thank me later :-*
Ed from London, CanadaOzzy made a reference to this song on his cover of Stayin' Alive ("ALL ABOARD THE DISCO TRAIN")
E from Vancouver, CanadaLane you are wrong. Ozzy is a pretty good singer. Its weird that when he sings you can understand every word he says, but when he talks he sounds kinda retarded. Don't get me wrong tho, Im a big fan.
Ravyn from Hell, NyThe song is about really conflicting ideologies, and religious warfare.
Matt from Pawtucket, RiBlue Man Group played the intro riff to this on an instrument called the "Tubulum" on the tour for their album The Complex
Josh from Plainview, NyJonathan-I didn't really mean to say that rappers have no talent. It's just that I was so pissed after seeing trick daddy perform this song, that and the fact that so much rap is based on image and rather than real talent. That's why I like Eminem's song "Like Toy Soldiers" which denounces all the crap that goes on in the rap world
Jonathan from Deltona, FlTrick daddy did ruin this song. But saying that no rappers have any talent is just ridiculous. Tupac was a poet. Eminem can rap so fast and clear that it's almost un-believable. Dr. Dre has produced so many albums for so many different artists. So don't even say rappers don't have any talent. You just have to know where to find the talent. By the way, great riff.
Dennis from Toronto, CanadaI specifically searched the web to find out who the guitarist is for Crazy Train. I think it's an amazing performance which defines the song. So it doesn't surprise me that it's a person some consider one of the greatest of all time: Randy Rhoads. I think Ozzy is great too. But that guitar makes the rhythm of the song dance in your mind - just like a Crazy Train. Awesome stuff.
Torstein from Stavanger, NorwayIn later years "Jackson" has named a series of guitars after him!
Bruce from East Jordan, Mii know its off subject, but, what i dont get is how rock can change so much in like, 2 decades, ya know what im saying?
Nathan from Ohsweken, Canadaone of the best opening riffs of all time good job by randy rhodes to think of it before his terrable death. But he ruins the beat when ozzy starts singing.
Josh from Plainview, NyTrick daddy completely butchered this song. why any rappers are considered to be talented is beyond me
Bee from Las Vegas, NvI have an original "Tribute" cassette tape on which Ozzy personally autographed the liner notes with a Sharpie during an appearance at Tower Records in Schaumburg, Illinois in 1987. I would sell it cheap to a true Oz fan. I am disabled and can't work and I could use the money. -Bee, Las Vegas firstname.lastname@example.org
Lane from Billings, MtRhoads is God. Ozzy can't sing.
Spencer from Bowling Green, Kythis song is awesome. i just lisened to to the verison by that idiot "trick daddy". his verison is an insult to anyone who ever had even an ounce of talent. i hate rap. if i ever see "trick daddy" on the street i am gonna kick his ass. oh yea Rhoads is awesome
Madison from Atlanta, Gathere is some rap song that uses the riff and baseline. its pure blasphamy.
Seamus from Buffalo, NyThis song was sampled in "Let's Go" by Trick Daddy
Corey from Cumberland, MdI think that Randy Rhoads is probably the greatest guitarist of all time but must disagree with Danny Boy about Jake E. Lee. Zakk Wylde is in my opinion, a far better guitarist AND song writer. Seems you can't pick up a music magazine w/o him staring back at you.
Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandBest riff of all time, no contest! Imagine if Randy Rhoads hadn't died so young, imagine how much greater he could have become.
Alex from Clinton, CtRhoads was one of the greatest guitarists of all time...when he died heavy metal was changed forever.
Don from Philadelphia, PaRandy Rhodes is just great in this song.
Danny Boy from Dallas, WaRandy and Jake are Ozzy's greatest guitar players.
Andrew from Bowmanville, CanadaPersonally i thought Ozzy was better with Black Sabbath but this song rocks!
Joe from Oshawa, Canadajust like brian said the song never gets boring.
Terry from Belleville, CanadaRandy Rhoads got the riff for Crazy Train from an early Quiet Riot song called "Force of Habit". Check it out, you'll be blown away.
Brian from Paoli, InA true classic, one of those songs that just don't seem to get old.
Josh from Sunbury, PaThe best damn Ozzy song...
And one of the best damn rock songs ever
Nora from Richfield, MnOne of the most recognizable riffs in history. And one of my favorites.