100 Greatest Guitarists

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Randy Rhoads
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36. Randy Rhoads

Randy Rhoads' career was far too short – he died in a plane accident in 1982, at the age of 25 – but his precise, architectural, hyperspeed solos on Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" helped set the template for metal-guitar soloing for years to follow. "I practiced eight hours a day because of him," Tom Morello has said, calling Rhoads "the greatest hard-rock/heavy-metal guitar player of all time." Rhoads had co-founded Quiet Riot as a teenager, and joined Ozzy's Blizzard of Ozz band in 1979 after a few years of working as a guitar teacher; according to legend, Rhoads would continue to take guitar lessons himself in different cities when he was on tour with Ozzy. By the time he recorded his final album, Ozzy's Diary of a Madman, Rhoads was getting deeper into classical music, and even exploring jazz. He "was reaching deep into himself as a guitar player," Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe said. "That was really the next step right there."

Key Tracks: "Crazy Train," "Mr. Crowley," "Diary of a Madman"

Video: Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne Live in 1981

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