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Old 03-15-2012, 02:20 PM
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Default Randy Rhoads: Greatest Metal Guitarist Ever??



Even though he died at 25 and only made four records (two that are well known) Randy Rhoads is considered a guitar god and is seen as the best metal guitarist ever. Now is that justified??

Randy Rhoads learnt classical guitar and applied it to his playing on the two Ozzy Osbourne albums (Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman) these two albums showed what he could do and his fusion of a classical style and metal worked well as he could shred as well as play very melodic harmonies as can be heard on the two Ozzy albums on tracks like Crazy Train and Mr Crowley.





Heck he sounds awesome on an outtake from the 30th Anniversary of Blizzard



As well as his classical piece Dee



Even though he died in 1982 he's influenced countless metal guitarists since. Every guitarist Ozzy has had since has been influenced by his style (Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde and Gus G) as well as other metal guitarists such as Dimebag Darrel and Kirk Hammet.

So would you say Randy Rhoads is the greatest metal guitarist ever
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:23 PM
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No. I would probably put Randy Rhoads in my top 5, not in the #1 slot. Not that he wasn't talented, because he clearly was. He simply didn't have a large enough body of work.

1. Tony Iommi
2. Eddie Van Halen
3. Jimmy Page
4. Dweezil Zappa
5. Randy Rhoads

NOTE: I disqualify Jimmy Hendrix, because Heavy Metal didn't exist yet, otherwise he would be the clear #1.

He did influence a lot of players, but does that mean that he was better? I am not convinced that influencing people automatically means more talented.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Davi323 View Post
No. I would probably put Randy Rhoads in my top 5, not in the #1 slot. Not that he wasn't talented, because he clearly was. He simply didn't have a large enough body of work.

1. Tony Iommi
2. Eddie Van Halen
3. Jimmy Page
4. Dweezil Zappa
5. Randy Rhoads

NOTE: I disqualify Jimmy Hendrix, because Heavy Metal didn't exist yet, otherwise he would be the clear #1.
I don't think the body of work matters so much. I mean you said Jimi Hendrix would be the clear number 1, yet he only released three albums. I don't think it matters on the body of work as much as others seeing what you do on the body of work (big or small) and take influence from it.


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He did influence a lot of players, but does that mean that he was better? I am not convinced that influencing people automatically means more talented.
I guess one can argue influencing people has nothing on technical ability, but this is Randy Rhoads, people still say how much of a great guitarist he is. Heck Zakk Wylde is seen as a great guitarist and his playing style was heavily influenced by Randy and he's had a lot more time to play, by definition Rhoads would be able to wipe the floor with him if he was still alive.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:32 AM
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I don't think the body of work matters so much. I mean you said Jimi Hendrix would be the clear number 1, yet he only released three albums. I don't think it matters on the body of work as much as others seeing what you do on the body of work (big or small) and take influence from it.




I guess one can argue influencing people has nothing on technical ability, but this is Randy Rhoads, people still say how much of a great guitarist he is. Heck Zakk Wylde is seen as a great guitarist and his playing style was heavily influenced by Randy and he's had a lot more time to play, by definition Rhoads would be able to wipe the floor with him if he was still alive.
No, it just means that he was influenced by him. Influence =/= greater.

I would put Jimi Hendrix #1 in an overall guitarist category easily...but you asked about Metal specifically. Since the genre did not exist when Hendrix was alive, I can't count his work. However, Jimi is generally acknowledged as the greatest guitarist ever. Yes, he only had 3 albums, but the man had the touch. He was blessed with talent far beyond any mortal man, as if God touched him when he was born and said Jimi, you are going change the world of music forever.

Jimi did change the world. Rhoads was a great guitarist, but in his short time, he didn't change music like Hendrix did. He influenced metal guitarists, sure...but he didn't revolutionize like Hendrix. I know it seems hypocritical to allow the short time frame for Hendrix and then use it as a knock on Rhoads...tough. Hendrix did as much as you can possibly do to change rock and roll in that timeframe. Jimi Hendrix is a special case, and we both know it.

But, if we want to count guitarists that played heavy guitar before it became "metal", okay. Rhoads just dropped down two spots, not just the one then. In addition to Jimi Hendrix being #1, thus knocking everyone down a notch, using those rules, then Rhoads get bumped down yet another spot in favor of Eric Clapton. Clapton's work with the Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominos and Cream "pre-metal" would have to be taken into consideration. Nobody thinks of Clapton as a metal guitarist, but nobody considers Hendrix a metal guitarist either. But if you want to include that hard guitar sound from the late 60s/early 70s, okay. In fact, if we are doing that, then I am going to bounce Randy Rhoads down another notch in favor of Pete Townsend.

But, like Hendrix and Clapton, The Who are not generally considered metal. Some might not consider Led Zeppelin metal either...but it's fucking Led Zeppelin, and like Black Sabbath, there would simply be no metal genre without them.

Now, back to Randy Rhoads...

Metallica claims they were influenced by KISS. Which is the greater band?
The Beatles were heavily influenced by Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and Carl Perkins...yet, I doubt you will find anyone saying that any of them were better than the Beatles.

But, you point out all of the guitarists that Rhoads influenced as proof that he should be #1. Using that logic, any guitarist who influenced Rhoads, whether it was Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, or any other influential rock/metal guitarists that predate Rhoads would necessarily have to be better than Rhoads too. If Rhoads is great because of who he influenced, then they are greater for influencing Rhoads. It's a silly argument you are making, because you completely forgot about who influenced him...

Had Randy Rhoads lived longer, and had a lengthy career playing guitar for Ozzy, it's possible that he would be #1. But the body of work that Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen have put out surpasses that of Rhoads. I will admit that Dweezil Zappa is possibly a disputable choice, and that may come down to personal preferences...but in my opinion, Dweezil Zappa is one of the most technically proficient guitarists in the world. I almost knocked Rhoads down yet another spot for that reason in favor of Brian May from Queen, but I consider Queen more of a straight up rock band than a metal band, so he wouldn't be appropriate.

NONE of this should be taken as any kind of insult to Randy Rhoads...He was brilliant. But there multiple brilliant guitarists in the world.
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