Crazy Train

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"Crazy Train"
Crazy Train 45.jpg
Single by Ozzy Osbourne
from the album Blizzard of Ozz
B-side"You Lookin' at Me Lookin' at You"
ReleasedSeptember 1980
Recorded22 March 1980
GenreHeavy metal
Ozzy Osbourne singles chronology
"Crazy Train"
"Mr Crowley"
"Crazy Train (Live)"
OzzyOsbourne CrazyTrainLive Single 1987.jpg
Single by Ozzy Osbourne
from the album Tribute
  • "Crazy Train"
  • "I Don't Know"
Format7" Vinyl (45 RPM)
GenreHeavy metal
Producer(s)Max Norman
Ozzy Osbourne singles chronology
"The Ultimate Sin"
"Crazy Train (Live)"
"Miracle Man"

"Crazy Train" is the first single from British heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, released in 1980. It is also his first solo single. A live version of the song recorded in 1981 from the album Tribute was also released as a single in 1987 with an accompanying music video. 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.[1]

Production and reception[edit]

Guitarist Greg Leon, who initially took Randy Rhoads' 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."[2] Guitarist William Weaver has also claimed to have written the signature riff and then presented the music to Rhoads in a studio session that they had both been a part of.

AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey described the main guitar riff as "a classic, making use of the full minor scale in a way not seen since Ritchie Blackmore's heyday with Deep Purple."[3]

The song is one of Osbourne's best known and recognizable as a solo performer.[4] It was rated 9th-greatest guitar solo ever by readers of Guitar World magazine.[5] The song was also ranked ninth by VH1 on the list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs[6] and in 2009 it was named the 23rd-greatest hard rock song of all time also by VH1,[7] the highest placement by a solo artist on the list.

The single reached No. 49 on the United Kingdom singles chart in 1980.[8] 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.[9] The master ringtone was certified double platinum and had by September 2010 sold 1,750,000 downloads.[10] The Tribute re-release was accompanied by a music video.


1980 studio version

1987 version (originally recorded live in 1981)

2002 re-issue


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[12] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

In other media[edit]

  • In 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump used the song in a Twitter video which imagined him crashing the first night of the first Democratic debate after technical difficulties marred part of the event. Osbourne and his wife Sharon sent a letter afterwards denouncing the president for using "Crazy Train" without permission and forbade him from using Osbourne's music in future political ads, suggesting instead that Trump use songs from artists who endorsed him like Kanye West, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kajzer, Jackie; Lotring, Roger (2010). Full Metal Jackie Certified: The 50 Most Influential Metal Songs of the '80s. Course Technology. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4354-5441-5.
  2. ^ Wall, Mick (1 February 2012). "Randy Rhoads: The Guitarist Who Changed The World". Classic Rock.
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne Songfacts". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Solos - Tablature for the greatest guitar solos of all time". 2 November 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Original TV Shows, Reality TV Shows". VH1. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". music. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Rock Tracks. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 103. ISBN 0-89820-153-5.
  10. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: Songs From The Last Century". Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  11. ^ "British single certifications – Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 August 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Crazy Train in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  12. ^ "American single certifications – Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 23 August 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  13. ^ "The Crazy Train That Led To Patriots Introductions - Lou Imbriano". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ Allen, Scott (5 February 2017). "Falcons picked perfect entrance song to send Patriots off the rails on a crazy train". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ "Megamind (2010) Music Soundtrack & Complete List of Songs - WhatSong Soundtracks". What-song. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  16. ^ Reilly, Phoebe (28 January 2011). "The Office Recap: Grow a Pair". Vulture.
  17. ^ Blistein, Jon (27 June 2019). "Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne Slam Trump Over Unauthorized Use of 'Crazy Train'". Rolling Stone.

External links[edit]