2020Released
4:53

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Crazy Train. By Songfacts®.

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, and the first guitarist to seek Ozzy's input during the songwriting process. "He was the first guy to go, 'Maybe you should do it in this key,'" Ozzy said. "He was a first guy to ever consider my opinion and give me a break."

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Crazy Train.
AKey
MajorMode
4/4Time Signature
138BPM

Album

The album Crazy Train is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Crazy Train.
Epic/Legacy
This compilation (P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

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