Cover Song Of The Month: Crazy Train By Van Heffer

New month, new cover song. I think you’ll find this one…well, I’ll leave it to you.

Ozzy Osbourne, once of the band Black Sabbath, has been a solo act for several decades. He has had a few hits, but probably makes more money portraying himself as an addled, shell of a man than he ever made making records.

One of Ozzy’s biggest hits is called Crazy Train. Despite Osbourne’s carefully crafted wild man image, the songs lyrics are an anthem to people getting along and resisting negative influences. praises Osbourne’s performance on this song “for his ability to sound evil even when pleading for sanity in a destructive world”.

I should try that “sound evil, say nice things” method some time.

The Cover

This month, we contrast Ozzy’s original with a performance of the same song by a bluegrass band with an Elvis impersonator singer.  As best I can tell, the band is part of a pilot for a Comedy Central television show. There is a CD of Van Heffer performing Crazy Train and other Osbourne and Black Sabbath songs.

Go Up The Rails On A Crazy Train To Register Your Opinion

And now, its is time to do what happens each time each time I trot one of these out. Vote in the cover song poll and vent your feelings about the bluegrass version in the comments.


42 Comments on “Cover Song Of The Month: Crazy Train By Van Heffer”

  1. jacquelincangro says:

    Um… an Elvis impersonator wearing shorts and glow sticks in the audience? Where do I sign up?

    Thank you, Oma for bringing us this much needed cover song. Otherwise this hidden gem might have remained hidden forever.

  2. hansi says:

    OK..I’m biased, cause I thing Black Sabbath’s second Album “Paranoid” was their best. Loved the Elvis parody/cover version. The Ozz-miester is now only a parody of himself anyway.

  3. madtante says:

    I do the say something mean then say something nice and it comes out psychotic. Oh, hang on. I am mental, so that’s expected.

  4. pattypunker says:

    one of the reasons i loved the smiths is because their sound was upbeat and perky and the lyrics were so depressing.

  5. planetross says:

    I had the Ozzie album as a kid. It will always be my favourite.
    The Elvis guy did do a good job of it, but my heart belongs to Ozzie … even if he eats it.

  6. Todd Pack says:

    The mark of a great song is whether it works as bluegrass. I’m serious. I’m not being ironic. If there’s a real song there, if it’s not just production and attitude, then it’ll work as a bluegrass tune.

  7. Betty says:

    I was so distracted by the visual that I don’t think I really heard it. And I’m too frightened to watch it again. I thought I was stroking out.

    • omawarisan says:

      Hit play and run in the other room, it really is kind of catchy when youre not thinking about 70’s Elvis in hot pants…not that you do that very often that I’m aware of.

  8. Brooke says:

    Homeboy is wearing shorts. I really don’t know what to think. (But the harmony is quite nice!)

  9. spencercourt says:

    Hey…Elvis is in that band?

  10. Spectra says:

    I liked the Elvis/bluegrass version better. It had a nice beat.

  11. Amy says:

    And this is why I love the internet. Never would have seen this otherwise.
    As entertaining as this was, I’m still team Ozzy. Love me some Black Sabbath.

  12. thejaggedman says:

    What!?! Elvis died again? This time in a bus wreck….what honey? That was not really Elvis? Right dear..wink,wink.
    Thanks again for sharing new and wonderful things with us but those shorts….uh, I got nothing.

  13. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    The original made my ears bleed. The cover made my eyes bleed. You never fail to find the most disturbing images that will live with me to the end of my days. The crotch shot of fake Elvis was beyond disturbing and I couldn’t watch past that moment.

  14. I love bluegrass, Oma, especially Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs. I don’t love Elvis imitators…I’m fine with the listening to the bluegrass version of this song, as long as I don’t have to watch the video…


  15. Jeane says:

    Spent the morning listening to Patti Smith, looking at Robert Mapplethorpe photography, then preceded to watch an hour of Mick and Keith interviews and now you give me Ozzy and Elvis in shorts…yes the weekend is starting off as the perfect crazy train! Awesome…loved the tribute.

  16. linlah says:

    Elvis as Ozzie. Crazy.

  17. gmomj says:

    You’ve got to love a real rock band like Black Sabbath doing Crazy Train. They lift the audience even on video. Takes me back to the days of blue smoke hanging in the air and rocking out with abandon.
    But the (I’ll say it), gay Elvis impersonator had some good music and riff going on. I don’t get the “get-up” but I can love that sound. You go girl…er…guy.

    • omawarisan says:

      The whole show is online I think. I need to watch it to see what the deal on the shorts is.

      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        I don’t care what kind of deal they have on the shorts, Oma, don’t buy them. I hold you in too high esteem to imagine you in those shorts. OUCH! My brain just went there!

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