Randy was actually not going to be playing on Ozzys next album. He was planning on going to school to study classical music theory...That was his true passion.
The funny thing is Rhodes was a very good guitarist at the time of his death. A great guitarist?, No...But indeed one of the hot guitarists on the scene. Prior to Ozzy he had played with Quiet Riot and was well known on the Sunset strip in CA. Van Halen, Rhodes and Greg Leon were THE new breed of player on the scene.. However, Rhodes status d only rose to thie guitar god status during the years after his death.
Wylde has no classical training. What he does have is a goal of always improving on his playing. He does nothing but practice to reach perfection. In my opinion he has the speed of and precision of Y. Malmsteen, the soul of Hendrix and a style all his own. Thats what makes him a great player in my book. If you played ten guitar solos by ten different players you would always be able to pick out Zakk from the bunch. He is todays virtuoso..IMHO.....
Funny you mention Book of Shadows and Pride and Glory. Those two projects really show how broad his playing is...I have everything he's done.
Take a look on YouTube if you havent already. There is a video of him playing at a battle of the bands in highschool...