[Review] Ozzy Osbourne: Blizzard of Ozz (1980)

All rhoads lead to ozzy on this classic solo debut from the former Sabbath singer.

Kronomyth 1.0: Never say dead.

I never thaw it coming: Ozzy Osbourne emerging from his pixilated winter to unleash one of the most awesome metal albums of all time. Sure, he lucked into an incredible guitarist, manager, et cetera. The man has more luck than a rabbit and more lives than a cat. But there comes a point at which a reasonable mind has to admit that no one can be that lucky, and Blizzard of Ozz was that point for me. Every song on here, minus maybe “No Bone Movies,” is absolutely classic.

It begins with a powerful refutation of power, “I Don’t Know,” then careens into “Crazy Train” and by the time the romantic “Goodbye To Romance” rolls around, your thumb and index finger will be stained in butane. Ozzy’s opus uno also includes the infamous “Suicide Solution” and “Mr. Crowley,” the latter one of the best gothic metal songs, period. And on the closing pair of “Revelation” and “Steal Away,” Ozzy becomes metal-prog Oggy for ten minutes of bliss.

For a time, all Rhoads led to Randy as the real wizard of Ozz, and he certainly does surpass anything in the canon on “Crazy Train,” but the fact that Ozzy still manages to outshine his hired golden boy says all you need to know about the true Blizzard king. Of course, credit also goes to Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, or did until Ozzy and Sharon stripped the pair from the past in 2002 with a remixed version that featured the then-current rhythm section of Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin playing their parts. They even removed Daisley from the back cover album artwork, so deep was their disenchantment with the pair’s lawsuit against the Osbournes for royalty recognition.

In my opinion, the 2002 remix/remaster is an abomination, in all ways inferior to the original. The addition of the nonalbum B side “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You” isn’t enough to make me look the other way, either. If you’re really interested in Blizzard of Ozz, pick up the 1995 remaster and just ignore the shitstorm that followed.

Original elpee version

A1. I Don’t Know (5:14)
A2. Crazy Train (4:51)
A3. Goodbye to Romance (5:33)
A4. Dee (Randy Rhoads) (0:49)
A5. Suicide Solution (4:16)
B1. Mr. Crowley (4:55)
B2. No Bone Movies (Ozzy Osbourne/Bob Daisley/Randy Rhoads/Lee Kerslake) (3:52)
B3. Revelation (Mother Earth) (6:08)
B4. Steal Away (The Night) (3:28)

CD reissue bonus track
10. You Lookin’ at Me Lookin’ at You (4:16)

All songs written by Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Daisley and Randy Rhoads unless noted.

The Players

Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals, harmony vocals), Bob Daisley (bass guitar, harmony vocals, gongs), Lee Kerslake (drums, percussion, tubular bells, timpani drums), Randy Rhoads (all guitars) with Don Airey (keyboards). The 2002 remaster features Mike Bordin (drums, percussion, timpani drums, gongs), Mark Lennon (background vocals), Danny Saber (tubular bells), John Shanks (background vocals on B4) and Robert Trujillo (bass guitar). Produced by Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake and Randy Rhoads; engineered by Max Norman. 2002 remaster engineered and remixed by Thom Panunzio, Herman Villacota.

The Pictures

Art direction by David Coleman. Photography by Fin Costello, Neal Preston, Mark Weiss, Ross Halfin, Paul Natkin.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette on September 20, 1980 in the UK (Jet, JETLP-234), Japan (Jet, 25AP-1992) and the Netherlands (Epic, 450453-1/4) and on March 27, 1981 in the US and Canada (CBS/Jet, JZ/JZT-36812), Brazil (Epic, 144716) and Mexico (Jet, LNS-17382) with lyrics innersleeve and poster (UK). Reached #7 on the UK charts and #21 on the US charts (RIAA-certified 4x platinum record).

  1. Re-issued on compact disc in 1987 in the UK (Jet, CDJET-234).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in the US (Epic, ZK-36812).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1989 in Japan (CBS/Sony, 25DP-5220).
  4. Re-released on remastered compact disc on August 22, 1995 in the US, Brazil and Canada (Epic, EK-67235) and in 1995 in Japan (Sony, SRCS-8477).
  5. Re-released on 180g vinyl elpee in 1999 in the UK (481674-1).
  6. Re-issued 180g vinyl elpee in the UK (Simply Vinyl, SVLP-380).
  7. Re-issued on compact disc in 2002 in France (Epic, 502040-2).
  8. Re-released on expanded, remixed compact disc on April 2, 2002 in the US (Epic, EK-85247) with one bonus track.
  9. Re-issued on remastered compact disc in 2007 in Japan (Epic, EICP-779).

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