OZZY OSBOURNE — Blizzard Of Ozz (review)

OZZY OSBOURNE — Blizzard Of Ozz album cover Album · 1980 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Negoba
Absolute Classic Shows Its Age

When Ozzy emerged from his break with Black Sabbath, he had struck an unbelievably lucky from his drug induced haze when he accepted young guitar genius Randy Rhoads for his band. Rhoads had been the leader of Van Halen's local rival Quiet Riot, which had never quite broke at that point. Rhoads' classically influenced heavy metal was essentially unheard before, though Ritchie Blackmore and Eddie certainly had set the stage in their own arenas. Where Eddie dazzled through crazy raw talent, Randy had achieved his amazing abilities through dedication and force of will. Though he wasn't a complete rookie on Diary of a Madman, he was still a bit raw. (Ozzy of course being cooked.)

Almost every song on this album is classic, amazing heavy metal, and most of the riffs were already old friends for Randy long before Ozzy came calling. "Suicide Solution"'s riff actually already appeared on a Quiet Riot song, and the riffs for "Crazy Train" had been used for teaching purposes back when Randy was giving lessons. But the combination of those riffs with Ozzy's vocals and dark lyrics was a perfect match. Every song on this album is great with the exception of "No Bone Movies," and perhaps "Goodbye to Romance," even before you start to consider the guitar solos.

So many guitarists have deconstructed every guitar solo on this album, including this author. Even "Romance" has a great simple lead that is just perfect for the song. "Crazy Train" and "I Don't Know" are guitar classics, but it is "Mr. Crowley" that is just an amazing piece of metal music. The solos on this one are probably Randy's best, and there are plenty of them.

So why not a perfect score? The production, simply. It's BAD. The rhythm section is not very good. And the entire album is included on Tribute with those problems more than fixed. Randy's playing is much more fluid and relaxed, but if anything faster and explosive. The tone is better, the rhythms more propulsive.

Bottom Line: Absolute Classic of Metal - but the live version is even better.
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