OZZY OSBOURNE — Blizzard Of Ozz (review)

OZZY OSBOURNE — Blizzard Of Ozz album cover Album · 1980 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Ozzy's first solo album came out the same year as Sabbath's first post-Ozzy album. Sabbath had their secret weapon in the form of Dio himself; Ozzy, for his part, had his own ace up his sleeve in Randy Rhoads, a prodigiously talented guitarist whose shredding is far and away the most appealing aspect of this album.

Let's face it: as compelling as he was in his prime as a frontman, Ozzy's talent for lyrics has always been hit or miss, and that's never truer than on this album, with dubious rhymes infecting most of the songs and some pieces, like the bizarre anti-porn piece No Bone Movies, descending into incoherence. ("Hungry for bodge", Ozzy? Really?) What Ozzy has always needed is a high-quality musical backing to elevate his wails from drunken rambling to thunderous, almost operatic statements. In Sabbath this was provided by Iommi's doomy riffs; here, it's Rhoads who steps up to the plate with technically flashy soloing that pushes songs such as I Don't Know and Crazy Train from goof-off territory into the staples of Ozzy's act they became.

However, in any review carried out today, the album needs to hold its own not only against Heaven and Hell - which I would argue is a more consistent album, having no song as out of place or limp as the utterly needless ballad Goodbye to Romance that blots the running order here - but also faces stiff competition from Tribute, the double live album documenting the 1981 tour which was released in honour of Randy. Said album includes all the songs from here, plus a wealth of classical guitar material from Randy culled from the recording of the brief interlude Dee on Blizzard, without the sleek studio production job that renders some songs (such as Suicide Solution) rather lifeless on this disc. On balance, Blizzard of Ozz was a listenable and entertaining product that proved that Ozzy could be a viable commercial force without Sabbath, but it's not stood the test of time nearly as well as Heaven and Hell, or Ozzy and Rhoads' own Tribute.
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