Blizzard Of Ozz

Ozzy Osbourne

Jet Records, 1980

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/28/1999

In the early '80s, Ozzy Osbourne had the unenviable task of proving that there was life beyond Black Sabbath. Many had already written Osbourne off, and did not take any solo attempt he would make seriously. If you've watched VH-1's "Behind The Music" special on Osbourne, you already know the circumstances that led to his finally declaring a solo career.

That first move out of the gates, 1981's Blizzard Of Ozz, introduced many to the guitar talents of one Randy Rhoads, and it spawned songs that would become cornerstones for Osbourne's post-Sabbath career. But in retrospect, this album didn't have the power or sound that Osbourne needed to really give the scene a kick in the ass.

The overall sound on Blizzard Of Ozz is a bit strange; if it's at all possible, it seems like the mix needed more treble and more bass. There just isn't a crispness that I personally like to hear - and what Osbourne would achieve on later albums.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

First, the highlights. There is no denying that "Crazy Train" is one of Osbourne's best songs ever. The frantic guitar work by Rhoads (combined with some of the most familiar guitar licks in heavy metal) sets the tone for this track, and secures Rhoads a place in history as a guitar legend. Yes, I love this song.

A few others on Blizzard Of Ozz are enjoyable, but they don't nearly reach the same level of excellence as "Crazy Train" did. The opening track, "I Don't Know," is a nice way to announce the return of Osbourne, and bassist Bob Daisley has some tasty four-string work on this one. "Suicide Solution" has been targeted by more groups than I care to count, but one thing remains clear: this song is not - let me repeat that, IS NOT - advocating suicide in any manner. If anything, this song is about the dangers of alcohol, something Osbourne knew all too well.

The remainder of Blizzard Of Ozz teeters between half-baked metal and syrupy ballads. (I almost said that Black Sabbath would never have done ballads, but then I remembered the song "Changes".) Tracks like "No Bone Movies" and "Steal Away (The Night)" hardly rank as classics, though they're at least listenable. "Goodbye To Romance" is a surprising fork in the road for Osbourne, and not one of my favorite moments in his career. Same goes with "Revelation (Mother Earth)", which tries to show it has some balls a third of the way through. (To Osbourne's credit, he'd get the ballad idea down pat soon enough.)

I realize that uttering any potential negative about Blizzard Of Ozz is cause for flame mail, public ridicule, and even tar & feathering. But 18 years after this came out, Osbourne has proved that this album was merely a stepping stone towards his eventual superstardom. And while it had a few of the bricks needed to build that foundation, this record as a whole was hardly the whole foundation.

We'd get to know Osbourne and Rhoads better on the follow-up disc Diary Of A Madman (and would sadly bid goodbye to Rhoads after a tragic plane accident), and Osbourne would continue to improve his songwriting and sound, even as he continued to battle his own personal demons. But Blizzard Of Ozz, while an okay start, hardly symbolized the true return to glory of Osbourne.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Jet Records, and is used for informational purposes only.