Ozzy Osbourne

Blizzard of Oz [Bonus Track] [Remastered] [Bonus Tracks]

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Review

Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album was originally credited to the band Blizzard of Ozz, an appropriate designation since the songs were written and produced by Osbourne with guitarist Randy Rhoads, bassist Bob Daisley, and drummer Lee Kerslake, and because the album is remembered as a showcase for Rhoads. In this refurbished version, which features some newly recorded overdubs and which has been remixed and remastered, Rhoads again stands out for his effective guitar work, but one is also struck by the lyrical persona Osbourne was presenting to the world on his maiden voyage after Black Sabbath. Clearly, his sacking by his former band and the resulting binge of depression and substance abuse that took up 1979 were still much on his mind when he came to record this album in the spring of 1980, and the songs are full of references to alcoholism ("Suicide Solution," said to have been inspired as well by the alcohol-related death of AC/DC singer Bon Scott), Satanism ("Mr. Crowley," which pondered the legacy of Satanist Alistair Crowley), and addiction to pornography ("No Bone Movies"). The singer opened the album by disclaiming any pretensions to wisdom ("I Don't Know") and sounded like he was mourning his departure from Black Sabbath on the ballad "Goodbye to Romance." But "Crazy Train" and "Revelation (Mother Earth)" suggested that there was some reason for hope on a global basis and, by the end of the album, "Steal Away (The Night)" indicated he had worked his way through his troubles to a new optimism. The bonus track, "You Lookin' at Me Lookin' at You," apparently an album outtake with new bass and drum parts added by Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, is another example of Rhoads' majestic playing and is actually one of the disc's catchier tracks. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi