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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Osbourne, Ozzy - 1980 Blizzard Of Ozz
Osbourne, Ozzy - 1980 Blizzard Of Ozz

ARTIST: Osbourne, Ozzy
ALBUM: Blizzard Of Ozz
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1987, Jet, CDJET234 * 2002, Epic, EK8527 * 2011, Legacy, 88697 73818 2


LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne - lead and backing vocals * Randy Rhoads - guitars * Bob Daisley - bass, backing vocals, gong * Lee Kerslake - drums, percussion, timpani

Guest: Don Airey - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Don't Know * 02 Crazy Train * 03 Goodbye To Romance * 04 Dee * 05 Suicide Solution * 06 Mr Crowley * 07 No Bone Movies * 08 Revelation (Mother Earth) * 09 Steal Away (The Night)


The late 70's was a tumultuous time for Black Sabbath and their dearly departed vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Racked by alcohol and drug issues, the band were spiralling out of control, not helped by general indifference to their recent albums and their well publicized substance abuse issues. A change was needed. Cleaning up their act, both parties moved onto successful career changes. Sabbath migrating to Part II of their longstanding history by recruting former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio, while Osbourne signed on with Don Arden's Jet Records who the release of his successful 'Blizzard Of Ozz' LP and the unveiling of L.A six-string legend Randy Rhoads. Prior to his signing, Ozzy found it difficult to rebound as not many would take a chance on him after the Sabbath departure. The coming together of the first Osbourne/Blizzard Of Ozz incarnation is a long story in itself which won't be repeated here, but suffice to say that Osbourne was onto a winner by recruiting Rhoads and delivering some classic material that still stands the test of time ('Crazy Train' anyone?). Journeymen Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake completed the line-up, but didn't last long beyond the recording of the album. As we all know, Osbourne's tough taskmaster stance toward the recruitment of the lead guitarist in his band is guaranteed to set up the successful six-stringer for life, with the exception of Rhoads whose tragic passing/air accident in 1982 was a huge shock to the rock world. But nonetheless..

The Songs
With Ozzy's pre-occupation with the occult and other weird and wacky subject matter carrying over from his Sabbath days, 'Blizzard Of Ozz' and the Prince Of Darkness was announced to the world during September 1980 upon this release. There is no shortage of vintage material onboard, commencing with the sensational guitarwork from Rhoads on 'I Don't Know'. What an entrance! Then of course there is 'Crazy Train', with Ozzy's stationmaster announcement 'all aboard' with a mock sense of demonic laughter soon following. Once again it's Randy's command of the six-string that is the highlight, including a solo that has spanwed a gazillion imitators in both the real world and on You Tube. Always known for a good ballad, Ozzy softens up for the intimate 'Goodbye To Romance', followed by the short instrumental 'Dee' which is played in minstrel like fashion by Rhoads. We're back on track for the stomping 'Suicide Solution', which may have turned a few heads and raised eyebrows by the Conservative Right Movement which made its presence in the 80's. 'Mr Crowley' is an apt tune for the Prince Of Darkness and all his conjured material of the occult. Not as silly as the demons and dragons nonsense put forward by Dio, but Ozzy sings this as a sort-of tribute. 'No Bone Movies' is a dig at the porn industry of the time. Read the lyrics, the innuendo is rife.. lol! The closest Ozzy gets to Black Sabbath material is 'Revelation (Mother Earth)'. The six minute mini-epic contains all the Sabbs trademarks so it was kind of inevitable that a song of this nature would make it onto the album. The final cut 'Steal Away (The Night)' is a slam-dunk heavy rocker with a fast tempo, meaty guitar riffs with no room for doom and sorcery. Just gang-busting metal that sees Rhoads let loose.

In Summary
Strange that the original issue dates for the US and UK differed by 6 months. Sept 1980 for the US, and March 1981 for the UK. In todays era, the time difference would be akin to a decade, such is the fast natured movement of the music industry. The album was a commercial success for Osbourne, the album going platinum, with 'Crazy Train' and 'Mr Crowley' released as singles but neither going top 40. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the album has since gone 4 x platinum without the benefit of a hit single. As mentioned, Daisley and Kerslake accommodated Ozzy's management but in the process were fired prior to the release of 'Diary Of A Madman'. Various lawsuits between Osbourne's management and Daisley/Kerslake took place over the course of 20 years, to the point where re-recorded drums and bass were made in 2002 as a spiteful measure, the outcome being: fans thought the 2002 reissue sucked big time, so the original bass and drums were eventually returned to the original mix. Strange also during this time that Daisley continued to work professionally on/off with Ozzy over the course of the next decade. So perhaps it wasn't Ozzy the person who was to blame but his management (the Ardens)? Anyway, you can read about this nonsense all over the Internet if you care to do so. Moving on, 1981 saw the release of Ozzy's second album 'Diary Of A Madman', with the band now one quarter Brit, three-quarters Yank. Rhoads, Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge now making up the new lineup.

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#1 | Eric on September 04 2011 00:39:52
I remember when Ozzy came to town on this tour opening for of all people 38. Special. A outdoor gig off the banks of the Mississippi river, why I didn't go is a mystery now. Great album.
#2 | reyno-roxx on September 06 2011 14:26:03
Good album. Scott Shelly of The Strand was Randy's guitar tutor for a period in the mid 70s!
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