Review : Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz/Diary of a Madman (reissues)
DrownedinsoundThere's something that underpins all teen rebellion. Whatever you do, it has to be something your parents don't like. Playing loud music is ideal. Extreme volume pisses everyone off, especially in the morning and late evening, but how does one really crank that up to 11? These days it tends to involve getting a phone out on the back of the bus and blasting out mp3s. In the Eighties, music wasn't quite as portable. Walkmans were everywhere later on in the decade, true; but the majority of listening for most teens was still at home. Tapes and vinyl. And everyone cops their idea of teen cool from older, cooler kids. So it was with my family, and my sister. Heavy metal was in full swing, still carrying some generally nasty counter-cultural weight for the sixth formers as we started school. I vaguely recall a larger, spottier lad with a patch covered schoolbag exhorting the wonders of early Megadeth to me, for example.
My sister got into metal much earlier, and way more than I did, but foolishly didn't have a lock on her door. This meant my brother and I got to nip into her room, and ransack her collection. There was a lot of W.A.S.P and Iron Maiden, but one of the key records was Blizzard of Ozz. I listened to it regularly, without knowing the context of Sabbath, without knowing that Alba weren't really a manufacturer of high end sound systems, for a couple of months.
Coming back to a reissued, remastered Blizzard... 20 years later, the track listing wasn't as remembered. 'I Don't Know', the opening track, I'd forgotten entirely. It's a generic rock and roll call to arms, with lyrics that tell the listener to go and find out for themselves, and to make their own choices rather than look for leaders to make choices for them. A noble notion and effort, but fairly bland, the rest of the band clinging onto Randy Rhoads' coat tails, until an almost soft rock middle eight breaks up the action. The album really starts in earnest on 'Crazy Train', a track now entrenched as a Rock Classic. Bob Daisley, a journeyman songwriter, formerly of Chicken Shack and Rainbow donates some staggeringly effective bass while Rhoads wails. 'Goodbye to Romance' is pretty, a middling Beatles influenced ballad with a hole just the right shape for a 30 second guitar solo. 'Dee' is a brief but nimble acoustic guitar interlude inserted to cleanse the palate before 'Suicide Solution' kicks in. A song dedicated to drinking yourself to death, with an insistent bass line and a brutal, thudding riff that must have caused thousands of cases of whiplash over the years. Listening to it now, my teenage self still urges me to throw the horns....full text
SmnnewsA new video trailer has been posted online for the reissues of Ozzy Osbourne’s classic albums “Diary of a Madman” and “Blizzard of Ozz.” The new versions of the albums will hit store shelves on May 31, 2011 and will include exclusive bonus content....full text
DawnofthedeafOn May 30th, music fans will have their first taste of re-issues from rock icon OZZY OSBOURNE’s catalogue of work with the releases of two albums which form the cornerstone of Ozzy Osbourne’s career as a solo artist: Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Long revered by rock fans around the world, these two albums created a template for hard rock in the 1980′s and beyond as they were marked by the ground-breaking and historic union of Ozzy and the late guitar hero Randy Rhoads. These definitive versions of 1980′s Blizzard of Ozz (with previously unreleased bonus tracks) and 1981′s Diary of a Madman are available individually on vinyl or CD, or together in a deluxe collector’s box. All versions were restored and re-mastered from the original analog sources by George Marino....full text
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