in CAT

C.A.T: Blizzard of Ozz

Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz (1981)

Recently I was paging through a copy of Horrorhound magazine when I came upon an article about all the best horror themed metal albums of 1981. How someone came up with such a strangely specific article I don’t know, but even though I don’t consider myself a metal fan I decided it might be fun to check one of them out just for kicks. The list included; Heavy Metal the Soundtrack, the second Iron Maiden album, some album by a band called Venom, two Ozzy-less Sabbath albums and then Ozzy’s debut solo album and followup record. Though the decision really wasn’t that difficult when “Crazy Train” is one of the tracks on one of those seven albums. So I went for Blizzard of Ozz, the debut solo album from that guy from The Osbournes.

I’ve had fun (to some extent) getting into Black Sabbath this year but haven’t really felt the need to expand my metal music knowledge since then. Of course Ozzy is a big part of why I like Black Sabbath but could I really enjoy the Prince of Darkness without his minions? Surprisingly, Ozzy does alright without his brooding Sabbath rhythm section and talented axe man, of course he is now paired up with an even more talented axe man. Randy Rhoads, who I’m sure most rock and roll fans have at least heard of was probably one of the most talented hard rock guitarists of his time. Even though his recording career only spanned roughly six years before his untimely death at 25, he made his mark as one of the most technically proficient shred heads ever. Though Rhoads also played in the original lineup of Quiet Riot he is perhaps best known as the reason Ozzy even had a solo career early on. So together with the Prince of Darkness and bassist Bob Daisley, the three penned a solid album’s worth of hard rock gems.

Songs on Blizzard naturally depict gothic imagery with tunes like “Suicide Solution”, “No Bone Movies” and of course “Mr. Crowley”. So it’s quite appropriate for the season and still very in tune with what Ozzy did in Sabbath. Though Ozzy has never considered himself much of a songwriter I think he really shines here with the kind of melodies not often seen in the same genre that gave us some of the shittiest bands ever. Ozzy has always been a self-proclaimed Beatles nut which has definitely seemed to bring forth the melody man in him, and he shows this off in songs like the hit “Crazy Train” and the surprisingly pleasant ballad “Goodbye to Romance”.

This album isn’t perfect, I don’t know who thought synthesizers were a good idea in metal music, but it’s competently produced, entertaining, and well executed. So guess I did enjoy my brief journey into the Prince of Darkness’ little world but I think I’ll head back now, it’s too scary in there.

Favorite Tracks: “Crazy Train”, “Goodbye to Romance”, “Revelation (Mother Earth)”