Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Blizzard of Ozz, by Ozzy Osbourne

In 1979 heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne faced one of the worst moments of his life: Being fired from heavy metal pioneer band Black Sabbath due to his abuse of drugs and alcohol and the disastrous events that came as a result of them. For months afterward, Osbourne locked himself in a hotel room and did nothing but drink, do drugs, and order room service until his soon to be wife Sharon made him clean up his act enough to put a brand new band together. That is when Osbourne discovered one of the greatest neo-classical metal guitarists to ever live: Randy Rhoads.

Together in 1980 Rhoads and Osbourne with the help of bassist Bob Daisley's song writing abilities would create an album that would not only bring Osbourne back from the dead career-wise but would blast him into superstardom and even surpass his old band by a long shot. This album is called The Blizzard of Ozz. It contains many of Osbourne's most notable solo songs that are metal anthems even to this day such as I Don't Know, Crazy Train, and Mr. Crowley. The Blizzard of Ozz is astoundingly different from anything by Black Sabbath. Rhoads was far more speed and melody oriented when it came to guitar technique. However, the music was every bit as heavy.

Crazy Train. You can't go a day listening to classic rock radio without hearing this anthem once. This song is the definition of a headbanging tune. It has a signature riff that while extremely simple to play will get itself ingrained into your head for years to come. Every metal guitarist learns it almost right away. The guitar solo is also one that many guitarists learn early on because of how memorable it is. It does include a lot of techniques that many still try to emulate to this day. Naturally Crazy Train is still a staple in Osbourne's live performances.

One of the lesser known tunes on The Blizzard of Ozz that I particularly enjoy is Revelation (Mother Earth). It's more of a ballad type song about an eco-warrior. Osbourne puts a lot of emotion into every last lyric he sings in this song. Toward the end however, it gets heavier and then picks up the pace. When that happens, Rhoads's fingers absolutely FLY across the fretboard. His solo is melodic, speedy, and jaw dropping astounding. It's a shame that you don't hear it much on the radio or in Osbourne's current live sets. However, I guess it would be hard for any guitarist to tackle such a song.

It's a shame that after The Blizzard of Ozz Rhoads only did one more album with Osbourne before he died in a plane crash in 1982. Putting the two of them together is one of the single greatest things the god of rock ever did for us mortals. There is not a single bad track on this album. Even the songs that may seem like fillers kick serious ass. Any student of heavy metal can learn a lot by picking up The Blizzard of Ozz to put on their turntable, CD player, or mp3 playlist. It's worth every penny (even though Ozzy probably doesn't need any more money).

Track List:

1. I Don't Know
2. Crazy Train
3. Goodbye to Romance
4. Dee
5. Suicide Solution
6. Mr. Crowley
7. No Bone Movies
8. Revelation (Mother Earth)
9. Steal Away (The Night)

Buy the album on Amazon:

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