Ozzy Osbourne leaves Black Sabbath behind and starts his solo career by unearthing a guitar genius in the ill-fated Randy Rhodes, and unleashing him on a set of tracks that mix the marvelous with the mediocre.
Clocking in at a compact 39 minutes, Blizzard Of Ozz features a range of styles and speeds from ballads to up-tempo metal, with Osbourne's vocals very much to the forefront throughout but giving way for Rhodes to let loose at least for a short passage on each track.
With solid support from Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, Osbourne made sure that the bass and drums respectively were not over-run.
Out of eight meaningful tracks, two are unfortunately duds. Suicide Solution, regardless of the lyrics controversy, is a poor song, equalled by the particularly annoying No Bone Movies.
These two aside, Blizzard Of Ozz contains some of Osbourne's best work as a solo artist. Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley are both terrific metal tracks that showcase Osbourne's songwriting and Rhodes guitar talent. Both the guitar riff and the insane vocals on Crazy Train are legendary, while Mr. Crowley brilliantly combines Osbourne's vocals with a haunting, slower, more powerful guitar driven melody.
The underrated Revelation (Mother Earth) ends with a long, beautiful keyboard-inspired instrumental passage that cleverly transitions from lyrical to powerful. Although not listed as a member of the band, Don Airy does the job on keyboards, part of a career that has encompassed most legendary metal bands. The other three tracks, energetic opener I Don't Know, ballad Goodbye To Romance and closer Steal Away (The Night), are good without being spectacular.
Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist was never going to change the music world the way Black Sabbath did; but with Rhodes blazing a memorable trail and a couple of timeless classics, Blizzard Of Ozz does contribute its own bit of magic to metal's history.
Ozzy Osbourne - Vocals
Randy Rhoads - Guitars
Bob Daisley - Bass
Lee Kerslake - Drums
Keyboards by Don Airey
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. I Don't Know - 8
2. Crazy Train - 10
3. Goodbye To Romance - 7
4. Dee - n/a (short instrumental)
5. Suicide Solution - 5
6. Mr. Crowley - 10
7. No Bone Movies - 5
8. Revelation (Mother Earth) - 9
9. Steal Away (The Night) - 7
Produced by Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake and Randy Rhoads.
Engineered by Max Norman.
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