Picture the year 1980. During the last ten years or so, you’ve been vital part of the band that revolutionized music as the world knows it and given birth to the foundation of heavy fuckin metal. Then youre kicked out, left on your own with the substance abuse problems and a music scene that is burgeoning with punk and is not so keen on metal. Such was the case with the Prince of Darkness after he was ousted from Black Sabbath. Not long after the departure however, Ozzy kickstarted his own solo career that soared to amazing heights in both success and quality.
The debut Blizzard Of Ozz is largely defined by one Randall William Rhoads, or as we know him, Randy. Upon first hearing this album, I was mesmerized by the unbelievable guitarwork that the disc contained. The sound was totally unique, the technical abilities mindbogling and the melodic phrasings, that were filled with classical influences, out of this world. It was funny at the time when I hadn’t heard Rhoads before and I thought: “Holy shit, there is actually someone out there who could almost outplay Eddie Van Halen!” With this single disc (and as I must point out, along with Eddie Van Halens input on the two first VH records), Rhoads revived and resurrected the era of guitar heroes, that would reign supreme in the 80s to come. Even today, millions of wannabe-players like myself idolize the man, and thats based on mainly the work he accomplished in TWO years.
Ozzys solo material as a whole is much more upbeat and rocking than the Sabbath stuff, and this is very apparent already on Blizzard. I Don’t Know bulldozes everything with its frenetic groove while Suicide Solution recalls the decadent trappings of the rock n roll lifestyle with a truly vicious glamour. If memory serves me correct, Ozzy had intended the latter as a tribute to the late Bon Scott, the throat-demon of AC/DC fame (you all knew that…RIGHT?!?). The semi-legendary Crazy Train rips out with one the most memorable guitar riffs in history and the solo is pure airguitaric bliss.
Revelation (Mother Earth) and Goodbye To Romance are some of the most tasteful and magnificent rock ballads ever, especially the latter, a message to his days in Sabbath ("Goodbye to all the past, I guess that we´ll meet, we´ll meet in the end”.) Steal Away (The Night) and No Bone Movies are excellent hard rock steamrollers that up the moshfactor to dizzy rates. But my bretheren, all the brilliance above, is eclipsed by one of the greatest metal tunes in history.
The grand master of occultism, Alistair Crowley, has been an influence on rockers from Jimmy Page to Ozzy, and so blessed be the fact. Mr Crowley, in all of its holier-than-thou-5-minutes-glory is humongous, überrific, ecstatic, call it what you want, its METAL! The eerie organ intro, the crashing coming of the instruments and Ozzys voice, the pounding grooves, and of course, those solos – those orgasmic solos. I have every intention of sounding like a fan boy when I say that I thought I was dreaming when I first heard Mr. Crowley. The guitarwork was inhuman – so melodic, so memorable and yet so fingertwistingly technical that it seemed impossible. Its just simply amazing, good people. An all-time classic heavy metal tune if there ever was one, and one that personifies this album perfectly. The rhythm section is tight throughout the album (and Im talking about the original Daisley-Kerslake-pairing here) and Ozzy is in excellent shape with his, well, unique voice.
This album is a milestone in metal and one that Ozzy quite never beat later,
despite some excellent work, and most likely will never top. A true classic
of metal, as Blizzard Of Ozz doesn’t have one single bad moment
in it to me. Even the short acoustic instrumental Dee, dedicated to
Randys mother, is strikingly beautiful, and reveals Randys huge skills as a
composer in the barest of forms. You dig metal? Then get Blizzard into
your CD-shelf. Although you already should have it, and probably have.
Killing Songs :
All Of Em, capiché?
|Aleksie quoted CLASSIC|
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