Review Summary: The essential Heavy Metal album, Ozzy Osborne’s debut album is considered a classic among fans of metal, me included. However, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the horrible truth about this album.
After being kicked out of Black Sabbath for doing too many drugs, Ozzy Osborne did what many of us would do facing the same situation: He went to a hotel, locked himself inside his room, and just did massive amounts of drugs. Unlike most of us, who would likely end up as drunken vagrants, Ozzy Osborne eventually got off his ass and created probably the greatest album of his career. “Blizzard of Ozz” has several classic tracks, and many of them are still played on Rock Music stations to this day. “Crazy Train” was the song that inspired me to listen to Heavy Metal music, and at the time, I thought this was an amazing album.
So, what could be bad about this album? The first two tracks reek of pure awesome. “I Don’t Know” has an amazing, heavy guitar riff, and “Crazy Train” continues the albums excellence. It was shortly after asking myself this question that I discovered the answer. See, I’ve had this album for a long time, now, and I’ve only listened to two or three songs: “I Don’t Know”, “Crazy Train”, and “Mr. Crowley”, and the reason why I’ve only listened to those songs, because those are the only songs worth listening on this album. There’s a reason why Guitar Hero 4 only had two songs from this album in the game, and Rock Band hasn’t developed a “Blizzard of Ozz” download pack. The rest of the songs on this album range from “borderline ok” to “suck”.
“Goodbye to Romance” is where the album starts to disappoint. A slower, more somber song than the first two, it’s an unwelcome change of pace. I was pumped up after “Crazy Train”, but the slower, depressing tone doesn’t fit with heavy metal. I mean, Ozzy Osborne is the Prince of Darkness, and I can’t imagine anyone with that title whining about missing friends and being alone. Save that stuff for the LiveJournal. If this song were a few minutes shorter, it would be almost bearable, but it drags on for five minutes, and I dislike it greatly. “Dee” is like “Goodbye to Romance” lite. A much shorter song, but equally somber and low-key, it’s a simple instrumental I think Randy Rhoads wrote for his mother, which is okay. At least it’s short.
“Suicide Solution” is a return to the heavy metal, and is a decent song. There’s nothing too special or remarkable about it, but it gets a pass in my eyes. I read that Ozzy Osborne was sued after some kid killed himself while listening to his songs, and his parents assumed that Osborne was advocating suicide. All I have to say to that is to quote Bill Hicks: “What performer wants his audience to die?”
“Mr. Crowley” is another well-known song, so I won’t spend too much time talking about it. It’s a somber song, but heavy, with some nice solos and synthesizer usage. Unfortunately, this is the last of the good songs. The rest of the album is utter mediocrity and you aren’t missing anything if you skip the three final songs. “No Bone Movies” is a standard hard rock/metal song with some boring guitar and drum work. “Revelation (Mother Earth) is another somber, depressing song, and it reminds me of Metallica’s “Fade to Black” in that the song builds in intensity towards the end, but it’s at the end so the heavy metal is limited. “Steal Away (The Night) is similar to “No Bone Movies” in its sound and feel, but like it, there is nothing spectacular about it. To me, these three songs are simply filler, and I will most likely never listen to them, again.
The instruments on this album are competently played and are definitely classic, on the classic songs, that is. Randy Rhoads, in his limited time in the band, managed to inspire and influence several of today’s hard rock and metal guitarists with his classically inspired guitar work. The bass is surprisingly audible, if a bit uninspired and uncreative. However, as far as I’m concerned, if you can hear the bass on a metal album, you’ve got something special, so there it is. The drums are well-played, as well.
As for the vocals, I’ve heard differing opinions on Ozzy Osborne’s delivery on this album. Some people like his voice, some people despise it. To me, his vocal performance is fine, reminiscent of his “Paranoid” days. The lyrics deal with a range of topics from sadness and suicide, to mental sanity and nature, so Ozzy covers several topics in one album. The vocals are well done, nothing bad to report here. You’d think with an awesome guitarist, good bassist, good drummer, and great vocalist, the band could have churned out more than three songs that were memorable. The band lost its way, however, but, hey, they made several classic songs that radio stations still play after damn near 30 years.
I doubt there is any metal fan who hasn’t heard at least a few songs off this album, so I may be preaching to the choir here, but these were my thoughts on this album. Except for the classics you’ve probably already heard, there’s nothing amazing or special on this album, and I skip all of the songs except for the big three. I don’t know why the album doesn’t have better songs. With a lineup such as this, you’d think all the songs would be amazing, but this isn’t that case. I don’t know what’s wrong with this album. Maybe it was the drugs. Just don’t ask me.