Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition + Diary Of A Madman: Legacy Edition

January 01, 1970





Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have done some foolish things over
the course of this past decade, from the unceremonious way by which they parted
ways with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde to Sharon’s questionable stint as a judge on America’s Got Talent to that Satan-awful
VH-1 reality show of theirs from a few years back.  


But nothing was quite as irrational as the act of removing
the original rhythm section of bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake
from the 2002 reissues of Ozzy’s back-to-back solo masterpieces, 1980’s Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman, replacing them with
newly recorded tracks by current Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo and
Faith No More drummer Mike “Puffy” Bordin, both of whom were part of
the former Black Sabbath frontman’s backing band at the time. It was just another
heaping spoonful of added salt to an already festering wound that took place
shortly before the original release date of Madman,
when Daisley and Kerslake were fired from the camp and replaced
by Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge on the album credits and pictured in the group
shot on the inner sleeve of the record.


This highly controversial move in 2002, however, was the
matter of a legal dispute between the musicians and the Osbournes over
performance royalties and accreditation in regards to the publishing rights to
the music featured on both albums. And when those doctored reissues were
released, they were met by a seriously negative reception from the fans, many
of whom consider them painful to hear. Not to take away anything from Trujillo and Bordin, an
infinitely stronger rhythm section than Daisley and Kerslake ever were who,
alongside Wylde, made up arguably the best group Ozzy ever assembled for
himself as a solo act. But to alter two LPs that are universally considered to
be amongst the greatest heavy metal albums of all time was equivalent to Ted
Turner’s crass decision to colorize such classic black-and-white films as Casablanca and The
Maltese Falcon
for TBS a while back.


Thankfully, these new versions of Blizzard and Diary restore
both titles back to their primary forms thanks to a beautiful remastering job
from the original analog tapes by George Marino. And, to the record’s benefit,
headbanger standards such as Ozz’s “Crazy
Train”, “Mr. Crowley” and “Suicide Solution” and Madman’s “Over The Mountain”,
“Flying High Again” and “Believer” have never sounded
crisper or clearer. Likewise with the fantastical guitar playing of the great
Randy Rhoads, whose six-string wizardry was powerful enough to chop the head
off Eddie Van Halen, prior to his untimely death on March 19, 1982, the victim
of a tragic plane crash at the tender age of twenty-five.


The 30th Anniversary expanded edition of Blizzard contains three extra tracks,
including the import B-side “Looking At Me, Looking At You”, a
special 2010 mix of the ballad “Goodbye to Romance” focusing on just
the guitars and vocals, and a previously unreleased Randy solo entitled
“RR” that’s every bit as stunning as “Dee”.  Meanwhile, Diary,
which actually celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (though it is not
commemorated in this  package), gets the
Legacy Edition treatment that tacks on a second bonus disc boasting 11
scorching live cuts from the Blizzard of
tour. Flanked by the Rhoads/Sarzo/Aldridge lineup, this set captures
Ozzy at his ant-snorting, dove-decapitating demonic best. This blistering combo
tears through the majority of Blizzard,
previews “Flying High Again” and “Believer” and rumbles
across a trio of Sabbath nuggets in “Iron Man”, “Children Of The
Grave” and “Paranoid” with an edgy rawness that was polished out
of the 1987 live document of the Rhoads era, Tribute.


Serious Ozzy fans will want to check out the 30th
Anniversary Deluxe Collector’s Box Set, which includes both albums on spankin’
new virgin vinyl, all the CDs from the standard editions, a 100-page coffee
table book and a replica of Osbourne’s iconic gold cross. But most importantly,
you also get a DVD containing a newly produced documentary entitled 30 Years After The Blizzard that
chronicles this crucial period in the Osbourne’s career and boasts a solid
half-hour of never-before-seen live footage of Ozzy and Randy on stage
together. Yet regardless of what your recession-ravaged pocketbook can afford, it
is nothing short of a miracle, man, to see these twin tablets of metal mastery finally
restored to their original glory and are well worth the reinvestment if you
even consider yourself any kind of proper disciple of the Prince of Darkness.


DOWNLOAD: “Crazy Train”, “Mr. Crowley”, “Suicide Solution”,
“Goodbye to Romance (Special 2010 mix)”, “Over The
Mountain”, “Flying High Again”, “S.A.T.O.”,
“Steal Away (The Night) (live)”, “Iron Man (live)”,
“Children Of The Grave (live)” RON


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