Blizzard of Ozz is the debut solo studio album by British heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, recorded in Surrey, UK and released on 20 September 1980 in the UK and on 27 March 1981 in the US. The album was Osbourne's first release following his departure from Black Sabbath and marks his second effort to begin a solo career (his first being in 1978 with members of Necromandus using the name 'Blizzard of Ozz').
- 2 Controversy
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Sales accomplishments
- 6 In media
- 7 References
Blizzard of Ozz is the first of two studio albums Osbourne recorded with guitarist Randy Rhoads prior to Rhoads' death in 1982. The album was a commercial success, being certified 4x Platinum in the U.S., a feat Osbourne would not achieve again until the release of No More Tears in 1991. The album has sold over 6,000,000 copies to date worldwide, making it Osbourne's best-selling solo album. In the UK, it was the first of four Osbourne albums to attain Silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in August 1981. It also ranked 13th on a Guitar World readers poll. Osbourne readily admits that at the time the album was being recorded, he felt he was in direct competition with his former band, Black Sabbath.
At the time of the album's recording, the band itself was billed as The Blizzard of Ozz, and the album was intended to be credited to the band with Osbourne's name in smaller print. According to bassist Bob Daisley, "When the album was released the words 'Ozzy Osbourne' were in bigger print than 'The Blizzard of Ozz' which made it look like an Ozzy Osbourne album called 'The Blizzard of Ozz'. Randy (Rhoads) was never one to rock the boat. He knew he was in a situation which was a good opportunity for him being relatively unknown, so when Lee (Kerslake) and I were ousted, Randy had no allies and the act became 'Ozzy Osbourne' and no longer a band." Drummer Lee Kerslake has maintained that Rhoads almost left the band in late 1981, due to his displeasure with the firing of Kerslake and Daisley. "He didn't want to go (on tour with Osbourne). We told him we were thrown out. He said he was going to leave the band as he did not want to leave us behind. I told him not to be stupid but thanks for the sentiment," the drummer later recalled.
Entertainment attorney Steven Machat, who was involved in the deal Osbourne signed with Jet Records, said in his 2011 book Gods, Gansters and Honour: A Rock 'n' Roll Odyssey that Osbourne's soon-to-be manager and wife Sharon Arden was not happy with the level of creative input Kerslake, Rhoads and Daisley had in theBlizzard of Ozz album and did not want them to share the credit.
The album tracks "Crazy Train" and "Mr Crowley" were released as singles in 1980. Crazy Train went on to peak that year at number 9 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart. In January, 2009, the song achieved a 2× Platinum certification status. Though it received little radio airplay upon its initial release, "Crazy Train" has become one of Osbourne's signature songs and a staple of classic rock radio playlists over the ensuing years. Keyboardist Don Airey claims that "Revelation (Mother Earth)" as well as the intro to "Mr. Crowley" were written by him, though he never received writing credit for these contributions. The first track written for the album was "Goodbye To Romance". Osbourne has stated that the song was his way of saying goodbye to Black Sabbath, as he had thought his career was over after leaving the band.
Chris Tsangarides was originally hired to produce the album, with Max Norman to serve as studio engineer. Osbourne and the band were very unhappy with Tsangarides' production; Osbourne fired him and Norman stepped in to complete producing and engineering for the album. Norman's production work on Blizzard of Ozz is uncredited, though he did go on to produce all of Osbourne's albums prior to 1986's The Ultimate Sin.
Blizzard of Ozz was controversially re-released in 2002 with the original bass and drum tracks replaced by newly recorded parts from bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Mike Bordin; however, the original bass and drum tracks were reinstated for the 2011 release due to public outcry. A box set featuring both re-issued albums, the Blizzard of Ozz/Diary of a Madman 30th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set, was released, featuring both CD re-issues, 180-gram LP Vinyl versions of both albums (original album only), the "Thirty Years After the Blizzard" DVD Documentary, over 70 minutes of additional rare live performances and interviews, a replica of Ozzy's iconic cross, and a 2 sided poster.
The song "Suicide Solution" has met with its share of controversy, most notably the October 1984 suicide of John McCollum, a depressed teenager who shot himself in the head allegedly after listening to the song. The boy's parents sued Osbourne and CBS Records for "encouraging self-destructive behavior" in young persons who were "especially susceptible" to dangerous influences (McCollum et al. v. CBS, Inc., et al.). In his defence, Osbourne stated in court that when the song was being written the words "Wine is fine but whiskey's quicker..." came to him suddenly and were a reflection not on the merits of suicide but rather on the death of AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott, a friend of Osbourne's who had recently died of alcohol-related misadventure. Bob Daisley, who wrote the majority of the song's lyrics, has stated that he actually had Osbourne's own substance abuse issues in mind when he composed the song. The McCollums' complaint was dismissed on the grounds that the First Amendment protected Osbourne's right to free artistic expression.
In 1986, Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake sued Osbourne for unpaid royalties, eventually winning songwriting credits on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. A 2002 reissue was made of these albums replacing the original bass and drum tracks of Daisley and Kerslake with new ones by Osbourne's then-current drummer Mike Bordin and bassist Robert Trujillo.
Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon later stated that it was Ozzy, not she, who was responsible for the decision to re-record the parts, stating "because of Daisley and Kerslake's abusive and unjust behavior, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." However, Osbourne contradicted this claim in his 2009 autobiography, stating that the decision to re-record the original bass and drum parts was strictly Sharon's decision, and that "I didn't have anything to do with that decision." He said his wife "just snapped" and had it done without his knowledge. He also stated that "a sticker was put on the covers telling everyone about it", though in fact the sticker was not initially placed on the re-issue and was only placed on the covers at a later date due to fan outcry over the altered recordings.
In 2003, Daisley and Kerslake's lawsuit was dismissed by the United States District Court in Los Angeles. This dismissal was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. With regard to the reissue, Ozzy stated to The Pulse of Radio, reiterating a conversation with Sharon, "You know what, whatever the circumstances were, I want the original thing back." The 30th Anniversary release of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman contains the original recordings, not the 2002 reissues.
|1.||"I Don't Know"||5:16|
|3.||"Goodbye to Romance"||5:36|
|7.||"No Bone Movies"||Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Lee Kerslake||3:58|
|8.||"Revelation (Mother Earth)"||6:09|
|9.||"Steal Away (The Night)"||3:28|
|[show]2002 reissue bonus track|
|[show]2011 Expanded Edition bonus tracks|
- Ozzy Osbourne – lead vocals, harmony vocals
- Randy Rhoads – guitars
- Bob Daisley – bass, backing vocals, gongs
- Lee Kerslake – drums, percussion, tubular bells, timpani
- Don Airey – keyboards
- 2002 reissue
- Robert Trujillo – bass
- Mike Bordin – drums, percussion, timpani, gongs
- Danny Saber – tubular bells
- Mark Lennon – backing vocals
- John Shanks – backing vocals on "Steal Away (The Night)"