Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
Title: “Blizzard Of Ozz” (blasphemy edition)
Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 4/2/2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Ozzy Osbourne’s “Blizzard Of Ozz” was originally released in 1981 in the USA and I remember the day that I got my hands on the original vinyl because it was such an incredible release and an album that would show that the singer’s best years were NOT behind him as many had thought. When this finally came out on CD I snared a copy and really enjoyed back in 1995 when a better quality edition came out as a “22 Bit Remaster” with a comprehensive booklet. The downside was that there was no bonus content but such things were not as commonplace as they are now and with this being the case I had to wonder as the new decade began where was the true remastered edition with bonus material, expanded notes and the whole nine? Then in 2002 this happened…..
Based on some ongoing litigation about a lack of payment of royalties for the album and their performances on it both Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake who did the bass and drums respectively on the recording were omitted from the remastered edition. Their mutual parts were then re-recorded by Rob Trujillo and Mike Bordin who were working with Ozzy’s band at the time. The end result would be this false remaster or the “Blasphemy Edition” as I like to call it. Yes the parts of Osbourne and legendary guitar slinger Randy Rhoads were left intact but the inclusion of Mike and Rob really messed up the feel of the album to many of the longtime fans who had its melodies imprinted in their Metal genetic code. It’s one of those close but no cigar situations and really at the end of the day was an unconscionable act of spite that I never want to see any musician repeat. The fact that the Osbourne Management team thought this was okay to do was like a lightning strike into what makes Metal music so special to its fans. Don’t get me wrong because I love what Mike does to the drums and am a big supporter of the bass work of Rob; this was very simply a management decision that forced their talents into a corner and hence will forever have them associated with this atrocity. I sided with Daisley and Kerslake and felt that they deserved a piece of the pie based on the overall phenomenon that this release became. There were also many who felt that it was an actual band name more than an album title but record company executives forced their hand on how it would be delivered to the general public.
One might wonder why such a release would get reviewed in the first place and I guess the main reason I’ll give is that I did this to ward off listeners and buyers from it at all costs. The second reason I did this and smote it in rating was to send a message that this kind of thing is not okay to ever be done again – it disgusts me. I cannot view these songs fairly thanks to this and this is tough for me since I have loved them for so very long. The album in this version should not be supported by anyone who was ever a fan of the two omitted musicians. Granted there might be some curious listeners or major fans to the work of Rob and Mike who would want it for posterity but to view this as an essential item for the Ozzy collection I can only say “no way”. The only way that I would purchase this with my own money was if I saw it at a garage sale for $.25 (but even that seems to be too much to pay for this kind of insult). The original versions of these songs are among the most valuable of Metal commodities so tampering with their very essence is outright blasphemy. This does feature a bonus track called “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You” and the song is okay at best. Its written by Daisley, Rhoads and Osbourne and was obviously left off the initial LP based on time restrictions. Can I live without it? Yes for sure. This is the kind of thing you purchase digitally via Amazon.com or Itunes. The booklet is one that also omits the couple of images of the musicians left off the recording but we kind of expected that. “Caveat emptor” my friends…..or “Let The Buyer Beware” for those not up on their essential Latin.
1. I Don’t Know
2. Crazy Train
3. Goodbye To Romance
5. Suicide Solution
6. Mr. Crowley
7. No Bone Movies
8. Revelation (Mother Earth)
9. Steal Away
10. You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You
Official Website: www.ozzyosbourne.com