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I didn’t own anything by Ozzy until the early 90’s when I bought Bark At The Moon on cassette from a second hand record shop for a pound or so. That copy is long gone now but I do remember being enchanted by the whole horror werewolf cover concept and especially Ozzy’s voice which was like nothing I’d heard before or since for that matter. I would lay in bed at night and listen to the track Forever’s chorus and be transported to another world of fantasy and horror. “Journey to the centre of eternity” indeed. Now I have a replacement Vinyl copy which as well as containing a lyric sheet finally allows me to study Steve Joule’s preposterous artwork in minute detail. Ozzy as wolf man climbing a tree on the front sleeve and backlit wolf man Ozzy pining (not barking) at the distant moon on the back. Definitely a case of so crap that it’s brilliant if there ever was one.
Ozzy had a huge hurdle to overcome after his lead guitarist and great friend Randy Rhoads died in a light aircraft crash in 1982. Firstly he had to find a replacement for the talented and individually styled technical player Rhoads and secondly he had to follow up the enormous success he had with the previous Diary Of A Madman album. After a few false starts he settled on former Ratt and Dio six stringer Jake E Lee. It is rumoured that Jake and bassist Don Airey wrote the music and the majority of lyrics and then sold them to Ozzy thus on the credits here it announces ‘All songs written by Ozzy Osbourne’. Even if this isn’t the case Jake’s contribution is immense. His playing lifts and is solid where Rhoads was sometimes twiddly and loose.
As for the record itself, the Opening wallop of Rock ’N’ Roll Rebel and Bark At The Moon is an incredible bombast of heavy rock gold. The riffs shredded by Jake E Lee are tight and commercial whilst still keeping the sound rooted in metal as not to alienate any long term fans. This formula is followed through out, just when you think the quality is dipping slightly like during the first verse of Now You See It (Now You Don’t) it’s followed by a killer chorus and so on. The horror movie feel plays throughout the record including choir and church bells for the minute long introduction of Forever. All this heathen like behaviour is broken up by the late period Beatles flavoured power ballad So Tired which is the albums only unnecessary moment in my opinion. Too saturated in it’s own pompousness to notice that this is a rock album, with a string section pumped up in the mix and a distinct lack of guitars until the by numbers solo, it tries far too hard to be the albums breakthrough song. Unfortunately it simply comes across as wet which is the complete opposite of Waiting For Darkness and Spiders that finish the album off. Here he creates a perfect couplet of tunes that feed into that Ozzy ‘Prince Of Darkness’ ethos that he was best known for before the MTV show with his family. The B Movie feel sits perfectly with the album title and artwork. Yeah it’s a childish cartoon fantasy. But it’s all the better for it. The metal world was very Dungeon And Dragons during 1983 and this was the first time this type of music had a big budget and a commercial sound to back it up. He sings in You’re No Different the line “Tell me where I belong in a sick Society?” On Bark At the Moon even with Rhodes now passed, Ozzy finally found his place.
In a perfect world, you wouldnt need to bark to get attention. Afterwards the Big Picture began to unfold as Ozzy sticked to his era of concept albums and dressed as a werewolf. Howls and crimson doors beneath the light blue air with aggressive definite metal by Jake. Daisley, Jake and Ozzy wrote the music in this one. It was the best part of the Osbourne members which got us some good numbers. Tommy boy was hammering the drums, as the Osbourne Big Picture continued with this collection of heavy metal songs.
Bark At The Moon starts right on to deliver the second best Ozzy song ever. Now you see it resembels metal and cryptic vocals which echoes still in my brain. Rock and Roll rebel and the mega hit set list filler, Forever went for deeper Ozzy, something which never was recorded again. Some braincell farts as Slow Down cant ruin a great metal album which ends to the majestetic slow number, Waiting For Darkness which crept the aura of insanity in the Osbourne camp.
Some real brain orgasms are delivered by the relatively young Ozzy, and the oldest guitar player Ozzy ever had, mister Jake. Tommy hammers the drums as good as a mountain climber eats his donuts before the show. He's not awesome, but has some understanding what he was hired for. Jakes playing is phenomenal and tough to beat. The Bark At The Moon solo alone destroys everything that Gillis or Torme has ever done. Ozzy sounds energetic, fresh and little out of a state of his mind. He barely grasps air after the album opener and delivers again a bit sloppy, but weeping performance which by a chance got him the job.
Bark continues the same concept as Diary and Blizzard were trying to prove. The three multi platinum smash hits got Osbourne a permanent job as the slaughterer of great talents. With great understanding what the kids wanted to hear got Ozzy a very good studio album. Its not Ozzy at his peak, but Ozzy with a more cartoony, riot like playing. Ozzy roars and gets through his job with rage, as Jake performs some upbeat if somewhat pessimistic playing while Daisley keeps his head this time. Not for sore losers, but something kept my head cool and it was definetly this album, which rocks!
The tragic accident in which Randy Roads was killed deprived the band of a very important member, the man who made them sound so heavy and melodic at the same time. His virtuoso style of torturing his guitar would be not be easy to replace. That was proved by the live album they released shortly after. Roads absence was too obvious. So Ozzy found a new guitarist named Jake E Lee. With Aldridge on the drums and Daisley on the bass, they set out on a new metal journey.
This time Ozzy writes all the songs himself. His ability to write songs that are considered to be all-time classics seems to be fading away even if this album provides us with two more metal anthems. The first one is the self-titled that opens the album as well. Lee fills the shoes of Roads’ in the best possible way though I find that he lacks a bit in inspiration, especially on the solos. Come to think of it, he does indeed. Okay he knows how to play the guitar and his themes are hard and well played. But he can not create the feeling his predecessor did. The song itself has some sharp guitars and clever keyboards that time take a bigger part in the songs. Ozzy helps the song with his insane laughs and wolverine howls.
The other hit of the album and, personally speaking, the best one, is Rock n’ Roll Rebel. Its’ steady, solid bass lines mark the way for the guitar and drums to follow on and the result is a metal masterpiece. Pay attention to the nice break before the solo and the truly intelligent lyrics. Some of the best Ozzy has ever written.
A use of extensive keyboards takes place at the intro of Centre of Eternity. It is a fast song also marked by razor-edge riffs and heavy paces. Though the keyboards may estrange some, the truth is that they offer a touch of the epic element to the album. It is pretty good. I also find great pleasure in the Slow Down track. It’s got a pounding rhythm, through galloping guitars and drums, that don’t “slow down” not until it closes to an end. It really gets things going.
There’s one more catchy song called Now you See it (Now you Don’t). And that’s due to its’ really heavy guitars. It could have been better but some stupid vocals and horrible keyboard melodies manage to ruin it. Nevertheless it’s worth listening to. Especially if you know what’s in store for you…
Because this is the point where all the good shit ends! The remaining four songs are completely crap and pointless! First of all we get two extremely sleazy ballads. What on earth was Ozzy thinking with these? Oh, I know, they had to broaden their audience which means they had to make chicks listen to them. Even if you are courageous enough to endure the first one, So Tired will come to finish you off. Jesus, what abominations these two are!
But the last two songs are no good either. Mediocre and boring is the least that I can say. They are not based on any riff; they are slow and entirely lack interest at all. I have heard fillers being much better than these. For your sake find a way to skip these four songs and you’ll get a very good half-an album.
Yes my friends, that’s the hard truth. Bark at the Moon is a very unbalanced release with many commercial songs. To be honest the few first times I heard it, I was thrilled but gradually all this excitement disappeared. It deserves your attention mainly due to the four or maybe five diamonds that make up its’ treasure.
Considering that I don’t waste my time with any Ozzy post-No More Tears, I pretty much stand by my statement. This has everything that the 80s captured: glam, class, money, eclectic riffs, vibrant drums, bass with brains, and nostalgic production up the ass. The first time this album sparked my interest was when I heard the title track in 2004 after playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - yeah bitch, the best way to hear some fucking heavy metal. While No More Tears actually got me into Ozzy Osbourne, “Bark At The Moon” sparked my interest like no other. It had greasy speed, flare, style, and a personality of its own. The theme of this album was darker, more creative, and in more unified than ever.
On the two previous albums I felt Ozzy’s music was thin, therefore leaving a lot of gap in the air. This was mainly an issue with the production, but here he obviously fixed that issue. To me, I feel as though this is his best album of the 80s, which says a lot considering how many people burst when hearing “Crazy Train.” The variety on here is killer, which brings the replay value up more than people notice. Through one listen of the album, I already memorized how the first six tracks sound – they’re so unique and hard-hitting your head just can’t forget him. Whether it’s the mourning “You’re No Different,” the roaring “Now You See It,” or the anthem “Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel,” Ozzy’s performance is at its peak.
Then-newcomer Jake E. Lee in my opinion filled in Rhoad’s shoes better than anyone to me, and that’s just because of this album. Wylde would be a tough competitor later on, but I love how Lee fit the chilly theme. Ozzy’s vocals sound colder, and thanks to some production they echo like he’s singing in an arena – a most excellent choice. They’re clear, loud, and are never annoying – combine this with Lee’s almost spontaneous / over the top playing and you have one extraordinary album. Even less talked about tracks like “Slow Down” would fit perfectly on a Megaman game and encompass all the glitz the 80s had to offer. Keyboard use isn’t found throughout, but when it appears you can’t help but smell the nostalgia.
Daisley, by far my favorite member of the set, tears through the crisp riffs and delivers some of the best lines in his career. As Ozzy performs some of his best choruses here, Daisley executes the almost retro-like basslines. I couldn’t help but think how music from Gradius as well – you know, the spacey atmospheric type shit that gets your heart racing. I’m still listening to “Slow Down” and the whole song is pretty much built off of his one driving line. Drumming is by far the least standout, but even that’s like butchering a newborn baby’s reputation. Give it some kudos for doing what it does best and let whoever can show off do without comparison!
Take note that the version I’m listening to is NOT the remastered version. I highly suggest you try and get a hold of this original copy, as you’ll hear all its 80s glory and not that re-processed bullshit. Don’t miss out on the best of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo material – it’s like throwing away life itself!
...to deliver a great half an album.
You know your a bad artist when your best performance warrants a 99 rating from a fan and their next favorite album is unable to even scrape a mid 80.
Ozzy Osbourne, the now self-mockery of himself, will always be known as the man who cannot sing and has only survived throughout his career for two reasons:
1) He was the original singer in the band that are the creators of the 'Heavy Metal' genre. And...
2) His occasional moments of glory can be more contributed to his band instead of anything the man himself has done.
Bark At The Moon, Ozzy's third solo album and first after the death of Randy Rhoads, sees Ozzy pondering without direction and being convincing only half the time. The truly sad part about Ozzy is while this album is nowhere near 'awesome', it's still the second best album by him. The songs that work really work, becoming almost immediate classics, but the majority of the album is so unlistenable that it ranks near the bottom.
The album also fails from poor track listings. No matter which version you have, all the best songs are at the beginning of the album. The entire band and Ozzy are in top notch form, with the Ozzman even sounding like he is at the top of his game. There is even a level of diversity that is not present on the later albums, as well as his two previous where he was supposedly at his "best". Rather it is speed metal and glam metal in the title track and "Rock And Roll Rebel" respectively. But with hard rock and Jazz-y ballads with "Now You See It" and "Your No Different" respectively. The latter finds Ozzy at his greatest in terms of lyrics and vocals, he almost comes across like a breath-taking vocalist, and the lyrics are logical. The riffs on the aforementioned songs all kick ass, with their driving forceful rhythms and soulful room to breathe, you can find yourself lost within the atmosphere of them.
The album's first single, that being the title track, was quite possibly it's best ever, going on to become a staple of Ozzy's live performances, and arguably, his signature tune. Guitarist Jake E. Lee is in fine form throughout, also scoring high marks with the upbeat "Rock And Roll Rebel" and the elaborate "Now You See It". But by comparison, Ozzy, Bob Daisley and Tommy Aldridge's contributions take a serious nosedive into irritating musical clichés, especially on the monotonous blues of "Spiders", "Slow Down" and the unbearably cheesy lyrics of "Centre of Eternity." At times, Ozzy still can't help but sound derivative of any song recorded during Sabbath's era with him, and besides the always present Sabbath similarities, he also alludes to early Motown artists on the chorus of the dreadful "So Tired."
All things considered, however, Bark At The Moon remains one of Ozzy's best solo all-around efforts.
The first album I ever bought with Ozzy was the "Tribute" album but "Bark At The Moon" (the remaster, guash!) was the second. I had been playing the game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" for a long time and one of the radio stations called "V-ROCK" featured the title track which made me totally blown away by it's overall greatness. I had heard Ozzy before and it was actually him with a little help by Iron Maiden that got me into metal music. One thing I can't get is why many of the Ozz-fans doesn't like this album too mucn, I think it's absolutely great. So let's go with my review on why this one's so good...
After the tragic death of the excellent guitarist Randy Rhoads, Ozzy tryed a couple until he found the other excellent one. This was Jake E. Lee, a guitarist with speed, technical but a more modern 80's metal sound than Randy had. When the legendary title track goes off you immediately hear that Ozzy's music is changed. It's like it has gone from the classic heavy metal sound on the first two albums to Van Halen's "1984" but with a heavy metal ground to it. "You're No Different" shows that Ozzy hasn't given up the ballads either and it's a pretty nice one as well. "Rock 'N' Roll Rebel" is another heavy rocker with a great riff as well as several solos by Lee. It also has some fine vocals with Ozzy on top. "Centre Of Eternity" is a somewhat "forgotten" song but it's pretty awesome. It goes off with a fantastic keyboard score by Don Airey and then into a pretty fast heavy metal song with great guitar work. "Waiting For Darkness" is another song worth mentioning because of it's pop-oriented sound but still it got a great darkness that just fits perfectly for Ozzy and this album.
The production is pretty great depending on which edition you have. The remaster, which I bought is good but horrible to the original. It's more like a remix and it's drowning in bass and the bass drum is almost gone if you don't are a cat. I recommend the original edition since it's how the album once did sound like. You can also here the bass drum but it could have been louder on that edition as well.
The cast is great but it's a strange one that didn't really become famous. It features all great names but the only new is Jake E. Lee who became famous after this so it doesn't really matter. They're all doing a great job and especially Jake who is a heavy underrated guitarist. Ozzy's vocals are also really fine on this one and it might be my favorite Ozz-album vocally.
So finally to my last comments on Bark At The Moon....
"Bark At The Moon" is a great album that's not really forgotten but doesn't seem to be too much loved. I don't get it or maybe I'm just a die-hard fan of Ozzy. Anyway, the album still have it's small ups and downs but there are not many albums in the history of music that doesn't have that. For example, "So Tired" is one of the worst and most booring songs Ozzy have ever done. Also, the drums (especially the bass drum) could have been a little louder in the mix but if you have the original then it's still okay.
Overall it's a really great album and I recommend it with all my heart. If you wanna hear "Bark At The Moon" at it's 100 % greatness, then I sugest you go and find the original edition.
Ozzy’s career as a solo artist is loaded with good and bad, most of the bad being localized in the latter half of it. The one exception is “Bark at the Moon”, the album that saw the former Sabbath front man in the aftermath of a tragedy with no musical better to keep his direction consistent. Likewise, most of the drama going on in his life culminated in this era of his tenure as a metal vocalist, much of it probably the consequence of losing Randy and trying to bury the pain with substance abuse. If one cliché is again proven accurate in all of this, it is that art ultimately imitates life.
If I could sum up this rather confused opus in a single statement, it would be “All over the damned place”. There is no semblance of order to speak of; the pacing could be described as incongruous, and the stylistic variations from song to song gives the impression of a schizophrenic just starting to come off of his medication. Of course, when you consider the personal turmoil going on in Ozzy’s life, an album like this was probably the best thing that the core Ozzy fan could hope for.
When you take each song on here individually, a fair amount of what is on here is actually pretty good, although the mix job between the keyboards and the guitars does hold back several of the better songs unfortunately. “Waiting for Darkness” is the most blatant example of the keyboards being too prominent and stealing the thunder from the guitars at several points. Likewise, “Center of Eternity” goes overboard on the keyboard intro, making the listener wait for over a minute before getting into some pretty solid up tempo metal.
Most of the rest of the music on here is passable up tempo rock that would be better if Ozzy could come up with a single hook that the rest of the song could culminate around. “Rock and Roll Rebel” and “Slow Down” suffer from this musical meandering, the latter having a fairly solid chorus, although the overloud keyboards sneak in at several points to rob the guitar tracks of their power. Jake E. Lee pumps out some pretty solid riffs and leads in all of these, but at times he seems to be trying just a bit too hard and ends up using too many flashy tricks before the solo is halfway through.
The obvious highlight on here is the only song on here that most still remember, the title track. On its own it rivals and upstages most of the Randy Rhodes prototype speed rockers, which can not be said about anything else on here. It is also the only song where Jake E. Lee’s over-the-top soloing really fits together with what is going on around it. The remaining 2 ballads on here are utter throwaways; basically being all keyboards and no metal, one a synthesizer happy 80s pop ballad, the other a bad version of a Beatles homage that is only slightly less offensive to the ears as the more recent one “Dreamer”.
This is not something that should be purchased at full price, and even at two thirds price is a bit steep when you consider the lack of anything truly amazing save one song. It’s not a complete throwaway, but when you take into account all of the things wrong with this album, it isn’t something that you can brag about owning. Finding a legal download of the title track and “Center of Eternity” is all that is really worth getting, and perhaps also “Slow Down”. If you want to hear Ozzy at his best not only with Jake E. Lee, but of his entire solo career, pick up “The Ultimate Sin”.
The title track is the most famous. Not without reason because it is one of the best songs on the album. Even though Lee’s playing is sleazier than Rhoads was, the song still has an eerie atmosphere suiting Ozzy’s vocals. It is a strong composition with a very strong main riff, powerful chorus and a decent solo in the middle.
The lyrics to ‘Rock and roll Rebel’ are pretty nice, shutting up the critics calling him a devil worshipper. Apart from that, a decent vocal line on the verses but a very bad chorus, ruining the song. Way too sleazy and generic. The intro riff of ‘Now You See It, Now You Don't’ borrows heavily from Black Sabbath. It’s a strong pounding song with a chorus you wouldn’t expect but for some reason works, being catchy rock. Definitely another highlight on the album.
‘Centre Of Eternity/Forever’ starts with a church bell (You’re immediately expecting the song Black Sabbath or even For Whom The Bell Tolls when you play the album years later). The intro is taken over by some male vocals humming the later chorus and keyboards referring to Mr. Crowley. Surprisingly the song then progresses into an up-tempo metal song with a simple but effective catchy chorus. One of the best songs on the album
The intro to ‘Waiting For Darkness’ is very good. Great interaction between guitars and keyboards. The same part is used again on the chorus. The sleazy bits here and there don’t feel out of place and the extra strings in the middle section of the song really give it the finishing touch. The fourth classic Ozzy song on this album.
Unfortunately the album once again has some sucking ballads. ‘You’re No Different’ has someone hammering horribly on a keyboard and a dull chorus. And can you imagine ‘So tired’ being even worse? Well it actually is. Words cannot describe the horror of this cheesy song. One Michael Bolton was already too much for this world.
Highlights : ‘Bark At The Moon’, ‘Centre Of Eternity/Forever’, ‘Waiting For Darkness’, ‘Now You See It’. Bonus points for the production and album cover.
In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne’s career was effectively over. With the death of guitar prodigy Randy Rhoads, Ozzy was basically sunk: not only was Randy his principal songwriter, but he was the only member with his feet firmly planted in artistry, elevating Ozzy’s solo material out of the mundane pop metal realm and into the sublime. But Ozzy vowed to carry on anyway (everyone needs money you know), found a replacement guitarist, and kept on rocking. However, his post-Randy material isn’t exactly what you would consider classic heavy metal and Bark at the Moon, his first post-Randy album, isn’t exactly what you’d consider a classic heavy metal album.
The guitarist on Bark at the Moon is Jake E. Lee, a first-rate shredder that ends up looking like a third-rate songwriter when compared to the man whose shoes he was hired to fill. Lee is an admirable soloist (he plays more than his fair share of memorable leads), but his rhythm work is lackluster. This must certainly have been noticed by Ozzy, as how else can you explain the increased role of synthesizers on this album? Indeed, on no other album in his entire career was his music as entirely dependent on keyboards as this one. At times the bass and guitars mesh well with them, producing above average results (“You’re No Different,” “Waiting for Darkness”). Unfortunately they usually don’t, leaving the songs sounding dated and cheesy (to be fair, it was the 80’s).
In fact, it is the heavy synth sound that has ruined this album for me (I used to regard it higher). Even if you really dig the synth-laden pop sound of the 80’s, you might find the super loud keyboard hook in “Slow Down” a bit distracting. “Centre of Eternity” desperately tries to resurrect the mystique of a track like “Mr. Crowley,” but it ends up being far more annoying than mesmerizing due to an overabundance of effects. “So Tired,” the token ballad, suffers the most from this oversaturation and ends up sounding completely phony. “Changes” it is not. And even when the band try to steer back towards a more guitar-oriented sound (“Now You See It,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel”), they eventually bail, bringing the synths back for absolutely no viable reason but to damage otherwise decent songs.
No one sounds so tired as Ozzy himself, taking a backseat to the warring instruments and offering little of his trademark melodies (bonus track “Spiders” is one of the only songs I thought was really catchy). But even the flawed, struggling lineup he reeled together on this album managed to achieve a moment of clarity. I’m speaking of course about the title track, which is a total 80’s metal classic. It’s got the riffs, it’s got the leads, it’s got the words, and it’s got the balls. One of the few post-Randy songs I’ve really been all about, and to date it’s better than anything Dio’s solo project ever mustered.
But does one major leaguer and a few semi-pros warrant a purchase? Sample a few of these tracks (particularly “Bark at the Moon”) and decide for yourself.
Did you know that Ozzy's discography has now been remastered and reprinted for a second time? Don't ask me how he manages to sell all this stuff; I guess he brainwashes the kids who watch his show, or something.
Bark At The Moon, Ozzy's third album and first since the death of guitarist Randy Rhoads, is really quite mediocre, although new guitarist Jake E. Lee isn't the one to blame. It starts off on a high note, with the well known title track, but really isn't a memorable effort like Blizzard of Ozz was.
While Blizzard is considered a timeless classic, BATM sounds quite dated, to be honest. The (over)use of synthesizers and backing vocals make evident the fact that this record came out in '83. In making a record that conformed to the trends of the day, Ozzy also made sure that Bark At The Moon wouldn't hold up 20 years later.
Mind you, there are some good tracks on this one, namely the title track, fourth track Rock 'N' Roll Rebel, and fifth track Centre of Eternity, which stands out stylistically from the rest of the album. While the other tracks are typical 80's pop metal, Centre of Eternity almost sounds like Ozzy era Black Sabbath playing speed metal, which is kinda cool.
One thing that really kills any momentum this album has, however, is the fact that the three good tracks are followed by mediocre ballads. Second track You're No Different is murdered by a horrible synth, and, at a painful 5 minutes 49 seconds, is the longest song on here. And Rock 'N' Roll Rebel and Centre of Eternity both come before So Tired, the record's softest track. While the Ozzman did have some decent balads on No More Tears and Ozzmosis, he obviously hadn't honed his ballad writing skills back in '83, cuz neither of the ballads on Bark At The Moon are even listenable.
As a whole, the songs on BATM are all quite long, with none being less than 4 minutes long (save bonus track One Up The "B" Side), and most being over the five minute mark. In fact, when Bark At The Moon was first released, it only had eight tracks on it. While Ozzy's first wave of remasters (released in '95), didn't contain any bonus tracks, there are two on this record, Spiders, and the aformentioned One Up The "B" Side. As with the last two tracks, Slow Down and Waiting For Darkness, neither are memorable in any way.
Bark At The Moon may be better than the ballad heavy Ozzmosis, but it's not nearly as good as Blizzard Of Ozz, or No More Tears, for that matter. For ten bucks, it's not a terrible purchase, but I'm glad that I didn't pay any more than that for it.
"Bark at the Moon" marks a major stepping stone for Ozzy becoming an major international celebrity. Big riffs, bigger choruses and a distinct sense of cheese drive this CD into being one of the more enjoyable (if not disposable) CD's of the mid-80's metal explosion. The production is top of the line, at times the songcraft is brilliant (though never bad on the so-called "filler" tunes) and the musical performance is driven home by one Jake E. Lee who proved that while not as creative as Randy Rhodes...he may have been more technically imposing. This album proved that without the original Blizzard line-up...that Ozzy knew how to throw a band/record together that would be difficult for anyone to ignore.
This records hotspots include "Bark at the Moon", "Now You See It (Now you Don't)" and the goth-opera epic "Centre of Eternity". Lesser tracks such as "Rock and Roll Rebel" and "Waiting for Darkness" also entertain though they've been somewhat lost in the catalog of "great Ozzy tunes". Jake E. Lee makes every performance a classic with his tasteful yet stunning "shredanomics". I praise this man for being one of the few who can play as fast and technically as possible yet still he manages to capture something you can sing along to. Bravo. If Ozzy had to replace Randy, this man was the man to do it.
For many this is THE Ozzy record, as it lacks the dark edge of his material that came after and it encapsulates a sense of "fun" that many of his other albums never recaptured. This is a time capsule of the best of the somewhat-tacky 1980's movement that few remember in any form BUT this record. Despite is being debated as a classic...I have to give both Ozzy and this record it's due. Love it or hate it, it was important!
"Bark at the Moon" is an interesting record that burns bright at some moments and just simmers at others. Overall, this is a purchase for anyone who loves Ozzy Osbourne or the best of 80's metal in general. The title track and a few other cuts bring this to a few peaks that few other metal artists hit.
Is this album worth buying? Depends on your criteria. Having eight songs and only THREE good ones is, IMO, a waste of money. Which are those three songs?:
"Bark at the Moon": the most memorable song on the album. This is not an "Over the Mountain", though. Riffs are competent and work well, specially the main riff and the ones right after the second chorus, but those aren't THAT spectacular and the guitar tone sounds a bit soft (as for the rest of the CD), but for this album is definitely the best.
"Rock 'n Roll Rebel": Nice! Opens with a very good riff. Ozzy's vocals work great in the verse and the chorus (except for the "i tell you no lines", which annoys everything in sight).
"Waiting for Darkness": Excellent vocal performance by Ozzy. Whatever some may say, his singing style has shining moments, this being one of them. As for the music, i think i heard a Dream Theater song that sounded like this. It must have been one of their least sucky moments, i guess.
The rest of the album....meh. "Slow Down" has very irritating vocals, and the chorus reminded me of The Police (the "Slow Down!" part). Awful keyboards at the end. "Centre of Eternity", again with the irritating vocals, but the solo is one of Jake's better moments here. "You're no Different", competent vocals, but that's it. And why is it the second song? I would have prefered "Rock 'n Roll Rebel" following the title track, this just forces you to change moods too quickly. "Now you See it (Now you Don't)", cheesy chorus, horrible keys. "So Tired", they should have changed the title to "Are you kidding me?" to at least give a warning to the listener. Complete fucking abomination. This caught me off guard the first time, and i almost vomit my entrails as a direct effect to this. Let this be your warning, if you like this kind of songs you shouldn't be listening to metal as far as i'm concerned.
Musically, this is quite similar to the previous, but it's generally faster and a bit more melodic. Gradually, Ozzy is also starting to improve his voice, which of course adds a lot.
The biggest change for the band was of course the departure of Randy Rhoads (RIP) and the arrival of Jake E Lee. Jake is, of course, no Randy, but he is stilled a very skilled axeman. He seems to enjoy showing off his talent, which I personally don't mind, as I like a good guitarist. Still, he's no Randy.
The bass has also improved greatly. While on the previous albums it just plodded along and sounded quite muddy and boring, on here it gets a much bigger role. As the average pace of the songs increase, the speed of the bass increases too, which just sounds much better.
The title track opens up the album in a great way. Fast and catchy-as-fuck riffs, insane soloing, and atmospheric vocal lines. That's a great formula for a song, which can rarely go wrong, and doesn't this time either. Probably my favourite track off the album.
Other highlights is the catchy ballad You're No Different, which features a nice usage of keyboards, the midpaced and even catchier Now You See It (Now You Don't), the straightforward rocker of Rock N' Roll Rebel, the fast, upbeat and super-catchy Slow Down, the dark, melodic and haunting Waiting For Darkness and especially the blazing speed metal track that is Centre of Eternity.
Those songs are all about 8/10 in my book, but the two remaining songs are quite boring.
We have So Tired, a piano based ballad which is quite decent, but nothing more. A very good vocal performance must be noted, though. Alas, the chorus is boring as hell. And finally, the CD bonus track Spiders in the Night, which is just about the worst Ozzy song ever. The plodding, muddy bass returns, and builds the awful backbone for this awful song. Uninspired, boring and too goddamn bassy!
Now, I feel like I have to say something more about my other favourite from this album, Centre of Eternity. I have yet to hear a bad song that begins with a chiming bell. This one begins with a chiming bell, which is always a good sign.
A weird gospel-ish then goes on for a while, until the riffing kicks in. Basically catchy speed metal riffs, with very fast vocal lines, a great melodic chorus and of course a blazing guitar solo.
It's a damn fine song; that's for sure.
All in all, this is definitely a good album, with many great songs, but two quite poor ones, which drag the rating down just a bit. If it wasn't for those two, this one could definitely compete with the likes of Blizzard of Ozz.
I mean, Randy is gone. The only member of the band that really kicked any amount of ass - well, other than Don Airey but poor Don was completely underused. So now they have in his place Jake E. Lee. He's not bad, he really isn't, he shreds like his balls are on fire, and... well, the problem is, he shreds like his balls are on fire. He'll play any note or thirty just to play SOMETHING. His solos are haphazardly constructed and sometimes just don't make any fucking sense. Even the best one on here, for instance the title track, it's a typical Judas Priest style speed metal solo, except it throws in practically every guitar technique ever in he history of man, with no attention to rhyme or reason.
That's really the only song on here worth the attention. The songwriting quality definitely decreased, and while the riffs improved slightly, most everything remains pretty boring. "You're No Different" - typical Ozzy song, sucks ass. "Now You See it Now You Don't" is kinda cool, if it weren't for the irritating keyboard moments for no reason and the distracting "oof! argh!" section at the end. No, I'm not making that up.
"Rock and Roll Rebel". Right. Rock and Roll snoozefest. "Centre of Eternity" has some great fucking speed metal riffs and the most irritating chorus ever in the history of existence. Didn't I chant something like that at the dumb kid in 2nd grade as I played keepaway with his hat? "Neener neener neener." Probably doesn't help the fact that the vocalist is the single worst affront to the power of the human larynx since Tiny Tim.
"So Tired". My God, you're right!! In fact, I'm positively asleep. "Slow Down" - okay okay, why don't you speed up and play some fucking riffs and I'll consider it. "Waiting for Darkness" - well you know what, the bogey man really does get people in the night, but some things are too whiney even for him. "Bonus tracks in the night" - really gratuitous, and it doesn't make a whit of difference either way if this song exists or not.
Yes kids, heavy metal can be pretty damn crappy. If my mom caught me listening to this, I'd well deserve a good punishment.