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I’ve come up with an idea for the title to a new movie based on the life and times of Ozzy Osbourne’s massive musical flop yet commercial success “Ozzmosis”, and it is “Night Of The Living Ballads”. Literally every other song that came out of the year 1995 by the self-proclaimed prince of darkness was some sort of half-ballad, half-groove rocker with varying production values but interchangeable ideas. Probably the most annoyingly vapid and lackluster of these songs is the polished piece of pig excrement “See You On The Other Side”.
Essentially what we have here is a non-acoustic, but nonetheless extremely laid back and droning rehash of what was heard 3 years prior in “Momma, I’m Coming Home”. The only thing that really has changed is the production values, which have gone completely into the dumper. The chorus/reverb effect that Zakk Wylde has on his guitar during the chorus is so damned thick and cheap sounding that it almost sounds like something I recorded on a 4 track analog recorder back when I was in my high school garage band. The lyrics are extremely repetitive, to the point of inspiring apathy in the listener, while the equally repetitive music going on underneath inspires either sleep or the finger somehow finding the stop button the stereo spontaneously.
The b-sides, which were probably recorded solely for the purpose of aiding in the cash grabbing campaign that the large collection of singles surrounding “Ozzmosis” behave as, are of a higher order than at least half of the regular album tracks. “Aimee” is one of the better piano half-ballads composed by Ozzy since the end of the 80s, and sports one of the best choruses heard since 1992. “Voodoo Dancer” doesn’t sound particularly voodoo-like, but instead is something of a Beatles inspired acoustic oriented rock song, almost like “I Am The Walrus” meets “Strawberry Fields Forever”. When the guitars kick in it takes on a slightly harder edged character, but basically stays in the realm of Beatles oriented rock.
With the advent of music downloading, both legal or otherwise, it has become unnecessary for anyone to purchase this or any other singles from this era. This is not to suggest that at the time purchasing this single would have been any more forgivable, but instead that being duped into parting with extra money for it would have been slightly more understandable. This whole concept of having charter b-sides that occupy nearly every single from an era is not to be encouraged. As if there aren’t enough live songs or alternate versions of other songs from Ozzy’s past to put in for more variety, or heaven forbid this rock and roll tycoon spend a little money to cover something without making a whole album out of it.