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Oh....go blow Blitz Boris.... - 89%

TrooperEd, June 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Sony Music (Reissue, Remastered)

WAAAAAAH! Ozzy did a reality show! WAAAAAAH! Sharon threw eggs at Iron Maiden! WAAAAAAH! Ozzy called Dio mean names!

Ok yes, all of those are pretty stupid, but just like Metallica with Ride The Lightning, it doesn't matter what crimes the artist committed. The fact is, this is arguably the greatest debut in heavy metal of all time. Most shocking of all is it allowed Ozzy a clean break from the doom metal style into something a bit more forward thinking. Power metal-ish even. Musically this actually isn't all that different from Heaven & Hell. Straight down the line verse-chorus rock & roll with just a little more adrenaline because that's how the evolution of rock & roll is supposed to work.

Obviously none of this would be possible without one specific element: The Crazy Train riff! More specifically, its composer Randy Rhoads! You very well could have called this album Randy Rhoads: Blizzard of Ozz. Sure it would mean Ozzy would still be the singer (nothing is wrong with that), but at least there would be SOME inclination of a permanent duo. Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, ok, I'll be the first to admit these guys are pretty bare bones, but they do come up with some neat tricks every so often, like in Goodbye To Romance Bob comes up with a bass line that tastefully mimics the last couple of measures of Randy's solo. Plus if you really listen close to Crazy Train, that's a sixteenth note hi-hat rhythm keeping that time. Probably the fastest example of this until Run To The Hills came along.

There really is only one criticism of this album that holds substantial water: Why bother getting this when every song here is on the live album Tribute, and live albums are usually always better than the studio recordings (Tribute is NOT the exception)? Well, the brilliant outro riff of Mr. Crowley is played clean there for some reason, but here we get it in it's distorted glory. That's really the only complaint I have, but it's so miniscule...not to mention there is a tonality here that is charming in its own right (a solid reason why the studio version of Crazy Train remains just as much a radio staple as the live version despite the live version having a music video).

Highlights? More or less the staples you've been told, Crazy Train, Mr. Crowley, I Don't Know, Steal Away (The Night). Forget whatever invective has been flung Ozzy's way over the past near 40 years, this is a classic hard rock/metal staple no music fan should be without.