Friday, June 17, 2011

OZZY OSBOURNE -CD REISSUES- THE BLIZZARD OF OZZ YEARS

Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness has once again reissued his first two solo studio albums. Thankfully this latest reissue has restored the original bass and drum tracks performed by Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake respectively. This is actually the fourth time these classic albums have been reissued in CD format. For those of you who question whether or not to even bother with this latest reissue if you own any of the others or are still enjoying the originals on vinyl or cassette I can say they finally reissued these treasures correctly.

In 1980, after his permanent firing from Black Sabbath, Ozzy made his second attempt at forming his own solo band this time with the working name of The Blizzard Of Ozz. The original lineup for The Blizzard Of Ozz consisted of the aforementioned Daisley and Kerslake of Uriah Heep fame on bass and drums, Don Airey on keyboards and a young guitarist named Randy Rhoads who was in Quiet Riot. This was before Quiet Riot had much or any success. Due to record company decision making their debut album was called Blizzard Of Ozz but simply credited under Ozzy Osbourne.

The second release by Ozzy and his band, "Diary Of A Madman" was released on November 7, 1981 and was the last album recorded by Ozzy with Randy Rhoads before Randy's tragic death in 1982. "Diary Of A Madman" is not without controversy. Although Daisley and Kerslake recorded the album it was bassist Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge credited on the release. The omission of Daisley and Kerslake continued with the August 22, 1995 CD reissue with Sarzo and Aldridge still being credited for Daisley and Kerslake's work. In a stranger move, when "Diary Of A Madman" was reissued again in when the original Daisley bass tracks and Kerslake drum tracks were removed and rerecorded by bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Mike Bordin.

Now, for the 30th Anniversary Sony has released "Diary Of A Madman: Legacy Edition" with the original bass and drum tracks restored. This is great for fans and with advances in technology this is without question the best sounding version of this classic album I have ever listened to. Unfortunately Daisley and Kerslake are still not properly credited as once again, like the original release and first reissue it is Sarzo and Aldridge getting the nod in the credits.

As I mentioned this release sounds fantastic. They really cleaned it up well. Obviously if you have the 2002 version you owe yourself to hear this record in its original form. If you have earlier releases this is a cleaner better sounding copy but it is not going to be different of course. What might get you though is the bonus live tracks that come with the legacy edition. It is a recording of a show during the Blizzard Of Ozz tour. It is the same tour that was used for the "Tribute" release but it is a different show or shows. Much better sound to me as well compared to tribute and a must have for Randy Rhoads fanatics such as my self.

I did not really cover the "Blizzard Of Ozz" album here but it too is reissued with the original bass and drum tracks in place. Wrongly credited of course. This disc does not come with a live bonus CD like Diary but it does have its own extras. Three extra tracks to be exact. “You Looking at Me, Looking at You,” which was a B-side not included on the original release or previous reissue. A super remix of "Goodbye To Romance" which really puts Randy and Ozzy front and center and may actually improve on the original. Lastly a seventy-four second recording of Randy going off on a solo. Again, another must have for you Rhoads fanatics.
Again, these albums are thirty years old and are not going to be a new release to many people but if you love Ozzy, if you love Randy or just want the best sounding version of these albums for your collection you need to go out and get them. They are also part of a 30th Anniversary Box Set Collection.

OZZY OSBOURNE BLIZZARD OF OZZ (EXPANDED EDITION) COMPLETE TRACK LISTING:

1. I Don't Know
2. Crazy Train
3. Goodbye To Romance
4. Dee
5. Suicide Solution
6. Mr. Crowley
7. Revelation (Mother Earth)
8. Steal Away (The Night)
9. You Looking At Me, Looking At You
10.Goodbye To Romance (2010 Guitar and Vocal Remix)
11.RR (Outtake From Blizzard Of Ozz Sessions)
OZZY OSBOURNE DIARY OF A MADMAN: LEGACY EDITION COMPLETE TRACK LISTING:

Diary Of A Madman
1. Over The Mountain
2. Flying High Again
3. You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll
4. Believer
5. Little Dolls
6. Tonight
7. S.A.T.O.
8. Diary Of A Madman

Ozzy Live (Previously Unreleased - recorded on the Blizzard of Ozz tour)
1. I Don’t Know
2. Crazy Train
3. Believer
4. Mr. Crowley
5. Flying High Again
6. Revelation (Mother Earth)
7. Steal Away (The Night)
8. Suicide Solution
9. Iron Man
10. Children Of The Grave
11. Paranoid

Both Released May 31, 2011 on Sony Legacy

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