Home / Music / Music Review: Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz / Diary Of A Madman 30th Anniversary (Collector’s Edition Box Set)

Music Review: Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz / Diary Of A Madman 30th Anniversary (Collector’s Edition Box Set)

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With the release of Blizzard Of Ozz in 1981, Ozzy Osbourne managed to pull off one of the most remarkable comebacks in rock history. It would not have been possible without the discovery of a young guitar prodigy named Randy Rhoads. The late guitarist only made two albums with Ozzy, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman – yet his influence on metal remains huge to this day. In honor of these two landmark recordings, Sony Legacy has issued the commemorative Blizzard Of Ozz/Diary Of A Madman 30th Anniversary (Collector’s Edition Box Set).

Deluxe is the operative word here. The set includes remastered editions of both albums on CD and vinyl for starters. The Blizzard disc adds three bonus tracks, but it is the two-disc Diary package that is the real prize. The second CD is titled Ozzy Live, and holds 11 previously unreleased live performances from the Blizzard tour. This is an absolutely scorching set, with Rhoads just peeling lick after lick off his guitar. The 8:34 version of “Suicide Solution” needs to heard to be believed, and they even dust off three old Sabbath tunes to close the night out.

Fans will also enjoy the DVD documentary Thirty Years After The Blizzard, which features interviews with luminaries such as Lemmy, Nikki Sixx, Ozzy himself, and many others. The DVD also has 30 minutes of recently discovered live footage from the Palladium in New York, filmed on May 2, 1981. Rounding out this definitive package is a 100-page coffee table book, a replica of the cross Ozzy wears, and a double-sided poster.

The extras included in the box will obviously appeal to his legion of fans, but there is more to the set than initially meets the eye. Besides being remastered, the discs have also been “restored.” This is a record company euphemism to address an ugly incident that took place in 2002. Besides Osbourne and Rhoads, the band that recorded these two albums included Lee Kerslake (drums) and Bob Daisley (bass). The pair later sued for songwriting credits and unpaid royalties, which did not sit well with the Osbournes. Their tracks were removed and replaced by Ozzy stalwarts Robert Trujillo (bass), and Mike Bordin (drums).

Fans were outraged at this petty act, but until now those “new and improved” editions were all that were available. For the record, Ozzy has personally denied any involvement in the affair. Considering the participants, his claim of innocence rings true. I’m glad that everyone came to their senses and realized that no matter what, these two albums made history, and tampering with them was a foolish mistake.

In the Thirty Years After The Blizzard documentary, we see that Ozzy’s abiding love for Randy Rhoads has not diminished a bit over the years. Rhoads’ death in 1983 was one of the most senseless in all of rock. While on tour, the private pilot who was scheduled to ferry the band into the gig took Randy up for a quick joy ride. They buzzed the tour bus and the jackass pilot lost control, crashing and killing himself and Rhoads instantly.

There is a scene featuring Ozzy and producer Kevin Churko listening to some of the original tapes. At the end of one song, Randy is caught up in the momentum and continues playing an unbelievable solo. The solo was edited out, and Ozzy had never heard it before. He is visibly moved by it, and the moment captures a glimpse of the incredible bond and respect the two had for each other. It is a big part of the reason these two records have maintained such an enormous impact over the years.

Before Ozzy Osbourne became America’s favorite befuddled dad, he and Randy Rhoads made ground-breaking music together. There is a reason “Crazy Train” and “Flying High Again” are played at pro sports venues across the country these days. They long ago left the metal ghetto, and have become a part of the national psyche. The marketing, the book, the collector’s cross – in the end it is all extraneous to the music. Ozzy and Randy created something that will never be duplicated, and this set pays one hell of a tribute to it.

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About Greg Barbrick

  • Frederico E. Pinto Jr.

    RR perished in 1982, not 1983.

  • She cried for Moe Moe Moe

    Randy Rhoads was the Bach of rock. The guitar players player. Too bad Sharon is a stingy, spoiled brat. Lee and Bob deserve their credit. Which is why I didn’t buy it. Hell even Randys family doesn’t get royalties.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Greg’s probably talking about the American release in March of 1981 because he’s, you know, American.

  • Ozzy Fan

    Blizzard Of Ozz was released in 1980, not 1981. It came out in september 1980 while Oz was on tour in the UK

  • Chris

    Greg – Enjoyed the review, and I’m sure that the “restored” tracks are worth a listen. But the reason that I and other fans of Blizzard of Ozz (the band, as it originally existed) aren’t going to buy it is because although Bob Daisley’s and Lee Kerslake’s playing has been restored, they weren’t involved in any way. Not a single picture of them in the book? Not interviwed for the DVD? Live tracks from after they were sacked? No royalties? C’mon Ozzy – you can’t just write them out of the story! The two of them (and Daisley in particular) desrve as much credit as anyone for the sound and success of these classic albums. Daisley co-wrote all the songs, the vast majority of the lyrics, arranged and produced the album. Ozzy and Sharon are shameless money-grubbers.

  • Greg Barbrick

    LOL – Rock on!!!

  • Playing this song right now.

    Mama Am coming Home!

    And i am actually going home this week!!
    Crazy isnt it ?

  • Greg Barbrick

    Good one Glen, but you need to get back to work!

  • Hey, weren’t you on tour with Ozzy?

  • Greg Barbrick

    Evidently the concert footage was filmed by Ozzy’s people, then promptly forgotten about for 30 years. Great stuff!

  • Ozzy Osborne is a great musician and he definetly is Legendary. Im sure any hardcore fan of Ozzy would love this box set. If I have the opportunity to listen to this box set I probaby will turn up the volume for sure. 🙂

  • sounds like a cool set. that Ozzy special is on VH1 classics tonight so I’ll be checking it out. wonder why they held onto the concert for so long.