The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne

40 Years of the Blizzard of Ozz
October 2, 2020 by Harriet Kaplan

The say 2020 has been tough for everyone would be the understatement of the millennium. Lately, the music world has been bringing us back to life with live streaming and Drive-in shows, that’s some good news.
Some bands have hit some significant milestones in 2020. Ozzy Osbourne is one of those artists. Starting off with Black Sabbath to his solo career, his music just makes us happy.

There’s a lot to celebrate for the Prince of Darkness and legend. Aside his illustrious and ground-breaking career in Sabbath, his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Grammy awards, 2020 hit a milestone not many artist get to celebrate.
His landmark debut album, “Blizzard of Ozz” literally re-shaped the world of music.

Growing up in Birmingham, he had a very tough life. His Dad even told him he’d either do something special, or end up in prison. Ask those who know him and they say he always loves a challenge, no matter what it was. Who knew his dad would end up being a prophet!
Circling back to this milestone, there are a number of reasons why the album blew up. There’s no argument, it’s one of the greatest albums in the history of metal. It was what many believed was nothing short of a resurrection of a lead singer who seemed burned out.
It was the late 70s and after recording an eight album with Sabbath, Osbourne was falling apart. He found himself in a spiral of drugs and alcohol, what’s worse… for a musician, he had debilitating writer’s block. Once he went MIA and missed six weeks of rehearsal, understandably the band and Osbourne were at an impasse. The members of Sabbath decided they couldn’t go forward with Osbourne and needless to say all good things eventually come to an end and they parted ways.

For Osbourne, Lady Luck has always been a metal fan, and she really liked him. He formed a new band, and recorded his debut album “Blizzard of Ozz.” What’s lost in the vanilla version of the story is that Osbourne and his bandmates weren’t very happy with the recordings.
The album was released on September 20, 1980 and it became the end-all-be-all of teen angst. Then again in his book “I Am Ozzy” he said “Even if you think something’s brilliant, you never know what the general public’s going to pick up on… but, as soon as the radio stations got hold of ‘Crazy Train,’ it was a done deal. The thing just exploded.”
Growing up in the 80s that album was everywhere. For teens, the metal heads, stoners, jocks, nerds, band geeks, I mean everyone… no matter what you called your click back then loved this album. And now it’s 40 years old.
Truthfully, Osbourne has enjoyed success with other epic hits. You had to be a teenager in the 80s to appreciate the sheer power of these songs. Some of those tunes include “Flying High Again,” “Over the Mountain,” “Diary of a Madman,” “Bark at the Moon,” “Suicide Solution,” and off Blizzard there were two sleeper hits “Goodbye to Romance,” and “I Don’t Know.”

As for the new package of Blizzard of Ozz, it includes “Crazy Train,” (which will hit certified 5x platinum status to coincide with its September release date), “Mr. Crowley” (both of which feature Randy Rhoads on guitar), plus “Suicide Solution,” and live versions of seven tracks that are currently unavailable digitally.
There are many extras too, a new animated video for “Crazy Train,” the release of an HD version of “30 Years After The  Blizzard” documentary, a selection of limited-edition “Blizzard of Ozz” commemorative merchandise including a black and red vinyl version of the album, a special black and red swirl vinyl version, and a selection of other commemorative merchandise.

If you’re still not familiar with this epic album, here are a few things to consider. This album has sold millions of copies, it was ranked #9 on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time,” and was the first of two studio albums recorded with guitarist Randy Rhoads. “Crazy Train” went on to become one of Osbourne’s signature tracks and in 2009, the song achieved a 5x platinum certification.

The live tracks “I Don’t Know,” “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley,” “Revelation (Mother Earth),” “Steal Away (The Night),” “Suicide Solution,” and “You Said It All” were only available on physical box sets in the past and will be offered digitally for the first time.
For Osbourne, life is good. He’s dealing with health issues, but he has his family supporting him. They’ve been through a lot together, but that’s a different story for another day. Even with the challenges, he’s put out another album.
Earlier this year, Osbourne’s “Ordinary Man” album marked his first new solo music in almost a decade. It became the #1 rock album in the world, topping multiple charts in its triumphant first week of release.
The album gets support from Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass, and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums, plus collaborations with Elton John, Slash, Post Malone, and Tom Morello.
For Osbourne his legacy is secure and his future looks bright. For NOW, 40 years of the Blizzard of Ozz is quite the milestone. You should check that album out or re-visit it, it’ll take you to a happy place.