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51cQY80GoVL. AA115 Easily one of the most iconic albums in the history of rock music, BLIZZARD OF OZZ not only established OZZY OSBOURNE as a force capable of moving beyond the mighty shadow of BLACK SABBATH, but set the stage for heavy music to come. The playing of guitar virtuoso RANDY RHOADS would become instantly recognizable, inspiring shredders to follow, and while the album lacked a mainstream radio hit at the time, BLIZZARD would spawn both Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley – both of which are still staples of rock radio some thirty years later.

Righting a wrong committed by the infamous 2002 reissue that featured the contributions of bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake re-recorded by future METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo and FAITH NO MORE drummer Mike Bordin (both members of Ozzy’s touring band at the time) over past royalty disputes, the 2011 “Expanded Edition” BLIZZARD OF OZZ finds the album restored and remastered from the original source tapes as it was originally heard. Additionally, the original liner notes and artwork are included within the CD booklet, while three bonus tracks taken from the original sessions are present.

Iconic as it may be, there is a habit of regarding this album (and it’s follow-up) a little higher than it should be in the wake of Rhoads’ untimely death. A solid record with a few great songs, the nine-song affair has always struck me as just a tad uneven, with Goodbye to Romance (featured in two versions on this release) being a little long-in-the-tooth and the 50-second Dee feeling out-of-place.

The Bottom Line: If you already own a copy of BLIZZARD, chances are it’s in need of an upgrade at this point (or a replacement in terms of the ’02 version), and with this release you’ve got a good excuse to snag a fresh copy.

Rating: 4/5

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