OZZY OSBOURNE - The Essential

Ozzy Osbourne - The man is a multiple legend in his own lifetime. Not just as the vocalist of metal pioneers
Black Sabbath, but also as a solo artist and now (comedic) reality TV show star of MTV's The Osbournes. But, the bulk of Ozzy's fame and notoriety (besides the overblown bat and dove incidents) is his life as a solo artist, which outweighs his Black Sabbath days both in years and output. His doldrums after he got booted from Sabbath got kick-started in the States when he met up with young talented guitarist Randy Rhoads. Their prolific partnership was torn apart by Randy's untimely accidental death but had Ozzy eventually check out some new players to fill his shoes, and eventually landed with the man who has provided his now trademark sound, Zakk Wylde. Of course Ozzy's foundation, his wife Sharon, cannot be left out of the equation in contributing to raising him to his current stature. With a dozen albums, cramming it onto only 2 discs will leave some fans highlighting serious omissions, but, like I always say, the hardcore fan should own all of his albums already anyway. For Ozzy fans with only a couple recordings, this represents the man's career quite adequately with 30 rocking songs from Blizzard Of Ozz through No Rest For The Wicked to Down To Earth. Some of the unforgettable songs include Crazy Train, Mr. Crowley, Suicide Solution, Bark At The Moon, Miracle Man, Mama I'm Coming Home, No More Tears, Thunder Underground, Dreamer as well as two live tracks, I Don't Want To Change The World and two with Randy Rhaods: the classic Sabbath track, Paranoid and I Don't Know. The fact that some people can (& could've) made more sinister readings into this Birmingham boy than merely being a Rock & Roll rebel is still baffling. Eddie Williamson's concise notes tell it like it is and may also fill in a few gaps on the man's elaborate life and talent which you may not be clued up on (like how Ozzy and Sharon met, the Ozzfest etc.). Far more than a rock & roll lifestyle casualty turned into a comic TV figure, Ozzy is a rock god deserving nothing less than respect.

6 / A
- PB


6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A - Multiple Listening Prospects
B - Deserves Another Spin
C - Once Should Suffice