Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blizzard In A Box

Ozzy Osbourne –
Blizzard Of Ozz / Diary Of A Madman
30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Box Set

Back on June 5, 2011 The Metal Blog Of Metal reviewed both the Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman reissues and promised to review the box set in the future. Well my brothers, the future is now and the box set has arrived here in Midgard. The box itself is very well made and thick and features Randy’s signature polka dots along two edges.

Here’s what you get for your cool $149.99:

  • Blizzard Of Ozz – CD Expanded Edition
  • Diary Of A Madman – CD Legacy Edition
  • Ozzy Live – CD
  • Blizzard Of Ozz – LP
  • Diary Of A Madman – LP
  • Thirty Years After The Blizzard – DVD
  • 100 Page Coffee Table Photo Book
  • Double Sided Poster
  • Replica Of Ozzy’s Cross

The CDs have already been discussed in the previous reviews and the discs in the box set are identical to the standard versions you can get anywhere. The LPs are heavy 180 gram black vinyl and they are packaged in a gatefold. The gatefolds each house the appropriate LP and they also contain the CDs and the DVD in slots in one gate. The LPs are replicas of the pressing on Jet Records and as such they have the original Jet packaging right down to the labels. The LPs are only the original material and don’t have any of the CD bonus tracks.

The 100 Page Coffee Table Photo Book is actually pretty nice. I assumed it would be crap but actually it has kick-ass photos, most of which I haven’t seen before. The content focuses almost exclusively on Randy and Ozzy. Also in the book are the lyrics and liner notes for everything and the end papers have Blizzard Of Ozz on them as well as bats.

The poster has two rather well known images of Ozzy on it but the paper is heavy stock so that’s cool. The poster is rather useless and I am not sure why it’s included.

Next is the replica of Ozzy’s cross. Um, really? Who cares about this? Not me, that’s who. The cross is housed in a foam cut out in the bottom of the box.

The real centerpiece of the set is the DVD and it is very well done. First up is the documentary Thirty Years After The Blizzard which tells the well known tale of the the Blizzard Of Ozz lineup, especially Randy’s story. We get the oft repeated stories of the dove, the bat and the Alamo. Also we get interviews with Nikki Sixx, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Ozzy, Sharon (BLARRRGHHHHH!!!!), Bill Ward, Lemmy, Rob Halford and a few others. Really this documentary is nothing special. You’ve heard it all before on Behind The Music et al.

However the DVD does contain the absolutely amazing 5/2/1981 New York Palladium concert which has never been seen before. What’s so amazing about this show you ask? Well it just happens to be the first show Ozzy ever performed as a solo artist in the United States. He actually performed TWO shows that night at 8pm and 11:30pm. That’s right kids, bands used to do more than one show a night back in the day.

A film student by the name of George De Sota was in the front row with his Super 8 camera with sound and he filmed 10 reels of material. Unfortunately, Super 8 reels were only 3 minutes and twenty seconds long so none of these songs are complete and the film abruptly ends in the middle of many tracks. The picture and sound quality is not bad considering that the film is 30 years old.

Also on the DVD is the equally amazing After Hours show that was filmed in Rochester, New York on 05/08/1981. This show was performed for a couple of dozen people in a small room, but it was filmed with three cameras and has fantastic sound and video. Because of the multiple cameras there are close ups and different shots of all the players so you can really see everything. Check out a clip from the show:

It’s especially nice to have footage of Tommy Aldridge on the drums just bashing away. Tommy looks exactly the same now as he did then, and by that I mean he looks like a cadaver with an afro. One also notices just how tiny Randy really was – he might be all of 5’4” without shoes.

The Metal Blog of Metal notes that Rudy Sarzo has the most super amazing red leather pants and tank top along with knee high boots. Yes! Rudy is such a showman on the bass it’s ridiculous. He and Juan Croucier should get together and see who can win the award for most over the top bassmanship of all time.

Ozzy is in fine voice here and it’s good to be reminded that at one point Ozzy could actually sing and didn’t need somebody else behind the curtain “helping” him out – wink, wink. He’s also sporting bitchin’ white pants, white shoes, and a white fringed blue shirt that says Ozzy on it. White shoes are metal as hell, just ask Lemmy.

Finally the DVD has an MTV interview with Ozz from the same time period, as well as some news footage from Albuquerque and performances of “Mr. Crowley” and “Over The Mountain” which was filmed by the local television station.

So there you have it, Muthas, that’s the whole contents of the box set.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Is it worth $149.99? I don’t really think so. At best this is worth $100. The essential element here is the DVD and that could be sold separately for $25. I would save your hard earned bucks and get the CD editions individually. They have everything you're ever gonna need, unless you are just dying to have an Ozzy replica cross, in which case I have one for sale for the low price of $139.99.


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