The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Ozzy Osbourne, 'Blizzard of Ozz' (1980)
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9/100

9. Ozzy Osbourne, 'Blizzard of Ozz' (1980)

Following his drunken, acrimonious exit from Black Sabbath, Ozzy's music-industry stock was so abysmally low that he had trouble getting a new record deal – and not even his biggest fans would have guessed that he was on the verge of launching a major career comeback with his first solo album. Released in the U.K. in September 1980 (and six months later in the U.S.), Blizzard of Ozz was a remarkably strong and focused record whose highlights (including "I Don't Know," "Crazy Train" and the controversial "Suicide Solution") were more modern-sounding than anything he'd done with Sabbath, yet still packed a serious metallic wallop. "The Blizzard stuff was a beautiful evolution from what was happening in the Seventies with metal to [metal in] the Eighties," shred-guitar ace Steve Vai recalled in a 2011 interview. "It had a completely different attitude." Much of the credit for that shift goes to the late guitarist Randy Rhoads, whose classically influenced fretboard acrobatics would profoundly influence an entire generation of metal guitarists. "The first album, none of us had played together," he said in 1981. "We were putting the band together, writing the songs and being in the studio at the same time ... the first album was, 'Turn it up to 10 and if it feels good, just play it.'" D.E.

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