The “Crazy Train” that is Ozzy Osbourne‘s solo career celebrates its fourth decade this weekend.
Blizzard of Ozz, the first solo outing from the Prince of Darkness, will turn 40 on Sunday. It was first released in Osbourne’s native U.K. on September 20, 1980, before debuting in the U.S. in March 1981.
Ahead of recording Blizzard of Ozz, Osbourne was in the middle of one of the darker periods in his life. Having just been fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, the metal legend fell further down a hole of drugs and alcohol before his future wife and manager Sharon helped get him back on his feet.
For Blizzard of Ozz, Osbourne recruited a new band, including guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley. The trio wrote the majority of Blizzard of Ozz together, including the monster track “Crazy Train,” which would become one of Osbourne’s signature solo songs, and the single “Mr. Crowley.”
Blizzard of Ozz would turn out to be a huge success — it’s certified five-times platinum in the U.S., outselling even Black Sabbath’s most popular album, 1970’s Paranoid.
However, Blizzard of Ozz is also marked by controversy and tragedy. Osbourne was sued by the parents of a young man who claimed that album’s song “Suicide Solution” convinced their son to kill himself. The case was eventually dismissed.
Additionally, Blizzard of Ozz would turn out to be one of only two albums Osbourne recorded with Rhoads before the guitarist died in a 1982 plane crash at age 25. Rhoads is now remembered as one of the best metal guitarists in history, especially considering his young age.
Following Blizzard of Ozz, Osbourne would go on to record 11 more solo studio albums, the most recent of which being Ordinary Man, which was just released this past February.
By Josh Johnson
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