Ozzy Osbourne - Memoirs of a Madman (Epic)

Career-spanning retrospective spectacular! Or maybe not...
Release Date: 
6 Oct 2014 - 11:30pm

Released just in time to get the full benefit of 2014’s Christmas rush – whoever manages Mr Osbourne is no fool, clearly – Memoirs of a Madman is a pretty basic, entry level summation of ‘the dark prince of rock’ in solo career guise, and, taken at that level it serves its purpose perfectly.

Long time Ozzy Osbourne aficionados will probably bemoan the comparative paucity of early career material – there are only four tracks here from the man’s aeon-bestriding first two solo offerings, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, whilst the excellent Bark at the Moon apparently merits only the inclusion of its titanic title track – but then again you get the sense Memoirs…  isn’t really being aimed at those fans of a lengthier vintage. Of course, compilations such as this will always spark feisty track list debates wherever the bedenimed masses gather to discuss such matters of import. However, anyone with half a brain will question the inclusion of the man’s godawful dismemberment of Black Sabbath ballad Changes (in partnership with his publicity-hungry daughter Kelly) in favour of… well, almost anything else in the Osbourne canon, actually. It’s a terrible version that should only ever be heard at Osbourne family gatherings, and only then in times of extreme self indulgence.

Of course, this being 2014, a simple single cd release would be out of the question, and so Memoirs of a Madman also comes in various deluxe packages, one of which is a potentially more interesting DVD version, which features some 26 promo clips from right through Osbourne’s history, a couple of ‘making of’ films, and, perhaps best of all, live footage from a variety of live performances and TV appearances stretching right back to the early days of Osbourne’s solo career in 1981.

This DVD is probably the most attractive option on offer, though audiophiles might like a tilt at the nice double vinyl option; But whichever choice you make, you’ll be reminded at just how many great metal moments Ozzy Osbourne has been involved in in the last 30-odd years.