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Hot Stuff: Classic Ozzy Rocks Hard After 30 Years

Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne set the benchmark for the second generation of heavy metal - the glory years of the '80s - thanks to two classic albums. Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne set the benchmark for the second generation of heavy metal - the glory years of the '80s - thanks to two classic albums.

Hot Stuff is back, and this time we’ve got another diverse mix of sounds to wind down summer 2011. We’re kicking it off with some classic rockin the form of a reissue from Ozzy Osbourne. We’ve also got some heavy hitters from other genres, including everything from Beirut’s worldly indie-folk to Fountains of Wayne’s catchy rock n’ roll. Throw in a little Mates of State and a dash of The Horrors and you’ve got a little something for indoor growers of all stripes.

Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz/Diary of a Madman 30th Anniversary Box Set

Ozzy’s image in his latter years has become more wholesome, but this is a dude who was at the forefront of heavy metal and struck fear into the hearts of more than a few parents in his heyday. Sonically, Ozzy was never better as a solo artist than on these two records. Of course, that is thanks largely to the guitar work of legendary axe wizard, Randy Rhoads.

After Ozzy helped invent heavy metal in the ‘70s with Black Sabbath, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman laid the groundwork for the next decade of edgy, catchy, badass metal. These days, Ozzy is a fixture on classic rock radio, and he can still fill stadiums. But for hardcore fans of the genre, these records will always stand as the legacy of Rhoads, truly one of the great metal guitar players of all time.

 

Mates of State - Mountaintops

The husband and wife duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have released their seventh full-length of indie-pop, and Mountaintops delivers more of the same quirky, catchy synth-laden tunes we’ve come to expect from Mates of State over the past decade-and-a-half. The dual vocals and multiple layers of strange synth, reverb, and analog instruments bump along, reminding us of Mates of State’s singular, weird, and wonderful take on pop music.

 

Beirut – The Rip Tide

The worldly indie-folk that spills forth on the latest from Zach Condon’s Beirut is a mish-mash of influences. The Rip Tide sounds like indie-rock interpreted by an Eastern European folk orchestra. The result is a multi-instrumental world of synths, guitars, horns, and warbling vocals. Frills aside, Beirut conjures a collection of tunes that compel you to listen again and again.

 

The Horrors – Skying

These British darlings haven’t quite made the splash Stateside that they have in their native England, but it’s not for lack of excellent music. Their latest, Skying, is a collection of multi-layered ‘80s-esque Britpop with a touch of the psychedelic thrown in for good measure. Mining their UK pop heritage, The Horrors draw richly from predecessors like Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, and David Bowie, making for fine listening indeed.

 

Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full of Holes

Fountains of Wayne have been teetering on the precipice of being a one-hit wonder thanks to 2003’s gold-selling single, “Stacy’s Mom,” followed by nothing else you’ve heard. Sky Full of Holes is the album that finally showed the world what the band’s fans have known all along – these guys are real songwriters. Their slice-of-life lyrics tell mildly dark tales of suburban everymen to the tune of power-pop gems that are as catchy as ever.


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This is one of the rarities included on the reissue of the classic Ozzy albums this year.
Last modified on Friday, 20 July 2012 18:58

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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