REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne – “Flying High Again” (2011 Record Store Day exclusive single)

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OZZY OSBOURNE – “Flying High Again” (2011 Record Store Day exclusive)

Here’s something of an underappreciated item.  Everybody knows that Ozzy and Sharon re-recorded the drums and bass on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman back in 2002.  In retrospect this was a shrewd move despite the fan backlash.  In Lucas-esque fashion, it enabled them to restore the original versions for much-hyped reissues in 2011.  To usher in these new/old releases, Record Store Day shoppers were able to buy a replica original “Flying High Again” single.

Both the reissue and the original 1981 single featured the B-side, “I Don’t Know”, recorded live at an unspecified gig.  Like Diary of a Madman itself, this B-side had its bass and drums re-recorded in 2002.  It is difficult to hear the differences, but listen to the bass tracks right around the 2:10 minute mark.  Where Bob Daisley plays lots of interesting harmonics, the re-recorded version has Rob Trujillo hitting the lows.  The bass parts are very different.

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The credits on the 2002 edition of Diary indicate all tracks, “live” one included, were remixed with new bass and drums.

When Diary was reissued in 2011, it did not include this B-side, but instead an entire (different) concert on a bonus CD. Therefore the original version of the “I Don’t Know” B-side remains a vinyl exclusive.  Cool.  I am not sure why this was not advertised on the single sleeve or in the media.  In fact, I’ve owned this single for two years without putting 2 + 2 together.  The “Flying High Again” vinyl single is the only place you can get the original, untampered “I Don’t Know” live B-side!

For that reason alone:

5/5 stars

But is this worth $12 as per the price tag?  That’s one thing that bugs me about these singles today.  I understand that manufacturing costs have changed and it’s a niche item, but still!  $12 for one song.    One song, because they were going to sell us all “Flying High Again” itself on the Diary reissue, as advertised on the front.

Price: 2/5 stars

16 comments

  1. $12 doesn’t seem to bad for an uber-completist such as yourself. The price tag is more because it’s a RSD release too isn’t it? Seems odd the didn’t make the vinyl coloured… especially when you can still get the original single reasonably cheap.

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    1. Well my dear HMO, it just so happens that I picked up a coloured vinyl of a different Ozzy RSD single recently. And it is a guarantee that you will see a review on that.

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    1. Ozzy had some neat B-sides. “One Up the B-Side” is funny and “Spiders” is different. One of his best songs was a B-side — the song “Don’t Blame Me” with Zakk.

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  2. Last June, I paid $20 for a RSD release of Leonard Cohen’s 5-song EP Live In Fredericton. Mainly because it was from the tour we saw. HOWEVER, that was well after RSD (amazing it was even still in the shop). That’s $4 per song. And it was LEONARD! That makes me happy. Which brings me to my point – you love Ozzy. It’s not too much $$ for an artist you love. Besides, if you’d let it go, your OCD would make you buy it later anyway, and you’d probably pay more for it then.

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