OZZY OSBOURNE – Best of Ozz (1989 CBS Japan exclusive)
Japanese releases are such interesting things. Sometimes they are chock full of bonus tracks and additional goodies, and sometimes they are not. This CD is one that is not.
Even though this album came out after No Rest for the Wicked (1988), this Best Of Ozz includes no songs from that album or with guitarist Zakk Wylde. The songs are drawn from the first four Ozzy studio albums only, and the CD contains only 10 tracks. You have to shrug your shoulders at some of the song selections. “Secret Loser” and “Centre of Eternity” are on this, but not “Suicide Solution” or “I Don’t Know”.
Those two aside, however, this ain’t a bad but brief run through the land of Ozz. “Crazy Train”: check. “Bark at the Moon”: check. “Mr. Crowley”: check. “Shot in the Dark”: check. They get some bonus points for deeper cuts such as “Diary of a Madman”, “Over the Mountain” and “Goodbye to Romance”. I’m also glad “The Ulimate Sin” was included, as that song has sort of been erased from Ozzy’s canon since then, in a manner of speaking. He doesn’t like reissuing any songs from that album.
Interestingly, each track alternates guitar players: Randy, Jake, Randy, Jake, through the whole album. The result is an uneven listen. I don’t know why they did that.
The tracks are most likely the original CD masters. There are no liner notes indicating they had been remastered and I think it would be highly unlikely. Since there is nothing exclusive to be had on Best of Ozz, and since it is limited to just 10 tracks and lacks Zakk Wylde, this CD is nothing more than a collectible to me. I don’t remember what I paid for it, but I bought it from T-Rev’s store. I probably paid about $16.99 or so. The CD itself is scratched a little bit, but not bad enough to skip or play defectively. Most appealing to me, the original obi strip was intact, and there’s a lyric sheet with Japanese writing and amusing sketches. Bizarrely, some of these sketches are of Zakk Wylde, even though he’s not on the album.
I’ve listened to Best of Ozz exactly twice: when I purchased it, and when I reviewed it.