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4.7 out of 5 stars62
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 March 2003
So there was I, standing in the local music store a couple of weeks ago and thinking "my collection is sadly lacking in Ozzy material". After reviewing the numerous CDs on display, it quickly became apparent that, not being and ardent fan, I didn't really have a clue which of his albums was 'the one' to go for. "Wouldn't it be great if he produced a 'Greatest Hits'" I thought and resigned to 'leave it for now'.
Well, they say 'great minds think alike' (Sharon O had obviously been monitoring my mind waves), and low and behold, what greeted me upon visiting this site... a 2 CD compilation of The Dark One's finest, no less.
So what's it like? Well, it's certainly everything I'd hoped for. Ozzy's unique voice and delivery goes without saying, but the guitar work of Messrs Rhoads (RIP) and Wylde in particular ranges from the sublime to the totally unbelievable! These guys must have had twelve fingers or something...
The inevitable 'Paranoid' makes an appearance, but not the (dare I say) 'overplayed' Sabbath studio version that appears on those dire 'Best Rock' compilations, but a truly electrifying live version featuring the late Randy Rhoads. Furthermore, all the classic Ozzy stuff's here, including 'Crazy Train', 'Bark At The Moon', 'No More Tears' through to more recent material like 'Gets Me Through'.
Don't buy just because you've seen an episode or two of 'The Osbournes' on MTV; do buy if you want to hear (or maybe relive) some of the finest heavy rock musicianship of the last thirty years.
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on 10 April 2005
I had never heard ozzy's music until i heard Hellraiser,and bark at the moon on the grandtheft auto game san andreas soundtrack i was hooked so i searched out a compilation album, this one in fact!.There are some mind blowing songs on here,notably the anthemic No more tears, Mama i'm coming home even the ballad Dreamer is great.The quality of the musicianship is absolutely top draw. superspeed guitar riffs!atmospheric keyboards and not to mention awesome punchy drums! most of the songs are surprisingly melodic and quite catchy and ozzy's vocals are crystal clear and the lyrics are easy to sing along to in the car Just buy for the above named tracks alone!!!
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on 4 March 2003
God's favourite album - official. This could be a diary of my teenage years. I used to play 'I Don't Know,' 'Mr. Crowley,' 'Over The Mountain,' and 'Diary of A Madman' just to annoy my Mum in the early 80's - 'cos she hated OZZY (still does for that matter. Sorry Mum!!) Having been a little disappointed with 'The Ozzman Cometh,' for it's content, or rather lack of it, this is the 'Dog's Licky Bits' in terms of a collection of OZZY's best toons. If you only know OZZY through the MTV show - buy this album. If you're a fan of 20 plus years, like myself, you'll have all the toons anyway, but as a compilation for the car, or to introduce your own kids to the Batmeister, it would take a lot of beating!! If that show had been made in the 80's when OZZY put out his best material, (who says the drugs don't work?!), then he would have been even more of a phenomenon - check the early stuff out on this album (anything pre 1991) and you'll know what I mean.
The key to OZZY's success, I think, has been his ability to link up with (previously unknown) guitarists of the calibre of Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde, together with his, and their, ability to write catchy songs, catchy riffs, and blistering solos - 'Over The Mountain,' 'Bark At The Moon' and 'Crazy Babies' being just 3 good examples from this album. If you are an aspiring guitarist, listen to the expertise on offer on this album - you will learn a lot!!
In summing up; in 1988, OZZY put out a compilation album in honour of the late, great, Randy Rhoads (RIP), and called it 'Tribute.' 'The Essential Ozzy Osbourne,' can be viewed as a fitting 'Tribute' to the king of metal that is Ozzy Osbourne. Long may he reign!!
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on 19 June 2003
I loved this CD the moment I read the track listing in my local music shop. When I went home and played it I couldn't describe how amazed I felt.
This album has a lot of classic tunes on it, and for the long term fans (like me!) who have all the tunes anyway, it means you don't have to constantly change the CD you're listening to at the time if you suddenly feel like 'Fire in the sky' and you have 'Thunder Underground' playing. The live tracks with Randy are fantastic (as always) and, am I crazy, or were some songs on there slightly different to album versions?
Ideal for people who are just discovering The Ozzman's talent, and are a little threatened by the choice out there.
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on 3 May 2011
Though he is infamous world-wide, and though he has sold millions of albums, Ozzy Osbourne's music is often overlooked for the worthy talent that is there. Only those who actually bother to listen to his music realise that he is a true artist, and not just famous for having sung in 'Black Sabbath'. This is a very interesting album. It is just about the best rock music that is available. Ozzy Osbourne, in my opinion, had one of the most unique voices in the history of rock 'n roll, and this album clearly proves that. All of his musicians were also excellent, especially the late Randy Rhoads. The album comes in two discs. There are a nice variety of songs on both.

The first disc opens the show with 'Crazy Train', a fan favourite and perhaps his most popular. Then there are 8 other songs that he did with Randy Rhoads. Rhoads and Ozzy feature live twice on this album, with 'I Don't Know' (featuring some of the best guitar playing I have ever heard) and 'Paranoid' (which is the best performance of this song around). These two tracks will blow you away. 'Goodbye to Romance' is a more gentle song. 'Suicide Solution' is in the AC/DC genre of rock and 'Mr. Crowley' is a creepy one, but a fantastic record. After Randy Rhoad's death, Ozzy continued to release some very good quality music. He had a spell with a few different artists. 'So Tired' is a beautifully sung record and 'Crazy Babies' is a funky sort of tune, almost in the style of Freddie Mercury! Overall, Disc 1 does not disappoint.

Disc 2 contains a different sort of music. The sound is more 'crunchy' or thick and obviously this is because of the arrival of the legendary Zakk Wylde. 'No More Tears' is superbly put together and the awesome 'Mama I'm Coming Home' is the delight of the whole of Ozzy's career. 'Dreamer' is on here also, where Ozzy expresses his desire for human peace and union. The beginning of the second album starts pretty darn well, but there are a couple of less than memorable songs: 'Breaking All the Rules', 'I Just Want You' and 'Perry Mason'. The others are good numbers, such as 'Time After Time' and 'See You On the Other Side'. One of the best is 'No Easy Way Out', which finishes the entire album. Both discs are a different style of music. Disc one is more 80s, disc two more crunchy 90s. But both complement each other well. I do wonder however why 'Shot In the Dark' never made it onto this fine collection. I think that's one of Ozzy's best moments - a superb record and well worth an individual purchase. Many believe this to be Ozzy's greatest song. If that were on this album, I'd have to give it 5 stars.

The album was well received by critics and deservedly so. It has sold really well and there's almost something for everyone this, which comes as a surprise. Ozzy, in other words, ends up appealing to all sorts of people. I like the heavier ones, like 'Desire' and 'I Don't Know'; my mum likes 'So Tired' and 'Dreamer'; my sister likes 'Mama I'm Coming Home' and 'Mr. Crowley' and my dad likes 'Paranoid'.

8/10
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 April 2010
Whilst it is well worth while checking out his solo albums (particularly 'No More Tears' and 'Ozzmosis'), this excellent two disc compilation of Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne in Sony's 'Essential' series a very good introduction for someone who doesn't already own one of those.

'The Essential Ozzy Osbourne' gathers 30 of his best known rock tracks (including a few extras) such as established classics like 'Mama I'm Coming Home', to the more recent standard 'Dreamer'. Be warned, the songs featured from his first two albums are the re-recorded versions from the 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' reissues. Where there might be disappointment that due to legal issues there are no songs from 'The Ultimate Sin' album, fans of live music especially will be satisfied with tracks such as 'Paranoid', 'I Don't Wanna Change The World', and 'I Don't Know', electric recordings which demonstrate what a great live performer the Prince of Darkness is.

If you want to purchase a set with most of Ozzy Osbourne's hits and fan favourites all in the one little package, 'The Essential Ozzy Osbourne' is a good option. The booklet contains some decent pictures, as well as a brief biography.
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on 27 May 2003
This album gives a very, very good representation of Ozzy's solo work. I would recommend this to anyone new to Ozzy's music. It offers some of the main man of metal's finest songs: the often over-looked gems that are rarely heard by those not acquainted with them. Songs such as: Goodbye to Romance, Mr. Crowley, Over the Mountain, Rock n Roll Rebel, So Tired, No Different, Fire in the Sky, Mama I'm Comin Home, I Just Want You, and It Gets me Through.............make this album all worthwhile.
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on 7 March 2011
This is a great overview of Ozzy's career and can't complain about the sheer quality of music contained, considering the man himself can hardly remember making most of it!
I have two qualms however; 1) The mastering on Rock N Roll Rebel is extremely bass heavy and may blow your speakers if you've been cranking the preceding songs and 2) Due to legal disputes there are no tracks from The Ultimate Sin, one of Ozzy's best albums. Therefore you are missing at least Shot In The Dark and The Ultimate Sin, two tracks that would have been highlights of this album...which means this isn't actually The Essential Ozzy Osbourne.
None the less, the rest of the tracks offer a great insight into the Prince Of Darkness' solo career.
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on 23 June 2008
If like me, you've admired Ozzy's music over the years, but don't have all of the albums, or if you weren't old enough to have appreciated his early classics (especially from the Randy Roads era, which account for the first 9 tracks of this double CD) this is definitely an album you should buy.
There is almost a full spectrum of hard hitting classics like "Bark at the Moon", "Rock 'N' Roll Rebel" and his most memorable slower melodic numbers such as "You're No Different", "So Tired", encompassing Ozzy's career from circa 1980 to 2001.
This only lost one star, for me, due to the exclusion of any material from 1986's "Ultimate Sin" album. For example Ozzy's biggest charting hit "Shot in the Dark." Despite such an omission, this is still a truly great collection of songs.
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on 8 October 2009
right first off this is a very satisfying album, listen to it and try to say otherwise, the songs on this album that really shine are the ledgendary, 'paranoid' crazy train' the raod to nowhere' crazy babies' bark at the moon' see you on the other side' and many other,s enjoy (a lot!).
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