Flying High Again
The World’s Greatest Tribute To Ozzy Osbourne (Magick)
by Scott Hefflon
I’ve held onto Bat Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy all this time for the cover of “Mr. Crowley” that opens that CD as well as this one (it sure wasn’t the duet between Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb someone thought was worth bragging about, not being humiliated by). Ripper Owens and Yngwie Malmsteen are both amazing, stylized, and have the tendency to show off, yet both stay admirably on-target here. Following that is the worst song I’ve ever heard by Children of Bodom, who’ve covered Maiden and Priest well, but “Shot in the Dark” shoulda stayed in the dark. Icarus Witch (with George Lynch) are a solid ’80s metal style band anyway, so “S.A.T.O.” is fine. Good to see George can still land a job, as well as get it done. Next up is “Bark at the Moon” covered by Forever Say Die with Jeff Duncan. All the right notes are hit, nothing is added, nothing is screwed up, but all of Ozzy’s personality is wiped clean and not replaced with anything.
A live version of “Close My Eyes Forever” by Lita Ford is up next, one of the two songs she wrote that anyone remembers. And the rest of this tribute kinda blends… “Desire” by Lemmy, “Crazy Train” by Dee Snider (which is kinda cool, cuz he’s such a fuckin’ clown), Over the Mountain” by Mark Slaughter/Brad Gillis, “I Don’t Know” by Jack Blades/Reb Beach, and “Hellraiser” by Joe Lynn Turner/Steve Lukather (from Toto?!?).
The last two tracks stand out, for better or worse. The closer is “Goodbye to Romance” covered by Alex Skolnick Trio, ha ha, all lounged out and shit. Never understood why so many people connect with this song. Seemed like a limp a pop ballad then, now seems like one of many missteps Ozzy’s made over the years. The other standout is the second to last tune, “Revelation (Mother Earth)” by Novembers Doom, which I loved/got a good laugh over when it came out of an Ozzy tribute on Olympic Recordings, part of the Century Media Family at one point, but pretty absorbed by now. The song is glorious, dramatic, dark, layered, haunting, and it takes a cave-dwelling troll to growl the vocals, accompanied by an apathetic shaman, angels, and a couple guitarists who know how to tinkerbell on an acoustic as well as scream bloody murder on a distortion-laden electric.