Ordinary Man – Ozzy Osbourne
Well it’s been a good decade since Ozzy Osbourne released an album and three years since both, he and his former band Black Sabbath decided to call it a day and put an end to their career back in their own town of Birmingham England at the Genting Arena on the 4th February 2017. Now he’s back with his 12th studio album and being that he is now an ageing 71-year-old rocker, this could very well be his final album.
Given the condition of his health over the last year with having a bad fall whilst recovering from pneumonia and being diagnosed with a mild form of Parkinson’s disease, I guess we should be thankful that he was able to make another album. But then again, I am sure Osbourne has stated many times in the past that he’s extremely lucky to still be here given all the antics he has got up to in the past. But at the end of the day I guess he is still mortal and just like the new albums title suggests an ordinary man.
Ozzy Osbourne has always been the crazy man of rock n’ roll but what makes things even more crazy is that despite him now being at the ripe old age of 71. Many will still go out and buy this new album of his including those still in their teens and not just the many who like myself who have followed him over all these years.
I can remember going back to my youth and in my teens when I first heard artists like Frank Sinatra. For the life of me I could not imagine myself buying records by those particular artists who were perhaps more popular with my parents’ generation than my own. Back then I would have even considered them to be old bags making records and would have made fun about them with my mates. But of course, as you grow older you get wiser and get to have much more respect for those type of artists and the one thing Sinatra still had in his ripe old age was his voice and that is something Osbourne still has kept intact today.
I guess you could even say that Ozzy is an extraordinary man and I’ve always found him to be quite a character and such a likeable and down to earth guy. He may not have the best voice in relation to many other rock singers. But for me personally when it comes to rock music and the music he made with both Black Sabbath and his own solo career, he and Alice Cooper are very much the only singers I have ever said that rule. Throughout his entire career there as only really been one album that never rocked my boat, but before I go any further let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork.
The Packaging & Artwork…
The Deluxe Edition CD comes in a 3-panel cardboard DigiSleeve to which the artists name, albums title and tracks have been etched or stencilled in silver leaf effect. Both the CD and Booklet slot into side pockets or slots on the right and left side on the inside of the DigiSleeve and the 14-page booklet contains all the linear notes and credits plus the lyrics. Overall, it’s been very well presented and for me personally it was worth paying the extra couple of pounds more for the deluxe edition. I do prefer both cardboard DigiSleeves and DigiPaks in relation to the standard plastic Jewel Case.
The artworks design and layout were done by Jeff Schulz who is an Associate Design Director at Sony Music Entertainment and an acclaimed creative director with 25+ years of experience guiding the vision of top brands, artists, and properties. Over the past near enough three decades Schulz has designed many album covers for artists such as the likes of Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Robert Cray, Bon Jovi, Patti Smith, Avril Lavigne, Whitney Houston and many others. Most of the album covers he has designed are worked around portraits and pictures of the artists themselves.
The photography was done by Sam Taylor-Johnson and the back of the album cover photograph was taken by the albums producer Andrew Watt who is involved with a lot of things on the album. The bat illustration in the middle of the booklet was done by Jon Contino. Overall, the albums artwork looks pretty neat and cool and this is one bat that not even Ozzy will be biting the head off :)))))).
The album was released in 7 formats counting the digital download leaving you the choice of 6 physical formats to choose from. Oddly enough the digital download is not the cheapest option and is priced up at £9.99 on Amazon UK. The cheapest of the 6 physical formats is the Cassette priced up at £8 and this format gives you the choice of 4 different cover art pictures to choose from on Ozzy’s website as seen below.
It was also released with the choice of 2 CD editions and as you can see, I opted for Deluxe Edition which I pre-ordered from Amazon UK and got it for £11.98. You can also get it in a standard plastic Jewel Case which is a couple of quid cheaper for £9.99 on Amazon and they are one of the cheapest retailers to purchase the album from. The only difference between the standard and deluxe versions is the packaging and nothing more.
For vinyl lovers you have the choice of 3 vinyl editions you can choose from and the standard Black vinyl version is priced at £20. The Picture Disc version retails for £25 and the Deluxe edition comes in a smoke Silver colour vinyl and is priced at £40. It’s also worth noting that on Ozzy’s website all vinyl albums have been pressed onto 140-gram vinyl and not 180 gram and I thought this might have been a typo error because most other outlets are advertising it as 180-gram vinyl.
However, having stumbled across more recent reviews about the issues some people are having with the vinyl release, it does appear to be that the vinyl industry is cutting corners once again and giving you less quality at a premium price. This is one of the very things that got my goat up about vinyl years ago and why I finally gave up on it simply because the thinner they cut the vinyl the more static it attracted and it was also more prone to warp a lot easier too and generate more surface noise.
This recent video I found on the YouTube talks about the problems of quality control that is still going on today regarding vinyl and Osbourne’s latest album Ordinary Man is at the centre of it with the vinyl release.
In other recent news it appears that “Vinylgeddon” is upon us due to recent fire that has decimated Apollo Masters in Banning, California. The plant produced 75-percent of the world’s lacquers that is used to make the stampers to make new recordings of vinyl records, with Japan’s MDC providing the remainder. Although it’s not quite “Vinylgeddon” and many albums are pressed well in advance but it will no doubt slow things down eventually for a while and will take at least a couple of years to hopefully get everything back together if they can.
This recent video I found on Youtube explains more about it and what it will mean for the future of vinyl. Although a lot of it is only speculation and only time will tell just how much of an effect it will have on the vinyl industry.
The Album In Review…
Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne was released on the 21st February 2020. The album comes with 11 tracks and has a total playing time of 49 minutes, 21 seconds which is a very comfortable time slot though not so comfortable to fit on a vinyl album. Which is why these days a single album like this now comes on 2 LP’s instead of one to cater for vinyl restrictions although I am pretty sure the album was put onto a single LP. I think it’s good they are now catering for quality but no doubt it does also bump the price of the album up for vinyl lovers doing it like this.
It was after finishing the farewell tour with Black Sabbath back in 2017 that Osbourne kept working on new material though various health issues got in the way and he was even forced ho to cancel his “No More Tours II” tour that was scheduled to kick off in February 2018. The tour was cancelled again in 2019 and was due to start in North America in May this year but once again had been cancelled and rescheduled to start in the United Kingdom in October 2020.
In September 2019, he was featured alongside American rapper Travis Scott on American rapper Post Malone’s “Take What You Want“, from Malone’s third studio album Hollywood’s Bleeding, which went on to become Osbourne’s first Billboard Hot 100 top 10 in over 30 years and is also included on this album. In November last year Osbourne announced that he had been working with the Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith on new material for a new album and since then we have seen 4 single releases between November – February surface prior to the albums release.
Most of the album was recorded at various studios a couple of which namely Electric Feel and Gold Tooth Music studios in the States are most likely home studios, but some of the tracks were also recorded at Abbey Road and Sarm studios in London, England. Sarm Studios were established by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, and it was originally known as Basing Street Studios. It has also been known in the past as Island Studios and SARM is an acronym of Sound and Recording Mobiles.
The studio is situated in Notting Hill in London and was built inside a former church that had been de-consecrated. The old church began its life as a studio back in 1969 though has a record producer Chris Blackwell’s career goes back much further and in 1964, he produced a cover version of Barbie Gaye’s 1956 song “My Boy Lollipop” which became Millie’s breakthrough blockbuster hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 2.
Basing Street Studios.
In the 70’s Blackwell got to produce quite a few ground breaking albums including Led Zeppelin’s Volume IV and Jethro Tull’s Aqualung along with many other artists such as Iron Maiden, Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, Free, Bad Company, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, John Martyn, Mott the Hoople, Quintessence, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Sparks, Cat Stevens, Spooky Tooth, Traffic and many more. The studios were also used by notable non-Island Records acts, such as Madonna, The Clash, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, The Eagles, Dire Straits, East 17, Boyzone, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rihanna, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, Yes and so on.
The studio changed its name to Sarm West and in the mid 1970s, Sarm was the first 24-track recording studio in England and later became the first with 48-track facilities. In 1982 the producer Trevor Horn of Buggles brought the studios and the Band Aid smash hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas” was recorded in Studio 1 at Sarm West in 1984. In May 2011, two new studios and music business offices were added. The redesign also included living accommodation, to facilitate a return to the studios’ 1970s policy of long-term bookings. The studios are currently owned by SPZ Group, which is a holding company belonging to Trevor Horn and his late wife Jill Sinclair. The Sarm Studios complex also houses the offices of the SPZ-owned record labels ZTT Records and Stiff Records, and publishing companies Perfect Songs and Unforgettable Songs.
Ozzy’s new album Ordinary Man was produced by the guitarist Andrew Watt who is also known for working with rapper Post Malone, both producing his songs and playing with him as a guitarist. He’s also collaborated with many more popular artists such as Justin Bieber to name one of them, and to be perfectly honest you would hardly think he was the right candidate to work on album for the prince of darkness. To be perfectly honest I have never heard of him or Post Malone for that matter and the likes of Justin Bieber is hardly going to raise my eyebrows and I would most likely PUKE! at the thought of him and Malone :))))).
Though through my research I did get to discover that Watt got together with both Glen Hughes and Jason Bonham back in 2013 to form a hard rock supergroup who went by the name of California Breed and they made a one-off album together. So, he may very well have the credentials that are required though I was quite surprised not to see Zakk Wylde on the new album though these days when I look on Youtube there are literally thousands upon thousands of unknown guitarists who are quite capable of doing the job. Guitarists are very much ten a penny these days and not like they was many moons ago.
Besides Andrew Watt, Duff McKagan, and Chad Smith who are the main musicians on the album it also features the ex Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash on a couple of tracks and Elton John also contributes piano and vocals to a track. It also features a few more musicians besides so let’s now take a look at the albums credits.
Musicians & Credits…
Executive Producer Andrew Watt. Recorded at various studios in the USA and United Kingdom. Recording Engineers Andrew Dudman, Dominik Gryzbon, Paul Lamalfa and Matt Still. Assistant Engineers Matt Jones and George Oulton. Mixed by Manny Marroquin and Alan Moulder. Mixing Assistants Caesar Edmunds, Scott Desmarais, Robin Florent, Chris Galland, Tom Herbert and Jeremie Inhaber. Mastering by Mike Bozzi and Dave Kutch assisted by Kevin Peterson.
All compositions written by Osbourne, Smith, McKagan, Tamposi, Watt (except Tracks 1 & 7 by Osbourne, Smith, McKagan, Watt. Track 4 by Osbourne, John, McKagan, Walsh, Watt. Track10 by Osbourne, Post, Smith, Watt and track 11 by Osbourne, Post, Webster, Walsh, Watt. Art Direction & design by Jeff Schulz. Photography by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Back Cover Photo by Andrew Watt. Illustrations by Jon Contino.
Ozzy Osbourne: Vocals – Harmonica (Track 6).
Andrew Watt: Guitar – Keyboards (Tracks 2, 4-10) – Piano (Track 4) – Bass (Track 7) – Backing Vocals – Programming & Arrangements.
Duff McKagan: Bass (Tracks 1-6, 8-10).
Chad Smith: Drums (Tracks 1-10).
Slash: Guitar (Tracks 1 & 4).
Elton John: Co-Lead Vocals & Piano (Track 4).
Tom Morello: Guitar (Tracks 8 & 10).
Post Malone: Co-Lead Vocals (Tracks 10 & 11).
Caesar Edmunds: Synth Bass (Tracks 2, 3, 6, 9, 10) – Synth Programming (Track 1).
Charlie Puth: Keyboards (Track 1).
Travis Scott: Vocals (Track 11).
Backing Vocalists: Ali Tamposi. Kelly Osbourne. Holly Laessig. Jess Wolfe. John Bowen. Christopher Hann. Gareth Treseder.
The Album Tracks In Review…
There was certainly no expense spared that went into the making of Osbourne’s 12th studio album Ordinary Man and there are way too many people involved in the making of this album for me to list them all in the credits. I would even think that if this album was to hit Number 1 in many countries I doubt if he would even get his money back and this must be the most expensive album he’s ever made.
This is an album that uses many modern techniques that’s found in the biggest majority of today’s pop music and also involves many artists who are not fussy about using programming and loops. I very much doubt that Osbourne has ever made an album like this before and this was all new to him including many of the people he had worked with on the album. But it also includes many musicians and he even paid Andrew Watt to fly over to Abby Road Studios in London, England to get an orchestra put on some of the tracks, and had him fly over to Atlanta to get Elton John on one of the tracks.
I have to confess that when I look back at all the GREAT! musicians Ozzy has worked with and had in the past on his previous albums from his solo career. I was not expecting a great deal looking at the backbone of the main musicians who are featured on this album. I would even say that with Osbourne being 71 and not in the best of shape after his last accident in the many interviews I have seen of him. That he was not in any fit shape to make an album. So, let’s now take a look and see how it came out.
Track 1. Straight To Hell.
Straight off the BAT! excuse the pun :))))) the album gets off to a flying start and this opening track sees Ozzy flying high again and the opening words “alright now” takes me even further back to that sweet leaf of his and just like both of those songs the lyrical content pertains to the harm that drugs can do to you and this is an anti-drug song like the many he has had done in the past, and just like the many it’s one HELL! of a song too.
There is no doubt that even Osbourne himself must of been well chuffed with how the song came out that he could not wait to get it out there, and an official video was made for the song and released last year on the 22nd November. The video perhaps describes hell as being more of a riot and Ozzy is perhaps portrayed has the instigator of it all in the way it’s been put across but it’s very well made and he looks GREAT! in it.
“Straight To Hell” is one of the more rawer edged songs on the album that is perhaps a bit more minimalistic regarding what’s been put into it to make it ROCK! particularly in the music department but it has all the right elements for it to work so well. It features Slash on lead guitar and the solo is very well executed. Ozzy’s voice stands out as well as ever and the other singers backing him up have been mixed in extremely well and this has to be a contender for one of the albums best powerful songs.
Track 2. All My Life.
I like how the lyrics have been put into context in this song and the lyrics are perhaps a bit more personal in that they relate to Ozzy’s past and even the present with how he’s still here and doing what he does the best. It’s not quite the end for him yet and he’s fighting to live on for eternity. Musically the song is low key and has more of a down tempo about it that effectively works very well to bring the album down a notch. Andrew Watt‘s guitar solo slots in very well and Osbourne’s voice is the only voice here and this a good example to show just how well he still has his voice and it’s a really GREAT! song.
Track 3. Goodbye.
There is quite a Black Sabbath feel to this next song and the thumping of the bass drum on the intro puts me in mind of “Iron Man” then it changes into something more along the lines of The Police and their hit song “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” in particular with the structure of the verses and I could almost sing some of the words from that song to the melody here and it’s like it’s been fused with “Electric Funeral“. Even the transitional change we get in the song is very much along the lines of Sabbath and you can see that the musicians had listened extensively to Osbourne’s entire career to make the new material work so well for him.
Once again, the lyrics are well written and put into context and you do get the impression that this album is meant to be his final album and its almost as if he’s writing his last will and testament to us all. There is nothing overcooked on these opening tracks and if there is any modern technology used you certainly cannot hear it and that is another excellent song that has all the right raw power to drive it along and another fine example how Osbourne’s voice has not changed a bit.
Track 4. Ordinary Man.
This song has quite a BEATLE-ESC! feel about it and it features Elton John on piano and he also gets to sing the second verse of the song. It also features Slash on the lead solo. Besides having such a GREAT! voice for rock music Ozzy has always had the characteristics in his voice to sing ballads exceptionally well and that even goes back to the 70’s when he was with Black Sabbath and “Changes” from their 4th album Volume 4 is a fine example and testament to that. Back in 2001 when I first heard “Dreamer” that song alone enticed me to buy the album Down To Earth immediately and I have yet to find an album from his solo career that has ever let me down.
Once again, the lyrics are excellent and they pertain to him wanting to be remembered after he’s gone and no doubt he will be, simply because he’s already made history as far as I am concerned. I can see why Osbourne wanted an orchestra on this song and why he sent Watt to Abbey Road because he has always been a fan of The Beatles. “Ordinary Man” is my personal favourite track on the album and it merits the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!
The official video was only released today and just in time for me to add it in for my review. I personally do not think it’s as good as the other two official videos that were made and it’s a reflection of Ozzy looking back on his past in a sad way.
Track 5. Under The Graveyard.
Yet another really GREAT! track and I would say that the album was worth it’s price point at this stage and were not even half way through it. This was another of the early single releases that was put out last November. The song is a look back on Osbourne’s life around the time he was sacked from Black Sabbath with his battles with drug and alcohol addiction and how his wife got him back on his feet again.
No expense has been spared on the official video that was made to promote the release either, and I have to say how they found the right actors to play the part of Ozzy and his wife Sharon does look very much like how they were back in early 80’s. “Under The Graveyard” is my second favourite track on the album and is a very strong contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! I would even say that this may very well be a firm favourite with most of his fans.
Track 6. Eat Me.
Ozzy gives you something you can get your teeth into like the title suggests and the lyrical content is on the black comedy side of things. The intro on the harmonica and the opening power chords from the guitars do have a Black Sabbath feel about them and hearing Osbourne on the old “Gob Iron” does cast my mind back to “The Wizard” from the bands self-titled debut album even if the melody line he’s playing sounds something more along the lines of a freight train rather than the haunting melody and sound he had on that old classic.
But that’s not the only thing in this song that takes me back to Sabbath’s debut album and around the 2:13 mark you will also hear they have nicked the vocal melody line from N.I.B. to which is played on the guitars. Though all these things are only little snippets to reflect back on the past and the song has much more to it and I would even say there is a touch of Alice Cooper thrown in along the way too. If anything, “Eat Me” is another very TASTY! album track and is yet another of the albums highlights and it contains some great bass work from Duff McKagan and Andrew Watt’s guitar solo adds very well to it all as well.
Track 7. Today is the End.
The songs title is something more along the lines of what you might find for a movie and this song would even work well for a movie too. Most of the songs along the album pertain to Osbourne’s personal life and death as if it were the end for him. Although the lyrical content to this song is quite different, and if you dug deeper into them, they could be pertaining more towards some of the tragic events that have taken place in the world such a school shootings for example. Though I am sure there are many other things people will intemperate them too as well.
Overall, “Today is the End” is another GREAT! album track the lyrical content is a bit on the repetitive side but Ozzy’s expressive voice fits in it like a glove and it contains a really GREAT! guitar solo.
Track 8. Scary Little Green Men.
Well no doubt the subject matter behind this song is entirely different and here we are touching on those scary little green bug-eyed monsters from another planet. The question really is is there anyone out there? It’s the first of two tracks that features Tom Morello on guitar (another unknown guitarist to myself) but I have vaguely heard of the band he is associated with Rage Against the Machine. He has also been involved in a few other bands and played with the likes of Bruce Springsteen in the past too.
Though I have to confess that for my own personal taste in music the Springsteen’s and Dylan’s of this world I have only ever seen as GREAT! songwriters and not performers, and I very much prefer their songs covered by other artists who I think done a damn site better with them. But we all have different tastes for sure. I am not sure who is doing the silly voice in this song but it sounds like the actor and musician Jack Black. I like how the song can simmer down and build up some adrenalin with how it flows along and this is another GREAT! song on the album.
Track 9. Holy For Tonight.
This is yet another song that’s lyrical content pertains to how it’s coming to the end of Osbourne’s life and how he’s running out of time. In many ways this would have been the perfect song to end off the album and it’s the second of the truly GREAT! BALLAD-ESC! tracks on the album. Like I mentioned earlier with “Ordinary Man” Osbourne’s voice works in a very powerful way when it comes to toning things down more and he can deliver songs like this with ease. This is another of the songs that contains an orchestra recorded at Abbey Road and another contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!
Track 10. It’s a Raid.
This next song features the Rapper Post Malone and although he’s actually singing rather than Rapping and to be honest his singing voice is fine and he does a good duet here with Osbourne on the song. The song itself does contain elicit lyrics to which Osbourne is certainly no stranger to himself however, the elicit lyrics in this song are more along the typical lines that is associated with most Rap artists and well over the top as ever. The song was released as a single on the day before the release of the album.
Overall, “It’s a Raid” is not a bad song but perhaps not up with there the rest of the tracks on the album and for me personally I would associate it more of a bonus track more than anything else. It also features Tom Morello on guitar and the guitar on this track has been distorted to death to which I personally feel sounds really cheap and nasty and it does nothing for me I am afraid.
Track 11. Take What You Want.
The final track on the album is a bonus track and features Post Malone and Travis Scott on vocals and they’re vocal parts feature more on the song than Osbourne’s. To be honest I like how the song opens up with the melody line on the guitar and Osbourne’s voice on the opening verse sounds GREAT! and you get the instant feeling that this is gonna be a good song to end off the album. Then the song changes drastically into a modern pop song with stupid effects applied to Malone and Scott’s vocals and it just ruined everything about it all for myself. The only other good thing in it is the guitar solo but overall, this is a track I could do without and it does not speak to me personally.
To sum up Ozzy Osbourne’s latest album Ordinary Man. I would say for those who have been waiting a decade to see a new album finally materialise it certainly does not disappoint and no doubt this is an album that has put Ozzy back in the limelight and an album I would personally consider a must for his fans and all those who are into really great rock music. The material that was written for the album is very strong both musically and lyrically and the only thing for me personally that really stops this album from being completely solid is the final couple of tracks on the album.
The album has been very well produced and no doubt Andrew Watt has done an excellent job and had the right vision to pull it all off and make it work and suit Ozzy down to a tee. The album does not contain any of the more familiar musicians who have worked with Osbourne in the past, and although I myself would have preferred to see some of them here I do not think they are really missed at all when listening to the album.
My personal highlights from the album are as follows: “Straight To Hell“. “Ordinary Man“. “Under The Graveyard“. “Eat Me” and “ Holy For Tonight“. Though the first 9 tracks on the album are all equally as good and I could easily say they are the highlights of the album and the life and soul of the album. If it was not for the last couple of tracks this album would score 10 out of 10 with ease and be up there with his very best albums without a doubt.
Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne is an album that purely ROCKS! and is a most welcoming return from the prince of darkness. It’s a very exciting album and one of the best rock albums I have heard in sometime. Ozzy comes from an era and decade that invented pure heavy rock music and when it comes to music that purely rocks in a heavy way there were only really 3 bands that stuck out above the rest and they were Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and it was around the same time back in 1969/70 that all 3 of these bands churned out their finest rock albums ever.
I would even say that Black Sabbath were the most consistent band out of those 3 when it comes down to churning out solid albums and the only album they ever made that never spoke to me was the final album Osbourne done with them back in that decade which was Never Say Die. The albums self-titled track was GREAT! but the rest of the album SUCKED! :)))))). Personally, I do not think Ozzy ever made an album in his entire solo career that sucked at all and they all can rock in a good way just like this album does. If this is to be Osbourne’s final album, he has certainly done justice for his fans and gone out on a high.
Yes, I’ve Been A Bad Guy, Been Higher Than The Blue Sky…
The CD track listing is as follows:
01. Straight To Hell. 3:45.
02. All My Life. 4:18.
03. Goodbye. 5:34.
04. Ordinary Man. 5:01.
05. Under The Graveyard. 4:57.
06. Eat Me. 4:19.
07. Today is the End. 4:06.
08. Scary Little Green Men. 4:20.
09. Holy For Tonight. 4:52.
10. It’s A Raid. 4:20.
11. Take What You Want. 3:49.
2 thoughts on “Lee Speaks About Music… #145”
Meanwhile I have listened to a few songs: “Straight to hell”, “All my life”, “Ordinary man” and “Under the graveyard” and I like them all. It’s really astonishing, that the mad man can still sing and write songs like that. When the album was announced I thought over to preprder it on vinyl, but forgot it later. Now I feel very encouraged to buy one of those limited editions. I never loved Black Sabbath as much as Led Zeppelin, because I think, that there are often fillers on BS-albums. Single songs stand out, but I had never a satisfying album-experience from a BS-album. So I would likely prefer to buy a “Best of” than an album of them. But the first solo-album of Ozzy with Randy Rhoads is one I can enjoy in its entity. Regarding vinyl-quality I know many collectors are complaining about today’s pressings, but I had never an issue with a new record since I have started to collect vinyl. In fact I only had issues with used records (Of course that can be expected). So I don’t understand, why so many people prefer to buy original pressings from the 60s or 70s (I did it myself many times), because it will be very hard to find one, which can compete with a new pressing. And if you find one it will be very expensive. Regarding Tom Morello I want to clarify, that he is really a popular guitar-player and was the guitar-player of the band “Rage against the machine”. He is known for unconventional sounds like stutter-effects etc.
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I think there are quite a few Ozzy albums I can enjoy entirely and his second album was in every inch just as good too. I personally do not think Led Zeppelin mane that any solid albums at all in relation to Sabbath. I could not fault any of Sabbath’s first 7 albums at all. There is no way I could say the same for Zeppelin’s albums and they rather they messed that up when they made their 5th album Houses of The Holy.
Regarding vinyl and how they are once cutting corners by sticking an album on 140-gram vinyl is certainly a rip off. No way on this earth should you be paying a premium price for such a poor product. Honestly that is what pissed me off about vinyl when they started doing it towards the end of the 70’s.
Regarding first editions that were pressed many moons ago you are only really going to obtain them second hand and not new. I think regarding how good any album is really down to how well it was recorded in the first place and certainly not everything back in those old days were not. I remember when I brought Aqualung back in the 70’s I was never happy with the recording and I have lost count of how many times I have brought it again over the years with all the remasters and I still was not happy. Some of those remasters were even worse and did nothing to improve the sound of the album.
It was not until I brought the 2011 remix of the album done by Steven Wilson in the hardback book edition that I got to hear that album properly and sound GREAT! For the first time. Nothing beats that recording of the album regardless of it being in stereo or 5.1. Technology has come a long way since those days so it does not surprise me one bit that a remix done by a better engineer can make a better difference. Granted not all engineers can do that though and you still will get some disappointing results as well.