Blizzard of Ozz and Siamese Dream

Dalton had 2 more surprises for me. I have to immortalize them here, not only because I document all the albums I buy now, but because I wanted to say a permanent thank you. I’m never sure if my thank you is emphatic enough for the gift when you hand it to me.

These are fantastic, and they are both a piece of my history.

The first

“Ozzy Ozbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz”

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Of course it is 180 Gram

AND a 30th Anniversary Edition.    Ugh.    I am so old.

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This album was a HUGE HUGE HUGE hit when I was in high school. I remember I decided one high school spring/summer to not be so achingly white and hit the backyard for some sunbathing. I set my speakers up in the window and played records as I laid out baking (burning). I would be face up for side one of a record and flip when I came in to flip the record. It was a process.

After a 3 record set of sunbathing one day I came in and half-blind walked to the stereo and flipped it to radio on my way to the shower. I caught what I learned later was the first licks of “Crazy Train” and stood transfixed as the entire song played. I had just started getting into Black Sabbath and knew it was Ozzy, but I don’t think I realized he was solo at that point.

The song was of course amazing. No one can deny that song is hot. It was blistering. When the song was done and the DJ came on he stated flatly: “Thank God for Ozzy”. That was my first time hearing anything from “Blizzard Of Ozz”.

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At the time though I was heading in another direction and never bought the album. I continued to get some old Sabbath, but Ozzy hit SO hard at school and the jukebox and radio that it seemed wholly unnecessary to buy this album. I heard it e-v-e-r-y day. In fact I burnt out on it for quite a while. Ozzy’s weirdness and controversy pushed me even further away.

The thing that changed my attitude about Ozzy was in fact MTV. Not the videos mind you, but one month they featured every night a live concert video. Older concerts DVDs that they played in their entirety. I saw Iron Maiden and Stray Cats and INXS and Big Country concerts. It was a cool month. One night they had Ozzy.

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Pic from inside “Blizzard Of Ozz”

I was blown away. The guy was a billion pounds of energy and ferociousness on stage. I began to see Ozzy in a different light. That show was amazing. I can’t recall what the name of the video was, but it was my turnaround for Ozzy.

I ended up somehow with the tape of “Blizzard Of Ozz” and listened to it, including the songs I never heard on the radio and gained a new respect for it. This was Ozzy without the media hype and craziness and overplay and cherry picked tracks. This was Ozzy as he meant it to be heard. Complete.

This one is awesome.

Now I have to open it and listen to it!

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This will be the first time I have played a new album since I started recollecting. I have “The Beatles – Abbey Road” but I haven’t  broken it out yet. This will be an inaugural playing of virgin vinyl.

It sounded SO clean!

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The second one is even deeper rooted in my past.

“The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream”

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This I had on CD so I was familiar with the cover. Though this is a slight variation from the CD over, which I owned.

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Oddly, I always was under the impression that these were Siamese twin girls. Yeah, I know… but I did. One is apparently a model these days.

The CD back cover is different from the album as well.

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This is the LP album back cover.

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This shot must have been towards the end. She looks unhappy.

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While I searched for images of the CD cover I also came across this one.

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There must be an alternative cover in a box set or something.

At any rate… the story of this album coming into my life starts at the death of my grandmother Ellis.

My grandma Ellis was responsible for my original forray into records back when I was staying the summer at their trailer in Michigan. More on that later. I flew to Michigan to attend the funeral and we stayed at my uncle Phil’s house. As my mom and uncle talked the first night in the cloud of sadness that is tempered with the joy of seeing family, I retreated to the stereo and looked through the CD’s. Many of them were my cousin Christopher’s.  Amongst them was the “Siamese Dream” CD. I had heard of the Smashing Pumpkins (thought it was a stupid name) but never really had heard any of it. Not sure of the timing, but once I had heard this I couldn’t NOT hear it everywhere. This time though was my first and I was totally knocked out. It started out rocking, then slowed and got melancholy, then picked up again. Amazing. I listened to a few others that night, staying up late, but “The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream” changed me.

Then next day on the fairly lengthy car ride to the funeral I rode with Christopher and he played a mix that included my new found new favorite group. I told him how I had discovered them with his CD. We played it loud in anticipation of the hush we were to be in when we got there. It was also some of my first exposure to Radiohead. “Creep” was on that mix too. Very introspective mix. Perfect for that day.

When I got back to Wisconsin I went out and bought “Siamese Dream” on CD. One of the few groups that I would actually buy in those days. I played it constantly. I loved the slow ones as much or more as the fast ones. I taped it and played it on a little portable on my forklift at work and it was on the radio at the end of the aisle where we dropped parts off. As I drove up I could hear a few notes of it playing. That was when I stopped for a moment, listened to “Today” and filled out paperwork until it was over.

I was devastated when The Pumpkins broke up, then elated when they reformed.

Billy can hardly do any wrong musically.

There are always those albums that galvanize a time or feeling in your life that you always can experience when you play it. This is one of those albums for me. When I was angry and wanted Billy screaming I played this. When it was a rainy night and I wanted to sit in the dark and just listen to the soft stuff I listened to this.

I went on to get everything they ever released, and all of it is good, but this one is forever the ultimate best.

Thank you Dalton!

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About auralretentive

Music Lover Music Snob Music Junkie
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One Response to Blizzard of Ozz and Siamese Dream

  1. dalton holmen says:

    You’re welcome!! These two albums are iconic in the structuring of what I like in music. I also had a larger impact by ozzy diary of a madman because I saw that concert a junior in high school and it was the first time I had tripped on acid. That was a night to remember

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