I love vinyl. I’ve picked up loads of used vinyl at record shops and antique stores in the Cincinnati area (where I live), Knoxville (a yearly trip), and Bowling Green (on my way to my son’s college). Generally I don’t spend more than $10 on a title, and that’s only if I really want the record and haven’t seen it elsewhere. For the most part, though, I like to stick with the bargain bins and keep most purchases under $5. I’ve found some great releases in those bargain bins, including The Guess Who, Merle Haggard, and Frank Sinatra.
Sometimes I click around on Amazon to see what some of my favorite albums would cost on vinyl, and it blows me away. In the same way that some baseball cards are ridiculously out of reach, I never expect to own any of these vinyl releases, as much as I would like to hear them in all their clicky-and-poppy glory.
- Alice Cooper, Along Came a Spider, $1396.48. The shock rocker’s best album since at least the late 1980s, maybe even since the glory days of the 1970s. Features a harmonica performance by Ozzy Osbourne and a killer guitar solo from Slash. Yet, I will never buy it at the current price (although, it does have free shipping!!!).
- Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth, $179.98. I was fortunate to find the first five original VH releases at reasonable prices, and received the remastered 1984 for my birthday last year. (Actually, come to think of it, the debut was a Christmas gift along with the turntable three years ago). ADKOT is another story. The record was panned by many, but I love how it reaches back into the vault and updates some old riffs that were used on demos in the 1970s. But at this price, I’ll have to stick to the shiny compact disc version.
- Van Halen, Balance, $419.78. Sammy’s last full album with the band is the only Van Hagar production I really enjoy. “Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do),” “Feeling,” “Not Enough,” and “Take Me Back (Deja Vu)” all rank among my favorite Van Halen songs. I really hope I stumble across this in a bargain bin someday (or even for $10), because I’m not dropping four Benjamins and a Jackson regardless of how much I like it.
- Cinderella, Still Climbing, $89.99. I was fortunate to find Cinderella’s debut, Night Songs, a few years ago for about $8, and I snatched it up immediately. Still Climbing, the band’s last album from 1994, has been more challenging to track down. It didn’t perform well on the charts or on radio as grunge had brainwashed everyone by the time it hit stores. The 21st century price tag is just a little out of my range.
- Mill Vanilli, Girl You Know It’s True, $65.55. I can hear the groans. I don’t care if the guys in the picture didn’t actually sing the songs, they are still great pop songs. This is one of my go-to albums for “take me back to the easy breezy days of being a young teen in the late 1980s.” But at nearly seventy bucks? Nope.
- Stone Temple Pilots, Core, $699.99. This album was huge in 1993, but by that time vinyl was on the outs. Everyone was listening to CDs or cassettes. I’m not sure if it was even released on vinyl in the 1990s. The “collectible” reissue from 2013 is currently going for $700. Insane.
- Black Label Society, Mafia, $70.90. Zakk Wylde’s side-band has changed lineups frequently over the years, but with ten studio releases under the BLS moniker since 1999, it is a force to be reckoned with. My favorite album from Zakk and friends is 2005’s Mafia, which includes “In This River,” a touching song frequently dedicated in concert to Wylde’s best friend Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, who was killed in a shooting in 2004.
Some of these albums may get reissued, and hopefully I’ll be paying attention when that happens so I can buy them for about $20. In the meantime, I’ll just have to stick to my CDs and Amazon’s streaming service.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of the 1980s hard rock scene. Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and Poison were some of the biggest bands back then. When it comes to solo artists, there was none bigger than Ozzy Osbourne. He always picked great guitarists to play on his records: Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde. If anyone is deserving of the JT’s Ultimate Mixtape treatment, it is Ozzy Osbourne.
The rules are simple:
- Every studio album must be represented by one and only one song.
- That song does not have to be an official “single” released by the artist to promote said album.
- Compilation albums can be included, but only songs that are new, previously unreleased, or remixes of songs from prior albums are eligible for the list.
- Live albums are a waste of time. This is a general rule that applies to most, but Ozzy’s Tribute album is obviously exempt.
JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Ozzy Osbourne edition…
- “Crazy Train” (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)
- “Over The Mountain” (Diary Of A Madman, 1981)
- “War Pigs” (Speak of the Devil, 1982)
- “Bark At The Moon” (Bark at the Moon, 1983)
- “Shot In The Dark” (The Ultimate Sin, 1986)
- “Suicide Solution” (Tribute, 1987)
- “Crazy Babies” (No Rest for the Wicked, 1988)
- “No More Tears” (No More Tears, 1991)
- “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (Live & Loud, 1993)
- “I Just Want You” (Ozzmosis, 1995)
- “Back On Earth” (The Ozzman Cometh, 1997)
- “Dreamer” (Down to Earth, 2001)
- “Sunshine Of Your Love” (Under Cover, 2005)
- “I Don’t Wanna Stop” (Black Rain, 2007)
- “Let Me Hear You Scream” (Scream, 2010)
Ten very solid studio albums, three live albums, a compilation and a covers album are all represented on JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Ozzy Osbourne edition. But, as always, we’ve got to have some bonus tracks. It was hard to whittle this list down, and I didn’t even include any Black Sabbath material (that will come later…oooh, foreshadowing).
- Was (Not Was) “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go To Bed)” (Born to Laugh at Tornadoes, 1983)
- Lita Ford “Close My Eyes Forever” (Lita, 1988)
- Gary Moore “Led Clones” (After the War, 1989)
- Ozzy Osbourne “Purple Haze” (Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell, 1989)
- Bill Ward “Bombers (Can Open Bomb Bays)” (Ward One: Along the Way, 1990)
- Alice Cooper “Hey Stoopid” (Hey Stoopid, 1991)
- Infectious Grooves “Therapy” (The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…It’s The Infectious Grooves, 1991)
- Motörhead “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” (March Or Die, 1992)
- Ozzy Osbourne with Miss Piggy “Born To Be Wild” (Kermit Unpigged, 1994)
- Ozzy Osbourne “Walk On Water” (Beavis And Butt-Head Do America, 1996)
- Ringo Starr “Vertical Man” (Vertical Man, 1998)
- Rick Wakeman “Buried Alive” (Return To The Centre Of The Earth, 1999)
- Coal Chamber “Shock The Monkey” (Chamber Music, 1999)
- Tony Iommi “Who’s Fooling Who” (Iommi, 2000)
- Rob Zombie “Iron Head” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
- Black Label Society “Stillborn” (The Blessed Hellride, 2003)
- Mountain “Masters Of War” (Masters of War, 2007)
- Slash “Crucify The Dead” (Slash, 2010)
- Eminem “Going Through Changes” (Recovery, 2010)
Man, this guy gets around! And I didn’t even include everything that I could have! Of course, the duet with Lita is a no-brainer, but Ozzy has really contributed a lot of great material to other bands.
What’s on your Ultimate Mixtape for Ozzy? Try to stick to the rules laid out above!