Album cover: The image depicts Ozzy looking stunned in a field of devastation and getting covered by rain but in actual fact it’s oil that’s pouring down on him.  This sleeve tries to mirror the conflict in the Middle East that was raging, when this album was released.  The coloring and shading give it an almost surrealistic tinge, which works really well.  Placing next to his other album covers, Black Rain really stands out!

Overall album: Ozzy has had a stellar career and given his impressive solo discography, there is a lot to choose from in order to select his best record.  Most fans steer towards the early records of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. That’s understandable. But to me at least, the Black Rain record has something pretty cool to it in terms of its grooves, melody and lyrical content.  It consolidates what is the essential sound of the Prince of Darkness and his sadistic dark humor.  Overall it’s a rocker of a record.

Songs:

Not Going Away: This one starts off slow before the fury of the melody washes over the listener.  It’s a mid-paced and menacing track, where Ozzy poetically declares his uncompromising and dare I say irreverent behavior, lyrically.  A classic Ozzy track!

I Don’t Wanna Stop: Now this one is ultra catchy, ultra melodic and sinfully solid rock candy for the ears.  Many fans aren’t too big on the commercial sound of this track but there is no denying the fact that this one ranks right up there with the elite list of Ozzy hits.  It makes you want to jump around and let loose.

Black Rain: The title track that just like the album cover, describes conflict and criticizes world leaders for their apathetic attitude.  Zakk’s playing has a really neat tone and vibe to it, as he switches between hard riffing and tapping out various notes.

Lay Your World On Me: A laid back and ballad type of track that builds up a haunting and other worldly atmosphere.  But as the song evolves, the tone switches to a happy, feel good melody in the chorus.  Certainly not a filler.  Rather a cool number to toss in between the more serious ones.

The Almighty Dollar: The epic track on the album, which once more sees Ozzy in his humorous way criticizing authoritarian power.  Rob lays out some really cool bass lines, especially in the verse sections, which only adds to the appeal of lyrics of Ozzy. As with many of his more lengthier tracks, the music switches around quite a bit in the middle, which delivers an eerie tone before reverting to Rob’s bass line.

11 Silver: The thing that stands out about this number is the chorus.  There’s a pretty neat punch in its rhythm and you can’t help but nod in approval.  Some interesting guitar parts from Zakk to.

Civilize The Universe: Interestingly, this track features quite a bit of electronic sound effects and for the most part they do seem to work.  Mike’s drumming keeps things tight and that helps.  A good song for sure but not a major standout.

Here For You: The big ballad track and one that is expected.  Just like previous Ozzy hits like Goodbye To Romance and Dreamer, this song is wonderful through and through. Some very cool piano work by Zakk and the orchestra that accompanies him.  Ozzy delivers some soulful singing on this one.  More than that the whole vibe of the song is positive and dare I say warm.  It contrasts well with the other tracks on the album and seems to conjure up a pleasant vision of an evening spent at home with the people you care about.

Countdown’s Begun: Zakk’s guitar work on this track is top-notch for sure. The killer vibe and dark energy he pours into it make it even more special.  Rob and Mike back him really well.  The melody slithers along with each beat.

Trap Door: A straightforward number, which closes out the album. This song has a certain edge to it that requires a few listens to really get into.  It’s solid, hard-hitting and well-balanced.  Ozzy laments about the state of the world, while the rest of his band follow him up with a whirlwind of sound that reaches a neat crescendo towards the end.

Ultimate Album Song: I Don’t Wanna Stop

The Band: Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals/ Harmonica), Zakk Wylde (Guitars/ Keyboards/ Backing Vocals), Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Bass), Mike Bordin (Drums)

Image source: heraldextra.com