Whether or not Ozzy is feeling better after his bout with a severe upper respiratory infection, word that his earthshaking solo debut album Blizzard of Ozz was just certified quintuple platinum should lift his spirits.
The February 4th certification by the Recording Industry Association of America means that the album has sold 5 million copies since its initial release on Saturday, September 20th in 1980. Its last platinum certification, quadruple platinum, occurred on August 15th, 1997.
Blizzard of Ozz was a big middle finger to Black Sabbath, the band that had just fired him, and to all the naysayers who claimed that Ozzy's day was done. And this doomsday-for-Ozzy scenario was probably the smart bet; after being consistently upstaged on their world tour for Never Say Die by a young upstart opening act from California called Van Halen, the street money was on the end of the entire band of drug-addled, booze-saddled "rock dinosaurs," who were viewed as being both irrelevant and incapacitated by their vices... and Ozzy had just been fired by this bunch of has-beens.
Never one to let adversity stop him, Ozzy released a landmark metal album that would also garner popular acclaim; Blizzard of Ozz would peak at #7 in the UK and #21 in the US, a performance that Black Sabbath had not matched since 1975's Sabotage. This album inevitably finds itself in good standing in every "top 100 metal albums" list that gets released, and the second track, "Crazy Train," is arguably the most recognized metal song ever released.
Like Ozzy himself, the album has spawned plenty of controversy over the years, including a lawsuit by the parents of a depressed dipshit named John McCollum who tried to pin the legal blame for their son's October 1984 gunshot suicide on Ozzy, as well as lawsuits by bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake over unpaid royalties. Fallout from these last lawsuits would lead to a 2002 re-issue of Blizzard of Ozz with their parts replaced by new recordings, a particularly egregious dick-move for which Ozzy and Sharon would later blame each other.