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Tuesday Two-Fer, IV: Ozzy 

From our friend HIM.


The easiest way for me to deal with Ozzy is to squint. When I do that, I tend to only see the Ozzy I want to see. The young, tasseled, wild man with the unruly mop of hair leading Iommi, Butler, and Ward through their doom-ladened and often experimental paces. The musical genius set on self-destruct, yet somehow eluding death with a slurred cackle and a smile. But, as his solo career blossomed, it also paradoxically withered for me. The Prince of Darkness became the Court Jester, a cruel example of the thing you are known for becoming a punchline you can’t see. I still owe the man a musical debt. However, I now tend to dig into the archives when I want to focus on the positive.
First Pick: “Tonight,” Diary Of A Madman (1981)

There is, at this point, a huge asterisk next to any Ozzy song. Putting aside the issue of who wrote this song, one can still applaud the Prince for the emotive qualities of his delivery on this under-appreciated track from his early solo career. The song is moody and introspective, closer to his Sabbath roots than the polished sheen of his later outings. And Ozzy’s voice is matched by the perfect trio of Rhoads, Kerslake, and Daisley.
Second Pick: “No More Tears,” No More Tears (1991)

Ozzy, the brand, the machine, the Sharon-train—shouldn’t sound this good at this point in his career. Chalk it up to the production of Purdell. Attribute it to the pinch harmonics of Wylde. Hail the last appearance of Daisley. No matter. This was a perfect combination of old and new, processed and punchy. Sadly, he never sounded this good again.
Honorable Mention: “Bark At The Moon,” Bark At The Moon (1983). Thank you, “co-writers” Lee and Daisley.

Reader Comments (6)

Great topic and post my friend. You pretty much nailed my feelings on Ozzy. I've always loved Oz. Read his books. You'll literally piss yourself, The man is truly hilarious in a self deprecating way. Laugh out loud funny.

Be it Iommi/Geezer in Sabbath, Randy/Daisley in the Blizzard, Zack, or even Lemmy,( yeah, Mama I'm coming home is Lemmy lyrics, along with a few other songs in the Zakk era),the man (or from the Blizzard era on,more likely his wife) sure knows how to surround him with incredibly gifted songwriters/musicians and then let Ozz take credit. But most people come to see Ozz clap, shoot peace signs,fling water,and scream Rock and Roll while reading (other people's) lyrics off of a Teleprompter. He's the show,so it is what it is.

Also, GREAT PICK on "Tonight". Can I just add that the solo at the end from Randy is one of my all time favorites from any song ever. It just drips with feeling,the phrasing is incredible,just a touch of flash but no "look at me" histrionics. That solo is why I take Randy over EVH 10 out of 10 times.EVH may have him in the tricks department ,but Randy is a better all around musician, at least in my opinion. I just wish that solo on Tonight didn't fade out at the end, because I'd almost bet there's a couple more minutes of Randy's fretboard mastery there that got edited out....
April 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Great read HIM and Gary excellent commentary - It was a sad day to find out that Ozzy actually did none of the heavy lifting in his career in regards to songwriting. But what a cast of supporting musicians that he brought us to enjoy. Just what if Randy were still here I can only imagine.
April 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterShawn
To be fair to Ozzy, Daisley has always said that Osbourne wrote the melodies:

For me, the best Ozzy solo song is You Can't Kill Rock And Roll. I feel exactly the same way about the fade on it as Gary does on Tonight. I wish I could hear four or five more minutes of that jam. I never much cared for anything after the first two albums, and totally lost interest by No More Tears. I wish I could find the review I read back then that said that record "has more power ballads on it than a Bon Jovi album."
April 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGogmagog
I’m sure Ozzy came up with SOME of the melodies, but I’m sure not ALL.

And I can buy Randy as a better all-around metal guitarist or guitar soloist, but better all-around musician? Crazy talk. Eddie has proven to be an able hard rock, rock, and even pop composer. What in Randy’s songwriter credits is comparable to the following range of songs and styles: Aint Talkin About Love, Dance the Night Away, Meant Street, Jump, Finish What Ya Started, and Right Now
April 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBasileus
Diary of a Madman, one of the best hard rock records in all of recorded music history. I must say that the latest remastered version of the album that came out a couple of years ago is exceptional, it truly brought out some of the nuances that were buried in the original mix and master. Bob Daisley was/is a genius. I wish that original band had been able to continue another couple of records.
April 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJCD
I concur, JCD. Did you catch my review of Daisley's book on this site a year or so ago? Guy has some legitimate complaints about Ozzy . . . as well as some odd ideas and "too late" attempts to gain a measure of justice. But that man wrote the lyrics and supplied the bass to some of Ozzy's strongest solo work. Full stop.

For my money, watching Daisley and Kerslake in Living Loud--with Steve Morse, Don Airey, and the amazing Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel)--is as close as we will get to catching that sort of fire again:

I know, I know. It ain't Randy (Morse isn't trying to be). And it ain't Ozzy (Barnes makes it his song vocally). But that was a great chance to see that Kerslake and Daisley still had it. Consider me impressed (impressed enough to re-link that video after having done so months ago). I think Barnes deserved to be bigger and that is pretty impressive for their first live show together (lyric sheets and all). Too bad nothing more came of the project.
April 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHim

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