Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I served up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others from the Sabbath Family Tree! Now technically I know it’s not September anymore but I still have one more album from that month to feature, so tonight we are kicking off ‘Ozz’tober!
No Rest for the Wicked is the fifth studio album by Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on September 28, 1988 and was re-issued / remastered on August 22, 1995 and again on June 25, 2002. The album was certified gold in December 1988 and has since gone double platinum. It was the first album to feature guitarist Zakk Wylde. Ozzy has always been lucky to work with some of the best guitarists in rock, including first and foremost Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee — not to mention his former Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi. When Lee was fired following the tour for ’86’s The Ultimate Sin, his replacement had some mighty damn big shoes to fill! But fans soon discovered when the album hit stores in September of ’88, the Prince of Darkness had found another great guitarist in Zakk Wylde.
“Miracle Man”, the opening track on No Rest for the Wicked poked fun at disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who’d made headlines by constantly criticizing Ozzy’s music and live performances, before he himself was involved in a 1988 prostitution sex scandal ultimately causing him to lose his ministry!
“Crazy Babies”, one of the very first songs that Zakk and Ozzy composed together is not about crack babies (which yeah, that idiotic description actually circulates around stupid song meaning internet sites) but it is in fact just a just a metaphor used to describe teen rebellion when, supposedly inspired by my generation, the 80s, 90s, and the kids who grew up then or something like that. And contrarty to popular belief the gilrs who appear on the album cover and in the video for the song did not include Kelly Osbourne or any of Ozzy’s daughters, they were a pair of twins and some other actresses affectionately nicknamed “The Rats” by the director.
Looking back on The Ultimate Sin as “much softer” than his other albums, Ozzy later described No Rest for the Wicked as being “more like the original Black Sabbath sound … I purposely went out of my way to make a heavier album.” His words proved prophetic as Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler would soon join the band for the following tour.
“Miracle Man”, “Crazy Babies”, and “Breakin’ All the Rules” were all released as singles with accompanying music videos. The song “Hero” was an unlisted hidden bonus track on the original 1988 CD release, and at that time was commonly believed to be titled “Fools Know More”. This album is a kick ass precursor to what was to follow, Ozzy’s mega-successful No More Tears album!