TRACE THE ROOTS OF OZZY OSBOURNE WITH KILO’S OWN BOBBY OZ SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHTS AT 9PM!
Anthony Frank “Tony” Iommi, born February 19, 1948 is best known as the lead guitarist and one of the four founding members of Black Sabbath. At the age of 17 Tony lost the tips of the middle and ring finger on his right hand in an industrial accident on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory. Inspired by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt’s two-fingered playing, Iommi decided to try playing guitar again, though the injury made it quite painful to do so, he fitted homemade thimbles to his injured fingers to extend and protect them; made from old Fairy Liquid dish soap bottles – “melted ’em down, got a hot soldering iron and shaped ’em like fingers” – then he cut sections from a leather jacket to cover his new homemade prosthetics. Then he re-strung his guitar with used banjo strings and began tuning his guitar to lower pitches, sometimes as far as three semitones below standard guitar tuning which crucially affected his playing style and his signature sound as well as the foundation of ‘Heavy Metal’ was born! And as they say the rest is rock and roll or metal history!
Tony Iommi is arguably the most important player in the history of metal. His awesomely heavy riffs served as the basic blueprint for subsequent bands, and of course, Sabbath’s dark imagery and presentation prestaged basically every other metal act. He is the Almighty Riff-Master and the true “Godfather of Heavy Metal!” He is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and highly influential in the genre. Countless artists and musicians cite him as inspiration to date.
In 2000, Tony Iommi finally released his first legitimate solo album, titled ‘Iommi’. The album featured several guest vocalists and musicians that included this one featuring Henry Rollins. The album took nearly five years to make. All of the songs were written by Iommi, producer Bob Marlette and the respective vocalists of each track (except “Black Oblivion”, which was written by Iommi and Billy Corgan).
“Let It Down Easy” is a track that was originally recorded during the ‘Fused’ album sessions. ‘Fused’ is a solo album by Tony Iommi, that released in 2005. The album also features vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, (who briefly fronted Black Sabbath in the mid-80s, assuming vocal duties on the ‘Seventh Star.’ Glenn Hughes commonly known as “The Voice of Rock” for good reason, of course; he is best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze and Deep Purple, The Hughes Turner Project, Gary Moore, Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa and Jason Bonham, again briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980’s and several of his own solo albums. He is favorite of Tony Iommi’s to work with, other than Sabbath’s ‘Seventh Star’ they have recorded two solo albums together, the aforementioned ‘Fused’ in ’05 and the ‘The 1996 DEP Sessions.’ And now that Sabbath is supposedly done, or retired Toni has talked about working with Glenn again sometime in the very near future.
Tony Iommi has played on some of the darkest tracks in the history of metal, but one of his latest inspirations is something a little more heavenly. The guitar great penned a new track called “How Good It Is” back in January for the Birmingham Cathedral, expressing his desire to give something back to his hometown. The song features Iommi on acoustic guitar, backed by the men and boys Cathedral Choir. It was lyrically inspired by Psalm 133. “It was great to be involved with the Cathedral and do something for it,” Iommi stated in a Birmingham Cathedral news piece. Tony Iommi worked with his friend the Dean of Birmingham on this five-minute arrangement, which celebrates peace, harmony and the Cathedral’s role in the heart of the city.
Ozzy continued his solo success with ‘The Ultimate Sin’, his fourth studio album, which was originally released on Feb. 22, 1986, and it was remastered and re-issued on Aug. 22, 1995. It marks the final appearance of lead guitarist Jake E. Lee and the first and only Ozzy album to feature bassist Phil Soussan, who co-wrote the album’s hit single “Shot in the Dark”. Drummer Randy Castillo, who had previously played in Lita Ford’s band, also makes his recording debut.
Work on the album began in the Ozzman’s absence as he was undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol abuse at the Betty Ford Clinic. Overweight and teetering on the edge of some serious health issues, he was so out of it when wife and manager Sharon admitted him that he believed her when she told him it was “a club where they would teach him to drink like a gentleman” — and seeking to take advantage of that, he even asked Mrs. Ford herself where he could find the bar after checking in! He ultimately made it through the program and claimed to embrace a healthier lifestyle, at least for the time being. As we all know he’d continue to struggle with chemical dependency off and on for over several years throughout his career.
After returning from the Center in ’85, Ozzy was presented with a substantial quantity of music written by guitarist Jake E. Lee. Much of this music would form the basis of the album. The album’s lyrics were largely written by long-time Ozzy bassist and lyricist Bob Daisley. Daisley left the band prior to recording after having a disagreement with Ozzy, prompting the hiring of Soussan as his replacement.
The working title for the album was Killer of Giants, after the song of the same name. Ozzy changed the title to ‘The Ultimate Sin’ at the last minute. In 1987, after the various tours in support of the album had concluded, guitarist Jake E. Lee was unexpectedly fired via a telegram from Sharon. The specific justification for his dismissal remains unknown. And Soussan — who had his own disagreement over songwriting credits with the Osbourne’s — also exited, clearing the way for Daisley’s return and the introduction of new guitarist Zakk Wylde.
“The Ultimate Sin” is the opening track on Ozzy’s fourth studio album of the same name.
“Shot in the Dark” is the ninth and final track on his 1986 solo album ‘The Ultimate Sin.’
Despite its initial success, Ozzy has tended to look back on ‘The Ultimate Sin’ with a lot of disdain. Sadly the album has since been deleted from his catalogue and was not reissued or remastered along with the rest of his albums in 2002 (same for Just Say Ozzy and Live & Loud). The story goes that the continuing legal struggle between Ozzy and bassist/songwriter Phil Soussan over “Shot in the Dark” is responsible for the album’s failure to be re-issued. And the fact that Ozzy refuses to play the track live or that the Official video for the track has since been blocked on YouTube and most if not all music sites online. And it has rarely appeared on any Ozzy greatest hits compilations as a result. One exception was the original release of ‘The Ozzman Cometh’ in 1997. At one point is was said to be resolved in the early 1990’s. However according to several sources it continues to be an ongoing issue to date. The only available CD version of ‘The Ultimate Sin’ is the 1995 remasters version.
So again, ‘Black Sabbath’ the self-titled debut album by Black Sabbath was released on Friday the 13th in 1970 and it turns 47 this Monday! We continue to explore the album tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ.
“N.I.B.” is the fourth track on the album, ‘Black Sabbath’. According to bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler, the lyrics are written from the point of view of Lucifer, who falls in love with a human woman “totally changing him, and then he becomes a good person.” And contrary to popular belief, the name of that song is not an abbreviation for Nativity in Black; it was merely a reference to drummer Bill Ward’s pointed goatee at the time, which was shaped as a pen-nib. To make it more intriguing they put punctuation marks in there to make it N.I.B. By the time it got to America, they translated it to Nativity In Black”, which was later used as the title for a pair of Black Sabbath tribute albums released in ’94 and 2000.
And as you know, Ozzy and Primus re-recorded the song for the Nativity in Black II tribute album, and you hear it played frequently, here on KILO.
“N.I.B.” begins with a bass solo by Geezer Butler, titled “Bassically”, which involves the use of wah-wah pedal and was recorded in one take, as the amp’s volume control is audibly turned up before the distorted bass intro of “N.I.B.” begins.
“Wicked World” is the fourth track on the North American edition of the ‘Black Sabbath’ album. Despite being Sabbath’s very first single, “Evil Woman” was excluded from the albums release in the United States, and was replaced by its B-side “Wicked World”. Also, the North American Warner Bros. Records pressings of the ‘Black Sabbath’ album quoted incorrect running times for the song “Wicked World” and the “Warning” medley (4:30 and 14:32, respectively).
And these pressings credit the album’s original songs using the band members’ real names: Anthony Iommi, John Osbourne, Terence Butler, and William Ward. *Here’s another funny little side note. All original vinyl versions of this album; (including subsequent reissues) misspell Ozzy Osbourne as “Ossie” Osborne… and in early press material on the band you can see this typo got around for a while.
“Both fans of blues influenced hard rock and heavy metal of all sorts should find something they like on this album by Sabbath”!
‘Black Sabbath’ the eponymous debut studio album by Black Sabbath was released on Friday the 13th in 1970 and it turns 47 this Monday! Although it was poorly received by most music critics at the time, ‘Black Sabbath’ has since been credited as one of the most influential albums in the development of heavy metal music! According to guitarist and founder member Tony Iommi, it was recorded in a single day on October 16th in 1969. The session lasted twelve hours. “We thought, ‘We have two days to do it and one of the days is mixing.’ So we played live. Ozzy was singing at the same time, we just put him in a separate booth and off we went. We never had a second run of most of the stuff.” Other than the bells, thunder and rain sound effects added to the beginning of the opening track, and the double-tracked guitar solos on “N.I.B.” and “Sleeping Village”, there were virtually no overdubs added to the album.
The ‘Black Sabbath’ album cover features a depiction of Mapledurham Watermill, situated on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England. Standing in front of the watermill is a figure dressed in black. The name of the woman pictured on the front cover is forgotten, though Iommi said that she once showed up backstage at a Black Sabbath show and introduced herself. Not much is known about the eerie woman used in the photo other than she was a model/actress hired for the day and her name was Louise.
She may not represent death but must have done a good job of freaking out the more pharmaceutically affected Sabbath fans. And if you look closely — supposedly — she’s holding a black cat.
The inner gatefold sleeve of the original release featured an inverted cross with a poem written inside of it. Allegedly, the band were upset when they discovered this, as it fueled allegations that they were Satanists or Occultists; and Suddenly they had all these crazy people turning up at their live shows!
(In my opinion, the album “transcends its deep roots in blues-rock and psychedelia to become something more … “the birth of heavy metal as we now know it”!)
“Black Sabbath”, the opening track is based almost entirely on a tritone interval played at slow tempo on the electric guitar. This is also called the Devil’s Triad, Devil’s Interval, and Diabolus in Musica, and had a reputation for being banned by religious authority in centuries past! In the 2010 Classic Albums documentary, Geezer Butler claims the riff was inspired by “Mars, the Bringer of War”, a movement in Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Iommi reinterpreted the riff slightly and redefined the band’s direction. The song’s lyrics concern a “figure in black” which Geezer claims to have seen after waking up from a nightmare. (This is the original promo video performance of the song.)
“The Wizard” is the second track on the ‘Black Sabbath’ record. It is about a wizard who uses his magic to encourage the people he encounters. In a 2005 interview with Metal Sludge, Geezer said the lyrics were influenced by the wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. It was also believed to be about the band’s drug dealer at the time. “The Wizard” was the B side to the title track of the band’s second album ‘Paranoid’.
On Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, just one day before Black Sabbath played their final show in their hometown of Birmingham, England they released a new greatest hits compilation, ‘The Ultimate Collection,’ a two-disc set filled with 31 tracks that were curated in conjunction with the band! Of course it features several of Sabbath’s classic songs (all from the original Ozzy era) including Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs, N.I.B. and The Wizard as well as some of the personally chosen deeper album cuts that resonated with the group. ‘The Ultimate Collection’ is available now in multiple formats including the 2-CD digital/HD formats ($19.99), and a limited edition “Crucifold” edition— which is a heavyweight 4-LP vinyl version ($59.98) produced in the shape of the cross. You can see the full track listing below.
Promo video for Black Sabbath’s ‘The Ultimate Collection,’ compilation available now.
“Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games with Me)” is a song written and recorded originally by Minneapolis-based band Crow that appeared on their 1969 album ‘Crow Music.’ A year later it was covered by Black Sabbath (simply as “Evil Woman”) on their self-titled debut album. Despite being Sabbath’s first single, it was excluded from their debut album in the United States, being replaced by its B-side “Wicked World”. The song wasn’t officially released in the US until 2002, when it appeared on the compilation ‘Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978.’
“Killing Yourself to Live” is the fifth song from Black Sabbath’s fifth studio album ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ that was released in December of 1973. It was written by bassist/ lyricist Geezer Butler while he was in hospital for kidney problems caused by heavy drinking. original drummer Bill Ward was also drinking heavily, and the song reflects the problems caused by their “extreme” lifestyles. An early incarnation of the song can be heard on the live albums Live at Last and Past Lives.
Black Sabbath, The Ultimate Collection Track Listing
2. Never Say Die
3. Iron Man
4. Black Sabbath
5. Children of the Grave
6. Fairies Wear Boots
8. Rat Salad
9. Sweet Leaf
10. War Pigs
11. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
12. Hole in the Sky
13. Symptom of the Universe
14. Spiral Architect
15. Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor
1. Dirty Women
2. Evil Woman, Don’t Play Your Games With Me
3. A Hard Road
4. Lord of This World
5. Into the Void
6. Behind the Wall of Sleep
8. Tomorrow’s Dream
9. The Wizard
11. Electric Funeral
13. Killing Yourself to Live
14. Am I Going Insane
15. Wicked World
16. It’s Alright
Today (Feb. 4) in their hometown of Birmingham, England, Black Sabbath will play what appears to be their final show ever as they conclude their lengthy ‘The End’ tour! Plus earlier in the week, Tuesday (Jan. 31) a very underrated Sabbath album, ‘Cross Purposes’ turned 23. Those are tonight’s features in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ!
‘Cross Purposes’ is the seventeenth studio album by Black Sabbath that was released on Jan. 31, 1994. It marked the return of former Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin and it was the only album to feature former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli. Geezer Butler remained with the group, although he would depart again later in the year. The album also featured Geoff Nicholls, keyboardist and longtime member of Black Sabbath, who passed away from lung cancer at the age of 68 on January 28, 2017. In July 2014, Guitar World magazine ranked Cross Purposes at number six in the “Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994” list. (That’s a pretty prestigious honor seeing as how most people have never even heard of it!)
This is my favorite song from ‘Cross Purposes’ which sounds very much like Alice In Chains. But hey, I am a huge Alice in Chains fan, and AIC have admitted several times that they were very influenced by Sabbath!
Black Sabbath’s final performance will be held at the Genting Arena in the band’s hometown of Birmingham, closing it out where it all started with the humble beginnings as Polka Tulk in 1968. “My emotions are flying all over the place,” Ozzy told the BBC, as the band rehearsed at the Arena. “Since I’ve got to this building today, I’ve been happy, I’ve been tearful. Let’s see what happens.” The band have suggested there will be a few surprises when they take to the stage for the last time on Saturday night – and one of them will be Ozzy’s goodbye speech. “I’ve got to say something but I’ve nothing rehearsed,” he laughed. “I’m no good at speeches.” Fans who attend the gig on Saturday night will have their portraits taken and memories recorded, as part of the Home of Metal project. The project is also asking fans to contribute photos and memorabilia for an exhibition celebrating the legacy of Black Sabbath, which will tour internationally in 2018, followed by a summer season in Birmingham and the Black Country in 2019.
This Official video for “End of the Beginning” was filmed on the set of the season finale of CSI back in 2013.
“Out of everything I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most!” ― Ozzy Osbourne
“I’m a lunatic by nature, and lunatics don’t need training – they just are.” ― Ozzy Osbourne, I Am Ozzy
It’s a double shot from “The Metal Madman” tonight at 9 in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ
“Crazy Train” is the first single from Ozzy’s debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, released in 1980. It was written by Ozzy, Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley. The subject matter of the lyrics is the Cold War and the fear of annihilation that existed during this period.
“Diary of a Madman” is the final song on Ozzy’s second solo album of the same name, released in November 1981. Ozzy’s bass player Bob Daisley wrote this song. Daisley said: “I really wrote that one about myself. When I was 16 I had my first nervous breakdown and it really f—ed me up. I was a sensitive kid and I have always been a sensitive person. I suppose you have to be sensitive being in the arts. I wrote the words about myself. Quite often we have problems and we are our own worst enemies and that is why ‘Enemies fill up the pages one by one in the diary. Are they me?’ I am my own worst enemy. Randy had the rough idea for the song and I came up with title. I wrote all of the lyrics as well on the album. I thought it would be a good title for an Ozzy album because he’s got the reputation of being one of the “madmen of rock and roll.”
Graphics courtesy of Bluewater Comics
On this date, (Jan. 28, 2015) Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler was arrested following an altercation at the Corkscrew Saloon on the Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, Calif. The 67-year-old musician said: “My sister-in-law had just died, and I’d gone to Death Valley in California just to get away from it all. Not just that, everything — Christmas, New Year’s, everything like that. I went down to the gift shop in the hotel, and there was this nice Western bar there. I thought, ‘I may as well have one before I go to bed.’ It was the strongest beer I’ve ever had in my life.
“The next thing I know, this guy started mouthing off about something. He was, like, some drunken Nazi bloke. He recognized me, and because I was in the music business, he started going on about Jews and everything — Jews this, Jews that. My missus is Jewish and I’d just had enough, and me hand sort of met his chin. I whacked him one.”
After his arrest, Butler was booked at the Inyo County Jail under this full name of Terence Michael Butler. He was charged with misdemeanor assault, public intoxication and vandalism and was released “after detox and citation,” the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. According to Geezer, he hasn’t had a drink since the incident. (Yep. It looks like the old Geezer can still kick ass! See what I did there?)
GZR is a band led by Black Sabbath bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler. The band has actually been marketed with three different names on the three releases they’ve had. In 1995, the band was marketed as g//z/r. In 1997, it was merely geezer, and in 2005, it was GZR. Most fans refer to the band as just Geezer. The song “The Invisible” was featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 film Mortal Kombat, although the song did not appear in the film itself. It also appears on ‘Plastic Planet’ the debut studio album by g//z/r, featuring Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell. It was released in October of 1995.
“Fairies Wear Boots” is a song from Black Sabbath’s iconic second studio album ‘Paranoid’. In the 2010 documentary film Classic Albums: Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Geezer states that the music was inspired by the band’s encounter or altercation with a group of skinheads, who are the “fairies” in the song. However, in the 2004 release of Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970–1978), Tony Iommi states the title was inspired from an incident when Geezer and Ozzy were smoking cannabis and saw fairies in boots running around a park, and not from an attack by skinheads! (Hey either way it makes for a great rock n’ roll story!) This is the Quadraphonic mix version off of the “Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition” that was released last November.
“NIB”, from the album “Reunion”, recorded live December 5, 1997, at the N.E.C. in Birmingham, England. It features the original line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, and it was the first recording of the four musicians together after the firing of Ozzy in 1979. It begins with a bass solo by Geezer Butler, titled “Bassically.”
Since Zakk Wylde’s Birthday was yesterday, tonight I decided to give you 2 classic tracks from his time with Ozzy which as we all know launched his career into super-rock-stardom!
Ozzy’s video for the song ‘No More Tears’ available on the MEMOIRS OF A MADMAN 2 DVD set as well as the CD version. The original version is from Ozzy’s 6th studio album of the same released in September of ’91. It is one of Ozzy’s two best-selling albums in North America, along with Blizzard of Ozz, having been certified quadruple platinum! The song was later redone by guitarist Zakk Wylde as a bonus track on the second reissue of the Black Label Society album “Sonic Brew” as well as on its own promotional E.P. called the “No More Tears Sampler.” (Ozzy considers this song to be “a gift from God”, as stated in the ‘Prince of Darkness’ box set liner notes, which is ironic since it is supposedly about a serial killer!)
This is the Black Label Society version of ‘No More Tears’ from the second reissue of the BLS album “Sonic Brew.”
‘Miracle Man’ is taken from the “No Rest For The Wicked” album released in September of ’88. It is the recording debut of lead guitarist Zakk Wylde. The song was aimed at disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart! Swaggart had long been extremely critical of Ozzy’s music and live performances, before he himself was involved in a 1988 prostitution scandal that resulted initially in his suspension, and ultimately defrocking, by the Assemblies of God. Three years later he was implicated in another scandal involving a prostitute. As a result, Swaggart’s ministry became non-affiliated, non-denominational and significantly smaller than it was in the ministry’s pre-scandal years. Believe it or not he now has his own television channel and his weekly telecast is broadcast throughout the U.S. and on 78 channels in 104 other countries, and over the Internet. Oh the wicked hypocrisy that makes for great rock and roll!!!
Happy Birthday to Zakk Wylde!!! The Viking Berzerker turns the BIG 50 today! Born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967 in New Jersey, he is of course best known as the former long-time guitarist for Ozzy and founder of the band Black Label Society. His signature bulls-eye design appears on many of his guitars and is widely recognized. He was the lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. And as a solo artist he has released Book of Shadows and Book of Shadows II. See Zakk on the “Experience Hendrix Tour,” March 7th at the Paramount Theatre in Denver. Details and tickets HERE.
This music video for “Lost Prayer,” was just released today in support of ‘Book of Shadows II’ the second solo studio album by from Zakk Wylde, that was released on April 8, 2016.
“My Dying Time” is a single from ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican,’ the ninth studio album by Black Label Society that was released April 8, 2014. It was the band’s first No. 1 album and their first album since the departure of long-time rhythm guitarist Nick Catanese (nicknamed “The Evil Twin” or “ET” for his capability to keep up with Zakk Wylde) He had been with the band since 1999.
See 10 of guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde’s most unforgettable moments on and off stage! (NSFW Language)