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Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off the Sabbath Family Tree!

Vol. 4 is the fourth studio album by Black Sabbath, released 25 September 1972. It was the first record by the band not produced by Rodger Bain as guitarist Tony Iommi assumed the production duties. Sabbath reached beyond their own musical roots during the recording process, coming up with a mixture of classic heavy riffing, a growing sense of melody and even some touches of progressive rock. The end result was nothing short of awesome! The album endures as a classic today – even though it was almost derailed by the band’s growing substance abuse.

Supernaut” featuring drummer Bill Ward’s soul-inspired breakdown, is the fifth song on Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4. It features an Iommi riff so classic that artists as diverse as Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham would later name it as a favorite. The fact that Zappa called it his favorite Sabbath song is funny because in a 1994 interview bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler revealed, “I loved Zappa’s lyric approach. That influenced me lyrically, definitely when writing the song.

The Vol. 4 album’s cover art that features a monochrome photograph of Ozzy with hands raised throwing peace signs (taken during a Black Sabbath concert) has proved iconic, as it has been imitated and parodied on numerous occasions, such as on the 1992 Volume Two EP by the band Sleep, and the ’94 Planet Caravan EP by Pantera. Many of the album’s lyrics see to derive from the paranoid delusions of cocaine abuse, so much so that Sabbath wrote a one of their classic tracks in open celebration! It was almost the album title until the record company intervened.

Musically, the song “Snowblind” is the band’s most obvious reference to cocaine, their drug of choice during this period. Snowblind was also the album’s original working title, but Vertigo Records was reluctant to release an album with an obvious drug reference as its title. The album’s liner notes also thank “the great COKE-cola”, another blatant ode to the band’s cocaine use. In his autobiography Ozzy said, “For me, Snowblind was one of Black Sabbath’s best-ever albums – although the record company wouldn’t let us keep the title, ‘cos in those days cocaine was a big deal, and they didn’t want the hassle of a controversy. We didn’t argue.”

Ozzy also delivered some of the best vocal performances of his career on Vol. 4, singing with a range and clarity throughout that surpassed everything he had previously done. But some tracks suffered from mixing issues, with both the band members and their technical support team dealing with drug issues.

Released in September 1972, Vol. 4 went gold in less than a month and was later certified platinum. Critics were typically dismissive of the album, though the critical community would later reverse itself dramatically and hail Black Sabbath as the musical pioneers they really were! The Forefathers of Heavy Metal!


Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off the Sabbath Family Tree!

With the release of Blizzard of Ozz, on Sept. 20, 1980, Ozzy Osbourne initiated one of the most improbable career comebacks in rock history, silencing scores of unbelievers who felt the former Black Sabbath singer could never make it on his own. Ozzy himself was one of those doubters! After being fired by Sabbath, in April 1979, his self-esteem was so low that he would waste months wallowing in self-pity, sequestered in a seedy L.A. motel, while continuing to indulge in his numerous vices. In the end, it took an outcast of similar proportions – future manager and, later, wife, Sharon Arden — to come to Ozzy’s rescue, at a time when she was looking to break ranks with her father, legendary manager Don Arden (who, coincidentally was in charge of Black Sabbath’s ongoing career). Ozzy and Sharon saw something in each other no one else did: hope. And so they started searching high and low for accomplices also willing to take a chance on Ozz. Though the going was tough at first, they eventually hit the jackpot in soon-to-be-former Quiet Riot guitar prodigy Randy Rhoads, who amazed Ozzy with his formidable musical talents and songwriting abilities.

“Crazy Train” was the first single from Ozzy Osbourne’s debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, released in 1980. A live version of the song recorded in 1981 from the album Tribute was also released as a single in 1987 with an accompanying music video. The song was originally 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. “Crazy Train” has become of course, one of Ozzy’s most well know or signature songs and a staple of rock radio playlists and sporting events over the years.

“Mr. Crowley” is one of two singles released from the Blizzard of Ozz album, with “Crazy Train” being the first. The song was inspired by a book about Aleister Crowley which Ozzy had read and a deck of tarot cards that were found in the studio as recording of the album was commencing. Crowley was an English occultist and ceremonial magician who had founded the Thelemite religion in the early 20th century. Again the song was written by Ozzy, guitarist Randy Rhoads, and bass guitarist/lyricist Bob Daisley.

At the time of the album’s recording, the band itself was billed as ‘The Blizzard of Ozz’, and the album was intended to be credited to the band with Ozzy’s name in smaller print. But when it was released the words ‘Ozzy Osbourne’ were in bigger print than ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ which made it look like an Ozzy album called that.

Blizzard of Ozz — gave Ozzy exactly what he needed to silence his critics and counter Sabbath’s own rebirth behind Ronnie James Dio. Blizzard wouldn’t perform as strongly out of the gate for lack of promotional support but it would ultimately win the marathon! It was a commercial success, being certified 4x Platinum in the U.S., a feat Ozzy would not achieve again until the release of No More Tears in 1991. The album has sold over 6 million copies to date worldwide, making it Ozzy’s best-selling solo album. The songs have remained the backbone of Ozzy’s legendary solo career, and it is considered by many as a true heavy metal classic! And just this past year it was ranked 9th on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time”!


Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off the Sabbath Family Tree!

No More Tears is the sixth studio album by Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on 17 September 1991. The album features blazing performances by guitarist Zakk Wylde and four songs co-written by the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister. It spawned four hit singles including “Mama, I’m Coming Home”, and contains the Grammy-winning track “I Don’t Want to Change the World”. It is also one of Ozzy’s two best-selling albums, along with Blizzard of Ozz, having been certified quadruple platinum by the the RIAA. [Recording Industry Association of America] This album helped revitalize Ozzy’s struggling career! During the beginning of the songwriting process, he was drinking heavily and then, partway through after 24 years of heavy drinking, he decided to get sober with the help of a therapist. He succeeded in his efforts, but seeing the world through clear eyes for the first time in decades was frightening for Ozz and he felt very insecure through much of the creative process. Even if he was unsure about the album at the time, fans around the world embraced it and shortly after its release the title track climbed the charts, and soon the album was a smash!

“Desire” is the fourth song on No More Tears and is one of four songs that were co-written with the late great Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead for the album. Lemmy re-recorded the track with Richie Kotzen, Tony Franklin and Vinnie Colaiuta for 2000’s Bat Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy record.

“No More Tears” is the fifth song on the 1991 Ozzy Osbourne album No More Tears. With a running time of 7:24, it is the longest solo song that Ozzy has ever recorded for a studio album. It 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. A shorter edited version of this song was released to some radio stations, and can be heard on the 1997 compilation album The Ozzman Cometh. The full-length version appears on The Essential Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy considers this song to be “a gift from God”, as stated in the Prince of Darkness liner notes. Now although Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) performs in the album’s videos and promotional tours, long-time Ozzy bassist Bob Daisley plays on the entire album. Inez is credited though as a writer for the title track; since the intro bass riff was composed by him. However he did not perform on the actual recording.


Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off the Sabbath Family Tree!

Paranoid is the second studio album by Black Sabbath that was released in September 1970. The album contains several of Sabbath’s signature songs, including “Iron Man”, “War Pigs” and the title track. It’s considered by many as a very influential album in the development of heavy metal music. Originally titled War Pigs, the record company changed it out of fear of a backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War. The band’s label also felt the title track was more marketable as a single. Ozzy said in a 1998 interview. “What the f*** does a bloke dressed as a pig with a sword in his hand got to do with being paranoid, I don’t know, but they decided to change the album title without changing the artwork!

Last December the band released the Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition which included among other things a rare 1974 quad mix of the album folded down to stereo!

In 2013, Geezer Butler told Mojo magazine that the song “Paranoid” was “about depression, because he didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking pot you get totally paranoid about people, and you can’t relate. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get and the depression afterwards.” A lot of the “Paranoid” album was written around the same time as Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut. They supposedly recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 days, live in the studio. And the song “Paranoid” itself was written as an afterthought. The band needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony Iommi came up with the riff. Geezer quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was literally reading them as he was singing. And the rest as they say was hard rock and heavy metal history!

The song “Iron Man” was originally titled “Iron Bloke”. Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Ozzy remarked that it sounded “like a big iron bloke walking about”. Bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler composed the lyrics. He wrote a story about a man who time travels into the future and sees the apocalypse. In the process of returning to the present, he is turned into steel by a magnetic field. Rendered mute, unable to verbally warn people of the impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become angry and have his revenge on mankind, causing the destruction that was seen in his vision. (Deep stuff)

Again, many rock critics have cited Paranoid as “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time”, which “defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history”. Blender said it was “the greatest metal album of all time”. And nearly every heavy-metal and extreme rock band of the last three decades, owes a debt of gratitude to Iommi’s “crushing” guitar riffs! In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine voted it the greatest metal album ever! And to me if you had to choose on Sabbath album out of their entire catalog this in my opinion is the one that matters the most!


Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off of the Sabbath Family Tree!

“One More for the Road” is the opening track from Master of the Moon, the tenth and final studio album by the band Dio. It was released on Sanctuary Records, September 7, 2004 and was produced by Ronnie James Dio. The album marks the return of guitarist Craig Goldy, who had performed on Dio’s (1987) Dream Evil album as well as 2000’s Magica. It also features Jeff Pilson on bass, best known for his work with Dokken, Simon Wright of AC/DC fame on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards. Scott whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with on the Monsters of Rock Cruise last year. That man’s got some killer rock n’ roll stories!) was a member of the groups Warrant, Keel, Berlin and Heaven & Hell. Today he is part of Dio Disciples, which includes surviving members of the final line-up of Dio, along with former Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan. He also plays in the band Hellion, alongside fellow Dio Disciples member Simon Wright. This song can also be found on 2012’s The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2. compilation.

“Concrete Jungle” kicks off Shot to Hell, the seventh studio album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. It was released September 12, 2006 and was the band’s first and only record to have been released by Roadrunner Records. According to Zakk, the band “just went in the studio and started knocking it out. That’s how you make records.” The cover art was originally of three nuns with shotguns (as seen in the advertisements handed out at Ozzfest 2006), but the artwork was deemed inappropriate and was changed to three nuns playing a game of pool. The version with shotguns was used as the cover of the Concrete Jungle single. This album drew the usual comparisons to bands such as Alice in Chains, Pantera, and Corrosion of Conformity. So if you like them, you will definitely like this album!


It’s a Labor Day special tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ.

“Labor Day, is a public and federal holiday that’s always celebrated on the first Monday in September. The Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. It became official in 1894.

“Killing Yourself to Live” is the fifth song on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the fifth album by Black Sabbath, released in December 1973. Kirk Hammett of Metallica called it his favorite Sabbath song, saying “A lot of people gravitate toward the album’s title track, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, but for me this is the stand out cut on the album.”

“Working Class Hero” is a song originally written and recorded by John Lennon for his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, his first solo album after the break-up of the Beatles. Ozzy recorded this version for his 2005 all covers collection appropriately titled Under Cover. It also appears on the Prince of Darkness box set, released that same year. The song itself, is a commentary/criticism on the difference between social classes. It tells the story of someone growing up in the working class. According to Lennon in an interview with Rolling Stone in December 1970, it is about working class individuals being processed into the middle classes, into the machine.


Tonight I am serving up two tracks from different eras of Sabbath!

Tyr is the fifteenth studio album by Black Sabbath. It arrived in stores on Aug. 20, 1990. In Norse mythology, Týr is the god of single combat and heroic glory, and the son of Odin. The album title, and several of the song titles, allude to Norse mythology, which led many to call Tyr a concept album, although many of the songs may seem loosely related, very little has anything to do with mythology and it was not intended to be a concept recording. At the time guitarist Tony Iommi, was still the only remaining founding member of the band and the rest of the line up was rounded out by singer Tony Martin, bassist Neil Murray (previously of Whitesnake) powerhouse drummer Cozy Powell (formerly of Rainbow) and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls.

Tyr represents another dramatic departure from Sabbath’s traditional sound, with only traces of it found in the occasional riff. It’s also the most reliant on keyboards.

Among rock critics, opinions were mixed. And perhaps the biggest legacy of Tyr was just how quickly it was forgotten – or rather, overshadowed – when, not even two years later, Iommi reunited with Ronnie James Dio, drummer Vinny Appice, and founding bassist Geezer Butler, for the Dehumanizer album and tour. Still, I feel this album is an underrated gem in the Black Sabbath catalog and by far one of the better overall albums featuring Martin on vocals!

Past Lives is a Black Sabbath double-disc live album that was released in Aug. 20, 2002. The first disc was previously known as Live at Last, an album that was not technically put out by the band’s record company, and therefore it was considered not an official Black Sabbath album. However it was considered a much coveted bootleg. The second disc of this set consists of recordings made for television and radio, previously only available on bootlegs. In my opinion it is a must own for die-hard fans.

This live version of “Symptom of the Universe” was recorded at Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, supposedly on Aug 6, 1975.

In 2001, Comedy Central’s “TV Funhouse” imagined Black Sabbath as an animated “Lost Cartoon” from 1974.


Tonight we’ve got a couple of important birthdays to celebrate!

First up, Robert John Arthur Halford (born 25 August 1951), best known as the ‘Metal God’, famed for his powerful wide-ranging voice as the lead vocalist for Judas Priest! Halford was born in Sutton Coldfield, but raised in Walsall, a town to the northwest of Birmingham (where the four original members of Sabbath hail from) in England’s West Midlands.

The band Bullring Brummies is made up of Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, vocalist Rob Halford (not long out of Judas Priest), Obsessed/Vitus guitarist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Fight guitarist Brian Tilse and Jimmy Wood on harmonica. Their cover of “The Wizard” on the first volume of the Nativity in Black, Black Sabbath tribute album that came out in the 19994 is their only recording, the musicians coming together specifically for this recording. According to Tony Iommi at the time, it was intended to be him / Butler / Ward on the track with Halford, as they had laid down tracks for the song. However I.R.S., Tony’s label at the time would not permit him to be included so he thought the project was dead. Gloria Butler, however, proceeded with Weinrich and Tilse being brought in to replace Iommi on the track. Upon discovering this, Iommi fired Gloria Butler, prompting Geezer Butler to quit Black Sabbath yet again.

Exactly two years after Staley’s body was found (April 20, 2004), Zakk Wylde‘s Black Label Society released ‘Hangover Music Vol. VI’ — a much more mellow affair than BLS usually produces. One of the songs contained within was titled ‘Layne,’ in honor of the AIC vocalist. Perhaps the eeriest part of this track is the sound of door-knocking at the end — which has been speculated as a symbolic representation of both the police knocking on Layne’s door prior to discovering his body and possibly himself knocking on heaven’s door. Also you hear a cat at the end of the song or what sounds like guitars mimicking a cats meowing, which supposedly represents Sadie, Layne’s cat, who was found in the apartment alive and well despite not eating for approximately two weeks and is now owned by Jerry. he knocking is when they come to check on Layne and ultimately find him.

Layne Thomas Staley (born 22 August 1967) was the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist and co-songwriter of Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The band became known for Layne’s distinct vocal style, as well as the harmonized vocals between him and Cantrell. Staley was also a member of the supergroups Mad Season and Class of ’99.

By mid-1996, he was out of the public spotlight, never to perform live again. Layne struggled for much of his adult life with depression and a drug addiction, culminating with his death on April 5, 2002. And the rock world has never quite been the same, he is greatly missed. Another great taken too soon.


Ozzy Osbourne is set to perform “Bark at the Moon” during the Solar Eclipse at Moonstock 2017!

Moonstock is a four day Rock Festival (which is currently underway) at Walker’s Bluff in Carterville, IL. that leads up to the 2017 Solar Eclipse that will take place tomorrow. On August 21, 2017, a small portion of the United States will witness a type of total solar eclipse that hasn’t been visible in nearly forty years. To commemorate this event multiple KILO rock bands are performing in the festival or have already performed like Kyng, Saliva and Black Stone Cherry who kicked it off on Friday. Then yesterday Texas Hippie Coalition, Pop Evil, Theory of a Deadman, and Halestorm performed. Today and tonight Otherwise, All That Remains, Hellyeah and Five Finger Death Punch will take the stage. And tomorrow at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time, when light fades to darkness, the Prince of Darkness himself; Ozzy Osbourne will kick off his live set with the song Bark at the Moon! And his concert will wrap up Moonstock 2017!

“Waiting for Darkness” is the final track off of Ozzy’s third studio album Bark at the Moon (U.S. Edition) which was originally released in November of 1983. The album of course features former Mickey Ratt and Rough Cutt guitarist Jake E. Lee, who replaced guitarist Randy Rhoads after he was killed a year earlier in a plane crash. Bark at the Moon is also the only Ozzy studio album to feature drummer Tommy Aldridge, who just celebrated a birthday by the way. On Tues. Aug. 15 he turned 67. He was a fixture of Ozzy’s live band for several years in the early to mid-80s. He was fired after the recording of the album and replaced by the legendary Carmine Appice, (the brother of Vinny Appice who also played with Sabbath and Dio) Tommy returned mid-tour after Appice was removed by the Osbournes. The Bark at the Moon album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard album chart and within several weeks of release was certified Gold for over 500,000 sales in the United States. To date, it has sold over 3,000,000 copies in the US. The album was remastered on CD in 1995 and again (with a different mix) in 2002.

“Bark at the Moon” is the title from Ozzy’s 1983 album of the same name. And again it will be the song he plays to kick off his live set tomorrow at exactly the same exact time that total solar eclipse is scheduled to take place, at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time!


Tonight, in honor of Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes Birthdays (both are former Sabbath singers) we go Deep Sabbath!

Ian Gillan, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for Deep Purple was born on 19 August 1945 and he also was a lead singer for Black Sabbath, replacing Ronnie James Dio for one album only, 1983’s Born Again. When Black Sabbath recorded the album in May of 1983 at The Manor Studio in the Oxfordshire countryside Ian Gillan actually live outside the house in a marquee tent. Ian put up a big, huge tent that had a cooking area and a bedroom and whatever else. Ian also brought an immediacy to the songwriting process that was uncommon for Sabbath at the time. His tongue-in-cheek, double entendre lyrics were about sexual things or true facts, even about stuff that happened at The Manor right there and then, which was quite a departure from Geezer Butler’s and Dio’s lyrics.”

In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne actually stated that the Born Again album was the “best thing he’d heard from Sabbath since the original group (which included him) had broke up”.

Glenn Hughes, who’s been dubbed by many as “The Voice of Rock” was born on 21 August in 1952. He too is best known for being a bassist and vocalist in Deep Purple, and was also briefly the lead singer for Black Sabbath in the mid-80’s and recorded on the Seventh Star album, released in January 1986. As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. It was originally written and recorded to be the first solo album by Tony Iommi, seeing as how he was the sole member left in the band. However, due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and manager Don Arden, it was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi due to the belief that it would sell more records with the already famous band name. Because of this, the album is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound! Many of the songs are very 80’s hard rock style, while some contain a bluesy feel. Musicians Eric Singer (now with KISS) and Dave Spitz contributed to the album, playing drums and bass, respectively. Additionally, this was the first Sabbath album to feature the band as a quintet, as keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was confirmed as an official band member the year prior.

There was a tour for the album, but Glenn Hughes only performed at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour due to his intense cocaine addiction, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were the supporting acts on their North American tour.

Glenn Hughes currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham and over the years he worked on several solo projects with Tony Iommi as well as his own.