TRACE THE ROOTS OF OZZY OSBOURNE WITH KILO’S OWN BOBBY OZ SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHTS AT 9PM!
Ozzy’s second solo studio album Diary of a Madman was released on 7 November 1981. It is the final album recorded with late guitarist Randy In 2011, a Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition was released.
Proving the success of his first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, was no fluke, Ozzy reestablished himself as the wild maniac of metal with Diary of a Madman, which came out on Nov. 7, 1981. Following a similar structure to that of Blizzard, Ozzy skillfully combined storming fist-in-the-air rockers like “Over the Mountain,” “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.” with more subtle and dynamic songs such as “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” and the heartrending power ballad “Tonight.” The only thing missing was a classical guitar instrumental, but guitar god Randy Rhoads didn’t need a solo spotlight since he shined bright as the sun all over the record.
“Over the Mountain” is the opening track on Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman album. With Ozzy’s iconic voice and Randy Rhoads’ exceptional neo-classical guitar playing, Diary of a Madman was another amazing roller coaster ride full of musical depth, sharp songwriting and top-notch performances! Diary of a Madman is a crisp, polished recording in which every instrument is clearly audible and the lows and highs are perfectly balanced. Like Blizzard of Ozz, Diary was recorded quickly in an effort to get Ozzy back out on the road. Most of the songs were written throughout 1980 and by February, 1981 the band was at Ridge Farm Studios in Rusper, England. In less than a month the album was complete. Sadly it would be the last studio album to feature Randy, who died in that tragic plane crash on March 19, 1982.
OZZY OSBOURNE PERFORMS LIVE AT 1983 US FESTIVAL (5/29/83)
Randy came up with the rough idea for the song Diary of a Madman in rehearsals and Ozzy’s bass player Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics. He 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. 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. I thought it would be a good song for an Ozzy album because he’s got the reputation of being the madman of rock and roll.” The title of Diary of a Madman came from a 1963 movie of the same name starring the legendary Vincent Price. Oh and the little boy on the cover is Ozzy’s son Louis from his first marriage to Thelma.
In addition to its 2002 reissue, the album was released in a deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition in 2011 that also featured a bonus live disc recorded during the second leg of the Blizzard of Ozz tour. Highlights include early performances of “Flying High Again” and “Believer” as well as the Black Sabbath songs “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave” and “Paranoid.”
Back in 1981, all that mattered was Diary of a Madman’s impressive sales and chart placements, including a lofty No. 14 in the U.K., where it sat uncomfortably close to Black Sabbath’s newly released second album fronted by Dio, Mob Rules. In the U.S., though, it was Ozzy who beat his former bandmates, reaching No. 16 with Diary vs. their album’s peak just inside the Top 30. Needless to say the competition or the rivalry between them became quite heated! In the end Diary is a lasting Ozzy classic that stands as the definitive showcase for the late Randy Rhoads! Every fan should own it!
Metallica cover’s Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman” at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA for the MusiCares MAPfund on May 12, 2014
Black Sabbath’s tenth studio album ‘Mob Rules’ was released on November 4, 1981. Ronnie James Dio infused Black Sabbath with incredible energy when he joined the band in 1980. Heaven and Hell is an absolute classic, and just one year later they followed it up with Mob Rules. Drummer Bill Ward checked out midway through the Heaven and Hell tour, so Vinny Appice took his place behind the kit. When they released Heaven and Hell, Ozzy had yet to kick off his solo career, but by the time of Mob Rules he was scoring massive hits and packing arenas. The competition was probably a good thing, and tracks like “The Sign of the Southern Cross” and “The Mob Rules” rank up there with anything in the Sabbath catalog. This was the last album with Dio for over a decade, and it began a long period of decline for Sabbath.
The very first new recording Black Sabbath made after the Heaven and Hell album was a version of the title track “The Mob Rules” for the soundtrack of the animated film Heavy Metal. The track “E5150” also is heard in the film but is not included in the soundtrack. Do you remember this badass scene in the movie? So freakin’ awesome!
In an interview for the concert film Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell, Geezer Butler cites “The Sign of the Southern Cross” as his favorite Mob Rules track because “it gave me a chance to experiment with some bass effects.” (It’s also my favorite!)
In honor of Halloween it’s another couple of killer covers to get you into that morbid mood!
Canadian hardcore punk band Cancer Bats with their cover of Black Sabbath’s “NIB”. The members of Cancer Bats have also toured and recorded as a Black Sabbath cover band under the name Bat Sabbath. They released an EP in 2013 on Metal Blade Records under the Bat Sabbath name titled ‘Bastards of Reality’ which consisted entirely of Black Sabbath covers. 5 Sabbath songs in all, it featured their takes on Children of the Grave, Into the Void, Iron Man, War Pigs and the version of NIB you just heard.
Stoner metal band Orange Goblin with their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom”. The song was a bonus track on the Japanese version of their debut album ‘Frequencies from Planet Ten’ released in 1997 on Rise Above Records. Orange Goblin was originally formed in 1995 under the name Our Haunted Kingdom in London, UK and they have covered Black Sabbath more than once. They recorded versions of Into the Void and Symptom of the Universe as well as performing several other Sabbath songs live over the years. And just like Death Angel I played for you last night, Orange Goblin is a band on this years Ozzfest Meets Knotfest lineup taking place next weekend at in San Bernardino, CA. They will be performing on Saturday Nov, 4 with the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne headlining and closing out opening night! The band also just headlined the annual two-day HRH Stoner vs. Doom Festival in Sheffield, UK on 1 October 2017.
It’s a pair of wicked covers to get you into that Halloween spirit!
GONGA featuring Portishead singer Beth Gibbons on lead vocals with their haunting reworking of Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath”. Fittingly, their version is actually titled “Black Sabbeth” and it is off their 2014 EP of the same name. GONGA are a heavy stoner rock power trio from Bristol, UK, the same place that the trip hop group Portishead are from and they have about 5 or 6 albums out, give or take. Wanna get to know more about the band go check out their GONGA (Official) page on Facebook or Visit GONGA on Bandcamp.com
Legendary thrash metal band Death Angel with their cover of the Dio era Black Sabbath track “Heaven and Hell” which was a bonus track on their US limited edition digipack version of The Dreams Call for Blood, their seventh studio album released in October of 2013 on Nuclear Blast. Death Angel are often referred to as one of the key bands in the Bay Area thrash metal movement of the 1980s along with peers Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, Testament and Possessed. Death Angel is one of the many kick ass bands on this years Ozzfest Meets Knotfest lineup happening next weekend in San Bernardino, CO and they are going to donate a portion of ticket and merch sales from their Xmas Shows taking place at Slim’s in San Francisco on December 15-16 to help aid victims of the NorCal Fires. Awesome!
Sonic Brew is the debut studio album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. Unlike the BLS albums that followed, this album still possessed a distinct Southern rock overtone that up to this time had dominated Zakk’s solo writing style. Initially it was released on October 28, 1998 in Japan only and much later in the US on Spitfire Records. Originally the Japanese version contained 13 tracks and the cover art was printed on clear plastic, with a separate paper booklet. The back cover was printed with golden ink, and the packaging was, overall, a lot higher quality than all later versions.
There was a long delay before it was ever released outside Japan, because the drums and vocals were buried on some of the tracks towards the end of the disc, so it was collectively decided to remix it for the US release. Due to the delay, Zakk and drummer Phil Ondich (the only 2 actual band members at the time) decided to give the USA an added bonus and went into a studio in California and recorded the aggressive “Lost My Better Half” as a one-off bonus track for the album – and it was this recording that prompted Zakk to pursue a much heavier direction for the band’s music thereafter. Sonic Brew was finally released on and May 4, 1999 in the US with a standard gloss-printed booklet with a gold whiskey bottle on the cover that looked exactly like Johnnie Walker’s Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky. And early copies came with a free Zakk Wylde guitar pick.
“Born To Lose” is the fourth track and one of 3 singles released from Sonic Brew, Black Label’s debut studio album. Eventually the Johnnie Walker whisky company issued a cease and desist order to Zakk on the album cover, which had been designed to match, except for its wording, the distiller’s graphic design for its bottles of Black Label Whisky. The band decided to reissue the album with a different album cover, this time merely with the band’s skull logo only and as an added incentive, they wanted to record another bonus track for the fans who wanted to buy this now-third version of the album. Zakk Wylde, drummer Phil Ondich and a member of Alice In Chains decided that bonus track should be a cover of an Ozzy classic!
The song “No More Tears” was redone as a bonus track on the third reissue of the Black Label Society album Sonic Brew as well as on its own promotional E.P. called the No More Tears Sampler. Zakk Wylde, BLS drummer Phil Ondich and Mike Inez of Alice In Chains were the musicians on the track. (Of course Mike Inez along with Zakk Wylde had helped write the original together with Ozzy for his album of the same name released in ’91.) Mike Inez is the one who composed the famous bassline at the intro of the classic Ozzy track.
Both “Born to Lose” and “No More Tears” along with a third track “Bored to Tears” were all released as promotional singles for the album, though no videos were ever made.
Ozzmosis is the seventh solo studio album by Ozzy. Recorded in Paris and New York with producer Michael Beinhorn, it was released on October 24, 1995 by Epic Records. “Perry Mason”, “See You on the Other Side” and “I Just Want You” were all released as singles. After the release of No More Tears in ’91, Ozzy announced that he would retire from music. However, after a brief hiatus he returned with Ozzmosis, which featured long-time guitarist Zakk Wylde as well as former Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Journey drummer Deen Castronovo and YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Who knows maybe ol’ Ozzy got bored sitting around and watching all of those the World War II documentaries on the History Channel for hours on end and soon realized that being stuck at home was far less fun than being on the road and playing for adoring audiences. All I know is that fans were glad he was finally back on the case again!
“Perry Mason”, was one of three singles released off of Ozzmosis, Ozzy’s the seventh solo album from October ’95. Once again all guitars on the album were performed by Zakk Wylde, however Steve Vai was originally slated to be the guitarist on the album after writing a number of songs with Ozzy in 1994 (of which only the track “My Little Man” remained). Vai reportedly left the project due to a “falling out” with Ozzy, although this has been disputed by Zakk Wylde who claims they are still friends. (I personally asked Steve about this when I met him 2 years ago on a Monsters of Rock Cruise, and he denied any so-called falling out! And it’s funny because on that same cruise I met Gus G. and he had hinted that Ozzy may eventually work with Zakk again. And well in case you hadn’t heard he is in fact back in Ozzy’s band at least for his current tour. Hopefully they will write and record together again as well.)
“I Just Want You” was the third and final single released off Ozzmosis. So there’s a line in there that people have been speculating about or trying to figure out for years where Ozzy sings, “I think I’ll buy myself some plastic water, I guess I should have married Lennon’s daughter”… of course referring to his musical idol and inspiration John Lennon, who in fact never had a daughter! Seriously, there are blogs with crazy conspiracy theories about this stuff! I think everyone is overthinking it’s meaning and maybe it was just meant metaphorically or he only used it because it rhymed. Who knows? I guess ya gotta ask Ozzy himself so, good luck with that! Yo gotta get past who he actually married first, SHARON!!!
Ozzmosis was one of many Ozzy albums remastered and reissued in 2002. The reissue featured bonus tracks “Whole World’s Fallin’ Down” and “Aimee”, originally released as B-sides to “Perry Mason” and “See You on the Other Side”, respectively. The album has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold over 3 million copies.
Released on 16 October 2001, Down to Earth is the eighth studio album by Ozzy Osbourne. It is the only Ozzy studio album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves) who left to join Metallica in 2003. And prior to joining Ozzy’s band he was a member of Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. This was also the first Ozzy album to feature drummer Mike Bordin, of Faith No More. And though he plays on the album, long-time guitarist Zakk Wylde did not contribute as a songwriter for the first time since joining Ozzy’s band in 1988 and this was due to many of the songs being written before Wylde rejoined the band. Zakk was actually out of the band from about 1995 until his return in 2001. He had left to form and focus on his band Black Label Society during that hiatus. Ozzy’s previous guitarist Joe Holmes was involved in the writing process as well as outside songwriters.
“Gets Me Through” is the first track from the Down to Earth album in which Ozzy thanks his fans and attempts to set the record straight that his stage persona is precisely that and nothing more, stating, “I’m not the Anti-Christ or the Iron Man”. In the first draft of the music video, pictures of flames, and destruction were featured but due to the events of 9/11, MTV said that they would not air it, so in return Ozzy sent back a cut version instead.
“Dreamer” is the third track from Down to Earth. The song describes the Ozzy’s vision of a better world for his children, where they are happy and safe. The song itself is thematically and musically similar to Lennon’s “Imagine”. In the liner notes to Ozzy’s Prince of Darkness box set, he refers to this song as his “Imagine”. Ozzy has named John Lennon many times as his hero. Rob Zombie directed the original video. He toured with Ozzy that year on the “Merry Mayhem” tour. A second video was also produced, featuring highlights from “The Osbournes” TV show. The Japanese and European press of the single also include a slightly different version of the song Dreamer, dubbed on the single “Dreamer (acoustic)”, and a previously unreleased song titled “Black Skies”.
Angry Machines is the seventh studio album by Dio. It was released first in Japan on October 4, 1996 by Mercury Music Entertainment with 11 tracks and in the USA on October 15, 1996 on Mayhem Records but with only 10 tracks. The Japan only bonus track was titled “God Hates Heavy Metal.”
Angry Machines is more of a straightforward metal record, full of pounding rhythms and guitars along with plenty of wailing by Ronnie. It was the last studio album to feature original drummer Vinny Appice. Unfortunately though it was not well received by the fans or critics and even Wendy Dio, the wife/manager of Ronnie, said it was her least favorite for the Dio band. It was rumored that Ronnie himself later regretted releasing the album due to it being so far removed from his original sound and he felt that the subject matter contained in the lyrics was too angry!
Nativity in Black is the first of two Black Sabbath tribute albums. All of the tracks on Nativity in Black are newly recorded covers of classic Black Sabbath material from the Ozzy Osbourne era, by various metal bands paying tribute to Black Sabbath for their influence on the heavy metal and hard rock genre of music. The name of the album comes from the commonly assumed, but incorrect, meaning or interpretation of the original Sabbath song title “N.I.B.” Everyone always claimed or assumed that it was in fact a reference to the birth of the Anti-Christ, opposite of the Nativity of Christ in Christian religion. Of course they were absolute incorrect. However the artwork for both Nativity in Black albums does play off of that theme. The first Nativity in Black tribute album was released on October 4, 1994, a couple of months before Christmas.
Taken from the compilation “Nativity in Black – A Tribute to Black Sabbath” 1994
“Symptom of the Universe”, one of Sabbath’s heaviest tracks was given the Brazilian thrash treatment by Sepultura. The main riff to the original song is considered by many to be an early influence on the development of thrash metal, so this cover makes all the sense in the world. It is a perfect fit for the thrash legends.
American metal band Godspeed gained major attention when they teamed up with legendary Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson to record the cover of the Black Sabbath song, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” for the Nativity in Black album. Immediately following the release of their debut album Ride in 1994, the band embarked on two major high-profile tours as the opening act for both Black Sabbath and Dio. Unfortunately they weren’t around for very long, they broke up in the late nineties, but bassist Chris Kosnik and guitarist Tommy Southard went on to heavily contribute to the stoner rock movement with their own bands The Atomic Bitchwax and Solace for nearly two decades. Godspeed’s original line-up reunited in 2012 to record new material and a tour in mid-2013.
Megadeth’s cover of “Paranoid” received a Grammy nomination in 1995 for ‘Best Metal Performance’. At the very end of the track, it’s funny how the drummer Nick Menza keeps on playing past the end of the song and you can Dave Mustaine yelling, “Nick? Nick?! NICK!” and he finally stops. Menza can faintly be heard saying, “F*** me running!” shortly after. Sadly Nick Menza passed away last year. On May 21, 2016,he collapsed onstage and was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. An autopsy later showed the cause of death to be congestive heart failure. Nick was only 51. It just goes to show, our time can come at any moment. But hey, at least he went out doing what he loved!
Again it is impossible to overstate Black Sabbath’s ultimate importance! They are hands down, one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time! They helped to create the genre with several ground-breaking releases, especially the first 8 albums especially from the Ozzy Osbourne era!
Nativity in Black is the first of two Black Sabbath tribute albums. All of the tracks on Nativity in Black are newly recorded covers of classic Black Sabbath material from the Ozzy Osbourne era, by various metal bands paying tribute to Black Sabbath for their influence on the heavy metal and hard rock genre of music. The name of the album comes from the commonly assumed, but incorrect, meaning or interpretation of the original Sabbath song title “N.I.B.” Also, the name of the album is a play on words, referring to Black Nativity – which were traditional Christmas carols sung in gospel style, that were quite common in the 60’s. Black Sabbath’s first Nativity in Black tribute album was released a couple of months before Christmas, on October 4, 1994.
White Zombie covered “Children of the Grave” (with slightly altered lyrics) for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black. It was later released as a promo single in 1994. The cover also features snippets of audio about the gruesome “Manson Murders” that took place in 1969, when Charles Manson masterminded the murders of nine people by members of his cult known as the Manson Family which included model and actress Sharon Tate in the home she shared with her husband the famous film director Roman Polanski. At the time of her death, she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with the couple’s son. And in that same home located on 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, is where Trent Reznor along with Marilyn Manson set up a studio to record Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral” album that too was released in 1994.
The song “Supernaut” was covered by Ministry side project 1000 Homo DJs. It was released as a 12-inch and CD single. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails originally recorded the vocals for the cover. But they were not officially used because Trent’s label at the time, TVT Records refused to allow his appearance on the release. An often repeated urban rock legend says that instead of recording new vocals, Al Jourgensen merely ran Reznor’s performance through a distortion effect to mask his identity. However, both Reznor and Jourgensen have dismissed this claim. The version with Reznor’s vocals was eventually released on Black Box – Wax Trax! Records: The First 13 Years compilation album and the Al Jourgensen version of song was featured on the Black Sabbath tribute album, Nativity in Black.
Perhaps more than any other single group, the original Black Sabbath sound laid the foundation for all heavy metal and hard rock bands to follow. They are the true Godfathers of Metal!