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STILL CELEBRATING ‘SABB’TEMBER – BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ

Black Sabbath was unraveling at an alarming rate around the time of their second to last album with original singer Ozzy Osbourne. On Technical Ecstasy, released September 25, 1976, the band was getting further and further from their original musical path, as they began experimenting with their trademark sludge-metal sound. It was not on par with Sabbath’s exceptional first five releases. The most popular song remains the album closer, “Dirty Women,” which was revived during the band’s highly successful reunion tour of the late ’90s. Other standouts include the funky “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” and the raging opener, “Back Street Kids.”

Working with Zakk Wylde — the best collaborator he’d had since Randy Rhoads died — Ozzy showcased his more sensitive side with this homage to his wife and manager Sharon, who had stood by him through a lifetime’s worth of crazy by then. The track, co-written with Zakk Wylde and Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, was penned about his proposed retirement from music and his return home to his lady love after his support of the album was complete. The song is from ‘No More Tears’ Ozzy’s sixth studio album, and one of the most successful of his solo career, released on 17 September 1991.

No one could hold a candle to Black Sabbath for their first six albums, but in 1976 the knots frayed by bad contracts, fraudulent bookkeeping, alcohol and drug addiction and complete mental and physical exhaustion started to rapidly unravel. 1976’s Technical Ecstasy was an unfocused record without much bite. The end of an era came less than two years later when Black Sabbath released their final ‘70s album with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Never Say Die!, which came out Sept. 28, 1978. Ozzy once claimed in an interview that it was the worst piece of work that he’d ever had anything to do with. “I’m ashamed of that album. I think it’s disgusting!”

SFPO