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BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 2/4/18
One year ago today, (2/4/17) Black Sabbath played their final show on their farewell tour in their home city of Birmingham, England. “The End Tour” featuring founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, concluded the heavy metal pioneers 40+ year career!
Second song of their set at the Final Show in Genting Arena, Birmingham. Saturday 4th February 2017
The final show was February 4, 2017, in their home city of Birmingham, UK. Performing “Children of the Grave” live for the very last time. Second to last song in the set.
The End: Live in Birmingham is a live album and film by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It features the final performance from their The End Tour, recorded in Birmingham, England on 4 February 2017. It was released on 17 November 2017 as a CD, DVD, Blu-ray, Vinyl and a limited deluxe box set. The film documents the Black Sabbath final show at the Genting Arena in the band’s hometown of Birmingham.
In addition to the live concert, both the film and album feature ‘The Angelic Sessions’-five songs recorded in the days following the band’s final show. The tracks will mark the band’s final studio recordings.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 2/3/18
The End is Near… Slayer to tour the world one final time!
Thrash pioneers, Slayer have been killing it since 1981, and now after 35 years they have decided to call it quits with one final tour! Hard to believe they really plan on hanging it up, especially after they survived the 2013 death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman. (Which by the way, this past Wednesday Jan. 31 would have been his 54th birthday) But the band claims that they’re just about done. In an interview frontman Tom Araya said it’s time to like, collect his pension! In a video, the band announced thier “one, final world tour,” with “final North American dates coming soon.” Here’s the video, which is full of archival images:
Slayer covered “Hand of Doom” on the Black Sabbath tribute album, Nativity in Black II released in June of 2000. The track originally appears as the sixth song on Black Sabbath’s second studio album Paranoid, released September 1970.
Slayer announced that they will be joined on their final tour by Anthrax, Testament, Lamb of God and Behemoth, which kicks off on in their home region of Southern California, May 10 in San Diego. A day after announcing the final lap, the band also released an official list of North American tour dates. Unfortunately there are NO Colorado dates! (Oh Slayer why have thee forsaken us?!) Who know. Maybe that will change sometime in the near future. Devil horns crossed. So let’s all bow our heads and pray to those dark forces to make it happen.
Anthrax started covering the Dio-era Black Sabbath song “Neon Knights” during live performances in tribute to the man himself following his death in 2010. And in 2014, the band recorded a studio version for the tribute album Ronnie James Dio -This Is Your Life.
North American Slayer tour dates:
May 10 – San Diego, Calif. @ Valley View Casino Center
May 11 – Irvine, Calif. @ FivePoint Amphitheatre
May 13 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo
May 16 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum
May 17 – Penticton, BC @ South Okanagan Events Centre
May 19 – Calgary, AL @ Big Four
May 20 – Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Centre
May 22 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place
May 24 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Armory
May 25 – Chicago, Ill. @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
May 27 – Detroit, Mich. @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill
May 29 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
May 30 – Montreal, PQ @ Place Bell
June 1 – Uncasville, Conn. @ Mohegan Sun
June 2 – Holmdel, N.J. @ PNC Banks Arts Center
June 4 – Reading, Pa. @ Santander Arena
June 6 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center
June 7 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Blossom Music Center
June 9 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ KeyBank Pavilion
June 10 – Bristow, Va. @ Jiffy Lube Live
June 12 – Virginia Beach, Va. @ VUHL Amphitheatre
June 14 – Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion
June 15 – Orlando, Fla. @ Orlando Amphitheatre
June 17 – Houston, Texas @ Smart Financial Center
June 19 – Dallas, Texas @ The Bomb Factory
June 20 – Austin, Texas @ Austin 360 Amphitheatre
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/21/18
Tonight I am giving you a couple of kick ass collaborations between Ozzy and other artists.
Coal Chamber covered Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” on their 1999 album Chamber Music. It features guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne. The cover helped launch the band into the mainstream music scene as well. Coal Chamber played in the first Ozzfest in 1996 and with the bit of commercial success they received after Chamber Music, the band toured on several headlining and festival tours. They managed to catch the attention of Ozzy Osbourne’s wife and manager Sharon Osbourne who became their manager as well.
“Iron Head” featuring guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne appears on Rob Zombie’s second solo album, 2001’s The Sinister Urge. On the collaboration, Zombie stated “I thought that somehow the song didn’t seem special enough. Somehow I thought that it wasn’t as good as it should be and I had been talking to Ozzy a lot and working on stuff for the tour and someone was like, ‘Why don’t you just get Ozzy to f*cking do it?’ It was like, duh. Sometimes you don’ think of the obvious ideas.” Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne toured together that year on “A Night of Merry Mayhem”, a 33-city jaunt formerly known as the Black Christmas tour. Ozzy changed the tour’s name in light of the events of September 11. The two-month trek kicked off on Halloween in Tucson, Arizona., and then the creepy caravan rolled through the country before returning to the Grand Canyon State and wrapping up on New Year’s Eve in Phoenix.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/20/18
On January 20, 1982 during the Diary of a Madman Tour, Ozzy Osbourne shocked audiences at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, when he bit the head off a live bat! Stolen from the science department of a local high school, a fan threw the smuggled bat onto the stage where it laid at Ozzy’s feet stunned by the bright stage lights. Ozzy, thinking it was a rubber toy, picked it up, put it into his mouth and bit its head off! (something he’d perfected with two doves during a record label meeting with CBS just one year earlier) Upon doing so he quickly learned it was in fact real! This resulted in him being Rushed to the Des Moines General Hospital to receive rabies shots after the show.
“Flying High Again” is from Ozzy Osbourne’s 1981 album Diary of a Madman. Released as a single, it reached number two on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in 1982. Although the song has been assumed to be about cannabis use, Ozzy has stated that the song was inspired by his successful re-emergence as a solo artist after being fired from the band Black Sabbath and subsequently believing his career was over.
This cover of Ozzy’s “Over the Mountain” is off of the 2000 release Bat Head Soup – A Tribute to Ozzy and it features Mark Slaughter of Slaughter on vocals, Brad Gillis of Night Ranger (he replaced Randy Rhoads in Ozzy’s band after his death during the Diary of a Madman Tour and performs on the Speak of the Devil live album) on guitar, Eric Singer of KISS (former Black Sabbath, Badlands member) on drums, Gary Moon (Night Ranger, Three Dog Night) on bass and Paul Taylor (Alice Cooper, Winger) on keyboards.
During their January 26, 1982 show, while performing “Over the Mountain” at the Assembly Hall (now the State Farm Center) in Champaign, Illinois, Ozzy collapsed during the middle of the song, and was pulled off stage by Sharon Osbourne and the stage crew. His band finished the song instrumentally. Ozzy was again ras rushed to the hospital and the remainder of the show was cancelled. He was given two days to rest and heal from his illness which was caused by a series of rabies shots he was receiving after biting the bats head off in Des Moines.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/14/18
Happy Birthday Zakk Wylde!!! The guitar slinging Viking Berzerker turns 51 today! Born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967 in New Jersey, he is of course best known as 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. And you can pretty much see Zakk every year on the “Experience Hendrix Tour,” or with Zakk Sabbath his very own Sabbath tribute band/supergroup!
“Trampled Down Below” is the opening track off of Black Label Society’s upcoming tenth studio album titled “Grimmest Hits” that is set to be released on January 19, 2018. It is the first Black Label album since 2014’s Catacombs of the Black Vatican. And no, it is not a compilation album of your favorite BLS songs! Zakk will be the first to tell you, “If it’s Grimmest Hits, you know going there’s a grim chance there’s going to be any hits on this record.” However, I can tell you this, the legendary axeman’s new group effort is loaded with some of Zakk’s best riffs, and there is a whole lot of Black Sabbath inspiration flowing through the newly recorded tracks. Which makes a lot of sense since Zakk has been out on the road these past few years with his very own tribute band Zakk Sabbath. It was bound to bleed through or cross over eventually.
“Grimmest Hits” very much sounds like Zakk’s own personal thank you letter unto his musical idols, Black Sabbath and Ozzy. And that should excite his fans!
“Sleeping Dogs” featuring Corey Taylor of Stone Sour and Slipknot comes off of Zakk Wylde’s second solo album, Book of Shadows II, which came out on April 8, 2016, 20 years after the original Book of Shadows album. And instead of heavy rock and metal, “Shadows II” is influenced by southern rock, country, blues and Americana music. Plenty of acoustic guitar can be heard throughout the album, but Zakk also plugs in from time to time, especially during the solos. The mood of the album is reserved and introspective, though the tempo varies. Whether he’s unplugged or fully electric, Zakk’s guitar skills are never in doubt, and that’s definitely the case on Book of Shadows II. Certainly not a party album, it’s one better enjoyed kicking back, mellowing out and letting the emotions wash over you. (I feel this album went overlooked when it was released) There are 2 versions of the single “Sleeping Dogs” that were released, the first was Zakk solo only and then several months later the version with Corey Taylor was released. Also check out the bluesy “Lost Prayer” song from the album. It almost has an Allman Brothers Band feel to it. It’s really awesome. There was a video released for it as well.
This was the original video released for the “Sleeping Dogs” single.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/13/18
Zakk Wylde’s birthday is tomorrow, so tonight I decided to give you a couple of classic early tracks from his time with Ozzy which launched his career into super-rock-stardom!
“Miracle Man” is taken from Ozzy’s fifth solo album, No Rest For The Wicked, released in September of ’88. And “Wicked” will forever stand as an essential entry in the Ozzy Osbourne catalog for one very significant reason: it presented to the metal world the debut of a young guitar phenomenon by the name of Zakk Wylde. Just 21 years old at the time of the album’s release, Zakk would go on to serve as Ozzy’s right-hand man for almost 30 years and grew into one of the most dynamic, influential and well-respected guitarists in modern hard rock and heavy metal! “Miracle Man”, which was one of the highlight singles from the album and I beleive was one of the very first tacks Ozz and Zakk wrote together was aimed at disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart! Ozzy gloats about his downfall since Swaggart had long attacked him as an agent of Satan, criticizing his music and condemning him, that is all before losing his ministry in a prostitution scandal! (HAHA-Hypocrite!)
Only the Prince of Darkness could record a hit song about a serial killer. “No More Tears” the title track from Ozzy’s super-successful sixth studio released in ’91 brought Ozzy back to musical life. It features a killer bass line by Bob Daisley and a head-crushing guitar riff and blazing solos from Zakk Wylde, as well as one of Ozzy’s best recorded vocal performances. But it is the song’s seamless segue in and out of a bizarre, what-if-the-Beatles-dropped-acid-and-played-metal bridge that truly shines in the song itself. The last solo is definitely one of Zakk Wylde’s finer moments. You might even say, over all the entire composition could be considered his magnum opus!
The track along with five other outstanding singles released helped making it one of Ozzy’s best-selling albums having been certified quadruple platinum! And the “No More Tears” was later rerecorded by 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.”
This is the Black Label Society version of ‘No More Tears’ from the second reissue of the BLS album “Sonic Brew.”
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/7/18
“Life Won’t Wait” is one of three singles off Scream, Ozzy’s eleventh (and so far his last) studio album released back in 2010. Originally titled Soul Sucka, the album was later changed to Scream. It is the only one to feature guitarist Gus G, who had replaced long-term guitarist Zakk Wylde (who by the way is now back in Ozzy’s band and they are scheduled to tour together soon!)
In the powerful chorus, Ozzy urges listeners to not simply watch life pass them by. “Every second you throw away, every second of every day, don’t get caught in a myriad, because life won’t wait for you,” “Every day that you wait, you’re falling faster, no sleight of hand, no twist of fate, no ever after. When it’s gone, it’s gone, a fight to the bitter end.” Some great advice from the Prince of Darkness. Only you can live your life. Go after those dreams or what you won’t and never give up!
“See You on the Other Side”, which was co-written by the late Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead is the third single from Ozzmosis, Ozzy’s seventh solo studio album. After the release of his sixth album No More Tears in ’91, Ozzy announced that he would retire from music. However, he returned with Ozzmosis in 1995, which featured long-time guitarist Zakk Wylde as well as former Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, drummer Deen Castronovo and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. In support of the album, Ozzy and his band went on the Retirement Sucks! Tour.
The song itself is open to a lot of interpretations and could have several meanings. One is that Ozzy has come to grips with his own mortality and realizes at some point he will have to transition over to the other side through death. It’s certainly about the pain of death and the hope of being reunited with family or friends on the ‘other side’. Some say he partly wrote it about his dear friend and guitarist the late great Randy Rhoads, or even about the great screaming comedian Sam Kinison, after he had passed away. Ozzy was really good friends with him too. This is my personally one of my favorite Ozzy songs. I don’t think it was just written to be dedicated to people he or they knew that had died but also as a some sort of inspiration to let everyone know that when someone does die don’t despair, you will get to meet up with them again. It’s really very inspiring in a way and I think of the loved ones I have lost and it has even been played at a funeral or two I have attended over the years and when my time has come I want it played at mine! Again in the end, it’s all about your interpretation of what it means to you.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 1/6/18
A few days ago a former top US military officer warned that the United States is now closer than it has ever been to nuclear war with North Korea. Tensions have been rising between North Korean’s Kim Jong-Un and President Trump who recently boasted that he has a bigger and more powerful ‘nuclear button’!
“Electric Funeral” is from Paranoid, Black Sabbath’s second studio album released in September of 1970 in the UK, and in the US on today’s date (Jan. 6) in 1971. This song is about a nuclear holocaust. And it’s just one of several songs on the Paranoid album with an apocalyptic tone. This one was most likely inspired by the fears of what would happen if the Cold War heated up. (Sabbath = the origin of doom metal!)
“Killer of Giants” comes off The Ultimate Sin, Ozzy’s fourth solo studio album released in February of ’86 and later remastered and re-issued in 1995. The actual working title for the album was Killer of Giants after the song, but Ozzy opted to change the title to The Ultimate Sin at the last minute. The song itself is also about the cold war. (Think Cuban Missile Crisis) Back when the Soviets and the U.S. were the only 2 major super powers. And in a tense standoff, they both had their nukes pointed at each other waiting for someone on either side to attack. Killer Of Giants!!! It is sung with a great sadness and concern by Ozzy and features some great riffs and guitar solo from Jake E. Lee.
Pay close attention to the lyrics… “If none of us believe in war, Then can you tell me what the weapon’s for, Listen to me everyone, If the button is pushed, There’ll be nowhere to run!” (Sound eerily familiar?) And it seems that nuclear war or holocaust was something that Ozzy worried about quite often over the years as he has revisited the theme several times in throughout different songs from Sabbath to other solo albums. The Ultimate Sin also features the song “Thank God For The Bomb” which too is pretty self explanatory.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/30/17
Tonight we pay tribute to the late great Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, a long-time close friend of Ozzy Osbourne.
Ian Fraser Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015), better known as Lemmy, founded and fronted Motörhead. His music was one of the foundations of the heavy metal genre. Known for his appearance (including his friendly mutton chops and moles), his distinctive gravelly, “raspy” singing voice, which “… made him one of the most recognizable voices in rock”, and his way of singing, always looking up towards a towering microphone tilted down into his weather-beaten face”. Also known for his unmistakable bass playing style, in which he used his Rickenbacker bass to create an “overpowered, distorted rhythmic rumble,” often playing power chords using growling overdriven Marshall tube bass stacks. Besides his music career, he also had many minor roles and cameo appearances in film and television.
Lemmy with help from Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs) on guitar, Tony Franklin on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums tackling “Desire” (a track he co-penned with Ozzy for his 1991 No More Tears album. This version was originally released on 2000’s Bat Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy compilation album. It also later appeared on 2006’s Flying High Again – The World’s Greatest Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne and A Salute To Ozzy Osbourne that came out on 2010. All three are awesome, very hard to find, possibly out-of-print tribute albums.
“I Ain’t No Nice Guy,” featuring Ozzy on guest vocals and Slash from Guns N’ Roses on guitar is from March ör Die, the tenth album by Motörhead released in August on 1992.
After years of lackluster sales and feuds with record labels in the late ’80s, Motörhead enjoyed an incredible turnaround in ’92. After the critical success of their previous record 1916, which was nominated for a Grammy, Motörhead secured a second album deal with Sony. In addition, Lemmy had co-written four songs for Ozzy’s ’91 blockbuster album No More Tears at the invitation of wife and manager Sharon Osbourne. Those songs were “I Don’t Want to Change the World’,” “Hellraiser,” the hit single “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” and “Desire,”… generating much needed income. In his autobiography White Line Fever, Lemmy wrote:
“..that was one of the easiest gigs I ever had – Sharon rang me up and said, ‘I’ll give you X amount of money to write some songs for Ozzy’, and I said, ‘All right – you got a pen?’ I wrote six or seven sets of words, and he ended up using four of them… I made more money out of writing those four songs than I made out of fifteen years of Motörhead – ludicrous, isn’t it?!..” (Lemmy actually wrote a total of eight songs for Ozzy over the years, another couple being Seey You On the Other Side and My Little Man which both later appeared on the Ozzmosis album in 1995)
Ozzy Osbourne is one of the few musicians who knew Lemmy Kilmister from his early days in Hawkwind through four decades of Motörhead. They toured together on Ozzy’s first U.S. solo trek, during the Blizzard of Ozz tour, partied together, collaborated together and they swapped war stories and memorabilia together. When Ozzy learned of Lemmy’s passing on 28 Dec. 2015 (three days after his 70th birthday) he was in shock. Here, he pays loving tribute to his longtime friend. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine a few days later he stated:
You know what? There goes a hero for me. He was my hero. He was f*****g great, a good friend. I’m missing him already. I’ll never forget him. I don’t think a lot of people will forget Lemmy. He’ll be so missed in my camp. He was a good guy, a good man, a good friend of mine. He was just a f*****g great dude, man. Not enough time for him. God bless you, Lemmy. I’m so honored to have you a part of my life.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/24/17
HO HO HOOOOO … I AM SANTA OZ!!! Come take another ride with me in the crazy sleigh on this Ozzy & Friends Christmas Weekend.
“I Am Santa Claus” is the title track from the second Christmas album by Bob Rivers & Twisted Radio, released in November of ’93. And of course it is a pardoy of “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, except for the last ten notes of the prominent guitar riff are replaced with Jingle Bells.
This rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was recorded by the late great Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio) on bass and Simon Wright (AC/DC, Dio) on drums. It was featured on the We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year compilation album released in 2008.
“Children of the Sleigh” by Santa Sabbath is off their debut album of the same name that dropped down your chimney back in 2015. Santa Sabbath is a Los Angeles-based Black Sabbath tribute band that re-writes Sabbath classics to ‘celebrate’ the holiday season. They have two other releases available, (2016) Christmas Bloody Christmas and (2017) Santa Sabbath. Check ’em out, not once but twice, online at bandcamp.com or on Facebook. Just search for Santa Sabbath. Do yourself a favor and Give Yourself a Gift Today! Pick up one of their albums that are guaranteed to chase those bah humbug blues away!