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Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I served up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others from the Sabbath Family Tree! Now technically I know it’s not September anymore but I still have one more album from that month to feature, so tonight we are kicking off ‘Ozz’tober!

No Rest for the Wicked is the fifth studio album by Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on September 28, 1988 and was re-issued / remastered on August 22, 1995 and again on June 25, 2002. The album was certified gold in December 1988 and has since gone double platinum. It was the first album to feature guitarist Zakk Wylde. Ozzy has always been lucky to work with some of the best guitarists in rock, including first and foremost Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee — not to mention his former Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi. When Lee was fired following the tour for ’86’s The Ultimate Sin, his replacement had some mighty damn big shoes to fill! But fans soon discovered when the album hit stores in September of ’88, the Prince of Darkness had found another great guitarist in Zakk Wylde.

“Miracle Man”, the opening track on No Rest for the Wicked poked fun at disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who’d made headlines by constantly criticizing Ozzy’s music and live performances, before he himself was involved in a 1988 prostitution sex scandal ultimately causing him to lose his ministry!

“Crazy Babies”, one of the very first songs that Zakk and Ozzy composed together is not about crack babies (which yeah, that idiotic description actually circulates around stupid song meaning internet sites) but it is in fact just a just a metaphor used to describe teen rebellion when, supposedly inspired by my generation, the 80s, 90s, and the kids who grew up then or something like that. And contrarty to popular belief the gilrs who appear on the album cover and in the video for the song did not include Kelly Osbourne or any of Ozzy’s daughters, they were a pair of twins and some other actresses affectionately nicknamed “The Rats” by the director.

Looking back on The Ultimate Sin as “much softer” than his other albums, Ozzy later described No Rest for the Wicked as being “more like the original Black Sabbath sound … I purposely went out of my way to make a heavier album.” His words proved prophetic as Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler would soon join the band for the following tour.

“Miracle Man”, “Crazy Babies”, and “Breakin’ All the Rules” were all released as singles with accompanying music videos. The song “Hero” was an unlisted hidden bonus track on the original 1988 CD release, and at that time was commonly believed to be titled “Fools Know More”. This album is a kick ass precursor to what was to follow, Ozzy’s mega-successful No More Tears album!



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!

Never Say Die! which was released 28 September 1978, was the final studio album by Black Sabbath’s original lineup and also the last to feature original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, that is until 2013’s aptly titled 13.

Critics called it unbalanced, scattering its energy in too many directions. Which is actually a pretty good assessment. The original lineup of Ozzy, Geezer, Iommi and Ward was on its last legs when they went into the studio to cut the album in early ’78. It was their eighth album in as many years and they were simply tapped out, not to mention terribly hobbled by cocaine and alcohol abuse. The Ramones had opened up for them on their last tour, and the band started to realize that their sound was a little dare I say “outdated”. A burned-out Ozzy had quit the group shortly before recording began, so Tony Iommi turned to former Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. “We were grasping at straws,” Iommi wrote in his memoir Iron Man. “We have a studio booked and no singer!” They played with Walker on a single TV show and cut a few songs with him, but then Ozzy finally came to his senses and returned. They started from scratch, but nobody was really happy. “It’s hard to relate to that album,” says Tony. “It was a bitter time for us.” Despite the endless problems, the LP has some very nice moments, particularly the title track and “A Hard Road.”

“Never Say Die” is the title track from Sabbath’s 1978 album of the same name. And it was their first UK single to chart since “Paranoid” in 1970, peaking at 21.

“A Hard Road” is the second single from Black Sabbath’s Never Say Die! album, the first of course being the album’s title track. It reached 33 on the UK singles charts and was the last single recorded with Ozzy on vocals until “Psycho Man” in 1998 for the Reunion album.

Never Say Die! went gold in November 1997, more than 19 years after it was originally released and it is still widely considered by many as the least successful album of the original Ozzy era right above or below (depending on who you talk to) their second to last effort 1976’s Technical Ecstasy. A least the cover and sleeve artwork for the album was cool (again created by London art group Hipgnosis) featuring ghostly images of British military pilots in their flight gear and masks standing next to an airplane.

Even though Never Say Die! is far from Sabbath’s best output, it’s still an underrated and important release in the history of heavy rock and metal, that anyone interested in the roots of these genres should know and own. Honestly it almost seems to get a little better or mature with time. That’s my opinion anyway. But don’t take my word for it, give it a listen for yourself! And of course the next year, in 1979 Ozzy was officially fired by Black Sabbath, and as we all know; went on to have a successful solo career, releasing 11 studio albums, the first seven of which all earning multi-platinum certifications!



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!

Technical Ecstasy is the seventh studio album by Black Sabbath, produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and released on September 25, 1976. Black Sabbath was unraveling at an alarming rate around the time of their second to last album with original singer Ozzy Osbourne. The band was getting further and further away from their original musical path, as they continued experimenting with their trademark sludge-metal sound. While it was not as off-the-mark as their final album with Ozzy, 1978’s Never Say Die, 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.”

“Back Street Kids” kicks off Technical Ecstasy, Sabbath’s seventh studio album, released in September 1976.

The blindingly bright, futuristic artwork (cheesy by today’s standards) was created by top Storm Thorgerson with legendary ’70s album cover design shop, Hipgnosis, famous for their covers for rock bands like Pink Floyd, T. Rex, UFO, Bad Company, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, ELO, Styx and many more. Ozzy once described it as “two robots screwing on an escalator” and “squirting lubricating fluid at one another!” According to Storm that’s exactly what they were going.

Technical Ecstasy’s lyrics dealt with a variety of topics. In Tony Iommi’s autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, he reveals that “Dirty Women” was about “all these hookers” Geezer Butler had seen all around Florida during the albums recording.

There were obviously numerous mitigating factors behind Technical Ecstasy‘s negative attributes and reputation, substance abuse among band members, ongoing legal woes, mired in many serious business and personal issues and affected by outside forces beyond their control. Like the the arrival of punk rock in 1976, which literally turned the music world upside down, ushering in a new generation of brash young bands and transforming older idols into dinosaurs which added insult to injury as the band also dealing with severe creative block were trying to remain relevant! But history typically has no time or patience for nuance. In the long run, for most observers not privy to all that was going down behind the scenes, the album’s failings were all as simple as black…and white.

While the band were recording the album, The Eagles were also recording the album Hotel California in an adjacent studio at Criteria Studios in Miami. The Eagles were forced to stop recording on numerous occasions because Black Sabbath were too loud and the sound was bleeding through the wall.



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.

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