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Original Black Sabbath drummer and founding member, William Thomas “Bill” Ward turned 69 yesterday. (born 5 May 1948) And in his honor, tonight I am hitting you with a triple shot of tracks that show off his skills on the skins! Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff. Drumming website Totaldrumsets has listed Bill among the “The 100 Most Influential Drummers Ever!” and has defined him as “the mastermind behind the unholy birth of heavy metal drumming”.

Coming from 1975’s seminal Sabotage album comes the pulverizing masterpiece that is ‘Symptom of the Universe’ –- a song that, also epitomizes the classic Bill Ward contribution to Black Sabbath. Just listen as he drives the tune’s nervous tempo like a ten-ton locomotive, holding the entire careening train on track with his explosive fills while negotiating the dizzying riff transitions that follow, before laying back and calmly steering the caboose into the station during the song’s acoustic coda.


From 1970’s nearly-perfect Paranoid album, ‘Rat Salad’ was essentially Sabbath’s answer to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Moby Dick.’ This short and sweet instrumental excursion provides a rare opportunity for Bill to cut loose and show his chops, unaccompanied!


Bill Ward’s superhuman strength with a pair of drumsticks in his fists never proved more devastating than on Vol. 4’s crushing ‘Supernaut’ –- and his solitary hi-hat preceding the song only heightens the decapitating impact of what’s to follow. Far from being a one-dimensional head-banging Goliath, though, the song eventually breaks down into an eye-opening Ward solo spot that drags the lords of doom and gloom away on a brief Caribbean holiday? Yeah that’s Bill for you.

*Excerpts taken from the “Top 10 Bill Ward Black Sabbath Songs” by Ultimate Classic Rock. Read the original piece HERE.



“THE DEVIL CRIED” and we “FOLLOW THE TEARS” tonight at 9!

“The Devil Cried” is a song by Black Sabbath 2.0 featured on the compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. It peaked on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks at No. 38 and was one of three new recordings the group did for the compilation (the others being “Shadow of the Wind” and “Ear in the Wall”). According to Dio in the “Heaven and Hell Road Movie” extra on the Live from Radio City Music Hall DVD, the song is about the ability to return to Heaven if a soul in Hell could succeed in actually making Satan cry.

Black Sabbath: The Dio Years, released in April 2007, is a CD compilation of recordings made during Ronnie James Dio’s tenure in the band. It contains full album length, remastered tracks culled from all three studio albums: Heaven and Hell (1980), Mob Rules (1981), Dehumanizer (1992), and the live album Live Evil (1982). Plus the aforementioned three newly recorded songs.

After the recording was completed the band members decided to tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, in order to differentiate the project from the Ozzy Osbourne-led Black Sabbath. The name of course was taken from the first Dio-fronted Black Sabbath album, 1980’s Heaven and Hell.

“Follow the Tears” is a song from The Devil You Know, the only studio album by the band Heaven & Hell; a collaboration featuring founding Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former Black Sabbath members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice. The album was released on April 28, 2009 and it was Ronnie James Dio’s final studio appearance prior to his death from stomach cancer in May 2010. It reached the top 10 in its first week of release, debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, with 30,000 copies sold.

The album artwork is adapted from a painting by Per Øyvind Haagensen entitled Satan. The artwork features the numbers 25 and 41. Geezer Butler stated in an interview that the numbers refer to the Bible verse Matthew 25:41, which deals with the Last Judgment where “those who sit at the left side of God are cast down into Hell” He also has explained that the name of the album is a reference to the name of the band, as fans know them as Black Sabbath.



Killswitch Engage and Anthrax killed it at the Fillmore last night when they rolled through on “THE KILLTHRAX TOUR”! So tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ I am giving you a concert cool down with a couple of their kick ass covers!

Killswitch Engage originally covered Dio’s “Holy Diver” for the compilation called High Voltage!: A Brief History of Rock for Kerrang! magazine. The song was later re-released for the special edition of their album As Daylight Dies. A live version of the song is also featured on the Special Edition of their self-titled 2009 album Killswitch Engage, then in 2014, the song was re-released on the Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life compilation album. The band released a music video for their version that features a comical take on Dio’s original music video. (The track features former lead vocalist Howard Jones. Currently original lead singer Jesse Leach is back fronting the band) And from what I was told they played this song as the final number in their set last night with Joey Belladonna of Anthrax helping out on vocals.

Anthrax covered Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” during live performances in tribute to Dio following his death in 2010. In 2014, the band recorded a studio version for the tribute album Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life. Unfortunately Anthrax did not play this track in their set last night. (And of course I played you the original version by Black Sabbath off their 1980 Heaven and Hell album that just turned 37 this past Tuesday) Anthrax of course also covered the Ozzy era Sabbath track, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” on their “I’m The Man EP” from ’88.



Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ album turns 37 this week!

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced Ozzy in 1979.

Dio was first introduced to Tony Iommi in 1979 by Sharon Arden, who would later marry the band’s then-recently fired original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Initially, Dio and Iommi discussed forming a new band, rather than a continuation of Black Sabbath. Both men were in similar situations, as Dio was seeking a new project and Iommi required a vocalist. Black Sabbath’s line-up was in chaos leading up to the recording of the album. Not only had the band recently replaced its lead singer, but drummer Bill Ward was battling personal issues that would see him eventually leave the band and original demo recordings for the album featured Geoff Nicholls on bass, as longtime bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler was going through a divorce and his future with the band was in question. In fact, when Dio first joined the band he doubled as bassist and vocalist, having played bass in the band Elf in the early 1970s. Eventually Butler returned and Nicholls stayed on as the band’s unofficial keyboardist. The album’s iconic cover art was taken from a painting by artist Lynn Curlee, called Smoking Angels, which was inspired by a 1928 photograph of women dressed as angels smoking backstage during a break at a college pageant. The album was successful, becoming their highest-charting album since 1975’s Sabotage and the third highest-selling album of Black Sabbath behind Paranoid and Master of Reality, respectively. It was eventually certified platinum in 1986 for selling 1 million copies in the United States. Regardless of what Ozzy loyalists thought, Sabbath was back and were seen as part of a widespread revival in rock fandom!

“Heaven and Hell” is the title track to Black Sabbath’s ninth studio album of the same name. The music was written mainly by guitarist Tony Iommi, but as with almost all Black Sabbath albums, credit is given to the entire band. The lyrics were written entirely by then newcomer Ronnie James Dio. In an interview for VH1’s “Heavy: The Story of Metal”, Dio stated that the song is about the ability of each human being to choose between doing good and doing evil, essentially that each person has “heaven and hell” inside themselves. When the song has been performed live by Black Sabbath, Dio or Heaven & Hell, it’s usually stretched out with an extended guitar solo, audience participation, ad-libbed lyrics, or additional lyrics regarding angelic and demonic apparitions and personal judgment. If you were ever lucky enough to catch it live … it was quite the Epic performance! Over the years, during live shows, it was sung by almost all Sabbath frontmen: Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, and Tony Martin, the only exception being Ozzy of course. Even Rob Halford of Judas Priest sang it with Black Sabbath in November 1992, when he filled in on vocals for two concerts.

“Neon Knights” is the opening number on Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell album, and it was actually the last song written for it. According to the band it was quickly written and recorded simply to fill time on the album’s first side. The lyrics were written by Dio. And it is the only song on this album to feature songwriting input from bassist Geezer Butler, the band’s main lyricist during the Ozzy era. Butler was absent for most of the songwriting process due to personal issues as well as his own uncertainty as to whether he wanted to remain in the band. Anthrax covered the song during live performances in tribute to Dio 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.



Tonight I am serving up another double shot of Black Label Society in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ!

“Stillborn” is from Black Label Society’s fourth studio album The Blessed Hellride released April 22, 2003. “Stillborn” was released as the sole single. Ozzy appears on the track, even though his name was not used to promote it. He is credited inside the booklet, due to Ozzy being on Sony Records at the time, Spitfire Records was not allowed to promote this song with his name – so a sticker on the cover of the album said “featuring special guest star”. Zakk’s own vocal style was becoming quite similar to Ozzy’s at this time and it was hard to distinguish them apart, which probably stems from singing backup for Ozzy for all those years as well as singing some of his lines whenever Ozzy fell ill while on tour. The video for “Stillborn” was directed by Rob Zombie, which featured his signature style and of course a cameo from Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie. The idea came together while touring together on Ozzfest.

“House of Doom” is a track from Hangover Music Vol. VI, the sixth album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society (that is if you count Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!!) It was released April 20, 2004. Again this album is a much more mellow affair than any other Black Label Society album, and some fans have recognized it as a nod back to Zakk Wylde’s solo effort, Book of Shadows, from 1996. The album contains a piano version of Procol Harum’s 1967 No. 1 “Whiter Shade of Pale” and a song entitled “Layne,” which is written in memory of Layne Staley of Alice in Chains.

This was the last album that BLS recorded for Spitfire Records – it was recorded as a contract fulfilling obligation, and therefore received very little promotion from the label. None of the songs from this album were performed live by the band until 2009.

Zakk Sabbath, featuring guitarist and vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie), and drummer Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queens Of The Stone Age, Bl’ast!), will be releasing a limited-edition Live In Detroit vinyl on June 16, which was captured at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI on October 28, 2016.

The vinyl will feature ‘War Pigs,” “Supernaut,” and “Faires Wear Boots,” and it sounds like it’ll be heavy as hell! Though Wylde has always sounded like Ozzy, so it’s not that shocking.

Zakk Wylde and Zakk Sabbath Premiere “War Pigs” Music Video

You can catch Zakk Sabbath Live at the Marquis Theater in Denver on Sunday June 4, 2017 @ 7PM with special guest Beastmaker. Click HERE to get your tix to the show!



Tonight is an EASTER SABBATH edition of BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ!

“Crucify” is the sixth track off of SCREAM, Ozzy’s eleventh and last studio album released in June of 2010. The album was recorded at Ozzy’s home studio “The Bunker” in Los Angeles, California and produced by himself and Kevin Churko, who had previously worked on BLACK RAIN in 2007. The album was commercially successful, reaching number 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and number 12 on the UK Albums Chart. It was to be originally
titled SOUL SUCKA, but thankfully Ozzy came to his senses and changed it last minute. It is the first Ozzy album to feature guitarist Gus G, who replaced long-term guitarist Zakk Wylde.

“God Is Dead?” is the second song on 13, the nineteenth and final studio album by Black Sabbath. It was the first single from the album, and the first with Ozzy Osbourne since 1998’s “Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul” from the REUNION album. Both the song title and the figure on the single’s cover, are a reference to Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who was famous for saying that “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?” The track “God Is Dead?” reached No. 6 on the UK Rock Charts. The music video for the song was directed by Peter Joseph, who is best known for his Zeitgeist film series. The song was featured in the second promo for the sixth season of Sons of Anarchy on FX. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance on January 26, 2014. This was Black Sabbath’s first Grammy Award in 14 years. (As if we care about the damn Grammy’s)



This week Black Label Society’s second studio album turns 17!

For Black Label Society’s sophomore effort, Stronger Than Death, originally released in April of 2000, Zakk Wylde takes the band in a much heavier direction, developing the sound that everyone associates with BLS today. On this album Zakk shed the few remaining Southern rock elements that were heard on the previous Sonic Brew album (which were undoubtedly left over from his Pride & Glory days). The riffs were meaty and the solos were furious! Stronger Than Death provided a firm confirmation that Black Label Society would be sticking closely to the guitar-heavy game plan from here on out. Also at this time there was only one other full-fledged member of the band, drummer Phil “Philth” Ondich, Zakk performed all vocals, guitars, bass and piano. And as a side note the overall imagery of the band that we know and love today, the very distinctive BLS skull logo (was taken from drummer Phil Ondichs original illustrations)

“Counterfeit God” is a single by Black Label Society, featured on their 2000 studio album Stronger Than Death. It is about televangelists, much like the earlier Ozzy song “Miracle Man”, which Zakk co-wrote, that dealt with the hypocrisy of Jimmy Swaggart. In a 2000 interview, Wylde (who is a Catholic) said, “I saw a TV evangelist. This guy sells out arenas, and he touches people on the head, and they’re supposed to be blind, and then they’re not blind anymore. That’s the biggest backstabbing version of God I’ve ever seen… Anton LaVey’s got nothing over this guy. That’s pure Satanism to me. He’s backstabbing God so bad it’s not even funny. People are paying money for that, and believe in that. How the hell are they believing it? This guy’s playing God. To me, it’s pure blasphemy.”

The music video features actor Mark Wahlberg as a stand-in for the band’s bassist, because they didn’t have one at the time. Marky Mark became friends with Zakk while working together on the movie Rock Star, where they both played members of the fictional rock band Steel Dragon! On a another side note, the album also contains a vocal cameo from longtime Zakk friend, New York Mets slugger Mike Piazza. He performs the “death growl” on the title track.



Tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ I am dishing out some devilish delights… in the form of a couple of kick ass covers!

This cover version of Ozzy’s “Mr. Crowley”, features guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Derek Sherinian, Tim Bogert, and Tommy Aldridge. It’s from Bat Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy album released back in 2000 and it also appears on 2006’s Flying High Again – The World’s Greatest Tribute to OZZY OSBOURNE, tribute album. Some heavy firepower on this one, “Ripper” Owens is most famous for replacing Rob Halford in Judas Priest for a while and then singing for Iced Earth, and Dio Disciples along with countless other bands. Derek Sherinian is a keyboardist who has toured and recorded for Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Yngwie Malmsteen, KISS, Joe Bonamassa, was also a member of Dream Theater from 94–99, and one of the founding members of Black Country Communion. Tim Bogert played with Vanilla Fudge and Beck. And of course last but not least Tommy Aldridge rocked the skins in Ozzy’s band for a few years as well as in Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Whitesnake, Gary Moore’s band and so many more! He has a very long rock n’ roll resume.

Ozzy’s cover version of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” originally appeared on the Prince of Darkness box set from 2005. And it was re-released on Ozzy’s Under Cover album that same year. It features Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Robert Randolph of Robert Randolph and the Family Band on guitar, Chris Wyse of The Cult on bass, and Mike Bordin of Faith No More on drums. Mike actually began performing with Ozzy’s band in 1996 through to about 2008.



On this date, April 8th, Zakk Wylde has released 2 different albums just a couple of years apart. The first one was with Black Label in 2014 and then he dropped his second solo album in 2016. Tonight I’ll feature a track from both.

“My Dying Time” was the first of two singles from Catacombs of the Black Vatican, the ninth studio album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. It was released on April 8, 2014. It was the first BLS album to feature former Breaking Benjamin drummer Chad Szeliga and it was also their first album since the departure of longtime rhythm guitarist Nick Catanese a.k.a. the “Evil Twin” nicknamed for his capability to keep up with Zakk. Nick left Black Label Society in December of 2013.

“Sleeping Dogs” is the 1st single from Zakk Wylde’s second solo album, Book of Shadows II, released on April 8, 2016. There were two versions of the song on the album, the first was just Zakk solo and the second featuring guest vocals from Corey Taylor. Book of Shadows II, comes 20 years after the first Book of Shadows, that was released in 1996. And instead of heavy rock and metal, both of the Book of Shadows albums are more influenced by southern rock, country, blues and Americana music.

Where do Wylde Audio guitars come from? Father Zakk talks us through the birds and the bees of the guitar build process.



Earlier this week, back in 2014, Ozzy Osbourne’s Lawyers Shut Down Unauthorized ‘Ozzy’ Beer!

Over the years, a lot of bands have released signature beers, but due to his alcoholic past, it would be a very bad decision for Ozzy to do it! Which was probably one of the biggest reasons his lawyers stepped in to shut down an outside brewer’s brand of ‘Ozzy’ beer!

Baltimore’s “The Brewer’s Art” had produced a number of house beers – including one that was named after Ozzy. The canned version even sported his famous ‘Ozzy’ knuckle tattoos along with images of bats: including some without heads as a tribute to his famous bat-biting incident. And after receiving a cease-and-desist from Ozzy’s lawyers, the Brewery announced that it would no longer be sold. And it was a shame that it was discontinued, since it had near-universal acclaim from beer enthusiasts. One Beer Advocate, actually gave the brew a perfect score of 100! It was supposedly that good. (Now, we’ll never know) The official ‘Ozzy’ beer description read, “Our answer to the Belgian devil beers (i.e. Lucifer, Duvel, etc.). Both rich and dry, this beer is all too easy to consume in large quantities. Hopped with Styrian Goldings. 7.25% abv.”

“Demon Alcohol” is a track off of Ozzy’s fifth studio album No Rest for the Wicked, was released on 28 September 1988 and was the first to feature guitarist Zakk Wylde and the first to feature bassist Bob Daisley since Bark at the Moon. This song is pretty self-explanatory. I’m the demon alcohol, demon alcohol … I’ll get you!!! As we all know, over the years the Black Sabbath frontman has lost many battles against his demons, but says he’s still “trying to be a better person”! At the age of 68, Ozzy is both literally and metaphorically still sobering up! His lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol began in his teens and eventually caused him to enter rehab facilities more than a dozen times over. Even relapsing again back in 2013! He spiraled into a booze and substance-fueled depression and had to get clean again, following an 18-month binge after almost 10 years of sobriety! But the good news is he has been completely sober since!

“Suicide Solution” is a song from Ozzy’s 1980 debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz. Guitarist Randy Rhoads composed the main riff of the song and bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics. In an interview in 1991, Ozzy claimed that the song was about the alcohol-related death of AC/DC’s original vocalist Bon Scott, (in 1980) but Daisley revealed later that he had Ozzy himself in mind when he wrote the lyrics for the song. (The perils of alcohol!)

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