Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne: Vocalist of Many Names‏

by Tristan Andrews

His real name is John Michael Osbourne, but he has been dubbed Ozzy, The Wizard of Ozz, The Godfather of Heavy Metal, and other monikers. Ozzy and Geezer Butler started the band Rare Breed in 1967, after a split, they initiated Polka Tulk that became Black Sabbath, soon after aligning with Bill Ward and Tony Iommi.

Osbourne's career has bridged 50 years of songwriting and moody atmospheric vocalizations. His achievements with Black Sabbath that ended in 1979 lead to a solo gig that reached platinum numerous times in the earlier 80's to the middle 90's.

Don Arden stayed as Ozzy's manager and in 1980, after mourning the loss of Black Sabbath Ozzy formed the band Law, but soon switched its name to the Blizzard of Ozz. The other members were Lee Kerslake (drums) and Bob Daisly (bass) formerly of Uriah Heep, and Randy Rhoades (guitar) formerly of Quiet Riot.

When the CBS big wigs met with Ozzy he chomped the heads off of two doves and lopped the body of one at the receptionist. Luckily, the contract had been signed previously. Journalists went haywire calling Ozzy crazy and a maniac. The American Humane Society endeavored to stop all Ozzy performances in the U.S. CBS released his album, but forbid him to shadow their buildings door ever again.

Blizzard of Ozz zipped to number 7 in the United Kingdom and scored number 21 in the United States. Eventually, it went fourfold platinum. Nineteen-eight-one saw Diary of a Madman shoot to number 16 in the States and 14 in Britain. Over 5 million copies have been sold. Shortly, following this album's release Tommy Aldridge replaced Lee Kerslake on drums and Rudy Sarzo succeeded Bob Daisly as bassist.

During this time, Ozzy begins launching intestines and stomachs from butcher shops at his audience at the shows end and some members of the audience return the favor. One fan tried to bring in an ox head, but was not allowed to get in. Someone else once lobbed a live bat onto the stage. Ozzy supposed it was plastic and crunched the bat's head off. After the gig, he was sped to the hospital for rabies shots.

In 1982, Ozzy recorded a live album dubbed Speak of the Devil at the Ritz of New York. It went to number 14 in the U.S. He unleashed the album No More Tears in 1991 and No Rest for the Wicked in 1988 and Ozzmosis in 1995. It hit number 4 on Billboard's 200 and number 22 in the United Kingdom on their album chart. In March of 2002 Ozzy's TV show The Osbournes premiered.

Black Sabbath reunited with Ozzy in 1985 for a Live Aid concert and.Ozzy also reunited with Black Sabbath from 1997 to 2006.

Tristan Andrews is a freelance author who writes about Black Sabbath for

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