10 Best Ozzy Osbourne Solo Songs
As the '70s turned into the '80s, Ozzy Osbourne was trying to figure out his next move after his ousting from Black Sabbath. What he did was embark on a very successful solo career that was lasted more than 30 years. In addition to releasing a number of memorable tunes over the past three decades, Ozzy has selected some virtuoso musicians to record with him, including the incomparable Randy Rhoads and the very talented Zakk Wylde. While Osbourne has reunited with Sabbath on several occasions and is recording a new album with the heavy metal legends, we're taking a look at some of the best music that Osbourne's solo career has produced. So, stick with us as we take our "shot in the dark" at counting down the 10 Best Ozzy Osbourne Solo Songs:
If you need some drums to kick your ass, Ozzy Osbourne's 'Over the Mountain' might just do the trick. Lee Kerslake's furious flurry of beats not only kicks off the song but also offers the opening notes of the 'Diary of a Madman' album. The fantastical Osbourne track takes listeners through a dreamland with an invitation to join him on his journey.
'Suicide Solution' may be the most controversial songs Ozzy Osbourne has ever released. Osbourne stated that the song was a tribute to the late Bon Scott, who died of alcohol poisoning, while bassist Bob Daisley who wrote the track says that Osbourne himself, who was struggling with alcoholism, was the inspiration. There was also the matter of the title, which sparked a lawsuit when a depressed teen shot himself. But controversy or not, the song rocks with Randy Rhoads' chugging guitar and Osbourne's wail leading the way.
What is Ozzy really all about? The singer attempted to clear it up in the 2001 song 'Gets Me Through,' which he wrote as a thank you and explanation to his fans. In the song, Osbourne states, "I'm not the Anti-Christ or the Iron Man," thus separating the man from the image. The song itself starts with keyboard before guitarist Zakk Wylde, bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Mike Bordin grunge up this trudging rocker.
'Mr. Crowley' is a solid choice for the 10 best Ozzy Osbourne songs as it smoothed the singer's transition from Black Sabbath frontman to solo artist. Osbourne's dark side fully intact, the singer created a song about black magic practitioner Aleister Crowley and his sinister ways. The track launches with the distinctive organ solo from Don Airey before the rhythmic rocker kicks in.
'Shot in the Dark' makes the 10 best Ozzy Osbourne songs as one of the more instantly recognizable tracks of the singer's career. The catchy mid-'80s rocker was penned by bassist Phil Soussan and altered to Osbourne's specifications. Easily one of the more radio-friendly songs of the singer's career, the track does still rock with wailing guitar work from Jake E. Lee and a driving beat laid down by Randy Castillo.
Osbourne's affinity for drugs did occasionally find its way into song and 'Flying High Again' is a perfect example. In the lyrics, Osbourne shares his concern, stating, "Mama's gonna worry / I been a bad, bad boy / No use sayin' sorry / It's something I enjoy." Then rationalizing his behavior, he adds, "If you could be inside of me / you'd see, you'd see what light I see / flyin' high again, alright!"
Here's the rare non-rocker on our list of 10 best Ozzy Osbourne songs. But this song was a major hit in the era of the power ballad and its success was all the sweeter for Osbourne as it was a love song to his wife Sharon. The track, co-written with Zakk Wylde and Lemmy Kilmister, was penned about his proposed retirement from music and his return home to his lady love after his support of the album was complete.
'Bark at the Moon' finds Osbourne once again digging into mythical territory for inspiration, as the track follows a beast that terrorizes a town, was killed and then was resurrected to wreak even more havoc. Musically, the guitar work from Jake E. Lee is top notch with a driving riff that is easily one of the most recognizable licks from Osbourne's catalog.
Ozzy Osbourne stated in his 'Prince of Darkness' liner notes that the song 'No More Tears' was "a gift from God," and we're not ones to disagree. The Bob Daisley bass line that opens the track pulls the listener in, while chugging Zakk Wylde guitar licks propel the song's verses. The track also features an extensive bridge infused with keyboards, piano and what sounds like a string backing before finishing out with a fury.
No surprise here -- 'Crazy Train' is the best Ozzy Osbourne song of all time. It's the song that signified that Osbourne's move to a solo career was a wise one. Guitarist Randy Rhoads "doubled" his parts for the song's very difficult solo, in the process delivering one of the most admired licks in rock history. As for the lyrical content, Osbourne addressed the crazy state of the world during the Cold War and offered the uplifting message, "Maybe it's not too late / To learn how to love and forget how to hate." Simply put, 'Crazy Train' is not only one of Ozzy's best, but one of the best rock songs ever.