Ozzy Osbourne decided to reveal his personal life in a television show called The Osbournes. While the show could be hilarious at times, the Ozzy Osbourne we saw in that television show was nothing like the Ozzy Osbourne who fronted Black Sabbath. Many of us questioned if the Ozzy Osbourne we were seeing in the television show was indeed the real Ozzy or was that just another made up character. Of course, his issues with alcoholism and drugs have been well documented, but that character in the show did seem a bit scripted at times. What does any of his have to do with Ozzy Osbourne songs? Well, read on…
Ozzy Osbourne is a professional entertainer and one thing that all professional entertainers have in common is that they know how to surround themselves with the best people. In Ozzy Osbourne’s world, that meant the best guitar players. Ozzy Osbourne’s solo material has always been defined by the guitar players in his band. Ozzy Osbourne knew how to hire the best.
After spending all those years with the incredible Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne was not going to settle for just an average guitar player. Just like what David Lee Roth did when he hired Steve Vai to play in his band after all those years with Eddie Van Halen, Ozzy did the same thing. Ozzy’s answer to Tony Iommi was the legendary Randy Rhodes.
The work that Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhodes did together resulted in some of the best metal rock of the 1980s. The Blizzard of Ozz, Mr Crowley Live EP and Diary of a Madman albums showcased the incredible talents of Randy Rhodes and cemented his legend as one of the best ever. Unfortunately and very sadly, Randy Rhodes lost his life in a plane crash in 1982.
Brad Gillis took over the guitar duties in Ozzy Osbourne’s band temporarily. Ozzy Osbourne eventually hired Jake E. Lee as his new guitarist in 1983. Once again Ozzy Osbourne had found an astounding talent to stand next to him on stage and in the studio.
In 1987, Ozzy Osbourne discovered the guitarist that would spend more time with him on stage and in the studio than any other guitar player he ever worked with. That guitarist went by the name of Zakk Wylde and he was, and still is a monster. Zakk Wylde spent twenty five years with Ozzy Osbourne. Eventually, the two parted ways and Zakk Wylde was replaced with Kostas Karamitroudis who played guitar on Ozzy Osbourne’s last studio album Scream. Recently Zakk Wylde has reunited with Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy Osbourne has utilized many different musicians in his studio and touring bands on bass, drums and keyboards. The talents of all those great musicians have contributed significantly to shaping the sounds of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo songs. Robert Castillo, Tommy Alridge and Lee Kerslake all manned the drummer’s chair on the classic Ozzy Osbourne albums from the 1980s and 1990s. Deen Castronovo, Mike Bordin and Kevin Churko took over from the late 1990s to the present.
There have been many keyboardists and bass players that have been part of Ozzy Osbourne’s band over the past 35 years. On keys, Ozzy Osbourne used Don Airey, Johnny Cook, Mike Moran, Rick Wakeman of Yes, Time Palmer, Michael Railo, and Rick Wakeman’s son Adam Wakeman. On bass, Ozzy Osbourne employed Bob Daisley, Phil Soussan, Geezer Butler, Robert Trujillo, Chris Wyse and Rob Nicholson.
Our top 10 Ozzy Osbourne’s songs list was very difficult to write. There is so much great material to choose from. As a solo artist, Ozzy Osbourne has had many hits. The albums are also full of great songs that never got much airplay but deserve to be mentioned as his best. So even though we could easily compose a top 100 Ozzy Osbourne songs list, having to choose only 10 makes it more fun.
# 10 – I Don’t Wanna Stop
We open our Top 10 Ozzy Osbourne songs list with a great track from the 2007 Black Rain album. That crying opening guitar lick is soon overwhelmed by the dark heavy riffs of Zakk Wylde’s brilliant and thunderous guitar playing. This is what we mean by how much Ozzy Osbourne songs have been shaped by the guitarist in the band. “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” was also used by the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.) in various performances. The Ozzy Osbourne song “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” also reached number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks in 2007.
# 9 – Gets Me Through
Once again Zakk Wylde rips it up on this killer track from 2001. The grunge sound of the early 1990s is a bit evident on this track as one can hear a bit of Alice In Chains in the groove. The song “Gets Me Through,” was released on the Down to Earth album in 2001.
# 8 – Mr. Crowley
Well, we can’t have a top 10 Ozzy Osbourne songs list without including the classic track “Mr. Crowley.” That haunting opening keyboard line set the stage perfectly for one of Ozzy Osbourne’s most iconic vocals performances of his solo career. The song “Mr. Crowley,” was released on the Blizzard Of Ozz album in 1980. The lp was Ozzy Osbourne’s first solo album of his career. “Mr. Crowley,” opened up side two of the record. The song was written by Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhodes and Bob Daisley.
# 7 -Bloodbath In Paradise
How can you not love the sinister opening to “Bloodbath in Paradise.” The song was released on the No Rest For The Wicked album in 1988. The album was the first record to feature the insane talents of Zakk Wylde. The song was written by Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Zakk Wylde, bassist Bob Daisley, drummer Randy Castillo, and keyboardist John Sinclair which was the entire band on the album. Nice that everyone got credit for this one.
# 6 – Over The Mountain
If we had to choose our favorite Ozzy Osbourne album cover, the great Diary of a Madman cover would easily get our vote. Opening the album was the great track “Over The Mountain.” The song became a top 40 hit for Ozzy Osbourne. The great guitar work of Randy Rhodes wrapped around Ozzy Osbourne’s perfectly tracked double vocal defined pure metal bliss. Love this one!
# 5 – Mama I’m Coming Home
The great metal ballad “Mama I’m Coming Home,” featured one of Ozzy Osbourne’s greatest vocals if not the best vocal of his career. The song was released on the brilliant No More Tears album in 1991. “Mama I’m Coming Home,” was the highest charting single of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo career. The song reached number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and Motorhead bassist and legend Lemmy Kilmister.
# 4 – Flying High Again
Once again we return to the Diary of A Madman album for the record’s second track entitled “Flying High Again.” This one had such a killer hook and chorus. Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake played their hearts out on this record. It was insane that on the 2002 reissues of the album, they actually re-recorded Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake parts because of a dispute. You just can’t do stuff like that. You don’t mess with classic recordings. That stuff is sacred. Sharon, Sharon, Sharon!
# 3 – Waiting For Darkness
There was no way we could complete this Ozzy Osbourne songs list without placing a track from the classic Bark At The Moon Lp. We have always thought that the album’s closing track was not only the best song on the album, it was one of the best songs Ozzy Osbourne ever released as a solo artist.
# 2 – Crazy Train
It’s tough to call Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz his debut album because of all the music he recorded with Black Sabbath. However, it was his first solo album, and what a debut it was. We could have filled up half this list with songs from the Blizzard of Oz Lp. Yet, we refrained from doing that because Ozzy released so many great albums and songs from 1980 to 2010.
Thirty years of brilliant solo albums yield a great amount of material to choose from. “Crazy Train,” is probably Ozzy Osbourne’s most popular solo song. Most lists choose it as his greatest work. It’s hard to argue against that point, but well, we have.
# 1 – Perry Mason
We did not choose this one because we are big fans of the Perry Mason tv series. No we choose it because it’s such a killer song with an amazing opening that gets better with each measure. This one was pure metal perfection. The inclusion of Rick Wakeman on the track elevated the band to a level of genius.
Listen to Ozzy Osbourne’s vocal rhythm on this track. The swing feel that he incorporates on the verse is lights-out brilliant. Even though the lyrics of the chorus are tongue in cheek, it just works so perfectly cascading chromatically downwards. The band’s secret weapon in this track was the writing of John Purdell. The gifted producer and songwriter had worked with Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Heart, Foreigner and so many more before he passed away.
“Perry Mason,” was released on the Ozzmosis album in 1995. Many critics have put down the album, but they are all idiots who don’t know what they are talking about. They have no idea what it takes to write and record music like this. This album was great and the song “Perry Mason,” was the record’s shining moment.
Top 10 Ozzy Osbourne Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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