John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne has a long heavy metal
history. Ozzy started as the frontman for metal pioneers Black
Sabbath. Ozzy was born and grew up in Birmingham, England to a
middle class family. He had several brother's and sisters, and the
nickname "Ozzy" was an early grade school nickname. In 1967, Ozzy
ended up forming a band called Earth with guitarist Tony Lommi Geezer
Butler, and drummer Bill Ward. The renamed themselves "Black
Sabbath", after a movie by the same name, when they found out "Earth"
was taken. It is safe to say we are all familiar with the success
that Black Sabbath had in the 1970's.
By 1978, Ozzy had eyes on a solo career. However,
after being talked into heading back into the studio and on the road
with Black Sabbath, it was clear that their hearts were just not in it
when compared to energy of their opening act, Van Halen. It is
well known that the members of Black Sabbath were heavy drug users.
In 1979, Ozzy was fired, and Black Sabbath hired Ronnie James Dio for
In 1980, under the management of his then girlfriend
Sharon, Ozzy officially started his solo career as "Blizzard of Ozz",
although this band name actually became the name of the first album with
Ozzy Osbourne being the moniker. This was the breakout album that
featured songs like "Crazy Train", "Mr. Crowley", and "Goodbye to
Romance". Ozzy's second release,
Diary of a Madman, brought
us the great songs "Over the Mountain" and "Flying High Again" In
1982, Randy Rhoads (guitarist) was killed in a light plane crash when
the band's buss driver, Andrew Aycock, was buzzing the band's tour bus
under the influence of cocaine. The resulting death of Randy hit
Ozzy very hard. Jake E. Lee (Badlands) eventually took the lead
guitar role for the 1983 release of
Bark at the Moon and the 1986
The Ultimate Sin. Sharon fired Jake in 1987. Jake
was replaced with Zakk Wylde.
Ozzy continued having success into the 1990's, a fact
that few bands can claim. Ozzfest was a huge success for Ozzy in
the 1990's, and by the early 2000's, many young people became reacquainted with Ozzy and his
family in when MTV began airing the hit show "The Osbournes".
In late 2011, it was announced that Ozzy would be reunited with the
original members of Black Sabbath. More to come?
It is worth mentioning that the stories regarding Ozzy
biting the head off a dove and a bat are true. He was drunk when
he bit the head off the dove, but the bat? Well he thought it
wasn't real...Turns out it was, and he had the rabies shots to prove it.
So is Ozzy a Satanist? He adamantly denies this charge and is a
public member of the Church of England.
At the time of this writing, the Ozzy solo discography
was as follows:1980: Blizzard of Ozz
1981: Diary of a Madman
1982: Speak of the Devil
1983: Bark at the Moon
1986: The Ultimate Sin
1988: No Rest for the Wicked
1991: No More Tears
1993: Live and Loud
1997: The Ozzman Cometh (Greatest Hits)
2001: Down to Earth
2005: Prince of Darkness (Box Set)
2007: Black Rain