Ozzy Osbourne Bio
To most people, Ozzy Osbourne is known as either the "Prince of Darkness" or the “Godfather of Heavy Metal,” having fronted Black Sabbath, the pioneering band of heavy metal.
Ozzy's music was always a product of the late-'60s psychedelic rock sound. Layering his dark lyrics on top of a heavy, blues-based musical foundation, Ozzy created a recipe that worked, as evidenced in the song “Black Sabbath.”
Alongside Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, Ozzy's Black Sabbath quickly made an impact. Solid sales resulted from both their self-titled debut and its follow-up, Paranoid. Seeing the world through a drug-induced haze caused Ozzy not to recognize the success and, as a result, he was booted from the band in 1979, with Ronnie James Dio taking his place.
And, so, Ozzy embarked on his solo career backed by a new band, The Blizzard of Ozz (later changed to the Ozzy Osbourne Band). The new ensemble was popular from the start with their first two releases – Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman – witnessing healthy sales. Bob Daisley and Randy Rhoads both contributed some solid songwriting and performances to the effort.
However, in 1982 on the Madman tour, Rhoads died in a plane crash. Depression set in on Ozzy, but he bolstered himself and was back at work a week later. The resulting concerts were captured and became the Speak of the Devil live album.
Struggling with sobriety, Ozzy kept working, churning out records like 1983's Bark at the Moon and 1986's The Ultimate Sin. Unfortunately, he and his work were also the targets for a slew of lawsuits that took heavy metal artists to task for their effect on listeners. One case was based on the claim that Ozzy's "Suicide Solution" led to two teenagers committing suicide. Ozzy prevailed in court, but still couldn't win his own personal war against drugs and alcohol.
Having continued his search for someone to replace Rhoads, Ozzy met Zakk Wylde in 1988. Wylde proved to be a decent surrogate and made his Ozzy Osbourne Band debut on No Rest for the Wicked.
Their next set, No More Tears, leaned heavily on MTV and radio support to sell more than four million records to kick off the 1990s in a big way. Even the Grammy Awards honored Ozzy's work with a win for Best Metal Performance. It all wasn't enough to keep Ozzy in the game as he proclaim that he was tired of touring and set out on a No More Tours retirement run.
After releasing Ozzmosis in 1995, Ozzy had second thoughts and so The Retirement Sucks Tour was undertaken. A year later, he even founded the Ozzfest tours and, in 1997 issued a greatest hits collection, The Ozzman Cometh. Ozzy seemed to have found his groove.
Then, a five-year period with no new records ensued. Finally, in 2001, Ozzy's Down to Earth dropped, but was met with only moderate success. Seeking out some new mojo, Ozzy teamed up with Metallica's former bassist Jason Newsted in 2003. That same year, Ozzy was badly injured after crashing his ATV. Breaking his collar bone, a neck vertebra, and eight ribs left him with a lengthy recovery time.
His comeback was headlining at Ozzfest in 2004. The following year, the Prince of Darkness box set was released featuring a combination of live performances, demos, b-sides, and other random tracks. One of the discs contained previously unreleased covers.
Finding a new alliance with MTV, Ozzy and his family had their lives documented on a reality TV show, The Osbournes, between 2002 and 2005. During this time, Ozzy let six years lapse between studio albums.
That drought ended in 2007 with Black Rain. Ozzy has said that the hiatus and resulting project were a both products of his sobriety: "I thought I'd never write again without any stimulation...But you know what? Instead of picking up the bottle I just got honest and said, 'I don't want life to go (to pieces).'”
Although 2009 had to survive without an Ozzfest, the tour was back in 2010, as was Ozzy with Scream.
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