Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath in 1979, on full metal alert. Backed by virtuoso guitarist Randy Rhoads, Osbourne then made the most vital music of his solo career -- including songs such as "Crazy Train," "Suicide Solution" and the drug epic "Flying High Again," which featured Rhoads' spasmodic guitar and set an unwitting template for the hair metal that followed. After Rhoads' death in a plane crash in 1982, Osbourne never found as talented a guitarist to support him (though Zakk Wylde came close). By the late Eighties, Ozzy was metal's Old Faithful: frightening by design and never daring to innovate. "Mama, I'm Coming Home," co-written by Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, was spartan folk metal for a bruised generation, but most of Ozzy's Nineties output blended together into an unaware, babbling cacophony. Looking for early hints of Ozzy's parenting style? Check out the excellent live version of 1980's "I Don't Know": "Don't look at me for answers/Don't ask me/I don't know."
(From RS 916 – February 20, 2003)
(Posted: Jan 28, 2003)