Is Ozzy Osbourne continuing on what seems like a never-ending tour because he can’t stay off the road — or because his controlling wife/manager pushes him to continue at this torrid pace? Their daughter says: The love of music.
Ozzy, 63, is coming off a series of shows with two of the three other co-founding members of Black Sabbath, capped off by a triumphal appearance at this year’s Lollapolooza held in August at Chicago’s Grant Park. Osbourne was joined by bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi for what would be Sabbath’s only outing in America. Original drummer Bill Ward, absent because of an on-going contractual dispute, was replaced by Ozzy’s regular drummer Tommy Clufetos.
Black Sabbath — with whom Ozzy has recorded 10 albums dating back to 1970 — also played a celebrated homecoming show in Birmingham last May, and headlined the Download Festival in June, while work on a new studio project continues. In all Ozzy, has been part of recordings that have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide; he’s sold more than 55 million albums as a solo artist.
[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: While Ozzy’s new ‘Speak of the Devil’ DVD is unfortunately not a visual companion to Osbourne’s album of the same name, this 1982 concert does have its intriguing moments.]
This 2012 Sabbath tour follows frequent solo tours and, dating back to the 1990s, a multi-band concert series called Ozzfest — which was also created and overseen by his wife and manager Sharon.
Their daughter Kelly Osbourne, in an interview with Karlson and McKenzie of CBS affiliate WZLX, said Ozzy relishes this busy work schedule.
“As soon as he gets home he says ‘When am I going on tour again?’” Osbourne told Karlson and McKenzie. “He was born to do it, he never wants to stop. And when he isn’t doing it, he can’t stand it.”
The Ward dispute was blamed, in some circles, on disagreements with Sharon Osbourne. Ward himself posted a Facebook message accusing Ozzy’s manager of “degrading stipulations” and various insults over the years. Sharon has also been unfairly blamed, Kelly Osbourne says, for keeping Ozzy out on the road.
“Absolutely not,” Kelly Osbourne says. “That’s just what people write that, when my mom doesn’t give them the money they want, they say … It’s all politics in the music industry because they can’t stand that a woman is smarter than them.”
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Here’s a look back at previous thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. Click though the title for complete reviews …
OZZY OSBOURNE – SPEAK OF THE DEVIL (2012): First off, the name of this DVD might be a little confusing. Though recorded on the same 1982 tour, this is not the visual companion to Ozzy’s album of the same name. While that record was made exclusively of his versions of Black Sabbath classics, the setlist on this DVD primarily pulls from his solo works. In fact, we only get a trio of Sabbath songs – “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave” and “Paranoid” to round out the evening. The show, filmed in June of 1982 in Irvine Meadows, Calif., highlights a strange period in Ozzy’s career. Guitarist Randy Rhoads, who was responsible for most of the big riffs and searing solos on these songs, had died in a plane crash only months earlier in March. For a time, Ozzy thought that he might not want to go on.
BLACK SABBATH – SABOTAGE (1975): The end of Sabotage also begins the fade out of the Ozzy era of the band. Though the two records that followed both have their moments, it wasn’t until 1980 and the entrance of Dio that the band put out another truly amazing record with a sound so altered that, at times, it would be hard to identify the music as Sabbath. There’s also a very powerful argument to be made for that record as the band’s best, but I’ll save that one for another time. Sabotage isn’t likely to overtake the groundbreaking debut record or the hit-filled Paranoid as Sabbath’s best work in most people’s minds, and I understand that. But the next time you’re looking for a Sabbath fix, dig a little deeper and give it a listen, especially if you haven’t heard it in a while. It might just be a much better record than you remember.
OZZY OSBOURNE – BLIZZARD OF OZZ/ DIARY OF A MADMAN (1980/81): In my opinion, Diary of a Madman is Ozzy’s finest hour outside of Black Sabbath. While his debut had a few duds — “No Bone Movies” comes immediately to mind, and though it may seem like sacrilege to some fans, I’ve never liked “Revelation (Mother Earth),” either — Diary is a far more consistent record from beginning to end, and there’s not a single track that I skip every listen. 1980’s Blizzard of Ozz, of course, features some of Ozzy’s best-known songs, including “I Don’t Know,” “Mr. Crowley” and perhaps his most recognizable solo hit, “Crazy Train.” It also features one of my personal favorite guitar instrumentals, Randy Rhoads’ neo-classical jaunt, “Dee.”