'Bark at the Moon'
Ozzy has endured many hardships throughout his career, one of the cruelest losing his guitar player Randy Rhodes in 1982. Randy's musical talent and friendship helped pull both Ozzy and his career out of the abyss following his dismissal from Black Sabbath. Amazingly, Ozzy soon after grouped with new guitarist Jake E. Lee to record this absolutely stomping title track from his 1983 smash album.
'No More Tears'
It wouldn't be fair to say Ozzy's career was faltering as the '90s started, but he had seemingly settled on a lower plateau in terms of both sales and musical ambition. The haunting opening bass riff from this epic title track -- off his 1991 multi-platinum smash album 'No More Tears' -- served notice that many more of the best Ozzy songs were still to come.
'Mama I'm Coming Home'
Even though Ozzy is best known for his work on riff-based heavy metal songs, he has also proven himself equally adept at performing touching ballads, such as this one, also from 'No More Tears.' The song, a tender love letter to his wife Sharon, turned out to be his only Top 40 hit ever, with lyrics co-written by none other than Lemmy from Motorhead.
Of all the Ozzy songs, this one, from 1980's 'Blizzard of Ozz,' is by far his most controversial. Written as a tribute to recently fallen AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, this desolate account of Ozzy's own alcohol struggles was the basis for a lawsuit from the parents of a teenager who murdered himself after listening to the song.
'I Don't Wanna Stop'
Firmly established as the grandfather of heavy metal for years now, Ozzy re-declares his love for the music and his life's work on this plain-spoken, hard-charging track from 2007's 'Black Rain.' As if there was any doubt. What's he gonna do, be a lawyer or something?
'Over the Mountain'
Ozzy's second album, 1981's 'Diary of a Madman,' was recorded less than a year after his debut. Despite the hectic recording and touring schedule they were enduring, Ozzy and main songwriting partner Randy Rhodes put together another strong collection of songs. One of the highlights is this surprisingly assured and anthemic opening track, where Ozzy invites his fans to take a trip with him.
'Flying High Again'
The title, chorus and Ozzy's live introductions ("Keep on smokin' them joints!") of this strutting track -- from 1981's 'Diary of a Madman' -- make it seem pretty clear the song is about marijuana. But, the verses describe sensations more familiar to users of LSD, and the single artwork features Ozzy seated in front of a pile of dry ice that looks like something out of 'Scarface.' So exactly what is he up to? Whatever it is, he knows he's "been a bad, bad boy.."
Clearly one of his best songs, and definitely one of the most misunderstood. Yes, he's singing about the same famous occultist and magician Jimmy Page often talked about in more glowing terms. However, in Ozzy's view -- as stated on 1980's 'Blizzard of Ozz' -- Mr. Crowley's lifestyle was tragic, as the metal rocker accuses him of fooling people with illusions, finally demanding, "Did you think you were pure?"
'Shot in the Dark'
This undeniably catchy lead track from 1986's 'The Ultimate Sin' is clearly more loved by fans than by Ozzy himself. Perhaps it's the pop-metal, keyboard-heavy production, or reported legal disputes over the songwriting credits that caused Ozzy to delete the entire album from his in-print catalog. Or, maybe he simply didn't want to be reminded of his mall-mom haircut with frosted tips.
By nearly anybody's measure, this classic from 1980's 'Blizzard of Ozz' is one of Ozzy's best. Rhoads' guitar slowly builds with a dirty, distorted sound that can't hide his classically trained sense of melody, while Ozzy sings about getting wild out on the town. What's more crazy to him, though, is people living as enemies. "Maybe," Ozzy screams in the lyrics, "it's not too late, to learn how to love and forget how to hate." See, Ozzy can be thoughtful too!