Well, in thinking long and hard about another Metal band of the 80’s that deserves recognition for rip roaring, in your face, drunken, piss your parents off Heavy Metal it turns out coincidentally that it’s a band started from another front man from the War Pigs themselves, Black Sabbath. That’s right; I’m talking about the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osborne.
Again, I’m not talking about Ozzy himself as the sole bringer of the Heaviest Metal, but the band he put together right after he left (or was kicked out of pre Dio) Sabbath that included the legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads, bassist Bob Daisley, and drummer Lee Kerslake.
Blizzard of Ozz, The group’s first album was released in 1980 in the U.K. and then in early 1981 in the U.S. The lyrics talked about spooky stuff like the devil the occult (pretty standard Metal stuff, really). But Ozzy had an Ace in his pocket, Randy Rhodes! Randy Rhodes guitar playing was second to none (maybe to Eddie Van Halen at the time- but that’s another blog entry all on its own) and the band was technically proficient enough to create great heavy music outside of the normal Metal formula. I think to this day “Crazy Train” is still played in every football stadium in America before a big series of downs or when the home team gets possession of the ball (no pun intended).
I’m not exactly sure why anyone would leave at this point unless they mistook Ozzy’s drunken blubbering for “your fired” instead of “I’m wired” or something to that effect. But Kerslake and Daisley would be replaced with Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo shortly before the next release of Diary of a Madman. This is when the most legendary of Metal mishaps occurs that makes Spinal Tap look like regular scholars! A drunken Ozzy picks up what he thinks is a fake bat that a fan throws on stage and proceeds to bite the head off of it…not thinking “Hmmmm? Boy this thing feels kinda warm. And man it’s sorta twitching? Anyway, A bunch of rabies shots to the stomach later and Ozzy is back in rare form.
Not long afterwards, Randy Rhoads was killed in a bizarre plane accident, bringing the band’s bat eating days to a screeching halt. Ozzy fell into a massive depression and was soon let go from Jet Records. Now! all of you musicians out there looking to get the attention of a record label executive… this is how you do it. Show up drunk at an Epic Records meeting with two doves, free one, and then bite the head off the other in the same manner as Ozzy did with the bat.
Osborne got the deal and was signed to the label. Jake E. Lee became Osborne’s new guitarist (another Ace in the hole) for the 1984 studio effort Bark at the Moon. While it didn’t match the consistency of Blizzard of Ozz or Diary of a Madman, the record was damn good and scared the crap outta me when I was a kid.
So there it is…3 brilliant albums during the Heavy Metal days of the early 80’s. This concludes Metal blog 2 of 3. Next up…6!66!…can anyone finish this line?