Ozzy Osbourne was born in Marston Green, Warwickshire, England back in 1948 and helped to form Black Sabbath two decades later in 1968 in the city of Birmingham. The group released their groundbreaking self-titled debut album one year and changed forever the course of Rock and Roll, creating a heavier sound that would later be named Heavy Metal.
In the 70s and 80s the new genre evolved and many new groups appeared, including the American band Metallica, that took their sound to another level, making it heavier and faster, inspired not only by Black Sabbath but by the bands that were part of the so called New Wave of The British Heavy Metal, that happened in the late 70s.
Over the decades, Ozzy Osbourne talked a lot about other artists and bands, including Metallica. He even revealed once which is his favorite album from them.
The Metallica album that Ozzy Osbourne said is his favorite
Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981 and released their debut album two years later in 1983. By the time their first record was out, Ozzy had already released his two first praised solo albums: “Blizzard Of Ozzy” (1980) and “Diary of a Madman” (1981), also was about to put out his third record “Bark at The Moon” (1983), the first one with Jake E. Lee as the band’s guitarist.
So the Black Sabbath vocalist had the chance to see up-close the evolution of Metallica, which was frequently playing on the same festivals as him. The group would end up opening for the singer a few years later in 1986, during the first American leg of his “Ultimate Sin” tour.
So Ozzy already loved the band in the 80s, as he revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2017. In the conversation with the magazine he listed his 10 favorite Heavy Metal albums of all time and one of them is “Metallica” (1991), also known as “The Black Album” because of the cover.
“I took Metallica on tour with me after the release of ‘Master of Puppets’. The album was a milestone for the band and for heavy metal,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
Released in 1986, “Master of Puppets” was the band’s third studio and the final one with the bassist Cliff Burton. The musician tragically died six months after the album was released in a bus accident when they were touring in Sweden.
That record had famous songs like the title-track, “Orion”, “Battery” and “Leper Messiah”.
Metallica credits Ozzy to giving them their big break
At the time Metallica released “Master of Puppets” in 1986 they still weren’t a big commercial success. But it was after that Ozzy Osbourne took them on tour as his opening act that things changed. While promoting their latest album “72 Seasons”, the band recalled that in an interview with Howard Stern (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).
Lars Ulrich said: “Ozzy at that time, his solo career was really going. He was known for bringing out bands that were kind of on the verge of breaking. The time before he took us out, he took Mötley Crüe out. (He) did a whole United States tour (with them) and that also elevated them to the level that they eventually landed. With us, it was our turn in 86, we had a new album Master of Puppets’. Ozzy and of course, Sharon has a lot to speak for this also. But they were kind enough to take us out and give us that shot. We were out there and five years earlier James and I were meeting, talking and sitting there and trying to figure out what we were doing.”
“Now we were out there playing arenas in America. We opened it up with ‘Battery’ and we went into ‘Master of Puppets’. During the first couple of songs (people were) looking up and going ‘what is this racket?’ And then 45 minutes later they were all (raising) their fists and getting into it. Kind of understanding what we were doing. It was such a transformative time. It was out first tour out in the big leagues. Hanging out with Ozzy, being around that A-level energy. We were in the majors, we’ve been playing in the minors for years and now we were in the majors.”
Lars Ulrich continued:
“There’s a lot of stories that have gone around. Some of them have turned into old tales, you know. Ozzy said a couple of times that we would be up on stage during soundchecks playing some Black Sabbath songs. He is been known to say that he tought we were taunting him and we were kind of sort making fun of him.”
“We were up on stage playing Black Sabbath we wanted him to come up and sing with us. That was like our big dream. So we would be there playing like ‘Hole In The Sky’, ‘Symptom of The Universe’ or any of these things. We were like ‘Where’s Ozzy? He can hear us in his dressing room, someone go get him'”.
“So Ozzy (said later) that he was down in his dressing room going ‘these guys are taking the piss’. He thought we were making fun of him. We were just trying to get our hero to come up on stage and sing with us.
Metallica “stole” Ozzy Osbourne’s bassist
A few years after touring with Ozzy, with the release of their groundbreaking self-titled album in 1991, Metallica no longer needed to be anybody’s opening act. Since then the group became one of the biggest bands in the world. They sold more than 125 million records worldwide, more than Ozzy sold in his solo career, actually.
In 2001, the bassist Jason Newsted decided to leave the band. Two years later Metallica recruited the longtime Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rob Trujillo. He had been a member of Ozzy’s group from 1996 to 2003.
The group had the chance to pay tribute to him many times over the decades. They covered the band’s song “Sabbra Cadabra”, being featured on their covers album “Garage Inc.” (1998). Hetfield and Ulrich also had the chance to induct Black Sabbath into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2006. The band performed with him the classics “Iron Man” and “Paranoid” during the ceremony.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG