Ozzy Osbourne first achieved fame as a member of Black Sabbath, the group that created Heavy Metal music with the release of their self-titled debut album in 1970. After more than a decade with the group he was fired and started in the early 80s a very successful solo career that made him one of the most influential singers in the history of music.
He had the chance to see the evolution of Rock and Roll music up-close and over the decades he talked about many other artists. He even revealed which is the best singer of all time in his opinion. Rock and Roll Garage selected what the musician said about the artist.
When Black Sabbath released their groundbreaking debut album in early 70s they opened a whole new perspective on what could be done in terms of songwriting. Writing about the devil, war and death, the band shocked many conservative listeners but also influenced countless generations of future musicians that became fans.
Even though Ozzy was an important element of the band and later became known as “The Prince of Darkness”, his favorite band has always been The Beatles. So when asked by Rolling Stone back in 2008 to list the greatest singers of all time his obvious choice for the first position was John Lennon.
Curiously in the second position the one chosen was Paul McCartney. For Ozzy, the famous Beatles’ member are better than names like Elton John, Steve Marriott, Bon Scott, Steven Tyler and Tina Turner, who were also on the list.
Talking with Goldmine Magazine in 2010, the musician lamented the that John Lennon’s was gone for three decades. “I remember where I was. Exactly where I was, when it was, what time of the day it was. I was in Wales. I was writing and rehearsing.”
“Sharon calls me up and says, ‘You’ll never guess what happened.’ She says, ‘John Lennon got shot last night.’ My world just f**kin’ stopped. It was like when Kennedy got done, you know. But a f**kin’ guy like Lennon. It just stopped my world,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
After The Beatles came to an end in 1970 the four members focused on their solo careers and in 1971 Lennon released his second solo studio album called “Imagine”. In an interview with Forbes Ozzy picked that record as his favorite one from a singer songwriter.
“I must have played this album thousands of times over the years. The songs are just timeless. Which is the sign of what a great songwriter John Lennon was. Lennon was a poet, a rebel. (He) had an incredible passion. All of which are so evident on this landmark album,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
Besides the title-track, that album also had famous songs like “Jealous Guy”, “Gimme Some Truth” and How?”. The record peaked at the United States and United Kingdom charts at the time.
The Black Sabbath frontman had the chance to pay tribute to The Beatles and Lennon during his career covering a few tracks. On his 2005 covers albums “Under Cover” he made versions for The Beatles’ “In My Life” and the Lennon songs: “Woman” and “Working Class Hero”. In 2010 he also released a cover for the song “How?”.
Sadly Ozzy never had the chance to meet John Lennon. But he was lucky enough to have encoutered Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr over the years.
Just like millions of fans all over the world, Ozzy was surprised when he hear The Beatles for the first time. The first song he ever heard was “She Loves You”, released in 1963. He recalled that in an interview with 60 minutes Australia back in 2019 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).
“One day I was walking down this road and I heard The Beatles for the first time. It was like ‘Wow!’ I heard ‘She Loves You’ and light went up in my head. I was just besotted with them.”
“I used to fantasize: ‘So wouldn’t be great if Paul McCartney married my sister? Or John Lennon married my mom?’ (Laughs) I remember saying: ‘That’s it! That’s what I wanna do!’ (be a musician),” Ozzy Osbourne said.
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